Blackest Night: Superman #3

Blackest Night: Superman #3I must admit.  This final part surprised me.

Not for its quality.  Out of the three tie-ins thus far, its been the strongest for most of its issues (which is saying something, as all of them have been excellent).   No, what really surprised me was the brilliant use of Kon-El, Superboy.

Geoff Johns has been doing great work with the character in his soon-to-be-finished run on Adventure Comics, and here James Robinson really picks up that ball and runs with it, allowing Conner to emerge as the hero of the piece.   Especially nice was the scene addressing why Conner has been avoiding using his tactile TK over the last few years, explaining that he avoids it as he’s trying to be more like Superman.  Clark, of course, berates him for this, telling him he should use all his powers (especially when faced by emotion-eating zombies).  This tied in nicely to the story Geoff’s been telling I thought, with Conner measuring his own life experiences up against Clark’s and Lex’s.

The New Krypton segment I was less bothered about.  Almost an afterthought in the first two issues, its appearance here seems largely to explain why New Krypton isn’t more involved in the event and to remove all the extra Kryptonians from the story.  I do see the point of its inclusion, but it also feels out of place next to all the Smallville goings on.

In terms of the larger Blackest Night storyline, there’s a nice twist with the Medusa Mask.  In last issue, it and Psycho Pirate seemed to be the ultimate weapon for the Black Lanterns, able to instil any emotion in large groups of people with no effort, but here we see there’s a flipside to it, when Conner grabs the mask and uses it against Black Lantern Kal-L.  The result is that the black ring shuts down, saving the day.

This is pretty interesting, and again has me wondering about the potential resurrection of people currently running around as Black Lanterns.  I’ve previously speculated that in the final issue, when the white light is revealed (either through a “White Lantern” or the current Lanterns working together) that any Black Lanterns caught in it will be restored to life.  To me, the effect of the Medusa Mask on Kal-L (or perhaps more accurately, his ring) reinforces this.  I wonder if the Mask hadn’t shattered, and Conner had been able to keep using it on Kal-L, if we’d have seen Kal-L fully restored.  Of course, we know that Kal-L and Lois will be back in the Blackest Night: JSA mini-series, so it’ll be interesting to see if the nature of Kal-L’s defeat will be referenced there.

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