Blackest Night #2

  • Writer: Geoff Johns
  • Penciller: Ivan Reis
  • Inkers: Julio Ferreira and Oclair Albert
  • Colorist: Alex Sinclair
  • Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
  • Cover Penciller: Ivan Reis
  • Cover Inker: Oclair Albert
  • Cover Colorist: Alex Sinclair
  • Editors: Eddie Berganza and Adam Schlagman

Standard Cover (above): Front and centre is, of course, Green Lantern Hal Jordan. Behind him, from left to right, are the Black Lanterns forms of Firestorm; GL Ke’Haan; Black Hand clutching the skull of Batman; an unknown between Black Hand’s left hand and Jordan’s head; an unknown (possibly Aquagirl?) over the shoulder of Aquaman; Martian Manhunter above him; and Earth-Two Superman.

Variant Cover (on the right): The Black Lantern Aquaman riding a giant sea-horse.

Page 1 – Panels 1 to 4: The Stonechat Museum shows the aftermath of the battle between the Black Lanterns and Hawkman and Hawkgirl as seen at the end of the previous issue. On the desk a delightfully old fashioned phone is ringing.

Page 1 – Panel 5: The Atom stands at the end of the ringing phone line waiting for Carter – Hawkman – Hall to pick up the phone. The photo on top of the pile behind him shows his ex-wife Jean Loring; the one beneath it looks like the outfit he wore during the SWORD OF THE ATOM miniseries.

Page 2 – Panel 1: Carter picks up and refers to his old friend by his real name, Ray Palmer.

Page 2 – Panels 2 and 3: Ray mentions Carter hanging up; he did this only a few minutes before after arguing with Ray over the latter’s intention to visit Jean Loring’s grave.

Page 2 – Panel 4: Following the Black Lantern attack, it’s obvious Hawkman isn’t looking his best.

Page 3 – Panel 2: Commissioner Jim Gordon and his daughter Barbara, better known to the heroes of the DCU as Oracle.

Page 3 – Panel 3: A bit of irony here as Gordon talks about Batgirl disappearing, not realising that Batgirl was Barbara Gordon.

Page 4: The man landing on the Bat Signal is Green Lantern Hal Jordan, fresh from the battle with the Martian Manhunter shown in GREEN LANTERN #44.

Page 5 – Panel 1: Stepping out of the ocean are Tempest and Mera. Tempest, or Garth as he’s referred to here, was once the teen sidekick of Aquaman while Mera was Aquaman’s wife.

Page 5 – Panel 2: Their conversation follows that of the previous issue when Tempest requested Aquaman’s remains, currently buried on land, be returned to Atlantis. Behind them are a selection of Atlanteans.

Page 5 – Panel 4: Mera, Tempest and the Atlanteans discover the empty grave of Aquaman but despite Mera’s guesses, it wasn’t an enemy of Aquaman that’s done this . . .

Page 6 – Panel 1: . . . it was Aquaman himself, now a member of the Black Lantern Corps.

Page 6 – Panel 2: Looking scared

Page 6 – Panel 2: As shown last issue and in GREEN LANTERN #44, the Black Lanterns see things in terms of the emotional colour spectrum. As the Atlanteans are overcome with terror and as he thrusts his hand into the chest of one of them, Aquaman sees them highlighted in yellow.

Page 6 – Panel 3: Clutching the heart of the Atlantean soldier, Aquaman’s black power ring registers an increase in power.

Page 7 – Panel 1: As the Black Lantern oath rings around him, Deadman lays above his grave in Gotham City trying desperately to prevent his body’s resurrection.

Page 7 – Panel 2: The large circular panel has several scenes. Working clockwise from Deadman’s gravestone we have Firestorm; Black Hand with Batman’s skull (note the ghostly outline of the cowl over it); several Flash villains – from left to right are The Top; Mirror Master; Captain Boomerang; Golden Glider; and Rainbow Raider; the Phantom Stranger (who’s also looking over this panel on the left) and the Spectre at the graves of Jade and The Atom; several Black Lanterns converging on the JSA headquarters – from left to right are The Atom himself; Phantom Lady; Black Condor; the Human Bomb; and Sandman; next we have Earth-Two Superman standing above a grave; and lastly is the tombstone of Terra.

Some of these will lead into the Blackest Night tie-ins, particularly BATMAN, FLASH, SUPERMAN and TITANS.

Page 7 – Panel 4: Despite Deadman’s best efforts, his corpse rises from the grave as yet another Black Lantern. His story continues in BLACKEST NIGHT: BATMAN #1.

Page 8 – Panels 2 to 5: Black power rings find the graves of the original Hawk and Dove, Hank and Don Hall. While Hawk rises as a Black Lantern, we see the first failure of the rings to resurrect someone. Every time they attempt to resurrect Dove, they merely state that Don Hall is at peace.

Page 9 – Panel 1: Back at the shoreline, Tempest attacks the resurrected Aquaman.

Page 9 – Panel 2: Aquaman and Dolphin had a brief relationship when Mera wasn’t on the scene; when she returned, Dolphin then began a more serious relationship with Tempest, eventually having a son with him.

Page 9 – Panels 2 to 4: Many happy returns?

Page 9 – Panels 3 to 5: Despite being stabbed in the chest, Aquaman’s still able to hold a conversation.

Page 10 – Panel 1: Dolphin, on the left, and Aquagirl, also called Tula, on the right. Dolphin died during INFINITE CRISIS (albeit off-screen) with her death being confirmed during the One Year Later series of stories; Aquagirl died during CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. They both had relationships with Tempest, Tula first, back when he was still called Aqualad.

Page 10 – Panel 2: Aquagirl’s reference to “toxic waters” refers to her death in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS when the villain Chemo polluted the waters.

Page 11 – Panel 1: Aquaman refers to the son he and Mera had, Arthur Jr, who was killed by Aquaman’s long-time foe Black Manta.

Page 11 – Panel 2: Aquaman uses his telepathy to summon and control sea creatures which results in . . .

Page 11 – Panel 3: Sea food, anyone?

Page 11 – Panel 3: . . . carnage as sharks attack the Atlanteans.

Page 12 – Panel 1: At Deadman’s grave, we have The Spectre, Blue Devil, the Phantom Stranger and Zatanna.

Page 12 – Panel 3: Pariah, one of the main characters of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, appears, much as he did during that series. His first words – “Worlds have died. Worlds will rise.” – echo the tag line of CRISIS, “Worlds will live. Worlds will die.

Pariah was killed by Alexander Luthor Jr in VILLAINS UNITED.

Page 12 – Panel 4: Pariah mentions his curse – during CRISIS, he was forced to appear on the various Earths just before the wave of anti-matter destroyed them, unable to help but damned to watch.

Page 13 – Panel 1: Pariah’s body seems to explode, sending out black power rings.

Page 13 – Panels 2 and 3: As the rings buzz around the four magic users, we hear the voice of Black Hand (who is shown still holding Batman’s skull in Panel 3) who claims that while Zatanna and Blue Devil are alive and the Spectre is dead, the Phantom Stranger falls into neither of those categories.

Page 13 – Panel 4: The black power ring that hits the Spectre calls for his human host, Crispus Allen, who died during INFINITE CRISIS.

Page 13 – Panel 5: Black Hand mentions that those who “have lived beyond death” need to be removed. The Spectre, Hawkman and Hawkgirl are mentioned in this category and I wonder who else is on the list?

Page 13 – Panel 6: The Spectre is imprisoned within his host in a scene that’s very similar to the one in Issue #4 of INFINITE CRISIS (Page 18 – Panel 4 if you’re interested) where the Spectre was forced into Allen’s body.

Pages 14 and 15: Phantom Stranger, Blue Devil and Zatanna look up at the gigantic Black Lantern Spectre who wants Hal Jordan, the previous host, back.

Page 16 – Panel 1: Back in Gotham, Jordan lives up to his horn dog image.

Page 16 – Panel 3: The Flash battles Martian Manhunter; this fight continues from GREEN LANTERN #44.

Page 17 – Panel 1: Back at the shoreline, Mera battles her late husband.

Page 17 – Panel 3: The Black Lanterns Aquagirl and Dolphin bicker over Tempest who lays in the rubble of the lighthouse.

Page 17 – Panels 4 and 5: He manages to rally, however, and uses his magic to freeze Dolphin’s head.

Page 18 – Panel 1: Everyone’s a critic

Page 18 – Panel 1: Mera appears and smashes Dolphin’s head with her trident.

Page 18 – Panels 3 and 4: That’s not enough to stop her, though, as her head simply grows back.

Page 18 – Panel 5: As Tempest voices his hope for Aquagirl, triggering one of the emotional spectrum . . .

Page 19 – Panel 1: . . . she thrusts her hand into his chest, reaching for his heart.

Page 19 – Panel 2: As Mera turns away from Dolphin, she tears off the latter’s left arm.

Page 19 – Panel 3: A quick glimpse of Black Hand as the Power Levels rise.

Page 19 – Panel 4: Mera looks on as Aquagirl holds Tempest’s heart in her hand and a black power ring calls to him. In the background, Dolphin stands, her arm already growing back as her head did.

Page 20 – Panel 2: The Black Lantern Aqua-family of Aquagirl, Aquaman, Tempest and Dolphin stand arranged, calling for Mera to join them.

Page 20 – Panel 1: The battle between The Flash and Martian Manhunter continues. Manhunter mentions manipulating the Flash’s thoughts; this happened in GREEN LANTERN #44 where he made the Flash believe that Jordan was the Manhunter, prompting him to attack his friend.

Page 20 – Panel 3: The Flash manages to trap the Manhunter, surrounding him with a selection of chemicals just in time . . .

Page 20 – Panel 4: . . . for Green Lantern to arrive, carrying a police car borrowed from Commissioner Gordon.

Page 20 – Panel 5: Jordan says “Flash fact.” which is a nice little in-joke to the old days of the Silver Age when the Flash comics would contain little scientific asides about speed and inertia.

Page 21 – Panel 1: Boom

Page 21 – Panel 1: Dropping the police car on to the Manhunter and the chemicals results in a huge fireball.

Page 21 – Panels 2 to 4: The Flash both prevents the fire from spreading and concentrates the flames. As Jordan’s narration states, the Martian Manhunter’s one weakness was fire.

Page 22 – Panel 1: Taking a breather, Flash mentions “two grave robbings” – he’s referring to the Martian Manhunter and Batman’s empty grave which they both viewed last issue.

Page 22 – Panel 2: On Oa, following the arrival of the black power rings at the Green Lantern Corps crypt, the dead lanterns have risen and are battling against the Corps. This shown in a bit more detail in GREEN LANTERN CORPS #39.

From left to right are Black Lantern (BL) Ke’Haan; BL Bzzd; BL Katma Tui; Green Lantern (GL) Brik; BL Jack T Chance; GL Guy Gardner; GL Kyle Rayner; and GL Kilowog.

Page 22 – Panel 4: On Ungara, a black power ring finds the grave of Abin Sur, Hal Jordan’s predecessor.

Page 23: Looks like the fire didn’t work, and the Manhunter’s brought some friends. Behind him are Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Elongated Man, Sue Dibny and Firestorm.

Pages 24 to 26: As a sort of back-up feature, we see The Book of The Black, the thoughts of Black Hand. Here he focuses on Love, in particular the love between Hawkman and Hawkgirl and how, when they found each other, they were doomed to die, only to be re-born throughout time, destined to find each other again.

Note that at the bottom of Page 25, Black Hand writes “Death told me their love had alluded him.” I’m going to go ahead and guess he meant “eluded”.