Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #2 Review

Written by Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Rags Morales, Chris Sprouse, Ivan Reis, Doug Mahnke and others

The second issue of Tales of the Corps was a better offering than the first, but, like that first issue, felt a little light weight for the $3.99 cover price.

The first story, centered on the female Red Lantern, Bleez, was the weakest of the three stories on offer and I think it's mostly due to the limited page count. Bleez is the most beautiful woman in the universe, part of the priveledged upperclass, who have slaves and servants at their beck and call, and constantly proposed to due to her beauty, which she loathes due to wishing for someone to see her for more than a pretty face. A new suitor from another sector arrives and turns out to be a Sinestro Corps member. They take her and many of her people prisoner and treat them as sex slaves aboard Ranx. There, she fights back against her captor and is taken by a red ring and kills her tormentor.

I can see what they were trying to go for here, but it's just so rushed and hard to feel sympathy for someone of her character, who had no problem with slaves of her own, being enslaved herself. I also failed to see where her rage was coming from as she had yet to be raped or assaulted in any major way before the ring took her. I would assume the other slaves on Ranx would be equally as enraged and ready for Red Lantern selection.

The second story was my favourite and fleshed out Carol Ferris's willing acceptance of the Star Sapphire ring. Prior to this, it read like not being Hal Jordan's girlfriend was her only reason for accepting a ring from a corps that had used their sapphires to enslave her and turn her against her her loved ones in the past. Having her seeing the ring and dryly saying, "not again", to start the story was laugh out loud worthy and the story did a great job expanding on the reasoning behind Carol's joining the Star Sapphires. Wish it was in the main book so more people could read it.

The final story, while entertaining, suffers from focusing on an Orange Lantern, whom we knew would die by the end of the story based on how Larfleeze "recruits". This one dealt with the giant floating head, Blume, who simply went from planet to planet demanding tribute or the destruction of that world. The twist that made this story work though was when one race from a poor resource planet offered up their children as the only precious thing they had. Blume reluctantly took them, but, through narrative, tells us that he's a merciful god and only takes what can be of use to him (ie gold, jewels, etc), and then returns the children to the people unharmed. His travels take him to the planet Okaara and Larfleeze, who quickly kills and consumes Blume's identity for another construct.

Verdict - Check It. Better than the first, but still feels a bit too light for a $3.99 comic. Die hard fans will obviously want this and shouldn't be disappointed, but casuals expecting something relevant to the Blackest Night event should probably steer clear.

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