Blackest Night: Rise of the Black Lanterns

klahgazet-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=1401227899&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr” style=”width: 120px; height: 240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″> DC’s recent “Blackest Night” event put a sci-fi spin on the zombie trend, having the dead rise as Black Lanterns “” think evil Green Lanterns “” across thousands of worlds.

Although much of the story took place in the nine-issue “Blackest Night” miniseries, one uncanny move was taking that theme of resurrection, and bringing back several long-dead DC titles for a related one-shot. For example, James Robinson’s acclaimed “Starman” ended in 2001 with issue #80, but the intergalactic hero lived on “” albeit now undead “” in #81.

That one-off and eight more put-to-bed series brought back for just one more chapter are now collected in the hardcover “Blackest Night: Rise of the Black Lanterns.” And this, rather than tracking down a bunch of individual floppies, is the way to read them, even if each issue stands on its own. There’s no linear rhyme or reason, so you can pick and choose your way through them.

In “The Atom and Hawkman” #46, the live former fights the undead latter, along with the also-risen Hawkgirl. In “Green Arrow” #30, the consciousness of our favorite archer tries to control his possessed body from taking out acts of evil on his friends, such as Green Lantern and Black Canary. “Catwoman” #83 finds the titular cat burglar recruiting pals Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy to save her sister from the resurrected Black Mask, in a story with a Lovecraftian touch.

The most ingenious and enjoyable of the bunch is “Weird Western Tales” #71, which takes the “Weird” of its title to heart. Set in the modern day, the tale has the great-great-grandson of Quentin Turnbull and his immoral business partners bring the past into the future, accidentally unleashing an undead horde of Western heroes, from Bat Lash and Scalphunter to the one and only Jonah Hex. The bounty hunter may now be little more than a skeleton, but he remains a sharpshooter.

Other costumed do-gooders in the collection include various members of the Shazam family, The Phantom Stranger, The Spectre, The Question, Deadman, Superboy and Wonder Girl. And check out that zombie Krypto! All are brought to, er, life from a host of name talents “” among them, Bill Sienkiewicz, Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka and Denny O’Neil.

This anthology is recommended for both the hardcore “Blackest Night” fan and those curious on whether the entire event is worth jumping into. “”Rod Lott


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