Tag-Team Review: Green Lantern #43 Prologue to Blackest Night

Aris Iliopoulos: Blackest Night has begun. This means we are late with this review.

Brian Knippenberg: It certainly has…*cue spooky music*

BK: oopsie.

AI: Ok that’s out of the way

AI: 😉

AI: Green Lantern #43

BK: The prelude to Blackest Night!

AI: And Mahnke’s first issue as artist for GL.

BK: Yesiree!

AI: Let it be known Doug Mahnke is my favorite artist. He really hit a grand slam here.

BK: He’s up there for me too.

AI: He’s Greek you know.

BK: Probably one of his best looking books.

AI: No probably about it.

BK: Ohhh, it all makes sense now!

AI: Makes sense that a Greek be the best artist. Yes it makes perfect sense.

BK: Between the profiles as seen in the FCBD issue of Blackest Night #0 and now GL #43, his work is so polished…unbelievably good!

AI: Um…the inker is Greek too.

BK: Also, thanks to inker Christian Alamy.

AI: Yes Christian is Greek. How awesome is that?

AI: People reading this are like.. Enough with the Greeks already. Well…If you were Greek you’d understand (right Manolis?)

Manolis: I had no idea about Christian Alamy. I feel a sense of Greek Pride overwhelming me even as I type these words!

BK: I feel like doing a Thracian dance!

AI: I’m doing as we speak

AI: While eating Baklava!

BK: No, not my good china!!!

BK: *Crash*

BK: Nevermind.

BK: Great work from some great artists!

AI: I think what really worked was how Mahnke presented what amounts to a “tales from the crypt”, EC comics style origin for Black Hand

AI: I mean obviously the monstrous and macabre stuff was brilliant. But so was how Mahnke handled William Hands history and family life.

BK: Very. The page with Black Hand lying in his grave is utterly chilling.

AI: And the splash page in the grave was beautiful.

AI: You read my mind.

BK: Exactly!

AI: I loved pacing too. When Black Hand visits his family home

AI: And

AI: Well

AI: Kills every one

AI: It was beautiful. Great emotion and expression. I mean it was gory without being vulgar.

BK: Mahnke did nail that scene beautifully! I thought it was interesting that Black Hand’s “symbol” was taken from his family’s business, the Hand Mortuary.

AI: Very nice touch

AI: Which brings us to Johns story

AI: Amazing. The telling of William Hands fascination with death was amazing. Eerie. It works so well. I loved the touch with the mother

BK: Yes…Geoff Johns does what he does best. An intricate portrait of the early years of a super-villain and how deep their mental illness or hang-ups run. It’s worked many times for the Rogue’s origins in FLASH. And how their illnesses or hang-ups truly define what type of villain they become.

AI: Yes. Exactly. He was born to be Death’s avatar.

AI: I love how Scar(?) threw up the ring and brought Hand back after he sacrificed himself for the Black Corps.

AI: Great end scene.

BK: The scene where the psychiatrist makes the observation that William is not comfortable around people and he corrects him by saying, “People that move”, was bone-chilling!

AI: And there was so much there.

BK: Yes, the scene with Scar, like the Red Lanterns is very visceral.

AI: You get an origin and history for hand. Motivation. And a real tone setter for what is going to be a very visceral story

AI: What do you think of Black Hand being the avatar for the Black Lantern Corps?

BK: Again, Geoff John’s strength is taking what many think as a throwaway character and making them into a force to be reckoned with!

AI: Well I’m certainly scared of him. Did you see that last page ?

BK: I peed myself a little.

BK: Oh, and that page scared me too!

AI: That’s what that smell is?

BK: *shuffles*

AI: who do you think is the power behind the Black Corps? Anti-monitor or Nekron?

BK: That’s a very good question…

AI: I can’t see it being Anti-monitor.

AI: He already had a corpse.

AI: Corps.

AI: Oops.

BK: Wasn’t the Anti-Monitor transformed into the Black Lantern Power Battery by “the one behind it all”?

AI: I think so.

BK: Or am I misremembering?

AI: That leaves who?

AI: Nekron.

AI: Certainly fits the bill.

BK: Then a force who can do that and convert a Guardian of the Universe is powerful indeed!

AI: Demon Lord of a death dimension.

BK: Nekron would make sense.

AI: I called it from the beginning by the way. And I new it was Black Hand too. Johns owes me dinner.

BK: He did first appear in Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #2 (1981).

BK: I’m your witness!

AI: The issue was pretty flawless if you ask me. The perfect compliment of art and story. You rarely see that kind of perfection from a creative team.

BK: I agree, this issue was a gem!

AI: What do you think of the over all Blackest Night event?

BK: Truly held my interest and makes me eager for the event instead of fatigued.

AI: I think its going to amazing. We read the first issue of Blackest Night.

AI: Which we will tag-team this week right?

BK: Absolutely!!!

AI: My hope is though we don’t have an obligatory Hal Jordan tries on a Black Ring issue. I’m over that already.

BK: I hope not.

AI: So what’s the end game here? White Lanterns?

BK: Or the combined forces of the others…

AI: I don’t see the Reds teaming up with Sinestro. I wonder if Mongul will be involved?

BK: When Red, Green, and Blue lights overlap…it intensifies to make white.

BK: I’m sure Mongul will be in GL Corps.

AI: Heh. Him and Sinestro are gonna need some alone time.

BK: So, probably the Green Lanterns, Blue Lanterns, and Red Lanterns combine their power.

BK: Oh yeah!

AI: I think the whole Blackest Night run up has been great.

BK: I do too!

AI: And the creative team for the event is well, perfect. Now that Mahnke is on board it’s going to hit a whole other level.

BK: They’ve got it down pat!

AI: Mahnke and Gleason make a GL artistic one-two combo!

BK: Mahnke was the perfect choice for a space opera like Green Lantern.

BK: Another win for DC Comics!

AI: Yeah, and he’s Greek.

AI: They need a Greek Lantern

BK: Greek Lantern! I like it! Write it up!

AI: Lol.

AI: Any final Thoughts on GL #43?

AI: I just think every one needs to be buying this book. It’s consistently a great read.

BK: Even if you’re not a fan of GL in particular, give this issue a try. Truly great writing, spellbinding art, and a macabre story of a disturbed villain’s beginnings. How could you go wrong?

BK: But, Aris is right. Green Lantern is a great book!

AI: And so is Green Lantern Corps. What Tomasi and Gleason do there month in, month out is amazing.

BK: Agreed!

AI: Oh. On a side note

BK: Yes?

AI: If you haven’t read the Last Resort by Palmiotti and Gray

AI: I suggest you get it it’s a great read.

BK: I haven’t. Really? That good?

AI: Definitely.

AI: See you  in a few days we get to do this again…What book are doing this week?

BK: Till then, and when I buy new china…

BK: Umm…

BK: Should we just dive into Blackest Night #1?

BK: 2 in one week?

AI: Hell yeah.

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