Blackest Night #2 itself moves the story forward away from the main GL action, this time focusing on Aquaman and his immediate cast. I must admit, most of these characters aren’t really known to me, so probably didn’t pull me in as much as the previous issue, which was GL-heavy, but there was still a good amount of horror in the way Aquaman brutally took down his fellow Atlanteans, culminating in Garth dying and rising as a Black Lantern, while Mera gets away.
A recurring theme with Johns books also hits here for me, with the Hal/Barry pages providing the strongest of the issue. Ok, so I’m mainly a GL/Flash guy, so obviously these are the pages that’ll hook me the most, but again Johns writes these characters so well, with the logical extension of Barry’s scientific background being coupled with the familiarity Hal and Barry have for each other in setting up their (temporary) take down of J’onn. Its a fun scene, but then gives way to some more horror, when its revealed to have failed and now the Black Lantern Dibneys and Hawks have joined the fight.
The spookiest scene though was probably right at the beginning, with Ray Palmer still trying to contact Hawkman to discuss Jean. Ray ends up talking to who he thinks is Hawkman, but we get the shot of the Black Lantern Carter on the other end of the phone inviting Ray to come over. Its a freaky shot of Carter at the phone, and Ray’s fate is left nicely ambiguous.
As in issue one, Ivan Reis is bringing his best art to this series. He’s capturing the horror of what’s going on brilliantly, such as the Hawkman phonecall, and the cover is just incredibly striking, with Hal as the sole light standing against the Black.
The fact the Spectre is taken down was a shocking scene, and reminded me very much of Rebirth. Of course, the Spectre being taken down is somewhat of a cliche now. We know he’s taken out of things because he’s so powerful, but honestly, he’s been taken out so much recently he doesn’t actually seem like that much of a threat anymore.
There was a nice Rebirth callback though, with Crispus becoming a Black Lantern, and so the Spectre being bound via his host. Reminded me very much of Parallax using the Spectre’s power and infecting him via Hal.
This issue very much took the story out of the familiar GL territory into the wider DCU than issue 1 did, but it also kept up the quality. Some recent events have peaked with their first issues, but it looks promising that Blackest Night will keep us on the edge of our seats for the next 6 issues.