At least Pa Kent stayed down


The zombie menace has been turned on its ear thanks to the Psycho Pirate, yet Kal-L, Zor-El, and the walking corpse of Earth-2 Lois Lane continue to vex the Last Son of Krypton, his half-clone, Supergirl, and the rest of the Kryptonians orbiting on the other side of the Sun.

blackestnightsuperman3COVER.jpgBlackest Night: Superman #3
Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Eddy Barrows and Ruy José
Variant cover by Shane Davis and Sandra Hope

Black Lantern Psycho-Pirate shares his pain with the citizens of Smallville! And having your face shoved through the back of your skull can create quite a bit of pain. Will any Kryptonians come to the rescue? And could the key to taking down this menace lie within the Medusa Mask? Find out in the finale of this terrifying 3-issue epic from writer James Robinson (SUPERMAN, STARMAN) and artist Eddy Barrows (TEEN TITANS, ACTION COMICS)!

We continue to learn more about the Black Lanterns, and while hints are being dropped in the pages of the main title, Kon-El and Kal-El both discover another clue in what can be used to take down the dead.  We’ve seen the Black Lanterns rip out the hearts of their victims when their emotional spectrum is fixed on one emotion, but when multiple emotions come into play, the Black Lantern powers weaken. And when Kon-El uses Psycho Pirate’s mask to spread all emotions at once, both of the Big Bads disconnect from their power source.

We also learn fire isn’t the way to take down a Black Lantern, but it sure is good to see Martha Kent is willing to rise to the challenge when Earth-2 Lois Lane comes a calling.  Even in the face of a fiery, heart-ripping death, Martha proves that she’s not one to fall to pieces in the face of danger.  It’s a nice reminder that Clark didn’t get his strength only from Pa, but Ma’s is one strong muther, too.  Even though it would be near impossible for Ma to take down E-2 Lois, having Krypto swoop in to save the day was a nice sequence.  There’s still some question as to whether Zombie Lois is still active or not, but at least she won’t be bothering Ma anytime soon.

The most interesting part of this final issue, isn’t the combined light trick, or the failure of the fire trick, but the events that play out on New Krypton.  In the most recent Major Spoilers Podcast, I questioned why we hadn’t seen the other Kryptonians getting into the battle, and this closing chapter explains why.  The Science Guild has figured out a way to erect a shield around the city that will keep all Black Lanterns out – and everyone else outside the shield too.  It’s ironic that the Bottled City of Kandor is once again sealed away from the rest of the universe.  It’s also a convenient out to keep Superman on Earth to battle the undead foe.

The Black Lanterns still scare the hell out of me.  After an extended discussion of Blackest Night on the aforementioned podcast, I ended up having those dreams where the dead live, and the boom stick in my left hand, and the chainsaw affixed to my right were no match against the swarming hordes. Those dreams are probably going to be a lot more intense after seeing Eddy Barrows pencils in this issue.  I really enjoy his layouts in this issue and I like that he breaks away from the conventional 3/6/9 page layout and experiments with a graphical layout that uses the gutter as more of a picture frame than an actual gutter.

If readers expected to see Kal-El or Kon-El die again in this issue, then you’re going to be really disappointed.  However, if you want to read a story of how the two strongest beings on Earth deal with guilt trips coming from all sides, and fly off into the rising sun in a somewhat happy ending filled with will, love, compassion, and hope, then this is a great closing chapter to this Blackest Night tie-in.  Blackest Night: Superman #3 earns 4 out of 5 Stars for the effort.


The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. October 22, 2009 at 12:13 am — Reply

    Holy crap Superman looks pissed. And Superboy looks like the offspring of the animated Superman and the big jawed guy from “Tango and Cash”

    • October 22, 2009 at 8:14 am — Reply

      “…the big jawed guy from “Tango and Cash”…”

      Ahh, Robert Z’Darr, the man with a face like a catcher’s mitt. You should see him in the movie Soultaker, where he co-stars with Joe Estevez, Martin Sheen’s brother and Emilio Estevez’s cousin. Good stuff.

      … Sorry for the off-topic remark. Really good review, Stephen. We haven’t seen the last of E-2 Lois, because I guess she’s the main baddie in Blackest Night: JSA.

  2. fanbla72
    October 31, 2009 at 7:30 am — Reply

    this was a pretty average book (all 3).

    average AND annoyingly cliche, so it loses a couple more points.

    i’d give it a 1 out 5 and wished i’d saved my money.

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