Blackest Night #5

  • 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

Standard Cover (above): The main figure is Nekron, the power behind the Black Lantern Corps. Moving diagonally from top left to bottom right are Green Lantern (GL) Hal Jordan; the Flash; Ice; Kid Flash; Superboy; Superman; Wonder Woman; and Green Arrow. All these characters have one thing in common: they all died and came back to life.

Variant Cover (on the right): Black Hand holding the mid-regenerating Black Lantern Batman.

Page 1 – Panel 1: Picking up directly from the events in GREEN LANTERN #48, here we have the two renegade Guardians Sayd (on the left) and Ganthet (on the right) on the planet Ryut in sector 666.

Page 1 – Panel 2: The representatives of the seven Lantern Corps that have pledged to defeat the Black Lanterns despite their differences with each other. Left to right are Saint Walker; Sinestro; Atrocitus; Carol Ferris; GL Hal Jordan; Indigo-1; and Larfleeze.

Page 1 – Panel 3: Ganthet mentions the “Guardian who betrayed” them – this is Scar who we’ll catch up with soon.

Pages 2 and 3: Six of the seven Corps members recite their oaths while charging their rings. Larfleeze, however, has no oath. Note also that Indigo-1’s oath mentions Abin Sur, the Green Lantern predecessor of Hal Jordan. In GREEN LANTERN #48, Indigo-1 mentioned that Sur was her “savior.

Page 4 – Panel 2: Sayd mentions having sworn to serve Larfleeze in return for his assistance. This, again, was seen in GREEN LANTERN #48.

Page 4 – Panel 5: Saint Walker uses his own powers to assuage Larfleeze’s hunger.

Page 4 – Panel 7: Typically, the power level registered by Larfleeze has to be way more than any of the other Corps!

Page 5 – Panel 1: As seen at the end of last issue, the Black Power Battery has arrived on Earth at the home town of Hal Jordan, Coast City.

Page 5 – Panel 2: In the top left is Scar, the Guardian mentioned earlier by Ganthet; below her at the top of the raised mound is Black Hand, still clutching the skull of Bruce Wayne; and in front of him is their leader, Nekron. Approaching them is the Flash.

Page 5 – Panel 3: Nekron’s not happy

Page 5 – Panel 3: Flash died in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, helping to save the universe along the way. Other heroes had died before him (hell, the original Supergirl died in the issue directly before the one containing Flash’s death) so Nekron’s assertion that his death “was the first” is obviously not meant to be taken literally. Perhaps he refers to it having been an early example of a prominent character’s death and which, for many years, was seen as irreversible and lasting. Nekron’s next line about Flash’s “rebirth” is a nod to the series FLASH: REBIRTH, also written by Geoff Johns which details Flash’s return to the land of the living.

Page 6 – Panel 2: Black Hand is, indeed, dead, having killed himself back in GREEN LANTERN #43. Flash and Hal Jordan had examined Bruce Wayne’s desecrated grave back in issue #1.

Page 6 – Panel 3: The Black Lanterns are all about emotion so establishing an “emotional tether” when Flash attempts to remove Batman’s skull makes sense.

Page 6 – Panel 5: The sign in the foreground mentions the seven million who died in Coast City during the Reign of Supermen storyline.

Page 7 – Panel 1: The new arrival is also the Flash; this one is Wally West, Barry’s nephew by marriage who took on the role of the Flash following Barry’s death in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. From here on out, I’ll refer to them as Barry and Wally.

Page 7 – Panel 3: The “Kyle” Wally refers to is GL Kyle Rayner who took over the role of Green Lantern following the death of Hal Jordan. (Anyone beginning to see a pattern here?) As Barry and Hal had been friends in the old days, Wally and Kyle also became friends, though Wally was more than a little dismissive of Kyle at first. Kyle had encountered Nekron some years before.

Page 8: In the middle of the page are Wonder Woman and Superman. To the left, from top to bottom are Starfire; Superboy; Animal Man; Fire; and Ice. To the right of Superman, again top to bottom, are Donna Troy; Wonder Girl; Dove; Cyborg; Black Canary; and Green Arrow. In front of Wonder Woman are Kid Flash and (in the form of a sabre-toothed cat) Beast Boy.

Page 9 – Panel 1: Too late for Damage

Page 9 – Panel 1: This picks up immediately after the events shown in the previous: issue. To the far left is GL Alan Scott fighting the Black Lantern Dr. Fate with (probably) the Black Lantern Mr. Terrific above them. In the foreground is Damage being held up by Atom. Note the Black Power Ring landing on Damage’s finger.

Page 9 – Panel 2: On the left is Jean Loring, the Atom’s ex-wife and the one who murdered Damage just a moment ago.

Page 9 – Panel 4: Mera uses her power to channel water to blow Jean’s head off . . .

Page 10 – Panel 1: . . . not that that will stop her! In the background, Damage has risen as a Black Lantern.

Page 10 – Panels 2 to 5: Jean appears to be controlling the size-changing abilities of the Atom, shrinking the three of them down and into Damage’s Black Power Ring. I have a feeling this might be an important plot point . . .

Page 11 – Panel 1: Back at Coast City, the heroes are attacking the undead of Coast City. On the left are Green Arrow and Black Canary; in the sky are Wonder Girl and Wonder Woman; to the right are Superman, Cyborg and Superboy; and in the middle, watching it all, is Nekron.

Page 11 – Panel 2: On the left we have Barry Allen, on the right Wally West, and joining them is Kid Flash.

Page 11 – Panel 3: Remember, Barry’s been away from the DC Universe for some time so he’s still catching up on who’s alive and who’s not.

Page 11 – Panel 4: Dave – the secret weapon

Page 11 – Panel 4: On the far left is Starfire; on the right is Dove. As Kid Flash says, Dove seems able to disconnect the dead from the Black Power Rings as shown in BLACKEST NIGHT: TITANS. The “white light” reference harks back to issue #3 when Indigo-1 gave a brief run-down of the origin of the emotional spectrum.

Page 12 – Panel 1: Donna was bitten by the Black Lantern version of her son, again in BLACKEST NIGHT: TITANS.

Page 12 – Panel 2: The “aliens floating in the sky” are the captured Guardians of the Universe.

Page 12 – Panel 4: It seems odd that Nekron doesn’t even attempt to delay the Flashes . . .

Page 13 – Panel 1: Scar, the Black Lantern Guardian, attacks in his stead.

Pages 14 and 15: The representatives of the different Corps finally arrive. Though you probably know who they are by now, from left to right we have Larfleeze; GL Hal Jordan; Saint Walker; Indigo-1; Atrocitus; Sinestro; and Carol Ferris.

Page 16 – Panel 3: Larfleeze’s greed comes to the fore once more (despite Blue Lantern saying he would ease his greed earlier) as he attempts to lay claim to Scar.

Page 16 – Panel 5: The ex-Guardians Ganthet (with the pony tail) and Sayd join the Lanterns in attacking Sayd.

Page 17 – Panel 1: And good riddance

Page 17 – Panel 1: Scar explodes. As most of the Black Lanterns are able to regenerate, though, it seems doubtful that she’s gone for good.

Page 17 – Panel 2: “You’re late!” “That’s my line.” Back in the good old days, Barry, despite being the fastest man alive, was usually late for any meeting.

Page 17 – Panel 3: Indigo-1 mentions the “white light” again; the combined colours of the power rings should become white, thus defeating the Black Lanterns.

Page 18 – Panel 1: Carol Ferris’s mention of seeing “this on a Saturday morning cartoon.” had me scuttling around the internet, trying to get the reference. Thanks to a review of issue 5 over at (now defunct) Rokk’s Comic Book Revolution, I found out Carol’s referring to Captain Planet and the Planeteers, a series I had never seen. Check the Wikipedia article here.

Page 18 – Panel 2: Hmmm . . . Nekron doesn’t seem particularly bothered by the attack on the Black Lantern and instead mentions a lie the Guardians have told.

Page 18 – Panel 3: A new black power ring emerges, looking for a host.

Page 19 – Panel 1: Left to right are Cyborg; Superman; Kid Flash; and Superboy.

Page 19 – Panel 2: Left to right are Animal Man; Wonder Woman; Donna Troy; and Fire. Donna is asking for Dove because by the end of BLACKEST NIGHT: TITANS, Donna had been infected by one of the Black Lanterns. She had asked Dove to stay close to her so that if she changed (as she is doing so now) Dove could kill her before she became a fully fledged Black Lantern.

Page 19 – Panel 3: Wonder Woman

Page 19 – Panel 3: This is Wonder Woman from Donna’s point of view; that Donna is able to see the colour of love shows that she is indeed becoming a Black Lantern.

Page 19 – Panels 4 and 5: As GL Hal Jordan wonders whether the attack on the central Black Lantern battery is working, Black Hand claims it is “making Nekron stronger” while the black ring we saw a moment ago finds the skull of Bruce Wayne.

Page 19 – Panel 7: The ring generates a new body from the skull . . .

Pages 20 and 21: . . . and Batman rises as a Black Lantern.

Pages 22 and 23 – Panels 3 to 5: Nekron reveals that while many of the heroes had died and returned, it was only because he allowed them to return. The Guardians’ secret he mentions is likely to be the same lie he spoke of moments ago.

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 6: Batman vomits up new black rings, one for Buddy Baker (Animal Man) and another for Tora Olafdotter (Ice).

Pages 22 and 23 – Panels 7 and 8: I don’t know why the black rings refer to Wonder Woman as “Diana Prince” as that is simply a civilian identity she assumes these days; the rings should have simply called her Diana. They refer to Superman as Kal-El, not Clark Kent, so why Diana Prince?

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 11: Die!

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 11: Rather than the by now familiar “Rise!” Nekron commands instead these characters “Die!

Page 24 – Panel 1: GL Hal Jordan tries to restrain Batman; note the black power ring flying around him.

Page 24 – Panel 2: Barry Allen runs between his fellow heroes who are changing before his eyes, pursued by another black power ring.

Page 24 – Panel 3: Nekron refers to “Bruce Wayne” in quotation marks; does he know that’s not really Bruce?

Page 24 – Panel 4: Nekron severs Batman’s connection and the body dissipates.

Pages 25 and 26 – Panel 1: The most powerful heroes have become Black Lanterns! In the top left are Superboy and Animal Man. Left to right across the middle are Wonder Woman; Kid Flash; Nekron; Ice; Green Arrow; and Donna Troy. On the right is Superman.

Pages 25 and 26 – Panel 2: Those last two black power rings come for GL Hal Jordan and Barry Allen.

Pages 27 and 28: more pages from the Book of The Black.