By Geoff Johns, Peter J. Tomasi (writers), Jerry Ordway, Doug Mahnke, Chris Samnee, Rags Morales (artists), Tom Nguyen, Christian Alamy (inkers)
The Stories: This three-issue limited series contains three stories. The first is about the Blue Lantern Saint Walker, and his sad origin and the nature of hope. The second story is an interesting father and son tale about Mongul. The third story is about a new group, the mysterious Indigo Tribe, and its encounter with a Yellow Lantern and a Green Lantern.
We are also treated with some great splash pages of the Blue Lanterns, the Green Lantern Corps, the Sinestro Corps and the Indigo Tribe. This means that Johns and Tomasi don’t need to do a whole lot of exposition during the story to keep new readers on track.
What’s Good: Saint Walker’s story is an intriguing look at hope, faith and religion in the face of terrifying disaster (think trials of Job). Walker’s faith is well done, compelling and it makes me want to read more about him. I obviously knew that Walker was going to get a blue ring and I expected a cliché ending, but Johns misdirected and surprised me. As for the story of Mongul’s son and how he perceived his father was interesting, and it ended neatly enough. And for the Indigo Tribe, the story was meant to tease and it succeeded.
Art: All the art was well-done. Ordway iss a strong, experienced penciller who did some fine work with Saint Walker against Larfleeze. All the images were clear, despite the fact that many panels had a lot going on. I loved Ordway’s take on a sun getting younger – a spectacular image of blue and red. Mahnke, Samnee and Morales were also strong visual storytellers in this book.
What’s Not So Good: The concept of a montage book of stories is good, but given that these are origin stories and character study stories, there’s a lot less incentive to collect this book. In fact, throughout, I was wondering why this was part of Blackest Night, when pretty much everything in this book could have fit perfectly into the Blackest Night preludes. Also, while Saint Walker had a complete arc, the story of Mongul’s son was not only brief, but I didn’t feel that anything changed for anyone enough to justify the story being told.
Conclusion: Did anything super-important happen in this book? Not really, which was a bit of a disappointment given the advanced excitement Blackest Night has been getting. This is a collection of back-stories with one teaser for the future. Well-executed, but if you don’t buy it, it shouldn’t get in the way of your enjoyment of Blackest Night.