Backstory is the name of the game in this issue. With the white entity revealed in Blackest Night, this issue takes the opportunity to tie it into what we’ve been finding out about the emotional spectrum.
We discover that the entity emerged into the darkness of the universe, and created all the galaxies and stars (life effectively), creating Earth around the spot where it entered into our universe. As life evolved on Earth, eventually one creature willed itself to move, becoming Ion. From that point on, as various emotions were first felt, those creatures become the various entities of the emotional spectrum we’ve met, explaining their similarity in appearance to creatures found on Earth.
I’m still unsure how I feel about all this though. Earth being the originator of all life doesn’t feel to me like it gells with some of the established facts of the DCU (like Maltus being the oldest planet, the Guardians the oldest beings etc). Granted I guess life on Earth could be continually reinvented, with humanity only the most recent and successful dominant species, whereas other planets settled on a dominant species earlier. Maltus has always been stated as being much older than Earth as a planet, but we could assume that DCU Earth is much, much older than the real life Earth. Did the Guardians somehow cover up Earth’s true age along with everything else?
The other interesting thing, is the religous allegories Johns uses when giving us the origins of the other entities. The avarice entity is revealed as a snake, pictured next to an apple, a clear reference to the Garden of Eden. This has led to speculation that the blood shown for the rage entity is linked to Cain and Abel. This is interesting, as we know that God exists in the DCU (the Spectre being proof enough, but we also saw Heaven during Kevin Smith’s Quiver storyline in Green Arrow). That being said however, I’m not sure how well I think that links in with the previously cosmic stuff being used with this storyline. It just feels like a bit of a jump in direction (sort of the reverse of Indiana Jones/Crystal Skull I guess). Its an interesting idea though, to try and tie together the cosmic and religous sides of the DCU. I’m just not sure how well it works (if that is indeed Geoff’s intent – I daresay this topic will turn up during the next round of convention panels).
However, with the entities being kidnapped by some unknown force, I’m assuming their nature is definitely something Geoff will be coming back to and expanding on soon. I’m willing to keep an open mind as to what he’s doing here, but for now it seemed a little jarring.
That being said, it was nice to see the reveal of the various entities. We’ve been teased by them for a while, and again I’ll be intrigued to see how they get dealt with in future issues. That we now know they’re closely linked to Earth (and being captured by someone/thing) makes me assume that they’re the reason the New Guardians remain on Earth after Blackest Night, to try and track them down.
Nekron also steps up a bit more, in a shock move splitting Sinestro in two early into the issue. It was a really effective shock moment. Of course by the end of the issue, Sinestro’s back to normal, having been healed via his new powers, but it made for an effective moment. And talking of Sinestro, its interesting to see the effect the White Entity has over him. Previously we’ve only really seen possessions by Ion and Parallax. Parallax, of course, capable to completely take over its host, while Ion merely compliments the host’s willpower, leaving them in control. We also know the Zamarrons were afraid of the Predator getting loose, so I’m guessing if it joins with someone it could be bad news for them, although the Zamarrons seemed to have hope that Carol might be able to control it.
Sinestro meanwhile seems to be definitely affected by the White Entity. At times it feels more like it speaking than him, as his whole attitude has changed, and it completely overwhelms his perspective of events, as he finds himself oblivious to the chaos going on around him as he gets sucked into the entity’s story of its existence and the creation of the other entities (resulting in Nekron getting the drop on him mentioned above). Sinestro’s usually so much in control of things that its interesting to see him overwhelmed like this.
The stage is definitely set, not just for the conclusion to Blackest Night, but also for events to come afterwards. With the Green Lantern portion of the story concluded, its a safe bet that further reveals about the entities, and longer-standing mysteries, like the backstory to the Indigo Tribe are being kept for future story arcs in Blackest Night. Geoff Johns has said that this is just the conclusion to the first of the trilogy of trilogies he has planned, and I can believe that. The emotional spectrum is well established now, allowing Geoff to explore it more fully over the next few years. We’ve seen brief looks at some of the Corps, and glimpses at their powers via the Deputies in the spin-offs, but I’m really hoping we get a proper Blue Lantern focused storyline, in addition to finding out about the Indigos. And what will the Star Sapphires do with their central battery destroyed and the Predator on the loose? I think at this point, its clear Blackest Night is just the beginning of the story.