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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 

"Blackest Night" is just more dark terrain

The New York Daily News writes about DC's current "event", which fails to distinguish itself much from the others of recent:
For a super hero that's supposed to shine a light of hope in the pages of his comic books, Green Lantern is heading into some pretty dark territory.

In the upcoming "Blackest Night" mini-series, the first issue of which hits stores Wednesday, Green Lantern and his fellow heroes are facing their toughest foes ever - formerly deceased teammates who have risen from the grave. Something's rotting in Denmark, or Space Sector 2814 as it's known elsewhere in the universe, and that something is Aquaman and the original Superman clawing their way back from the great bargain bin in the sky.

"What's going to be the most horrifying thing these heroes are going to face is going to be their friends and their family," said Johns.

"It's terrifying."
Yes, I'm sure it will be. Instead of supervillains themselves being the main menace, it's going to be the superheroes' buddies and relatives. This is really irritating already. But "bargain bin" is just where this latest tripe belongs; no one should have to pay the likely 4 dollars it'll cost to buy this.
Fans have become jaded over the years as every summer both DC and its biggest rival in the industry, Marvel Comics, have continued to release new large-scale, company-wide crossovers. Cynics have grumbled that some of the "events" have been more sales-driven then plot-driven.
I don't like how they're inserting the word "cynics" in there. That's taking a serious risk of inciting against sensible comic fans. But on the issue of sales, they got that part right. They're also more sales driven than character-driven. These stunts have crowded out plausible character drama entirely.
But Nick Purpura, general manager at Jim Hanley's Universe, a comic store in midtown Manhattan, says this one is different. He's still creeped out over the gory, heart-breaking final scene in the first issue of this series.

"Every summer has another event, but every couple of years something comes out that captures the fans attention," said Purpura. "When [Marvel Comics'] Obama issue of Spider-Man came out, that's for the mainstream - it's for people who may never buy another comic again.

"'Blackest Night' is for the fans."
With the gory finale mentioned? Oh, I'll bet it is. Interesting how he mentions the Spider-Man issue with Obama. The way he conveys it just shows how they've given up on the mainstream crowd.
And fans are in for some horror over the next eight issues of the series.

"Death is pretty horrific, and the metaphor of the entire series is rooted in that," he said Johns. "This is a very personal story for me."
And that's surely the problem with it. It's not for fans, is it?
But fans can look forward to a payoff that will be worth all the horror and fallen heroes that are coming up, promises Johns.

"There's always a brightest day after the darkest night," said Johns.

The dead will rise. And that's good news for comic book readers in Space Sector 2814.
Does that mean all those characters they pointlessly killed off/villified circa Identity/Infinite Crisis will have their fates reversed? I've got a feeling that by now, even if they do fix those grevious errors, the audience won't care enough to stick around, or even try. Me, I've had my intellect insulted enough by Johns as it is, and am certainly not going to risk my hard-earned money to find out about something that, despite what he "promises" might not even come true.

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