The second round of “Blackest Night” tie-ins starts here. Reuniting the creative duo of Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins, this book is anything but quick. Dense in story, lettering, and art, this issue adds depth to the adventures of Barry Allen during the Blackest Night.
The story takes place shortly after Hal Jordan leaves Earth in an attempt to shut down the Black Lanterns. Left with the fate of the Earth on his shoulders, Barry Allen is spreading the word about the Black Lanterns, making his allies aware of the threat posed by these resurrected acquaintances.
Of course, when Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins come together behind the lightning, there has to be a rogue or two lurking in the panels. This issue is no exception. With seven living rogues and seven — or more — Black Lantern Rogues stuffed into these pages, this series serves as a Flash Encyclopedia as well as a “Blackest Night” crossover. Johns and Kolins don’t stop with the Rogues. Other speedsters — Kid Flash and Wally West — appear in these pages, as so do other Flash-related characters and locales, such as Linda Park, Iron Heights, and Gorilla City.
Kolins art is as busy as it ever has been. His characters are not pretty nor polished, but gritty and real, affected by the harsh reality of a world sunk deep into the Blackest Night. The amount of detail and the storytelling that Kolins jams into every panel is mindboggling. In some instances it borders on confusing, but with more than a few characters zipping around at high speeds, confusing is bound to occur.
With the Flash, it is only appropriate to add a story that takes place between the panels of another story, and in this case, the tale under the cover adds depth to the titular character and the event this series ties into. Of the “Blackest Night” tie-ins to this point, this single issue adds more to the story, the possible results of the story, and the effects on the DC Universe as a whole. Speculation is posited here regarding the resurrection of the Black Lanterns, and even what might wait for those characters beyond the “Blackest Night.” From the first page to the last, this story — due in no small part to Johns’ double-duty as writer of both — feels like a fold-out extension of the main “Blackest Night” series.