Fair warning: I may spoil some of the occurrences in “Blackest Night” #7, but it is next to impossible to not do so and still provide an accurate assessment of this issue.
Following the universe-building announcements of the new leadership for DC Entertainment comes this universe-altering issue of “Blackest Night.” I’m not exaggerating when I call it “universe-altering,” as many of the truths of the DC Universe are changed in this issue. This isn’t a “Superboy punch,” this is the revelation of the prophecy that Abin Sur discovered, finally revealed in all its brilliance. With the various colored Lanterns waging war in Coast City, it is quite clear that things are not going to return to normal once the battle is over. Of course, that always seemed to be a goal of the newly minted Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment. Geoff Johns set out to make this story different, to raise the stakes on the heroes, and change the DC Universe. With one issue to go, it’s safe to say he has accomplished this.
While the concept of the emotional spectrum-fueled, different colored power rings has taken some abuse, there is no denying those rings at this point, and in this issue, the ring many have postulated about comes to be yielded by the greatest Lantern of all – the White Lantern rises. Personally, I am surprised by the identity of said White Lantern. Of course, this story isn’t over, and things can – and most likely will – change in the final issue of “Blackest Night.”
Visually, this issue holds level with the issues beforehand, even raising the bar a bit. Ivan Reis is on the seventh issue of this tale, and his pencilwork is as crisp and detailed as it was in the first. You’re not going to find a more bombastic popcorn-movie styled comic on the stands this week. Johns, Reis and crew have jammed everybody’s favorites in here somewhere, with special effects that can only happen in comics. From Lex Luthor’s orange ring-inspired tantrum to the emergence of the various Corps as they join the battle, this book is a testament to the ability of Reis and his inking partners. The arrival of the Corps (all of them) is a sight to behold, with more characters posed across two pages than many artists would dare fit in two issues of a book.
The design for the living embodiment of the white light creature is inspired and engaging. Reis has done a great job with the visuals of this series, and the fact that it remains on schedule is to be commended.
Almost overlooked, but critical to the visual magnificence of this issue is the lettering of Nick J. Napolitano. He goes all out, giving each Corps its own visual “sound.” This comes across quite well, and adds more depth to this tale.
That said, this issue was not without its flaws, the biggest being simply that there were not enough pages to contain all of the action, characters, and storylines. I want to see more of the struggle with Nekron. I also want to see more Black Hand. The newly deputized Lanterns intrigue me, as do the non-Lantern powered heroes. We get a glimpse of the Titans – and Dove’s attacks on the Black Lanterns, but we don’t get much from other heroic camps. I presumed some of the stories – the Doom Patrol, JSA, Titans, and Batman – would wind their way here. If only this issue would have had a dozen more pages. Of course, then Ivan Reis would have a score more calluses.
“Blackest Night” ends next month, but given the revelation of the White Lantern in this issue, I’m beginning to wonder how bright the “Brightest Day” is going to be, and for whom.