Blackest Night #0

  • Writer: Geoff Johns
  • Pencillers: Ivan Reis and Doug Mahnke
  • Inkers: Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen, Christian Alamy, Rob Hunter, and Oclair Albert
  • Colorists: Alex Sinclair, Randy Mayor, and Nei Ruffino
  • Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
  • Cover Penciller: Ivan Reis
  • Editors: Eddie Berganza and Adam Schlagman

Page 1 – Panel 1: The first words, “There was darkness.” evoke the start of the Bible, but instead of light, we have its absence.

Page 1 – Panel 3: Hal Jordan’s narration gives a quick run down of the different colours of the spectrum which, for the purposes of BLACKEST NIGHT, are used by the different Lantern Corps.

Page 1 – Panel 5: As can be seen on the gravestone, this is the tomb of Thomas and Martha Wayne, parents of Bruce who is – of course – Batman. The unmarked grave beside it belongs to Bruce.

Page 3 – Panel 2: Hal remembers a time with the Justice League of America which sums up the relationship he had with Batman. Left to right are Wonder Woman; Superman; Batman; Flash; Martian Manhunter; Jordan himself; and Aquaman.

Page 3 – Panel 3: Superman holds the corpse of Batman who was killed by Darkseid in the closing pages of issue # 6 of FINAL CRISIS.

Page 3 – Panel 4: Someone’s arrived with a flash of lightning . . .

Pages 4 and 5 – Panel 1: . . . and it’s the Flash himself. This is Barry Allen, recently (at the time of these events) returned from the dead himself, again in the pages of FINAL CRISIS.

Pages 4 and 5 – Panel 2: Barry is monitoring the police channels, helping keep crime to a minimum in a Gotham City devoid of a Batman.

Pages 4 and 5 – Panel 3: It would be a little coincidental, Bruce Wayne dying at the same time as Batman. Flash’s mention of “Dick” refers to Dick Grayson who was Robin before Barry’s death during CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.

Page 6 – Panels 1 and 2: Hal shows Barry what sort of funeral service the speedster had following his death.

Page 6 – Panel 3: Hal says his own tombstone was desecrated by “old allies” but I’m not aware of this having been shown anywhere.

Page 6 – Panel 4: What sort of world is it where two men can discuss their own deaths in the past tense?

Page 7 – Panel 1: Barry’s death is, for Hal, a touchstone, a single point in time after which things became darker – hardly surprising as Barry died in 1985 (at least in publishing terms) and the 80’s were the grim and gritty days. It might be worth mentioning that Kal-L, the Superman of Earth-2, mentions something similar in issue # 3 of INFINITE CRISIS (Page 16 – Panel 10 if you’re interested) in reference to the death of the Batman of Earth-2.

Page 7 – Panels 2 to 4: Aquaman did appear in the last pages of FINAL CRISIS but in what could be one of the fastest ret-cons ever, that appearance has now been downgraded to a rumour.

Page 8 – Panel 2: The revolving door of death

Page 8 – Panel 1: Wait, Barry was making a point? He’s hardly said a word since he got here.

Page 8 – Panel 2: This is worth noting, though. The revolving door that’s been mentioned by many people over the years (characters and commentators alike) is something that will be addressed within BLACKEST NIGHT.

Page 8 – Panel 3: Another flashback to the days of the Justice League as they battle the android Amazo. Note Hal’s optimistic tone. Working from the front of the picture into the background we have Flash; the Atom (on Flash’s shoulder); Green Lantern; Superman; Amazo; Martian Manhunter; Batman; Wonder Woman; Aquaman; and Green Arrow.

Page 8 – Panel 4: That optimism shown by Hal in the last panel has gone as he recounts what happened to Batman.

Page 9 – Panel 1: The death of the Martian Manhunter as seen in issue # 1 of FINAL CRISIS. Left to right are Effigy; Ocean Master; Gorilla Grodd; Dr. Sivana; Dr. Light; Martian Manhunter; and Libra.

Page 9 – Panel 3: The tomb of the Martian Manhunter as shown in FINAL CRISIS: REQUIEM.

Page 10 – Panels 1 and 2: As Hal said, he and Batman were friends despite their differences.

Page 10 – Panel 3: Barry the eternal optimist hopes that Batman (not to mention Aquaman, Martian Manhunter and others) will make their way back as he and Hal did.

Page 10 – Panel 4: Barry, like a large part of the DCU, is about to find out that some of the dead will, indeed, be returning thanks to the shadowy figure lurking in the trees.

Page 11: The various panels here alternate between someone retrieving the skull of Batman and the memorials of Ralph and Sue Dibny, a glimpse of the Atom, Hawkman and Hawkgirl (though the latter pair were thought dead in FINAL CRISIS) and the grave of Ronnie Raymond, the original Firestorm. Running over the panels is the oath of the new Black Lanterns.

Page 12 – Panel 1: The old Green Lantern villain Black Hand is revealed as the first Black Lantern clutching Batman’s skull.

Page 12 – Panel 2: The scarred Guardian looks on; she has been the conduit for whatever dark force is powering the Black Lanterns.