ROBOT OVERLORD: I long for the day when I can raise an army of the undead to swarm across the Earth and do my bidding.  Until then, I, your Robot Overlord, must live vicariously through the pages of Geoff Johns Blackest Night. If you think my plans to take over the world are insane, you haven’t spent enough time with Stephen or Matthew.  I’ll let them illuminate you in the ways of Nekron and his plans to crack open the shell of The Entity.  RISE Gentlemen, and commence with the review and commentary!

blackestnight7COVER.jpgBlackest Night #7
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis
Inkers: Oclair Albert and Joe Prado
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Nick J. Napolitano
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics

Previously in Blackest Night:  THE DEAD LIVE!  THE DEAD LIVE!  AIEEE!

STEPHEN: DAMN!  If you thought the major reveals in previous issues were big, nothing beats the final page (more on that in a bit), but more importantly, readers discover that the Guardians of the Universe have been lying for billions of years. Instead of Oa, Earth is the source of all light in the universe that triggered all existence.  I love this big reveal, as Johns has now explained away 75 years of alien invasions, and why ever warring army in the universe is drawn to the uncharted backwaters of the Western Spiral Arm of the Milky Way galaxy and to the small blue/green planet called Earth.  Instead of it being a bump in the intergalactic highway, beings are drawn here by the power.

MATTHEW: That very reveal is one of the moments that I absolutely disliked about this issue, actually.  There have been literally dozens of stories in the decades of DC that SHOW us the origination of the DC Universe taking place on Oa, including the original Crisis itself.  Making Earth the bestest and most important smacks again of the use of Barry Allen as the greatest thing since sliced wheels.  It distracts me from the story, and makes me analyze questions like, “What real difference does this change make?”, “How in the world does keeping this secret help the Guardians,” and most importanly “How self-centered are we humans?”  Immediately after that, Nekron and Black Hand murder an immortal Guardian of the Universe (on panel, showing that they apparently have guts that glow with the emotional spectrum) and we’re introduced to “The Entity,” a creature might be Gee-Oh-Dee itself.

STEPHEN: It’s also interesting to see those serious religious connotations with this big reveal.  There’s the implication that first there was Earth, and then everything else.  I’m sure the xenophobes and religious zealots on New Earth will use this as future stories play out in the DCU.

MATTHEW: That’s bothersome to me.  While I freely admit that comic books use theological evils constantly (Marvel alone has eight different “Satan” characters) it bothers me to have both of the Big Two companies roll out characters with the powers of God in the space of the same two months.  Given how divisive religious elements can be, I question their inclusion here, and hope that the denouement of all this makes sense.

STEPHEN: I’ve seen some people exclaim that the final White Lantern reveal threw them, as earlier pages of the issue seemed to imply Lex Luthor would gather all the rings and become the White Lantern.  I don’t know about you, but I saw Sinestro coming from a mile away.  For years he was prophesied to be the greatest lantern of the all, so now it’s his time to step up to the plate and let the good times role.

MATTHEW: Yeah, that was no surprise to me.  Speaking of Lex Luthor, thought, his blatant stupidity was a surprise.  I can’t help but believe that, even under the influence of an alien ring, Lex would maintain some of his intellect.  I’m also troubled that, after a couple of years of explaining how difficult it is to tap the power rings, that Lex just puts on a Sinestro ring and bursts with power, like the rednecks who stole Hal’s ring back in the day.  I was also troubled by the sudden appearance of Dove and the Titans in the midst of it all, as they haven’t really addressed the plot points in the main book.  I’m sure if I read Blackest Night: Titans, all would be clear, but this moment was the first jarring moment of “Wait, what was going on there?” in this crossover.

STEPHEN: I like that Johns is once again bringing back long time story elements into this series, and as we’ve already seen, Brightest Day looks to be a way of wiping clean all the dark and brooding tales from the last twenty years.  Are you liking that change in direction that looks to bring back the Silver Age of comics?

MATTHEW: I’m skeptical at best.  Recapturing the Silver Age doesn’t mean bringing back the core characters of 1959 or resurrecting Barry.  Recapturing the Silver Age would mean a sea change in the nature of comics and the editorial process, a change in the thought processes behind the comics, the kind of change by which the characters themselves might actually suffer.  There was a lot of ultra-violence, sexism, and nastiness in the Silver Age, too, albeit in a more sanitized form…  Brightest Day seems to be a vehicle for a specific brand of storytelling, so I’m interested in seeing where it goes, but I think that going entirely bright and shiny would be as problematic as the entire line going grim and gritty.

STEPHEN: Speculation time.  Geoff Johns came to DC with a great way to bring back Hal Jordan, and his stories show how much he loves the GL Universe.  While he redeemed Hal, do you think he’s also trying to redeem Sinestro in the eyes of the reader?

MATTHEW: Oh, I’m certain he’s going to try.  But Geoff has an issue with his “redemption” stories, in that the characters he wants to be noble have a tendency to be mass-murderers and lunatics.  Sinestro is a cosmic Mussolini, with an absolutist viewpoint and little in the way of redeeming value.  Sure, he’s interesting, he can be nuanced, but he isn’t a hero, and his crude grasp for power here only underlines that.  I hope they’re not going to play the Black Adam card again…

STEPHEN: I hear you, I wonder what the Major Spoilerites think of this?


STEPHEN: As nice as these plot points are, I did have a problem following parts of this story.  Not because the writing was bad, in fact, I would probably argue that everything is spelled out for the reader without confusion.  However,  the highly detailed art by Ivan Reis causes causes so much visual overload on the page that I found myself constantly distracted in trying to keep everyone in place in this fast paced issue.

MATTHEW: The coloring was also partly to blame, with super-high contrast and giant light-bright glowy effects that removed a lot of the color cues that are necessary to figure out who is whom in comic shorthand.

STEPHEN: Actually I love the coloring – especially on the page when The Entity rises, that has everyone but Black Hand bathed in light – are rendered out in a way that is almost blinding.

MATTHEW: Well, as someone once said, mileage does vary.

STEPHEN: I wonder who said that?  Toyota, Ford?  Anyway…

I still unsure what’s going to happen in this series beyond the fact that the good guys will win and the Brightest Day will follow the Blackest Night. I’m really curious how non-Lanterns will react once their time on the various Lantern teams is over.  Will they be deeply changed, or will things return to the status quo?  Will Wonder Woman look at humanity any differently?  Will Scarecrow snap, wanting to get his fear powers back?  And what about Lex, who finally admits he wants to be Superman? Those are the moments that are yet to be told, and need to be told. If we don’t get those stories at some point in the next couple of months, I’ll be really disappointed.  Characters need to have a cathartic moment if they are to grow, and if characters don’t grow and change this entire series (and all the tie-ins) are worthless.  This is arguably the biggest event in DC history, and if only some people come out with slight changes, then I’ll be even more concerned about the direction the company is taking.

MATTHEW: This issue had a couple of missteps for me, actually.  The Lanterns bursting into Earth’s atmosphere as the cavalry was very reminiscent of scenes in both Final Crisis AND Infinite Crisis, and the space cowboys rushing in and saving the day is getting old.  The character moments are much more lacking here (though we get one for Air Wave, oddly enough, as well as Luthor and Scarecrow) than in previous issues, and Nekron doesn’t get much in the way of development.  Kilowog somehow manages to overcome the weakness of the green rings against Black Lanterns, and even *I* was a little offput by the sheer number of characters on the stage.  I felt like I was going to be trampled by heroes like a kid at a Who concert, circa 1979…

STEPHEN: I enjoyed this issue, even if the ending was a tad anti-climactic.  The story was well paced, and the swerves and reveals fell in just the right spots.  It’s not an issue that I’ll be spending weeks pouring over again and again to try and see if there is some hidden message to be revealed, but it is an enjoyable read. Those who have been following the series thus far should probably pick it up.  I’m giving this issue 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★½☆

MATTHEW: Sadly, this issue is the least effective (to me, anyway) and the least interesting to date.  Taking the focus away from the human characters and focusing mostly on a dialogue between an alien death-god and an immortal Smurf with rainbow innards bothers me, and the revelation that Earth is the center of the universe makes Galileo weep, I’m sure.  All the Lantern Corps (what IS the plural of Corps, anyway?) joining together is done in an entirely straight-forward panel of dialogue, and is a bit ‘on the nose’ for me.  I’ve always felt that Geoff Johns strength is in setting up these plots and situations, but as the dominoes started to fall here, I just felt that there were fewer and fewer good ways for this to go.  When the giant zombie started hitting God with his scythe, making the entire universe cry, it really disconcerted me.  When the last man I’d ever want to have absolute power actually obtained it, it was more than an anticlimax.  At that moment, I officially became ready for the big crossover to end…  Blackest Night #7 earns 2 out of 5 stars overall from Matthew, with the hope that the last issue makes this storytelling lull worth the time.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

The Author

Robot Overlord

Robot Overlord

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  1. February 28, 2010 at 12:11 am — Reply

    Having Sinestro inherit the Entity (also referred to as the white light of creation) killed any interest I had in this issue. Pardon me if I’m incorrect, but wasn’t Sinestro’s “true” goal of his self named war to make the guardians enact a law to allow lethal force? Lethal =/= creation. Matthew hit the nail on the head, Sinestro is “a cosmic Musollini”. He is mass murdering f-tard and is in my opinion the near ultimate antithesis of creation second only to (and again, just my opinion) Darkseid.

    On another note, if Johns tries to redeem Sinestro, I will find him and deliver the most Tom-Welling-ish of all Tom-Welling punches to date.

  2. Ben Gebhart
    February 28, 2010 at 1:34 am — Reply


    This is NOT the name of a good person, especially a fictional one, period.

    Seriously though, I was pleasantly surprised when I found out about it, but the more I thought about Sinestro-as-God, the more the positive energy depleted. The Black Adam reference was perfect, because Johns JUST pulled this “redemption of a tragic villain” move with Adam, and it didn’t even last the span of two cross-overs before he’s totally evil again. Sinestro’s reveal suddenly doesn’t feel so special anymore.

    But, if this be the character’s path, there are worse things that could happen; spending even a short time as a good-guy, so long as it’s a different take than Black Adam had, would be better than killing him off or just reverting back to Hal Jordan’s nemesis. I don’t think I could ever get used to someone with that name being a SuperHERO, let alone the Avatar Of The Almighty, but hey…

    Punisher as a Frankenstein is awesome.

    Grayson as Batman and Damian Wayne as Robin is excellent.

    Bucky as Captain America is superb.

    Sinestro as a heroic entity is hardly the craziest thing to come around that could possibly be at least pretty-OK, am I right?

  3. Thelastavenger
    February 28, 2010 at 3:18 am — Reply

    “survivial of the fittest” Most of the life creatures kill on a nearly everyday of there lifes(plants are the only true expection, humanity avoids this by having others do their dirty work for them)and a mans quest for power is merely a quest for surivival.

    • Thelastavenger
      February 28, 2010 at 3:28 am — Reply

      Plus Sinestro as a fallen hero is about the only charater to fell all the emotions of the rings( (rage) towards hal and the guardians , (avarice)thinks he and only he should rule, (fear), (willpower)was a green lantern ,(hope),(compassion)is motived by a twisted derise to save people from thereselfs,(love)he loves his daughter)

  4. GeorgeWook
    February 28, 2010 at 4:53 am — Reply

    An interesting point about Sinestro mastering all the various emotions… though I have a feeling this may be a misleading cliffhanger – Sinestro wasn’t chosen by the light, he just took it – for all we know the white light may reject him or even kill/overwhelm him next issue..

    My prediction is that Dove will be the surprise candidate to be become the great white lantern… and I suspect she already is!
    In the Blackest Night Titans books her ability to embrace all of her emotions equally seemed to give her access to an unexplained white light power which then allowed her to destroy black lanterns with ease – this seemed quite significant to me at the time.. but it was always overshadowed in the story-telling by all the death and chaos and ZOMBIES!!

    However the fact that they keep showing Dove in the main Blackest Night books (even if only for a few panels), and the reveal that this has all been focused at a “white light of creation” makes me think Dove (or at least the ability she has discovered) is going to be key to defeating Nekkron in the last issue

    • February 28, 2010 at 7:17 am — Reply

      I’m with you – with all the set-up given to Dove earlier over more mainstream characters, she will probably wind up being the White Lantern. In fact, her choice seems to be the most logical, given the nature of her powers.

      And Sinestro will probably be temporary – like you said, he made a deliberate grab for power and wasn’t given it like the others; this isn’t gonna be a Black Adam rehash but rather a spectacular failure for him, and we’ll probably all be reminded just how much he has fallen.

  5. Greg A
    February 28, 2010 at 9:45 am — Reply

    Just a couple quick thoughts about issue #7:

    –While I saw Sinestro becoming a White Lantern from about a mile away, I suspect Johns will be using another element from his playbook. The failed redemption. Johns redeemed Black Adam up to the point which he went on his rampage in 52. Sinestro will probably end up loosing the White Ring and end up becoming even more of a villain as a result.

    –Still not a fan of the Earth being the focal point of the universe. I can suspend my disbelief with the best of them; however, I guess I’ve discovered where the line is drawn for me. I hope Johns will be sticking around to deal with the ramifications of this revelation.

  6. Ricco
    February 28, 2010 at 11:25 am — Reply

    For me Sinestro was redeemed in Legion of Three Worlds, when Ion recited his oath:
    “In brightess day, through blackest night
    No other corps shall spread it’s light
    Let those who try to stop what’s right
    Burn like my power
    Green lantern’s light!”

    This show that in Blackest Night he’ll do something so “heroic” that the Green Lanterns (who consider him their greatest traitor) will change their oaths to include part of his.

    In this issue, they added a new avatar while in GL 51 they mention another (the crimson creature of anger), this bother me because this means that this creatures had remained hidden during the crisis, which were multiverse extinction level events. There is one explaination thou, the Guardians were taken out of the fight in all 3 crisis before the fighting began, the guardians themselves say so to the Anti-monitor during the Sinestro corps War, so the only ones who knew of this secrets couldn’t do use this knowledge.

  7. brainypirate
    February 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm — Reply

    re: origin of all life on Earth when we’ve seen other stories showing it to begin on Oa:

    I recently re-read the latest “Origin of Mon-El” story and got the distinct sense that the time requires the Kryptonian civilization to already be colonizing other planets while earth is still coming out of antiquity. The birth of Mon-El’s “mixed-blood” Earth-Daxam heritage couldn’t have occurred after Spain’s conquest of Mesoamerica in the 1500s.

    So if life began on earth, how did it get to Krypton so quickly and why did it evolve so much faster there than here?

  8. February 28, 2010 at 7:30 pm — Reply

    So if life began on earth, how did it get to Krypton so quickly and why did it evolve so much faster there than here?

    To get to the other side?

    NO! To hold it’s pants up!

  9. miracleman2112
    February 28, 2010 at 8:52 pm — Reply

    I, for one have been loving this series, it isn’t Crisis, but it’s pretty good (better than most). However, this issue was uneven, I loved some things and was indiferent about others.
    Now, the biggest concern for a lot of you is the whole Sinestro/White Lantern Thing, to which I have one reply: Who said that this “Entity” will accept Sinestro as a host. I know the whole “thorg Sinestro… bla, bla, bla.” But still, I wonder if it isn’t a red herring divised to make us get furious and debate for the 5 weeks between 7 and 8.
    BTW, “Life began on Earth…”. Big deal. So they showed us the story of creation a million times before. Who cares? it’s a giant cover up. And the only fools who believed it was us people. I mean, Darkseid always said the answer to the antilife eqution was here, and all the big hoo has take place here for a reason. We just found out about it.

  10. GeorgeWook
    March 1, 2010 at 2:34 am — Reply

    Just had a strange thought.. in a way all life in the DC universe did originate on earth.. if i’m not mistaken, according to the various crisis stories Earth-Prime is supposed to be the real world, and then all the other multiverse realities are created by the imagination of the DC writers existing on earth-prime/real earth (this was demonstrated in the recent adventure comics Geoff Johns wrote where superboy-prime tried to kill the dc writers).
    Therefore, in whichever plane of the multiverse the current DC continuity exists, life did first arise on Oa, but thats only because it was written that way by the life already existing on earth-prime!

    Of course if this is where they’re going, then i guess the ‘white light of creation’ is actually.. Geoff Johns of Earth-Prime!

  11. TaZ
    March 1, 2010 at 8:13 am — Reply

    White Lantern = Don “Original Dove” Hall

  12. Brad
    March 1, 2010 at 12:55 pm — Reply

    I just want to say I called the whole white lantern thing back in the comments of issue 1…..however I was wrong on who it would be I assumed it would be Hal

  13. Adam
    March 1, 2010 at 2:38 pm — Reply

    I liked this issue on the whole, but there was almost too much going on. I also didn’t like the idea that Earth was the start of all life in the galaxy. But I did like the idea that the Guardians hid ‘The Entity’ on Earth. That makes more sense in the long run.

    While the idea of The Entity is cool and all, I’m a little miffed that we haven’t seen the other emotional life forms in the battle. Besides Paralax jumping in a few issues on GL, why haven’t we seen Ion? (I know he’s currently in a sun, but still, pull him out) But what about the other ones, like Predator, and the other ones that we haven’t been introduced to.

    I hope that we’ll be introduced to them later, it’s just that it seems like they would have a larger part to play in all this.

    Also, the Dove idea, is brilliant!

  14. March 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm — Reply

    Well as I’ve historically been a Marvel guy, I’ve embraced the Blackest Night and I am enjoying it. I went back and read up on the Sinestro Corps War and Rebirth to get up to this point.

    I agree with both sides, I feel that this issue moved waaaaay to fast … and I saw Sinestro coming too. If you look back at when the Black Rings started claiming bodies, it scanned him to show that he was embracing more of the emotional spectrum of light.

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