As Superman and Superboy continue to battle against Black Lantern Earth-2 Superman, Smallville is sunk even deeper into the Blackest Night as Psycho Pirate appears and begins wringing emotions out of the population of Kansas’ most famous fictional town. Robinson delivers a chaotic event fraught with fear and destruction. The one thing that he doesn’t bring to this issue, however, is consequence. There is a great deal of posturing and posing, as the players in the battle size each other up and make threats. Those threats are not acted upon, and none of the “victims” fall into the pattern victims have experienced in the main “Blackest Night” series.
Barrows art remains consistent to what he has offered up in the recent past. The action scenes are filled with detail and the framing of the action is grand. Barrows takes full advantage of the story and provides a few spreads that have what is essentially a double-page spread across the top three-quarters of the page, with panels continuing the story running along the bottom quarter of the spread. Due to the fact that Barrows’ work is crisp, this works out well, and it gives this story more of a widescreen feel. My biggest gripe with Barrows’ art is his lack of variation in body types. His Ma Kent isn’t that far off from his Black Lantern Earth-2 Lois Lane, Conner looks almost as ripped as Clark, and so on.
This series certainly offers some moments up for Superman fans, but the “Blackest Night” aspect of this story doesn’t seem as prominent. We’re given a bunch of “almost” moments — cliffhangers of a sort — cut short for the conclusion in the next issue. That is all well and good, but this issue didn’t really seem to do much, save for bringing the Psycho Pirate (and all the calamity he can muster) onto the scene. I’m looking forward to the next issue, not to wrap up this series, but to provide the action that could have occurred in this issue.