100 Days, 100 Comics #52: ‘Blackest Night’ #5

Blackest Night #5Ivan Reis proves once again in this issue that DC couldn’t have tapped a better artist for Blackest Night, and I’m assuming nuclear abstract confusion is the final note issue #5 meant to end on, but scene by scene this books felt a little fractured. This was chiefly due to two different problems. First, nearly every panel in this book was a close-up action shot, and the angles were spinning every which way, so there was an absolute minimum sense of setting and space at any given moment in time. In fact, setting was basically non-existent.

To the book’s credit, every single story beat and plot turn was epic and well established, but Space Sector 666 might as well just be the center of a black hole or a random point on the Ethereal Plane, because the entire issue felt like it was floating out in space somewhere, like what you find inside that tank the Ghostbusters keep in their basement. The Batman reveal manages to be shocking and dangle a new mystery at the end, but everything up until that point basically seemed like dialog being recited and character actions being executed amid a technicolor monsoon to connect the first and final scenes. The story advanced the plot, and the pages were gorgeous. They just worked to advance their own moments in two-to-three-page sequences more than than they gelled together to unify the issue, and a better defined setting could have really helped that.

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