Thursday, July 16, 2009

Comics Review: Blackest Night #1 (DC Comics) By Eddie R.

The dead have risen…

Over the years, I have been an avid reader of many of DC’s major events, starting with the Crisis on Infinite Earths, right up to the most recent universe-shattering storyline, Final Crisis. Now after months of speculation and build-up, the Blackest Night event has finally descended upon the DCU. But this time around, this event seems to feel more personal.

While I was reading through the pages of Blackest Night #1, I felt as if I was once again seeing a part of the DC Universe which I had not seen since the last major publicized “death” in the superhero world: the death of Superman back in 1994. For those who are too young to remember, there had never before been such an event as this, for a major character to die in the line of duty. I remember feeling really bad about the loss of the Man of Steel, but what touched me the most was seeing all the heroes mourning the passing of Kal-El. It seemed that as they grieved, we grieved also. The emotion which leapt off the page felt genuine, thus generating empathy. And it is that genuine feeling of emotions which I felt once again as I read this first issue of Blackest Night.

Now, I am not going to delve into the whole “who’s dead, who’s not?” aspect of the issue, which does have its place. Rather, I feel the main action sequences of the first issue have to with celebrating, honoring, and dealing with the memories of those heroes lost over the years. The reason for this has to do with the day which Superman was thought to have died. That date was originally turned into an annual national day of mourning, but after his return was turned into a day to honor those super heroes which had given their lives protecting this world, along with the innocents they had failed to protect. As we watch different ceremonies, both big and small, take place across the DCU celebrating this, we see how this sense of loss is being dealt with. It feels very personal, very emotional, and very real. And that’s the point.

Death is something which shouldn’t be treated lightly, and I feel this is exactly what was intended when conceiving Blackest Night. It’s not meant to be just another “event”. It’s much more. It feels as if after so much loss, the characters of the DCU now have to come to grips with this and their own emotions, but with the added twist of being stalked by something so sinister, it must remain in the shadows and prey upon its victims via their lost loved ones.

All I can say is for a first issue, Blackest Night does live up to the hype.


Eddie R
Review Co-Editor

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