Or – “Battle Of The Network Super-Revenants!”
A founding Justice Leaguer has returned from the dead…Â That has to unprecedented, right?Â I mean, how often can they pull off something like that?
Superman – Died Superman 75, 1992.Â Â Revived Superman – The Man of Steel 25, 1993.
Batman – Died Final Crisis 6, 2009.Â Living in cave somewhere in Final Crisis 7.
Wonder Woman – Died Crisis on Infinite Earths 12, 1986.Â Â Revived Wonder Woman 1, 1987.
Green Lantern – Died Final Night 4, 1996.Â Â Revived fullyÂ Green Lantern – Rebirth, 2004.
The Flash – Died Crisis on Infinite Earths 8, 1986.Â Returned to life Final Crisis 2, 2008.
Aquaman – Died 2001.Â Revived JLA 66, 2001.Â Died again Aquaman 50, 2008.
Martian Manhunter – Died in Final Crisis 1, 2008.Â Returned…Â Well, you’re looking at it.
The guys who engrave headstones in the DC Universe must be richer than Bill Gates’ lovechild by Paris Hilton…
Previously, on Green Lantern: The Guardians of the Universe have splintered over matters of policy, specifically as regards the use of emotions.Â Ganthet, one of the few Guardians who chose to have an individual identity has left the group with his chosen lifemate Sayd to form his own Blue Lantern Corps, and the war with Sinestro’s bearers of yellow light left the Corps fundamentally changed.Â The emotional spectrum has become active again after aeons of inactivity, with Orange, Red, and Purple Lanterns popping up every where, and the GoU were completely blindsided by betrayal from withing, as one of their own (known only as Scar for the facial wounds she bears) has been overcome by the power of the Black Lanterns, and has destroyed the Central Power Battery.Â At the same time, former three-time-loser Black Hand has finally taken the final step in his road to insanity, committing suicide and becoming the first of a new Corps of Black Lanterns.Â Ebony rings have spread out all over the galaxy, causing millions to face their long-dead loved ones, and George Romero to call his lawyer.Â Hal Jordan and Barry Allen, both recently resurrected themselves, now face the unbridled power of their deceased colleague J’onn J’onzz.Â And he is NOT happy…
The story proper opens at a pyramid in Cydonia, the final resting place of the Martian Manhunter…Â A series of vibrations disturb his sarcophagus, smashing the memorial chocolate sandwich cookie (because Oreo is a tradmark) as a black ring smashes through the ceiling.Â After a few seconds of disgusting noises, a fist punches through the stone of the coffin.Â Smash cut to a Gotham City cemetary, as Green Lantern Hal Jordan and the second man known as the Flash investigate another disturbed grave, this one the tomb of the Batman.Â Flash quickly recognizes that someone has stolen Bruce Wayne’s skull, and the twosome move into investigative mode.Â Before they can fully CSI the scene, they are greeted with the arisen Martian Manhusk, who tells them “You should both be dead.”Â In an interesting moment, we see dead J’onn’s perspective, as his ring identifies Hal’s emotional spectrum as “will” and Barry’s as “hope.”Â That’s an interesting touch…Â Hal’s ring tells him that there are no life signs and he attacks, but the Manhunter is quicker.Â Barry is blasted with a bolt of something that causes him to flash yellow, like a Sinestro ring would, showing him his fear of having to leave Iris behind again…Â Apparently, since black is indeed ALL the colors, the black rings seem to be able to channel/identify all the colors of the emotional spectrum.
Barry manages to break free, but Hal is overcome with images of his terrible acts as Parallax, and the heroes retreat.Â Hal tries to call for backup, but there is no response from Oa.Â Before they can respond, J’onn PICKS UP THE ENTIRE BUILDING in which they’ve taken sanctuary, and crashes it into another.Â “I’m as powerful as Superman,” he says, “Why does everyone forget that?”Â Back on Oa, Scar has taken her fello Guardians prisoner, announcing that her Black Lantern Corps will restore order where the Green ones failed.Â Across the uninverse, we see Lanterns of all colors clashing, and an ominous power countdown moves upwards, presumably counting down to the point where the Black Lanterns Guardian will awaken.Â Barry and Hal save the civilians from the shattered buildings, and The Flash leaps into action, battering Martian Manhunter repeatedly to try and bring him back to his senses.Â After several panels of beatdown, we see that a mental push by the real J’onn has left him attacking Green Lantern instead.Â Hal and Barry are quickly taken down again as the Manhunter mocks their idea of justice.Â In deep space, in the orbit of the shattered planet Xanshi, Green Lantern John Stewart tries to come to terms with what happened last month.Â After trying to kill him for years, the last survivor of Xanshi has forgiven him for the mistake that led to the death of the planet those many years ago.Â Before he can respond though, a volley of thousands of black rings arrives and begins smashing into the various asterois.Â “Xanshi…” intones the voice of the Black Lanterns,Â “ARISE.”
This is an exciting issue, serving as our first real glimpse of what the Black Lanterns are and what they do.Â J’onn’s channeling of the power of the ring with his own telepathic and physical powers is awesome, and it was a little bit shocking to see him acting without restraint here.Â The horror of any zombie tale is seeing someone essentially just like you become a monster while still remaining recognizably human, and that’s used to great effect in this issue.Â The art is simply awesome, as Doug Manhke actually manages to convey the horror of seeing your friend return as a shambling corpse with FACIAL expressions, a deft piece of work indeed.Â After Blackest Night #1 a few weeks ago, I have been chomping at the bit to see what the BLC has to offer, and this issue was satisfying in that regard.Â I’m still not entirely onboard with a resurrected Barry, especially given the hasty way that we killed Batman, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter to retain the illusion that JLA members can still die, but he’s used to good effect here, and the irony of GL and Flash fighting a once-dead partner after having returned from beyond themselves is kind of fun in itself.Â It’s a good solid chapter of what will obviously be a huge overarching story, but still manages to be an issue of Green Lantern in so doing.Â Green Lantern #44 earns a flesh-eating 4 out of 5 stars, that only wants to take a bite out of our juicy, sweet braaaaains.