Black rings have targeted Hal Jordan and Barry Allen no because they are alive, but because they were resurrected from the dead and Nekron wants them to join his new army as he moves forward with his plan to remove all life from the universe and return it to the place of peace it was before the white light invaded. For those who haven't been following the DC universe Geoff Johns gives readers a brief synopsis about how many of the characters have died since Barry Allen in the original "Crisis on Infinite Earths", living up to the statement that this story is fine for someone who doesn't know the whole history and is able to just accept the fact that they need to know how Batman died to enjoy this story. Everything you need to know is here and if it makes you want to explore further that's not a bad thing.
Unlike other Black Lanterns, Superman and company are not reanimated corpses but resurrected heroes under Nekron's control. As such, Hal and Barry are not about to take them out since they'd be killing their fellow heroes. While Sinestro and Larfleeze want the "kill shot" Hal's not about to do that, much to the frustration of Sinestro. Barry, who has shown so brightly in this event, save both their necks in avoiding the black rings by having Hal latch onto to him and hang on while he runs two seconds into the future to break the rings' ability to target them both.
Barry has already figured out that Nekron used Batman to elicit an emotional response strong enough for the black rings to be able to latch onto their fellow heroes and so long as both he and Hal keep their composure the rings will be unable to target them. Johns has worked with Grant Morrison on making sure that Bruce Wayne's skull remained intact so that Dick Grayson could get his hands on it in their journey to discover what exactly happened to Wayne when Darkseid struck him down, so we will see it again. Ivan Reis makes the most out of the single panel that opens the issue in showing the skull resting in a bat shaped puddle. Hal wonders why Black Lantern Batman combusted rather than stay in the fight, a hint to the larger story that will be taking place in the bat-verse in 2010.
Following on the backup story in last week's Green Lantern #49, Deadman momentarily inhabits Black Lantern Jean Loring who warns Mera and Ray Palmer of the pending arrival of millions of Black Lanterns from throughout the universe. Mera rips out Loring's tongue once she evicts Boston Brand and the two heroes start looking for a way out.
Ivan Reis really is doing some amazing work in this book and he treats us to a great two page spread showing John Stewart being pursued by an absolutely ridiculous number of Black Lanterns and Xanshi itself - the concluding moment from John's appearance in Green Lantern. For anyone who's a big fan of Stewarts you have to be happy with that issue of Green Lantern and Geoff Johns has indicated that this event is a turning point for John. In an interview for Newsarama he said, "For years, John Stewart has been defined by Xanshi. It’s time to close that door and push John Stewart to a new place. 2010 is all about the new." Likewise he has twittered that John will play a major role in the main Green Lantern title in the "New Guardian" arc that rolls out of Blackest Night.
Ray and Mera emerge from Wonder Woman's ring and we are shown what will be expanded on in the Blackest Night Wonder Woman mini - a showdown between Wonder Woman and Mera, who has been to me the surprise character of the story for me. Hal and Barry return to the fray, much to the dismay of Sinestro, and the group realize that while they have all the colors represented there simply not enough members to take out Nekron. Ganthet sheds his role as a Blue Lantern Guardian and triggers Hal's ring to duplicate itself (not that's not a retcon!) and he joins the battle as a Green Lantern.