Images & Words – Blackest Night #6

Blackest Night #6

Last week, an early Christmas miracle found its way into the comic book stores and I went home with stack of solid reads. This week — not so much. I came to find out that Diamond Distributors was implementing a “skip week,” and therefore wouldn’t be shipping any products.

What the fuck? Seriously, Diamond, do you need really need to flex your muscles? We all know you are a distribution monopoly, do you have to flaunt it? Oh, what’s that? Oh, I’m sorry — I didn’t realize you needed some time to set up the office party for New Year’s Eve. My bad. Yeah, there’s nothing worse than a New Years Eve celebration that devolves into an ill-prepared mess.

Fortunately, the good folks at DC were kind enough to direct-ship Blackest Night #6. Yes, that’s right — there was literally only one release this week. God damn it. Oh well, I suppose I should just revel in the fact that my wallet momentarily spared a beatdown (at least until the doubling-up of releases next week).

Ok, I’m done bitching and moaning. Blackest Night #6 is pretty rad. Long story short; not only are dead superheroes being transformed into Black Lanterns, but now even those who have been dead at one time or another are susceptible. So basically, every fucking comic book character worth is a damn is in jeopardy of being transformed into a super-undead-mega-villain.

Superman. Barry Allen. Hal Jordan. Superboy. Bart Allen. Wonder Woman. Green Arrow. Et cetera, et cetera, all are now susceptible to the power of the Black Lanterns.

At the same time, we’ve got the spectrum-alliance or whatever the fuck it’s called no longer fighting amongst itself, but trying to figure out how to take down Nekron. Ah yes, I forgot to mention, Nekron is some giant embodiment of Death, and is apparently responsible for the resurrection of deceased DC characters throughout the years. Yeah, I suppose such a villain is necessary.

For an “event-book,” Blackest Night #6 is quite substantial. Writer Geoff Johns, as always, knows how to use catastrophes as a canvas on which to paint the picture of authentic, human relationships. While I definitely enjoy seeing heroes trying to fend off the undead incarnations of former friends, I am more drawn to interactions such as those between Barry Allen and Hal Jordan. Johns has managed to convince me that while the trinity may be DC’s Rock of Gibraltar, its real people of interest are Flashes, Green Lanterns, the JSA, and other such relatable figures.

The book is also quite enjoyable just to look at. I feel like I might even be spoiled, as I’ve almost come to  use Ivan Reis’ pencil-work as a sort of standard for big events. With that being said, a more objective eye would probably describe the art as “truly stunning.” Although arguably cheesy, the final image of this issue is a captivating two-page spread that features six central characters running headfirst into battle. `Tis good shit.

Although still miffed at Diamond’s decision to institute a “skip-week,” Blackest Night #6 helps stave off the overpowering nerd-hunger for paneled pages.