Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy
This! This is what I thought Blackest Night would be about - all out war between the various corps as the War of Light yields to the onslaught of Black Lanterns.
What's worse is that the events of this issue actually pick up from the conclusion of Agent Orange and about halfway through the Emerald Eclipse storyline, making the wait for these follow-ups excruitiating. It feels like Johns was forced to put them all on the back burner so the Black Lantern elements could be fleshed out and turned into what eventually became the Blackest Night event title. This also added a rushed element to these War of Light moments, turning what should have been separate issues dedicated to each battlefront into a condensed, action packed single issue instead.
This is both good and bad. On one hand, it makes for a strong single issue with a lot of bang for your buck for 22 pages of non-stop, back and forth action. On the other, many of the colourful personalities that have been fleshed out over the past year get relegated to the sidelines. For instance, the Sinestro Corps members captured by the Star Sapphires are freed and we see them in a handful of panels.
Another instance is that the only Star Sapphire we really get to see in action is Carol Ferris, who I'm thinking was introduced simply to have someone readers would know on screen. On the Blue Lantern/Orange Lantern side of things, we don't even get any dialogue from any Lanterns outside of the two Guardians discussing matters. It just felt like so much wasted potential in favour of wanton killings in Blackest Night and it's related tie-ins.
However, complaints over formatting/story progression aside, this issue was far from bad and one of the best chapters in the Blackest Night yet, probably for all those very same things I complained about above. The War of Light has been hyped up far more than the Blackest Night and is something I've been waiting to see more of, especially this Sinestro-centric chapter. In fact, it was revealed that Sinestro had a relationship with Abin Sur's sister and that she died somehow (Sinestro was shown holding her body screaming in one panel). The reaction he had to Carol's invading of his private memories with the Star Sapphire showed just how much he cared for her and I suspect she was Soranik Natu's mother as well.
The various battles all made way for the coming of the Black Lanterns. Black rings decended upon each of the Lantern homeworlds, all save the Blue Lantern one, which it was revealed had no dead bodies with which to revive. Several predicted Black Lanterns showed up, including former Green and Red Lantern, Laira, Amon Sur, a multitude of Sinestro Corps members from the Sinestro Corps War, the Five Inversions and all of Larfleeze's victims over the past several millenia. Larfleeze's reaction to the Black Lanterns was my personal favourite and I'm curious as to how he'll fair against them.
Verdict - Must Read. My only real complaint is the squandered potential the War of Light had and non-stop focus on killings and Black Lanterns so far. Otherwise, this was a spectacular chapter to the event.