Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bought/Thought - Blackest Night #1

Bought/Thought is a recurring column that collects the thoughts from other reviewers, Weekly Crisis commenters and even responses from our followers on Twitter and is usually used to spotlight high profile books, such as the debuts of Wednesday Comics and Batman and Robin. If you would like to participate in a Bought/Thought, the easiest way to do so is comment on Ryan or my reviews of the weekly comics or follow us on Twitter (you can find links to our Twitter pages on the sidebar) and look out for calls for Bought/Thought replies.

This week's Bought/Thought covers possibly the most anticipated book of the year, Blackest Night #1, and, while there were some concerns from the odd person, the book was almost universally praised. Hit the jump for a round up of reviews and thoughts from your fellow readers.

Shotgun Reviews

Russell Burlingame, of Shotgun Reviews, was pleased with the book, saying:
Here’s a book that had some wonderful character moments, some absolutely preposterous plot moments and which has probably raised far more questions about the badguys than it answered in its first issue.
Before concluding his review with:
At any rate, check this book out. It’s the monolith of the summer; if you don’t read it, you’ll be the only one. And yeah, it’s worth the $3.99.

Rokk's Comic Book Revolution

Rokk Krinn, from the Revolution, wasn't as impressed as others with the event book and gave the title a 7.5/10, saying:
Blackest Night #1 was a better than average read, but it suffered from some serious defects. Having said that, I do think that Blackest Night #1 has mass appeal. I do believe that your average comic book reader will enjoy this story. Johns is not delivering a story that requires the reader to put forth much effort. Blackest Night #1 offers the same easily consumable fun that your typical zombie movie or death porn horror movie possesses. If you like movies where characters are randomly killed in bloody fashion and if you like zombie flicks then I strongly suggest that you give Blackest Night #1 a try. You will not be disappointed.

IGN Comics

IGN's Jesse Schedeen mostly had problems with how much hype and pre-release information was given away, but still gave the book an 8.9/10:
All in all, it's hard to find fault with Blackest Night #1 itself. Most of my problems stem from being too bombarded with pre-release information, and all that eventually melts away in favor of the actual joy of reading. The Sinestro Corps War Special left a slightly bigger impression on me in the end, but there's something else worth noting. That storyline hit its high mark with the opening installment. With Blackest Night #1, I feel Johns and company are only scratching the surface with this issue. This event has nowhere to go but up from here, and that's quite a rosy thought to last me through the rest of the year.

Weekly Crisis Commenters

Here's a quick sampling of the comments from your fellow Weekly Crisis readers. Feel free to jump in on the discussion here or over at the review of Blackest Night #1, where most of these were pulled from.
"Overall, I liked it a lot, and it did a great job of kickstarting the event in a grand style.

Some of the "emotional" scenes fell kind of flat on me though. The Barry and Hal scenes were fine, although a bit too long, but some of those funeral scenes (the JSA one specially) felt totally cheesy.

Also, I got the impression that the only Black Lantern that needs recharging is Black Hand. He had to be there for a reason, right?" - Matt Ampersand

"Great review Kirk. Agreed with everything you said. Though to play devils advocate I had three big problems with the issue:

1)We never get a to that the War of Lights actually started only a brief mention. (Which makes me worried about if Johns can handle such a massive cast.)
2)Some of the dialogue felt like a rehash of what we got in Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, and Flash: Rebirth.
3)To much time devoted to Hawkman and Hawkgirls love problem that could have been used to actually show the war being fought.

Overall all this was still a great start to what looks to be an epic event." - Kevin

"Overall I liked the issue but as a non-DC reader, except the GL titles, I was lost about who the hell these characters were. Ralph and Sue who? And who was Atom and Hawkman referring to on the phone? I dont know who was hanging out with Superman either. Was that his son?" - brandon

I would think if you've been reading GL/GLC for like four years you shouldnt come out of this comic confused about the characters in it.

"The brutality was pretty horrible, but also quite pretty. Reis really brought his "A" game especially with that last scene with the Dibnys and the Hawks... Hawkman was so messed up with the chunks ripped off from his cheek and his nose all squashed in, incredible, incredible work." - hydrogenizedsoy

"I loved loved loved this issue. Johns is at his best and Ivan Reis did a spectacular job on the dead. His Elongated Man was soooo cool and creepy." - The Dangster

"It starts off slow then takes off. I couldn't believe the amount of stuff packed into this issue. The story is so well done, Johns is playing around that’s for sure. The art was fantastic Reis really set the bar high. The last 12 pages are just spectacular, especially the Sue and Ralph stuff. From start to finish this is what it was built to be. The first issue has lived up to the hype. Could not be happier with the first issue, can’t wait to get more." - Daringd

In 140 Characters or Less

And, finally, here's what everyone on Twitter was saying about Blackest Night #1:
@damonfriend - Blackest Night has me more excited and hooked than any other event comic book since I started reading comic books.

@ModernTenshi04 - Amazing story, amazing art, so glad this is off to an amazing start. The next 8 months should be amazing. AMAZING.

@Boonerang - liked the concept of Blackest Night better than the execution. The run of bad luck for old JLA/JLI characters continues.

@batmansgirl - Loved it, I want more!

@ThreeFourNine - Blackest Night has gone above and beyond my expectations, great start to the event!

@moviewolverine - I actually had chills when I read the last page of blackest night. Like a kid! First time that happened to me reading a comic.

@rawnzilla - I really enjoyed it. It sold very well at my store as well. We ordered fifty copies and we had less than 12 on Thursday.


Based on the overwhelmingly positive respone to the book, I'd say DC has a surefire hit on their hands with this event and it's shaping up to be a worthy successor to the Sinestro Corps War. What say you? Love it? Hate it? Sound off in the comments below.

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hydrogenizedsoy said...

I'm terribly curious to see where sales on this will land. I suspect initial sales wil beat out the "Sinestro Corp War" and "Rebirth" at their high water mark (around 90,000 and 160,000 respectively) and even "Final Crisis (debuting around 170,000). I don't quite think it'll be able to breach "Secret Invasion"'s high point of 270,000 (and certainly not "Civil War" @ 360,000). So perhaps it'll max out in the 250,000's but I'm prepared to have underestimated the demand, there's been alot of buzz and interest in the title coming after the quality of the "Sinestro Corp War" and the general hype surrounding death and the fact that G. Johns is the writer with Reis on pencils (although Johns as writer might serve as a detractor to some).

Matt Ampersand said...

I think this will sell really well. Infinite Crisis' first issue (if I'm not mistaken) sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 250,000, and this has a lot more hype and critical acclaim carrying over from Sinestro Corps War.

Rawnzilla said...

There is an additional factor that impacts sales on issue #1. For every fifty issues a store ordered, they were allowed to purchase a set of fifty Black Lantern rings. So if a store would have normally ordered 40 copies? You can bet that they upped it to 50. This will be a big impact on the sales.

Henrik J said...

I thought it suffered from the same problem as Flash Rebirth, instead of starting the event DC decided to spend the entire issue going over old continuity and past characters.

In fact i think that is the same problem most of DC's comics suffer from these days..

Flip The Page said...

Ugh... I love this, but I've been sitting on a review of it so long (been sans laptop) that i'm almost already sick of it.

if it weren't so bloody AWESOME!

I'm still new to DC in my crusade to spread out from Marvel but from the big events i've read (infinite crisis, identity crisis, sinestro corps war) this has had as good an opening as Infinite. Not quite as entertaining as Identity but I think I might have my head on backwards there.

Matt Ampersand said...

@Rawnzilla, Ahh, so that's how some stores got the rings. Mine didn't get any, as it is a very small one.

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