Blackest Night #4

Blackest Night #4Its all going a bit wrong on Earth.  The dead are rising, and increasing their numbers by the minute.  Firestorm’s been taken out, and just after they find out how to stop the Black Lanterns, Indigo-1 teleports Hal away, leaving Earth defenseless again.  Uh-oh.

Given that Green Lantern has been the cornerstone of this whole event, this issue is interesting in that no Green Lanterns actually appear.  Hal’s time in space recruiting the other Corps is currently being left to the Green Lantern title, while this book remains focused on the events on Earth.

So with Hal gone, the focus shifts to Hal’s partner throughout the first three issues, Barry Allen.  Barry immediately takes control of the situation, taking it upon himself to ensure all the world’s heroes are updated on what’s going on and that they have to hold the line on Earth until Hal and his team can nip the Black Lantern problem in the bud.

In my comments on the first three issues, I’ve been glowing of Johns’ use of Barry in this series, and this issue is no exception.  With Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman tied up elsewhere, the leadership role easily shifts to Barry’s character in a way that feels really natural as he tells Mera and Atom to get in touch with Alan Scott to see if his green flame will be effective against the Black Lanterns.

Much like my review of the recent Stargate Universe, where this story really shines is with its characters.  While Barry is written taking charge Johns also throws in great character moments for Damage, and is clearly enjoying giving Mera the spotlight, a character who wouldn’t necessarily have lept to anyone’s mind, but who’s been used brilliantly.

However, we’re also teased as to some of the ongoing mysteries in the series.  As the power metre hits 100%, and the central black battery moves from Ryut to Earth, Black Hand teases about the Guardian’s greatest lie and about something being buried on Earth.   There’s definitely a big reveal brewing here, and I can’t help but assume its going to be related to the massacre in Sector 666.  We know it gave rise to the Inversions and ultimately the Red Lanterns.  We know that Ryut is located in Sector 666 as well.  There’s going to be something there.

And as a final thought, with the Black battery now relocated to Earth, that means the Anti-Monitor is now back on Earth as well.  So if the heroes do manage to defeat Nekron and shut down the black battery they may just unleash another load of the problems.

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