Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #2

Anchored by an explanation of how he crafted the symbols of the various Corps -- or at least the thoughts behind the designs -- Ethan Van Sciver provides some additional insight to the creation of the Corps shared here as well as those set to collide in the War of Light elsewhere. Geoff Johns offers tales of the Red Lanterns as well as the final choice made by Carol Ferris, who chooses to accept the mantle of Star Sapphire in the name of love. Peter J. Tomasi offers up a tale of Blume, the godhead of the Orange Lanterns in a tale eerily drawn by Tom Mandrake. Mandrake's style is ideal to bring a solid visual to the emotional uneasiness generated by the greediest of the Corps.

Similarly, Gene Ha's magnificently detailed revelation of Carol Ferris' life and struggles is picture, panel, and page perfect. This re-telling of Star Sapphire's choice should be held up as the definitive origin (and re-origin) tale for this character who has had her fair share of stumbling blocks in the past. Here, the Zamarons make sense. Here, the purple ring seems to seduce Ferris with its pleading and prodding, begging her to act in the name of love. Following this tale, I must admit, I am very curious to see how love will perform in the battle to come.

The tale of Bleez, the Red Lantern angel of rage and despair, kicks off this issue, and as with the other two stories in this issue, Eddy Barrows art is well matched to the story he draws in translation. The Red Lanterns, for me, have been the most difficult to embrace conceptually, but in this story, Bleez's rage is well-founded. Her decisions understandable. Following the outcome of those decisions, though, I would presume Bleez's rage is satiated, but that does not appear to be the case. After all, that would be a rather dull conclusion to be drawn.

The issue is rounded out with reprinted Corps file pages from the Free Comic Book Day "Blackest Night" #0. These pages are drawn by Mahnke, who has a tremendous grasp on virtually every character in the universe of the "Green Lantern" comics.

This issue does carry a bit of a steep price for what could be considered three backup tales, but DC does a good job of essentially making this title optional. Want to learn about a few characters who won't have pages dedicated to their origins elsewhere? This is the book for you. For fans caught up in a "Blackest Night" reading frenzy, this book is a must have. For those of you reading on a tighter budget, this book offers background and explanation, a chance to better understand the opposing forces of the War of Light, but that war doesn't progress in these pages.

With a roster of talent just shy of that appearing in the pages of Wednesday Comics, this issue of "Tales of the Corps" (for some odd reason, with this title, I want to pronounce the "p", I don't have that hurdle to jump elsewhere) provides two entertaining tales and one story that should be immortalized in collected editions to come.

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