[¡Spoilers Alert!] Geoff Johns has been serving up K.O. moments since the “Blackest Night” event began, and despite being a longtime Firestorm fan with his original appearances protectively sealed several feet away from me right now, I have to preface this review with the fact that this was the weakest of the first three issues for me. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve watched Firestorm go through so many exhausting character and mental partnership changes since Dan Jolley wrote him in those early re-launch issues, but I just did not feel nearly the amount of shock or loss that I think I was supposed to when Gen got offed.
The same really goes for the final page, too, because I saw that coming a mile away. Granted, it was very cool to get to watch Black Lantern Ronnie Raymond unload on Jason, but at the same time, the fact that the Black Lantern incarnations have been identified as psychologically not their hero counterparts, their scenes feel pretty hollow since I feel like I’m just watching an unseen power use their bodies, which puts a lot more pressure on the action sequences to do the heavy lifting as far as the story goes.
The big important moment for this issue was the big reveal for the Indigo Tribe, and though it wasn’t terrible, Indigo-1’s monologue was one of the stiffest, most unnatural reads with the least amount of payoff I’ve had to endure in a while. And I expected more info than what was already more or less apparent, told in the abstract terms of the light and emotion colors. My biggest fear right now is that there’s no man or woman behind the curtain with the black rings and the ultimate moment of conclusion results in DC’s heroes defeating what amounts to a black hole with some ink dripping out of it. I’m pulling for Johns to deliver more than that, because I know he can, but the ambiguity of the color energies only works well thematically to a point and there’s going to have to be something tangible. Otherwise, I fear the best is already behind in this series, and there are still five issues left.
Ivan Reis though? Still killing it on Blackest Night, and while he hasn’t quite attained J.G. Jones status with me yet, he is drawing circles around this book’s humongous cast — especially those Black Lantern villains at the end that I can’t wait to see in the next issue.
Which brings me to my final thought: Maxwell Lord was buried in that vault with Wonder Woman’s lasso still tied around his neck? Do I understand that correctly?