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I’m reading some of the Blackest Night crossover event: the stories in the Green Lantern books and the main title, not the other spinoffs. GREEN LANTERN 43 features the story of William Hand, the villain Black Hand, told from his viewpoint. It’s a chilling tale of madness and horror, as he becomes a major figure in the saga, the “herald” of the Black Lanterns, all previously deceased heroes and villains from the DC Universe, now brought back to become Black Lanterns. It’s an interesting idea from Geoff Johns, and a clever way to use lots of characters that have been unseen for a long time. Many of them make their debut here in one-panel cameos, and more will follow.
The first book of the main series begins again with the newly empowered (yet deceased) William Hand, and the newly arisen Black Lantern Corps, but quickly broadens the outlook to include the Green Lantern Corps, and lots of other DC heroes, on Earth and elsewhere, all facing this new threat, whether they realize it or not. In a way, this is a super-zombie story, combining the horror and gore and inherent wrongness of the zombie idea with that of the superhero crossover epic. It’s at least a new take on the concept of superhero death. Now any living heroes who die will undoubtedly join the ranks of the Black Lanterns, leaving the reader to wonder how they could possibly be stopped? And that’s enough to keep me reading!
While I’m not a fan of gore, there’s enough good character writing in this book to keep my interest in many of the individual stories and struggles. The art is well done, and the balance of action and plot to character moments is good. In the back of my mind is the knowledge that the havoc being wreaked on everyone and everything will ultimately fade away when the crossover is done, but for now I’m willing to roll with it and curious about what will happen next. It’s a large investment to be buying all these books, and if I weren’t getting them free from DC I probably wouldn’t be reading them, but for fans of superhero action on a large scale, it’s well done so far. Recommended.