Fire & Water #232 – JLMay: Blackest Night #3

As part of the massive JLMay podcast crossover event, Shag & Rob take a look at BLACKEST NIGHT #3 by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert & Joe Prado, featuring Firestorm, Mera, and Zombie Aquaman!

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Opening theme by Michael Kohler. Closing theme by The Bad Mamma Jammas.

Follow the JLMay crossover on these great podcasts below! Each show will cover another portion of the Blackest Night event! Use the hashtag #JLMay2019 (or #JLMay) when discussing the crossover on social media!

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9 responses to “Fire & Water #232 – JLMay: Blackest Night #3

  1. Strap in, gents. This may be a lengthy post.

    Where to start? Blackest Night marked the time my interest in the greatest DCU started to wane. Maybe it was crossover fatigue. Maybe it was I didn’t like how so many of the comics started to venture into a “dark” path that I found to be along the lines of what a thirteen year old might found edgy and cool. Or maybe it was because I felt like a lot of comics just became a cover band’s version of a greatest hits album. Stay around long enough, know how the sausage is made, and a lot of the magic goes away.

    Anyway, Blackest Night. I read the trade and couldn’t shake the feeling I’d walked in at the of a conversation. It was then explained to me that I needed to read the corresponding Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps trades. Yes, everything made a lot more sense once I read the dozen plus issues that supplemented the core mini-series. And still, it felt like the end of a greater story that ultimately left me cold.

    I know inspiration hits everywhere. Maybe it was trip to Color Me Mine that gave Geoff Johns the idea that we needed more colored rings. But the idea that will power is the center of an emotional spectrum…I don’t know; it just doesn’t wash. Having a character vomit out their power constructs (because they’re so freaking angry, dammit!) rang cheap and, again, like a 13 year old lashing out. Violet, indigo, orange – one of them was greed, right? And one was hope? And one was purple?

    Like Rob said (hey, bro!), zombies in the DCU ventures into a darkness that doesn’t make sense when running alongside a guy who gets stretchy because he drinks a fruit extract Or a guy who can run fast because he stood in front of a shelf full of chemicals that was struck by lightning. Or alongside a billion dollar guy who talks to fish.

    Or maybe I’m just old and this stuff passed me by.

    I’ll be in the corner reading my Eightball and Love and Rockets. Oh, and Archie.

  2. Fun episode, but I have to agree with DAG (gasp!) this just wasn’t my cup of tea. I had long conceded that the DCU was no longer the one I enjoyed, and this was kind of final nail in the coffin so to speak (pun intended).

    I’m glad this crossover is out there for all the folks who really dug this. It is indeed very well crafted and deserves the coverage.


  3. Great episode, guys. I loved Johns’ run on Green Lantern, even though I’ve never really leaned to love Hal Jordan. Blackest Night was a fun way to put some pieces back on the board, though the subsequent Brightest Day basically Countdowned the bed and served no purpose. Shagg – am i right in remembering that it ended with Firestorm trapped my the Anti-Monitor, which was never resolved?

  4. I’m actually somewhat relieved to discover that I’m not the only one who didn’t care for the excessively dark turns of Blackest Night in general, nor this issue in particular. I’ve heard it said that Geoff Johns likes the character of Firestorm, and it’s undeniable that he did more to give the character attention than anyone else was doing in that era, but frankly, I’d rather he have left the character alone than have to have read what he put Firestorm through.

    Shag, you suggested that Johns may have a problem with Professor Stein, but left out that KILLED Stein off in Brightest Day, right after this. It’s almost a mercy that the continuity was rebooted almost immediately afterward with Flashpoint.

  5. I had been a GL fan since around 1991. I had sat through a lot of good and bad stories in all the time that passed between then and Blackest Night (The mid 40s of the 1990 series almost made me drop the book out of sheer boredom!) That being said, I really enjoyed Blackest Night when it came out. However, some of the stories in the surrounding miniseries and one-shots were hit or miss. (Loved the Flash,…….meh on Batman)

    I agree with Rob. DC had started heading down a path of darkness I wasn’t comfortable with. I was already disappointed with the needless Batmaning of Barry’s origin, and the recent deaths of Ralph Dibny Ted Kord, Dimitri Pushkin and most unforgivably, Martian Manhunter, had really started me questioning the direction the company was taking. (It was clear that someone high up had some sick vendetta against the JLI at the very least!)

  6. Great coverage of a … troubling issue… for me. I really, really, REALLY hated the murder of Gehenna. She was a sweet young girl, and even the suggestion that Ronnie could have done that was unconscionable. I get the point, and the overall direction of Blackest Night. But for me, this was a big “no”.

    Like I said though, enjoyed listening to the episode. And boy, was Mera awesome! Great job, guys!

  7. I’m with Ace on this.

    All I know of this story is what I hear on JLMay. So, I’ve been listening to JLMay and it’s like listening to a snuff film. All these stories, and the larger overall story, sound like little boys playing with their “action figures.” My guy does this thing.” “Well, my guy finds a secret stash of magic!” “My guy makes everybody do whatever he wants!” “Oh, yeah? My guy tears their arms off!” “Well, my guy eats your guy and pukes him into the future!”
    I get that this is supposed to be a “re-set.” But, man, look at the state of things in the DCU. It seems as though there had been an editorial mandate of sadism to all DC intellectual property. Sure, everything is going to get better, but in order to get there we’re going to delight in the vivisection of the super-heroes.
    I’m listening to the podcasters of JLMay recap these stories and I am also reading Dr. Anj’s account of Legion of Three Worlds on the blog Legion of Super Bloggers. The same author is responsible for both. I was trying to find an appropriate analogy for his treatment of these characters. It seems to me like a butterfly expert, who can identify every species, and knows the patterns on the wings, and the proper habitats, yet will casually pick one up and tear off the wings while describing what he’s doing. I find the cruelty excessive.

    I’ve read a lot of comics. I can accept a lot of weird things in service to a story. Aliens? Sure. Other dimensions? Yeah. Beams and rays from eyes and/or hands? Okay. Cemeteries full of superfolk? Hidden morgues full of superfolk? Cut it out. Animated corpses dressed in costumes, capable of speech, etc? Forget it. Coast City obliterated AND completely rebuilt, including cemeteries? (How does that work? Did they advertise? “Have your loved one re-interred in the new Coast City!”) Maybe after New Orleans has recovered from the flooding 14 years ago.
    Rob and Shag, I truly appreciate your approach to this show. You do great work on your podcasts.

  8. I think this may be an instance of my love of zombies trumping my love of super-heroes, but I readily accepted that this was going to be emotionally brutalizing with a staggering body count because that’s what I expect from the cannibalistic undead. Gehenna’s death is an exceptionally bad look in retrospect, though. It only served to force tension between Jason & Ronnie that was rendered moot by the New 52.

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