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Which Blackest Night Title Wins?


We have reached the final part of the three episode storyline of Blackest Night featuring Batman and Superman. My aim here is not to recap the issues but to continue the friendly competition between DC comic’s greatest heroes and how they respectively dealt with the Blackest Night scourge. I divided the competition into 4 parts; Cover Art, Reveals, Raw Emotional Impact, and Supporting Cast and Villains.

 

Cover Art

 

    

 

In Blackest Night Batman #3 the cover art is supplied by Alex Sinclair. The cover depicts Batman in a seemingly hopeless struggle with two ghouls as they attempt to pull him into the Drake family plot. The color is washed out by an “off camera” light which in whole is apparently meant to give the scene a stark and cold feel to it all.

 

Over in Blackest Night Superman #3 things are red hot. The cover is by Eddy Barrows and Nei Ruffino. The picture here is ablaze as Smallville burns in the background, the air above is filled with howling wraiths and below an army of zombies march out of Hell. In the middle of it all defiantly stand Superman, Conner Kent and Krypto.

 

Decision=Blackest Night Superman

 

This was an easy win for the “S” clad warriors. Superman’s heat vision is the exclamation point to the red hued artwork here which is in sharp contrast to the muted Batman cover. The main characters stand heroically between Heaven and Hell while Batman is depicted as fighting a losing battle.

 

Reveals

 

In this round I look to see which book offers the most in the way of revealing the solution to winning the battle over the seemingly invincible Black Lanterns.

 

In Blackest Night Batman #3 the Dick Grayson Batman foils the efforts of the Uber ghouls by literally freezing themselves from the senses of the Black Lanterns therefore rendering themselves invisible. Thus thwarted, the Lanterns move on. Over in Superman, the weapons of the Black Lanterns are turned against them. Conner Kent uses the mask of Psycho Pirate against Lantern Kal–L and the very emotions he once fed from turn against him separating him from his black power ring and destroying him.

 

Decision=Blackest Night Superman

 

Much of the power of the Black Lanterns is centered in their rings. While Batman lived to fight another day he nearly killed himself and Red Robin doing it. The tactical advantage to be passed on is that the Black Lanterns are not all powerful when the source of the sustenance is deprived from them. As a counterpoint, Superman learned that the sustenance the Lanterns feed off of such as rage, avarice, fear, hope, love and compassion can actually be used to separated the Black Lanterns from their rings. If you’re reading the main title to “Blackest Night” we’ve learned the real way to defeat a Black Lantern is to destroy the ring he wears. This is done by focusing the energy of two combined ring powers such Green and Purple. Superman’s efforts destroyed his opponent while Batman’s got away.

 

Raw Emotional Impact

 

Much of the efforts of the Black Lanterns to gain power is by ratcheting up the emotions of their victims to an apex of rage wherein the hearts of their victims are ripped out to consummate that power. In Blackest Night Batman that rage is fueled by the recreation of the moments that Tim Drake and Dick Grayson lost their respective parent or parents. In what I have described as a “circus macabre” Dick actually finds himself under the big top where his parents hurtled to their deaths and the man responsible, Zucco, albeit a zombie version stands before him. Tim Drake finds himself in his father’s apartment at the time of his lonely death at the hands of “Boomerang”.

 

Over in Superman it is the secondary figure of Kara, aka Supergirl, that is faced with her dead father. No recreation of a death scene here and the principle character of Superman is spared facing the Black Lantern version of Jor-El and Lara. The most dynamic scene is provided by Supergirl’s mother, Alura, as she flies into space to rescue her daughter and defeat her dead husband by severing his hand with heat vision and pulling Kara to safety.

 

Decision=Blackest Night Batman

 

The gut wrenching (heart wrenching?) tableaus of having to relive the moment that your parents or parent died wins out. Add to that being there and being unable to stop it trumps any emotional impact that the Superman book came up with. Conner Kent saving Superman just wasn’t as powerful. I liked Krypto saving Ma Kent. But shouldn’t that have been her son’s responsibility?

 

Supporting Cast and Villains

 

Let’s start with Blackest Night Superman. Many of the characters seen in the previous issues are repeated here. It is the introduction of Alura, Supergirl’s mother, as a major player that is most welcome. She is a commanding presence. Her leadership, courage, resolve and fortitude in a time of crisis was quite impressive. I hope we see more of this character in all the Superman books.

 

In Blackest Night Batman all the previous characters also make their return. The two new zombified villains we are treated to are Boomerang and Zucco. These two undead louts carry much emotional baggage for our heroes and provide them a target for years of pent up anger and revenge.

 

Decision=Blackest Night Superman

 

Believe me people this was a close one. Can there be anything more onerous than the undead incarnation of your parents killers? How about the living breathing force that is Alura? There was nothing real about Zucco and Boomerang. They were just the dead avatars of a bitter but distant memory. On the other hand Alura embodied the power, grace, heroism and authority of a full blown super hero. As I said before, more of this character please!

 

Finale There you have it. As categorized by the stipulations stated above the Blackest Night Superman books win. If it came down which super hero actually spared their respective cities the most damage Batman would actually win. Batman spared Gotham a lot of death and destruction by moving the fight out of town. While Superman kept the fight at home and watch his home town burn below him. Not very smart. I guess even the Dick Grayson version of Batman has it over Superman in the brains department. But (ahem) I’m hardly biased.

 

Posted by Dark Knight Dave

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