As someone who is enjoying the “Blackest Night” story despite its excessive gore, I have enjoyed getting more of the story — or, as Paul Harvey would say, “The rest of the story” — in these “Blackest Night” minis. Like the “Batman: Blackest Night” mini that wrapped up last week, this title seems open-ended. While Smallville is the worse for wear after the events in this title, the rest of the action that occurred here was quietly undone, save for Superman and Superboy entering into the greater battle as they set out to determine the source of the Black Lanterns. Supergirl gets a bit of the spotlight, too, as we see how New Krypton reacts to the threat of the Black Lanterns.
Barrows’ art is raw and gritty, perfect for the battle between reanimated corpses and our heroes. As with the previous issue, Barrows paces the story to give it the most possible visual bang, frequently using smaller than usual panels to produce a faux splash page on pages with many panels. Barrows page setups, including his use of vertical panels to reflect the pacing of several other “Blackest Night” related stories, is just as integral to tying this issue into the grander “Blackest Night” saga as the story itself. Goldman’s assist is so similar in style to Barrows, that the two are indiscernible.
The emotional spectrum is heavily utilized in this issue as Robinson drives the story around the powers of Psycho Pirate. Reis’ application of the emotional spectrum delivers a subtext to the story beyond the words and pictures of Robinson and Barrows. This story has not been a “must-read” for anyone save the most dedicated Superfans or those deeply engrossed by “Blackest Night.” It has, however, provided a greater level of depth to the story of Superman without shoehorning the story into a handful of panels. In essence, this is decompressed storytelling that works to advance a story.