Or – “By Your Powers Combined…”
So, millions of dead folks have arisen, and the heroes of all galaxies have been driven to the edge of destruction trying to fight off their own dead…Â Â The bearers of light have a big task ahead of them, especially given their own internal antipathy, and Nekron’s masterstroke at the climax of last issue.Â Who’s walking away alive?Â I can’t say as I’m willing to bet on anybody (but then, half the characters are dead already, so I’ve got better odds than many of my predictions.)
Â Previously, on Blackest Night:Â
This is theÂ true story…Â
Of seven strangers…Â
Picked to embody the emotional spectrum…Â
And have their lives turned into a giant crossover…Â
To find out what happens…Â
When people STOP being polite…Â
And start being DEAD.Â
The Real World:Â OA!
When last we saw our heroes, Nekron, the evil lord host of the hoary neitherworld, had revealed the final stage of his horrific plan: the use of the resurrected members of the DCU (Green Arrow, Superman, Impulse, Wonder Woman, Superboy, Donna Troy, Ice, and more) as his lifeline back into the corporeal world.Â Worse still, he has managed to possess each of these formerly dead individuals the same way he was able to possess currently dead folks in previous issues, causing them to become soldiers in his Black Lantern army.Â Hal Jordan and the Rainbow Coalition start out confused, but go from zero to “gonna die” in mere seconds, and Sinestro immediately wants to invoke deadly force.Â Hal Jordan refuses to believe that his friends are past saving, but is distracted by a black ring trying to convert HIM after his own recent return from beyond.Â Thankfully, Barry Allen is back on his game, grabbing Hal and telling him to hang on.Â “[The Black Lantern rings] ‘re fast,” says Hal.Â “I noticed that too,” says Barry.Â “But I’m FASTER.”Â Mr. Allen proceeds to have a badass moment unlike any since he blew up the antimatter cannon in 86, accelerating so fast that he jumps into his own future, causing the rings to lose their connection to him and Hal.Â Hal and Barry ask themselves the million-dollar question:Â If they stop Nekron, do their friends actually die?Â And moreover, will their OWN resurrections be negated by defeating the lord of the dead?
Deep inside a Black Lantern ring, the odd couple of the Atom and Mera are still in the clutches of Black Lantern Jean Loring/Eclipso, when her body is suddenly possessed by an old friend.Â Deadman reveals that he has discovered a crucial secret of the BLC:Â They’re all on the same heading, under the same orders.Â EVERY BLACK LANTERN IN THE UNIVERSE IS HEADED FOR EARTH.Â Mera has a badass moment of her own, ripping Jean to shreds before she and Atom escape back into the macroverse, just in time to find more Black Lanterns than ever before.Â Black Lantern Wonder Woman tries to kill them, but Mera goes toe to toe with her (and does anybody else smell a little rub here?Â Who else is onboard for Mera headlining an “Aquawoman” series in 2010?) replying to the question of whether she can stand against Wonder Woman by snarling, “I always wanted to FIND OUT.”Â Who knew Mera was hardcore?Â The Rainbow Coalition regroups, just in time for Ganthet to arrive, and drop the last bit of important knowledge.Â He reaches out, causing Hal Jordan’s ring to spawn a new Green Lantern band.Â “I am Ganthet of Oa,” he says.Â “I welcome myself to the Green Lantern Corps!”Â Ha!Â I love this moment.Â He then causes the other six rings to spawn as well, and the bands seek out new Lanterns for each Corps.Â The ring of Hope finds it’s savior in Barry Allen.Â The ring of fear:Â Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow.Â The ring of Avarice finds LEX FRICKIN’ LUTHOR.Â The band of compassion finds Ray Palmer, The Atom.Â The band of rage alights on Mera.Â And the ring of love tries more than once to get it’s bearer, but she already has a ring.Â Star Sapphire worrries that she won’t be able to break free of the Black Lantern influence, but Barry Allen knows his old friend better.Â “Diana Prince of Earth,” the ring announces.Â “Welcome to the Star Sapphires.”Â Seven new Lanterns leap into action as we fade to black…
This series has yet to disappoint me, though I’m once again surprised at the outcome.Â I expected this issue to be more about the faux-dead, but instead, it became about hope and how to counter the Black Lantern Corps.Â Turns out that the theory of rainbow power Captain-Planet-style is sound, they just don’t have enough light-bringers yet.Â It’s interesting how this book is most fascinating when dealing with characters who don’t always get first-tier adoration and love: Ray Palmer, Mera, John Stewart and even Deadman have key roles here.Â I’m liking where this issue leaves us, with our first glimpse of hope, and the choices for ring-bearers make perfect sense, especially Saint Barry joining Saint Walker in the Blue Lantern Corps.Â (Maybe they should call him Saint Runner?)Â Geoff Johns gives us new sides of characters we’ve been able to read about for decades without undermining their essence, and Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert deliver on the art side, with a neat “Sword of The Atom” looking Ray Palmer-as-Indigo Lantern design, and heavy-duty fight sequences that maintain subtleties like facial expressions and proper anatomy.Â We’re still in summer blockbuster territory, but I’m still loving what is going on here, even as some of the crossovers start to weary me.Â The issue ends with the covers of all seven of the “resurrected series” issues due next month, showing some interesting glimpses of what is to come, as Blackest Night #6 continues it’s streak, delivering 5 out of 5 stars overall, sheer entertainment that reminds me what brought me into comics in the first place:Â A sense of wonder, and a genuine surprise here and there (regardless of nasty piratey downloaders.)