Death and Darkness


Blackest Night #2

The zombie invasion of the DC Universe really gets going, as we get treated to zombified versions of Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Aquaman, Dolphin, Aquagirl, Deadman (though the ghost version of Deadman is still fighting the good fight), Hawk (but not Dove), Pariah, Firestorm, Crispus Allen (For an omnipotent avenging spirit serving God Himself, the Spectre sure does get spanked a lot, doesn’t he?), and even a bunch of zombie sharks, with Tempest as our spotlighted B-list zombie convert. Green Lantern and the Flash drop a car on the Martian Manhunter to stop him, but it doesn’t put him down for very long. DC’s magic users fall under attack and lose one of their most powerful members. But the bulk of this issue is devoted to the harrowing attack by Aquaman and his undead underwater minions.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I know a lot of folks object to the darkness of this series — and I know I’ve often had my share of gripes about gratuitous, shock-value deaths used by DC to pump up sales and look like tough guys. But DC sure has spent the past decade killing off and reviving as many of their characters as they could — maybe the time’s come for DC itself to take a closer look at their use of the dead-superhero crutch. Also, zombified superheroes, free of the nudge-and-wink giggles that marred “Marvel Zombies,” is just too good a concept to pass up.

Yes, we’ll get really, really, really sick of spandex-wearing zombies by the time this is through. But I think the ultimate test of the worth of this series is going to lie at the end of the run. Namely, if they’ve returned at least 95% of these characters to life by the last issue (which is what I think they’ll do), then we can say it’s all been worth it. If it’s just another slaughter-them-all-and-pray-for-good-sales gimmick, then we’ll be safe writing off Dan Dildio’s DC once and for all.


Astro City: The Dark Age, Book Three #4

Charles and Royal Williams completely screw up and fail to kill Aubrey Jason, the criminal who murdered their parents years ago. A cosmic being called the Incarnate is preparing to destroy the world. The Apollo 11 have been permanently stripped of their powers. An idiot superhero called the Point Man uses an awesomely powerful weapon called the Innocent Gun against the Incarnate — too dumb to listen to warnings to stop, he learns too late that the gun is only supposed to be fired once, by someone with a pure heart, at the time of Earth’s greatest need, and as a result, he may have doomed the whole universe. The Silver Agent is able to control the omniversal wormhole in time — or has he?

Verdict: Even for a comic called “The Dark Age,” I wasn’t expecting anything quite this depressing and grim. I’ll give it a thumbs up anyway, ’cause it’s incredibly well-written and illustrated, because I expect it’ll all make sense at the end, and because of the awesome announcement Kurt Busiek makes in the letter column — the series is going to be publishing monthly soon. But I am very disappointed about the loss of the Apollo 11 — they were fantastically cool in the brief glimpses we got of them, and it’s too bad they won’t be around any longer.

No Comments

  1. Darin S. Cox Said,

    August 18, 2009 @ 11:31 am

    Dc Universe zombies? seriously? I guess Hollywood is no the only business out of ideas.

  2. Scott Slemmons Said,

    August 18, 2009 @ 1:44 pm

    Ehh, everyone’s gone zombie-nuts nowadays. You’ll find zombies on TV, in movies, in comics, and in actual highbrow literature (“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” has sold quite a few copies). Nothing succeeds like excess, as they say… 🙂

  3. Kenny Ketner Said,

    August 18, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

    Only marginally related, but do you know anything about rumors of a movie based on “The Walking Dead?”

  4. Scott Slemmons Said,

    August 18, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

    Not rumors, but not a movie. It’ll be a series on AMC.

  5. Kenny Ketner Said,

    August 18, 2009 @ 2:16 pm

    Sweet! Thanks.

  6. Kenny Ketner Said,

    August 18, 2009 @ 2:16 pm

    I mean, uh, braaaaaaaaains?

  7. Scott Slemmons Said,

    August 18, 2009 @ 2:19 pm

    To quote “Zombie Haiku”:

    “Brains brains brains brains brains
    Brains brains brains brains brains brains brains
    Artificial hip?”