“Merry Christmas! And here I thought guns were on the ‘things we don’t use’ list.”
That line from the early splash page in this issue really sums up my amusement with it. “Blackest Night” at it’s most basic level is a green light for ultra-violent fights that don’t actually kill people because the enemies are already dead. Films have known this secret of zombie use for years, and Marvel figured it out with Marvel Zombies, but DC has now caught on as well.
I still can’t find Blackest Night: Batman #1 at any of my local shops. Couldn’t find it the week I was out in New York either. But gosh darn it if this wasn’t everything I’d hope it would be. You’ve got Tim Drake (Do I call him Batman? It still feels uncomfortable) roasting un-dead Black Lanterns with flamethrowers, Red Robin plowing through un-dead Black Lanterns with his air vehicle, and un-dead Flying Grayson Black Lanterns. My favorite Marvel Zombies issues can sort of eat their hearts out at this point, because “Blackest Night” has given me these moments. I was also delighted to see Frank Quitely’s Robin from Batman and Robin so heavily influencing Ardian Syaf’s Robin here.
Right now, as long as someone crazy comes back from the dead, some living character gets killed or left on a cliffhanger at the end of the issue, and several great, gory, status-quo zombie fights with Black Lanterns take place by the end of the story, it’s pretty difficult for these spin-off books to fail outright — and this was an exceptionally strong tale all around. Suddenly infinitely goofy people with no business in a modern story like the Trigger Twins carry some weight again.