The conclusion to Peter Tomasi’s Blackest Night: Batman miniseries came to a close with issue number three today, ending with some more information about how the Black Lanterns’ work. I enjoyed the story and especially how Tomasi makes use of Dick Grayson’s and Tim Drake’s tragic past.
The Black Lanterns’ strategy here changed quite a bit – shifting from a full-on frontal attack to some really clever mental tactics, trying to bring out strong emotion not by the nasty verbal jousting we’ve seen so far, but by forcing both Batman and Red Robin to relive the losses of their parents over again with both being unable to resist participating in the cruel game and trying to stop the deaths of the Flying Graysons and Tim’s father at the hands of the now-Black Lantern Captain Boomerang. It was a nice gambit considering the normal tactics weren’t working on the two and it reflects the intellect behind the Black Lanterns.
Damian, Barbara and Commissioner Gordon are moved off stage to make room for more Deadman action – and his clever plan to get Jason Blood involved. But what was more interesting was that not only couldn’t the Black Lanterns decipher an aura for the Deadman controlled Demon, they ceased their pursuits of Dick and Tim once they froze themselves. In fact they left as though the two had simply disappeared off the planet even though they stood right in front of them.
Had the Black Lanterns been sentient beings they could have simply thawed the two out and continued their plan to feed on them. But, as we see Ray Palmer’s theory that the rings control the bodies substantiated a little more, we discover that they can’t really think for themselves, nor can they see the aura’s of people if they are incapacitated. I don’t know how that fact might be useful in fighting the Black Lantern’s off, but it does give the good guys an option to at least stop the Black Lanterns in their tracks if they are being pursued.
I’m not really familiar with Ardian Syaf’s pencils, but the artwork was good. I don’t think it really stands out, but it certainly wasn’t bad, either. I have to say that I preferred the Alex Sinclair cover over the variant one by Bill Sienkiewicz.
While the miniseries really doesn’t progress the overall Blackest Night event, it was a good story and explains why Batman, Robin, and Red Robin have been absent from the main series. And that’s certainly fair to the reader because DC has said that one wouldn’t need to buy the miniseries in order to follow the event and that they serve as glimpses of how the Black Lanterns are affecting various parts of the DC Universe. Blackest Night: Batman has done just that in offering a event flavored Batman story that entertains.
Eight out of ten Lanterns.