As I pointed out in my Blackest Night: Batman #1 review, I’m hoping that this event will not only be full of action, but I want it to be an event where we get to know our characters in a different way in seeing how they deal with the Black Lantern versions of friends and family. Blackest Night: Superman #1 came out this week and I have to say that I prefer it to the Batman spin off so far.
James Robinson hits all the right notes in this issue – from clearly establishing the Black Lantern Earth 2 Superman as a colossal threat to some scenes where clear emotion is elicited from Superman and Conner Kent. Robinson also maintain the Lord of the Rings meets Day of the Dead vibe that makes this event special. Everyone seeing the solicitations for the first wave of Blackest Night action figures knew that Kal-L was going to make an appearance, but I personally thought it would be in the main title, not that I’m complaining one bit. And if anyone is going to charge the Black Lantern up the quickest it’s got to be him. In fact the use of showing the Black Lantern power increasing as he wipes out sections of Smallville without ever showing exactly what Kal-L is doing allows us to each envision more grisly deaths that what Eddy Barrows could have drawn for us. (Hollywood studios take note – that’s why it’s always better to leave some things to our imaginations rather than trying to see if you gross us out.) I love the great interaction between Ma, Clark and Conner (oh, don’t forget Krypto!) around the supper table, reminding once again of the environment made Superman the person he is.
Kal-L, on the other hand, is one mean bastard and I love that he elicits from our Superman the kind of rage we see when he is taunted about not being able to save Pa Kent. It was great to see how Superman’s emotional spectrum kept fluctuating as he and Kal-L struggle. How perfectly in-character is it for Superman to try to convince Kal-L to turn away from the Black Lanterns? We also find out that Black Lanterns have not only attacked OA and Earth, but New Krypton as well. The issue ends all too soon as Superman and Conner discover that Ma has gone missing at the hand of Kal-L’s “partner” and we get the great cliffhanger ending where we find that Ma and Pa Kent may be reunited very soon.
A great issue – definitely ten out of ten lanterns.