Flash Lightning

Blackest Night: The Flash #3

We got a lot of stuff happening in this one. Barry Allen has been chosen as a temporary member of the Blue Lantern Corps, and he’s busy fighting off the Black Lanterns, particularly Eobard Thawne, better known as Professor Zoom. But Zoom is a bit of a special case — he’s currently dead, but at some point in the future, he’ll be brought back to life. In fact, the revived Zoom was recently imprisoned in Iron Heights Prison by the Flash — so there are two Professor Zooms right now — one alive and in prison, and one dead and a zombie. Meanwhile, Wally West is trying to save Bart Allen — Kid Flash was forcibly inducted into the Black Lanterns by Nekron, and the longer he wears the black ring, the closer he gets to dying for real. Can the Flash save Kid Flash, or is it already too late?

Meanwhile, Captain Cold and the Rogues have invaded Iron Heights on the trail of the Black Lantern Rogues. Unfortunately, it’s a bit hard for a bunch of supervillains to kill off the unkillable zombies — until all the zombies get entranced by something inside Professor Zoom’s cell. And while they’re all gawking at Zoom and the glowing symbol for DC’s upcoming “Brightest Day” series that’s appeared over him, Captain Cold manages to flash-freeze everything in the prison. But there’s still one loose end — Owen Mercer, the son of the original Captain Boomerang, had captured his father’s zombie and was sacrificing low-rent supervillains to him in the belief that he’d be able to come back to life if he ate enough people. How are the Rogues going to deal with something like that?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I gotta admit, I kinda prefer Barry wearing his blue costume — it makes it a lot easier to tell the difference between him and Wally, whose outfits are almost identical. Not overjoyed with the resolution of the Captain Boomerang situation, but I was intrigued by the little clue about “Brightest Day”…

Joe the Barbarian #2

Joe is a kid with Type-1 diabetes who is in big trouble — he’s going into diabetic shock and hallucinating. He has to get to the kitchen on the other end of his very large house, and his journey isn’t made a bit easier by his hallucinations — or are they hallucinations at all? We start out with Joe meeting up with his action figures, who see him as a prophesied savior. Jean-Luc Picard gives him his phaser. Batman and Snake Eyes salute him. Joe makes his way across the bizarrely transformed landscape of his attic bedroom, strewn with giant Legos and joysticks, with evil soldiers killing Care Bears and Buzz Lightyears. He saves his pet rat, now turned into a mighty rat-warrior named Chakk. He gets orders from a bolt of lightning that resolves itself into the godlike Lord Arc. But can the blessings of Lord Arc and the assistance of Chakk help Joe when Sir Ulrik the Unspeakable attacks with his Deathcoats and King Draka’s buccaneers?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Grant Morrison’s story is beautifully head-trippy — I really don’t care if it’s all real or not, ’cause the hallucinations are just that cool. And Sean Murphy’s artwork is just glorious, switching from Joe’s mundane house to the apocalyptic wasteland of his fantasy world. This one is vast fun — check it out.

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