Comics: Blackest Night #8 by Optimus Douche

Blackest Night 8

Things Wrap Up in BN8

Read the original and all of Optimus Douche‘s other reviews at www.aintitcool.com

With a blinding white light the Blackest Night is finally extinguished. Did this moment cause me to ejaculate with glee? No. Am I going to derail Johns’ writing like so many other reviews bombarding the Intertubes? No. Because at the end of the day, the BLACKEST NIGHT finale was exactly what I expected — and it is no fault of Johns. If there’s anyone to blame, it’s the current state of comics. Comics have always been a business, but today they serve less as the primary business and more of a whirling dervish spitting out synergistic channels of upsell revenue in the form of movies, video games, cartoons and apps…the game can’t change too much without those other channels (that keep the stocks afloat, which keeps our books coming, etc…) suffering a complete collapse.

Think about the near future and tell me if anyone thought Sinestro would keep the White Light bestowed upon him in the last issue of GREEN LANTERN? Because (SHORT BUS SPOILER ALERT) he doesn’t keep the White Ring. While long time fans would love to see the softer side of Sinestro for a year or two, sadly you would ostracize Mr. Johnny “I Never Read a Comic”, who saunters into the comic shop looking for a bad-ass emerald Sinestro after seeing the movie next year and instead gets some maroon colored do-gooder bathed in white light. Yes, it sucks ass kids, but it’s a market we helped create and continue to perpetuate (I’ll tell you right now, I am ejaculating at the thought of DC Universe Online. And dead or not dead in comics, I wants to play me some Batman). Our collective hive bitching is also partly to blame in the case of Hal Jordan ultimately saving the day at the end of Blackest Night. How many continuity Nazis would be screaming if Sinestro became a good guy? Lots!

The game is never going to change for DC. It quite simply can’t. (A few more spoilers) Yes, I fully expected the return of Aquaman and the complete “get out of permanent death free” card for the DC big guns. Now, was I shocked when Ralph and Sue Dibny stayed dead? Fuck no, Ralph and Sue Dibny only matter to a miniscule group of comic fans that were religious to Giffen’s run on JUSTICE LEAGUE 100 years ago. There hasn’t been big money riding on an elongated detective and his sassy gal pal since Plastic Man was a Saturday morning cartoon. R.I.P. kids, I at least will miss you. Although, I will say I was giddy when Maxwell Lord came back and immediately did his mind bleed on Guy Gardner. But, I’m one of those old bastards that loved Giffen’s work 100 years ago.
I’m going to say Johns did a fantastic job with this entire run considering the lasso of capitalism that bound his fingers. He delivered exactly what I always expect from Johns and well…DC: great moments and great characters, very little overall changes.

For me, BLACKEST NIGHT delivered some of the best DC moments all year (that’s fiscal year, I’m going March to March). Would I have liked some of the moments to last longer, like Guy’s time with the red ring or a little more Lex Luthor Orange Lantern goodness, sure, but again I won’t fault Johns for keeping his story moving. That’s why God invented Elseworlds (hint, hint). When BLACKEST NIGHT 0 was released on Free Comics Day, Johns placed a stake in the ground. Fresh off the distaste of CRISIS, he promised to cleanse our palates with tight storytelling that would not meander into infinite side stories. He delivered that promise with the aid of Tomasi. They couldn’t have been a tighter team throughout this tale, Tomasi fattening the bones of Johns’ skeleton with each issue of GREEN LANTERN CORPS. I also gained absolutely no value from the side tales — other than simple enjoyment. Not one was “necessary” to keep pace with the main story. Granted, there’s “imbedded in the Internet” proof that I outright hated the SUPERMAN side tale, but again that was my folly, I wasn’t punished in BLACKEST NIGHT for trying to banish those three issues from my mind.

If you expected earth shattering change from BLACKEST NIGHT, I’m sorry, but you’re a fool. Burn me once…blah, blah, blah. Nothing is going to change forever at DC. The good guys will always win and even though Barry professes that “dead is now dead” we all know dead is dead until the character once again serves a purpose. But that’s kind of why I read DC; it’s an old friend that changes their personality every 10 or so years. It’s all familiar, yet slightly different enough to be interesting.

There are very few new limits DC can push to without a courageous shift in editorial direction. And when I say courageous I mean suicidal. For DC to truly change it needs to do a hard reboot; not the soft “refresh” of a ZERO HOUR or the empty “restart” of CRISIS — I mean a “hold in the power button” for three seconds and risk fragging your hard drive “reboot.” Start over with ACTION COMICS and DETECTIVE COMICS 1 and rebuild from the ground up. Won’t happen, but the only thing that will truly “transform” DC is to cut loose the dead weight of its continuity.

Despite the enticing white lantern of foreshadowing sitting deep in “Somewhere America” at the end of this issue, I think the war of light is going to cool for awhile. Not for me personally, because I did enjoy this run and I’m interested to see how this new Technicolor universe operates in relative “peace” time. Someone could have fun with the new politics of this universe and I know would stick around to watch that exploration. What BLACKEST NIGHT and every DC title boil down to at this point is, “Even though I know what to expect, I really enjoy the ride getting there.”

Optimous is lonely and needs friends. Even virtual ones will fill the gaping hole, join him on Facebook or he will cry like a newborn kitten.

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