Blackest Night #3

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

Standard Cover (above): Black Hand, still holding Batman’s skull, stands in the centre of the group. Working clockwise from the bottom left are Firestorm; Aquaman; Elongated Man; Sue Dibny; Hawkgirl; Hawkman; and Martian Manhunter.

Variant Cover (on the right): On the floor in the foreground is the current Firestorm; left to right behind him are Killer Frost; the Weasel; the first Firestorm; the Enforcer; and Black Bison.

Page 1 – Panel 1: This is Jason Rusch and Gehenna whom he refers to as Gen. Together they become the latest Firestorm.

Page 1 – Panel 2: Gen mentions Jason’s “flashcards” – these are aide memoirs that Professor Martin Stein helped him devise to better control his powers.

Page 1 – Panel 3: Superhero Comics 101: when one member of a couple starts thinking about settling down because “everything’s been going so great” you just know something bad is going to happen.

Page 1 – Panel 6: The Justice League communicator goes off, ending their discussion.

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 1: Carrying on from the end of the previous issue, Flash and Green Lantern (GL) Hal Jordan are attacked by the Black Lantern forms of their friends. In the centre is Flash and then, starting on the left and working clockwise from him, are: Martian Manhunter; Elongated Man; Firestorm; Hawkgirl; Hawkman; Green Lantern; and Sue Dibny.

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 2: Hawkman and Green Arrow have long had a contentious friendship and have often come to blows over the years.

Page 3 – Panel 1: The “Professor Stein” Firestorm mentions (and who was mentioned above) used to be the other half of the hero when Ronnie Raymond was alive.

Page 3 – Panel 4: The Flash vibrates so fast that Firestorm’s hand goes clean through him.

Page 4 – Panels 1 and 2: The Flash discovers the Black Power Rings are physically connected to the dead. Firestorm’s words “He will rise, invader!” obviously refer to Nekron the power behind the rings; the “invader” reference will be explained later in this issue.

Page 4 – Panel 3: Martian Manhunter says the Flash is connected to the Black Lanterns, probably because Barry Allen was dead but has since returned.

Page 5 – Panel 1: The Atom bursts from Hawkman’s Black Power Ring. We last saw the Atom in the previous issue trying to get in touch with Hawkman.

Page 5 – Panel 2: He helpfully explains what happened when he paid Hawkman a visit.

Page 5 – Panel 3: The Atom has questions

Page 5 – Panel 3: Note that the energy within the Black Rings is coloured with the seven colours of the emotional spectrum.

Page 5 – Panel 4: Hawkman (and Hawkgirl) are reincarnations of Egyptian royalty who have lived hundreds of life times down the centuries, hence the Atom’s mention of him “coming back.

Page 6 – Panel 4: Firestorm (made up of Jason Rusch and Gehenna) search the Justice League headquarters for whoever sent the alert they received.

Pages 7 and 8 – Panel 1: They find a bunch of monitor screens showing attacks by Black Lanterns. Going left to right and top to bottom we have:

Screen 1: Manhattan; Stargirl and GL Alan Scott battle Black Lanterns one of whom (between the two heroes) is definitely Black Condor; the one on the right is probably the Atom
Screen 2: Kahndaq; the Black Lantern Osiris
Screen 3: A close up of Osiris
Screen 4: Gotham City; the damaged Batsignal can be seen in the sky following the events of BLACKEST NIGHT: BATMAN
Screen 5: Iron Heights; a prison just outside Keystone City where many of the Flash’s rogues end up. Outside it, left to right, are Rainbow Raider; the Top; Golden Glider; and Captain Boomerang
Screen 6: The Spectre as seen in the previous issue
Screen 7: Smallville in flames following the events of BLACKEST NIGHT: SUPERMAN
Screen 8: Moscow; the Rocket Red Brigade take on Dimitri Pushkin, the Rocket Red who served with the Justice League
Screen 9: No signal
Screen 10: A close-up of Titans’ Tower
Screen 11: San Francisco; several Black Lanterns fly towards Titans’ Tower; the lowest is Tempest; above him is Wildebeest; above him are Aquagirl; Pantha; and Dolphin
Screen 12: Washington DC; the Unknown Soldier comes out of his tomb

Page 7 and 8 – Panel 2: And just like that, they all go blank.

Page 9 – Panel 1: Mera appears having escaped Aquaman and the other Black Lanterns in the previous: issue.

Page 9 – Panel 5: Mera’s worked out a key point about the Black Lanterns – that they feed and focus on the heightened emotions of their victims.

Page 9 – Panel 6: Coffins stored in the morgue of the JLA’s headquarters. From left are those of Terra-Man, a low-level Superman villain; Conduit, another Superman villain; the Enforcer, a Firestorm villain and member of the Suicide Squad; and Black Bison, another Firestorm villain.

Page 10 – Panel 3: Elongated Man mentions Jean to the Atom – this is Jean Loring, Atom’s ex-wife who, in IDENTITY CRISIS, killed Elongated Man’s wife Sue.

Page 10 – Panel 5: Sue Dibny isn’t convinced by Atom’s claim that her death was an accident. As she says, who takes a flame thrower along “just in case”?

Page 11 – Panel 1: Indigo-1 arrives

Page 11 – Panel 1: Indigo-1, leader of the Indigo Tribe, bursts on to the scene in dramatic fashion, saving the Atom from Sue Dibny.

Page 11 – Panel 3: Sue is torn in half and Hawkgirl struck by Indigo-1’s staff.

Page 12 – Panel 1: Another Indigo Tribe member, Munk, arrives and takes out Elongated Man.

Page 12 – Panel 3: As was shown in BLACKEST NIGHT: TALES OF THE CORPS #1, the Green Lantern Corps rings are unable to translate the language of the Indigo Tribe.

Page 12 – Panels 4 and 5: Indigo-1 somehow channels the power of the Green Lanterns and severs the connection between the Black Power Rings and whatever is empowering them.

Page 13 – Panel 1: Elongated Man’s remains are destroyed.

Page 13 – Panel 2: Sue Dibny is reconnecting her two halves and aiming for the Atom once more.

Page 13 – Panels 3 and 4: Sue wants him to feel bad in order to feed off the emotion. Before that happens, though, she too is destroyed by Indigo-1.

Page 13 – Panels 5 and 6: As the remaining Black Lanterns close in, Indigo-1 transports the heroes to . . .

Page 14 – Panels 1 and 2: . . . the JLA headquarters where they find Mera and Firestorm. Note that Flash refers to Garth as Aqualad, probably unaware that he changed his superhero name to Tempest years before.

Page 14 – Panel 4: Indigo-1 can speak English – guess that’ll make conversation a lot easier.

Page 14 – Panel 5: A glimpse at the trophy room. In the top right hand corner of the panel is a picture cropped from the cover of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #100 which saw the return of the Seven Soldiers of Victory to the pre-Crisis DC Universe. Below that, in the case, is a Bat-utility belt along with two cards representing the Royal Flush Gang. On the wall behind the statues are bows and quivers from Green Arrow and Red Arrow. The statues themselves depict fallen Leaguers. Left to right are Aquaman; Steel; and Vibe.

Page 14 – Panel 7: Indigo-1’s words echo the first words of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS: “In the beginning there was only one, a single black infinitude.

Pages 15 and 16 – Panel 2: (I’m taking Indigo-1 and her friend as the first, main panel) Atrocitus stands on Ysmault with Black Lanterns behind him.

Pages 15 and 16 – Panel 3: Larfleeze, Agent Orange, sits with his Lantern, being threatened as well.

Pages 15 and 16 – Panel 4: Sinestro menaced by Duel Enkham and, past Indigo-1, Amon Sur.

Pages 15 and 16 – Panel 6: Blue Lantern Saint Walker battles one of the Orange Lantern Corps.

Pages 15 and 16 – Panel 7: Star Sapphire Carol Ferris battles Black Lantern Ugg-I.

Page 16 – Panel 3: Now there’s a thought

Page 16 – Panel 1: Indigo-1 reveals she can hear Gehenna talking in Firestorm’s head and also clears up the mention of invaders by the Black Lantern Firestorm back on Page 4 – Panel 2.

Page 16 – Panel 3: “… the rings are wearing the dead.” Cool concept! Creepy, but cool.

Page 16 – Panel 4: Indigo-1 backs up Mera’s earlier thoughts about the Black Lanterns feeding off emotion.

Page 16 – Panel 5: She also says that to totally defeat them, they’re going to need every one of the seven Corps working together. Hal Jordan finally learns that Carol Ferris has become Star Sapphire once more.

Page 16 – Panel 6: Flash mentions “John, Guy and Kyle” – these are John Stewart (who is facing the resurrected world of Xanshi); Guy Gardner; and Kyle Rayner, both of whom are on Oa. Alan Scott, while not a member of the Green Lantern Corps, was a GL before Jordan.

Page 17: While there’s nothing much to note here, this exchange between two friends is nicely done, illustrating the differences between them but the mutual love and respect as well. It’s also a nice, gentle, slow story beat just before . . .

Page 18 – Panel 1: . . . the Black Lanterns burst into the headquarters.

Page 18 – Panel 2: The Indigo Tribe surround Jordan and, presumably, teleport him away.

Page 18 – Panel 3: Black Lantern Firestorm uses his molecular restructuring powers to prevent the escape of the other heroes.

Page 19 – Panel 4: Firestorm manages to separate Jason and Gehenna.

Page 20 – Panel 1: Glimpses

Page 20 – Panel 1: As Jason touches Firestorm, he gets a flash of various images. Going clockwise from his hand are: Scar, the renegade Guardian; the empty grave of Vic Sage, the first Question; a close up of Nekron’s eye; Dove fighting Black Lantern Hawk; the Sinestro Corps on Qward under attack from Weaponers; Black Hand; Ragman; the Power Battery/scythe of Nekron; and Mera stabbing Hawkgirl.

Page 20 – Panel 2: Jason is subsumed by Firestorm. The “Urkel” reference is to a character from the TV show Family Matters.

Page 20 – Panel 3: More coffins behind the glass; note that the top left, The Fiddler, is misspelled – it should be Bowin, not Bown.

Page 21 – Panel 1: Firestorm mentions the Matrix – this is the combination of two or more people to become the hero Firestorm.

Page 21 – Panel 4: Having already produced a wall of hydrochloric acid, it seems unlikely that Firestorm doesn’t know the formula for salt. He just wants Jason to think of it.

Page 21 – Panel 6: And there it is.

Page 22 – Panels 3 to 5: Firestorm turns Gen to salt and takes her heart.

Page 23 – Panel 1: As the heroes battle the Black Lanterns, more power rings appear.

Page 23 – Panel 4: The black rings raise more villains from the coffins, some of whom are shown on the next page.

Page 24: The latest additions to the Black Lantern Corps. Standing (working from front to back) are Alex Luthor of Earth-3; Dr. Light; Psycho Pirate; Brainwave. Crawling from their coffins (working left to right) are Madame Rouge; Maxwell Lord; Copperhead; and the Enforcer.

Pages 25 and 26: Further pages from The Book of The Black, this time focusing on rage.