It’s Halloween, dear viewers, and I think it’s a perfect time to do two things. First, to get back to the reason why I started writing these articles, which is to look at comics from the perspective of a relative outsider. And Second, to talk about the largest event in the DC universe at the moment, Blackest Night. As a huge fan of horror, and a huge fan of DC, this seems like it could be a winning combination, and upon the recommendation of Mr. Jennings, I decided to pick up Blackest Night: Superman #1 of 3.

Summary: It opens like a classic horror film, with “Kal-L of Earth 2” rising from his grave, commanded by an unseen force that speaks in black text boxes shaped like a green lantern symbol. After some establishment that we are in Smallville and a mysterious shape is flying through the sky. We cut to Superman and Conner (Superboy?) and the Kent farm, having coffee with Ma Kent. (Side note, Jonathan Kent is apparently dead, it’s not discussed why or how in this comic). During their nice sit down, we see things from the perspective of Zombie Superman 2 (He is still technically Superman, right?) as he stalks about town. It is here we are shown that not only can he see people’s base emotions, he also keeps talking about his power level (does he feed on the emotions? Never explained).


“Well no wonder he’s afraid, apparently Zombie Superman is also a Super-SAIYAN! (That’s the last one I swear…)”

Eventually, Superman and Conner find Zombie Kal-L in the graveyard, digging up the grave of Jonathan Kent (I think). A fight ensues, with Zombie Superman wooping ass and almost killing Conner. He then leaves, and during this, zombie Lois Lane (from Earth-2 as well, I think) shows up and kidnaps Ma Kent. Then Superman and Conner track the zombie honeymooners to town square, where they notice the town is abandoned. Then, the Zombies reveal themselves, posing for the final page of the comic, holding Ma Kent hostage.


“What? Now Conner’s a 28 Days Later zombie? I just don’t get this comic at all…”

Writing: The story does a good job at creating a homage to a slasher film, as advertised. It builds mystery and tension to the reveal of Zombie Superman, and even afterward you are left wanting to know what he’s really after, which hopefully the other 2 issues resolve. However, from a new reader standpoint, this comic is confusing as hell. The whole Earth 2 really blindsided me, as did the New Krypton thing (it was a brief side plot I glossed over because it had nothing to do with the main story). I considered myself at least a bit knowledgeable about the DC universe, but I have no idea what the crap they are talking about. The black lantern rings would also probably throw a new reader off. However, there is a lot of stuff at your local comic book store that contains “checklists” of sorts, so you can read the Blackest Night stuff in order, which will makes thing more clear, I hope.

Beyond that, this comic is good, although the seeing emotion thing got kind of tiresome after a while. Also, I don’t normally talk about lettering and the like, but the Black Lantern narration style boxes are very clever.

Art: The art is fine, nothing special, but well executed nonetheless. For the most part, anyway. There are a couple moments where I question some facial expressions, mainly this one close up of Superman where it looks like he’s possessed by the Devil.


“Um…that’s not the evil Superman, right?”

Also, for no reason I can gather (aesthetic choice, I guess) the panel order will shift from left to right on one page to a two page left to right format. It’s pretty jarring, although not deal breaking.

Overall: It’s an enjoyable story about Superman, although I would have to read the rest of this three part mini-series (and for that matter, the rest of Blackest Night) to figure out not only if it’s good, but also what the hell is going on.

But more than that, this comic poses the most pressing dilemma that the DC universe has ever faced:

Does being a Zombie make Superman more or less invulnerable?


“…”

“Gimme Some Sugar, Baby.”

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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