A few thoughts on BLACKEST NIGHT
The dead shall rise.
The concept was simple yet precise. What happens when the fallen - hero, villain, friend, enemy -- rose up from the ground to torment those still left standing?
But a concept alone can't make up the critically acclaimed blockbuster that is BLACKEST NIGHT. It's all down to execution, and the book was blessed with two spot-on and inventive talents in writer Geoff Johns and artist Ivan Reis, and an extended crew of A-list talent that included - but is not limited to - Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Doug Mahnke, J.T. Krul, Tony Bedard, James Robinson and many more.
Starting off with the creaking, nervous tension that was more old school horror movie than superhero epic, BLACKEST NIGHT never catered to expectations, veering from answering "Who'll come back next?" to posing the arguably more interesting question of "Who will wear the rings?" before steamrolling to the epic, jaw-dropping conclusion you now hold in your hands.
How many stories cover so much ground so capably and so well? From chilling thriller to galaxy-spanning epic, it's not a stretch to say BLACKEST NIGHT had it all - drama, humor, action and, most importantly, heart.
Because, in many ways, BLACKEST NIGHT is the story of one man's redemption. Geoff Johns took the character of Hal Jordan and returned him to form, re-energizing him by going back to the two words that made the character so compelling before: No fear. Through REBIRTH, SINESTRO CORPS WAR and now BLACKEST NIGHT, the readers have literally been to hell and back with Hal. They're invested and excited, and that's a testament to Geoff Johns' creativity and ability to weave what's come before and use it to his benefit.
And it's contagious. Whether you're watching Peter Tomasi pit a Red Lantern Guy Gardner against Kyle Rayner or watching across the DCU as heroes like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman face off against their deadliest enemies and most-missed loved ones, BLACKEST NIGHT was more than just a crossover. After you finish reading the final issue you'll see very clearly - there's no easy reset button. Things have changed.
It's been remarkably interesting to not only sit and read - and thoroughly enjoy - the comics tied into BLACKEST NIGHT as they came out, but see the process from behind the scenes. Whether it was sitting in on a meeting and listening to Geoff break down the story's major beats and just sitting back, psyched about what was coming to walking into the offices of editors Eddie Berganza and Adam Schlagman and cherry-picking awesome pieces of artwork hanging from their walls to tease and tantalize a hungry and eager audience. From day one, I think it's safe to say that everyone involved in the process - from top to bottom - knew that BLACKEST NIGHT was going to be special. The momentum, the story, the amazing art - it was all there.
Now, if you're anything like me, and you've just finished the final issue, you don't want it to end. What happens to this character? How does this affect X and Y? The final issue will not answer every question, but it'll end with a bang so loud your ears will be ringing for a while.
And you know what? This is only the beginning.