Monday, May 29, 2023

2023 Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 Silver Age-style homage commission by Kerry Callen

I'm trying to wrap up podcasting business after having spent the holiday weekend driving to and from a convention, so I wasn't sure about the if & when of maintaining my scant return to weekly podcasting. Gathering social media for the podcast, I stumbled upon a tweet that would serve for today, a U.S. holiday devoted to the fallen in battle.
Here is a little-seen DC house ad from 1970. Created by an intern fired after only two months. However, his original concept endured and became an ACTUAL series in 1985. Or, maybe it's merely my latest commission. If so, I should have picked a specific artist and aped his style.
For more, check out Kerry Callen Does Stuff!

Monday, May 22, 2023

Blackest Night #8 (May, 2010)

White Lantern Thaal Sinestro wields significant power, but is not adept in playing host to the Life Entity, and is unable to fully reckon with what Nekron is capable of. The united Lantern Corps struggle to present a united front against the onslaught of the Black Lanterns. Larfleeze battered Lex Luthor and reclaimed his Orange Lantern. Martian Manhunter slugged Hal Jordan while seemingly leading the charge of the Black Lanterns. Hal ringed up a facsimile of the kinder, gentler J'Onn J'Onzz to find him... or rather it... off. Then Jordan makes a connection to the... er... White Power Battery, and uses it to sever the post-resurrected heroes' connection to Nekron, making of them a White Lantern Corps. Through this energy, they next resurrect William Hand, and then the Anti-Monitor, whose corpse had been serving as the Central Power Battery of the Black Lanterns.

White Lantern Power Rings began flying about, homing in on Nekron's lieutenants. "Let there be light." Twelve more were resurrected through its power: Osiris, Jade, Captain Boomerang, Firestorm, Hawk, Professor Zoom, Maxwell Lord, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Aquaman, and Deadman... and J'Onn J'Onzz of Mars! Lovers are reunited, while Superman's reaction is more subdued. "J'Onn! You're alive!"
"It appears so," he confirmed with a grin.

Nekron had disintegrated, and various players made moves before dispersing. There was still a great mystery as to why this particular dozen had been returned to life, but that would be answered another day. For now, at least the blackest of nights passed into a new dawn. "Blackest Night" was by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert, & Joe Prado. These poor guys had to draw so many crowd scenes of dozens, if not hundreds. That they finished on time and at this level of quality is a minor miracle. The mini-series definitely ran too long and went several turnabouts more than it should have, but I love mixing super-heroes with horror. To keep an event of this scale broadly readable and consistently entertaining marks it as one of the greatest crossover events of all time.

As an aside, Joe Prado referenced coming up with fourteen different costume designs for the revived Martian Manhunter, involving notes from the entire creative crew, in a "commentary track" for the book. As longtime readers of the site know, I've tried dozens of variations my own self, so I feel his frustration, and then his suit gets pitched after a year or so. Cannopt win.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Blackest Night #4-7 (December, 2009-April, 2010)

Despite being a Superman-level space zombie powerhouse, Black Lantern Martian Manhunter was mostly sidelined for the second half of the mini-series event. I believe that he is only in one panel of #4, and completely absent from #5-6. The story began to expand outward into the greater DC Universe, with more personal interactions between living characters and the undead who torment them. A gigantic central Black Lantern Power Battery manifested on Earth, followed by its representative entity, Nekron. Ringbearers from across the emotional/color spectrum banded together, including Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Sinestro, Star Sapphire, the Red Lantern Atrocitus, the Blue Lantern Saint Walker, Indigo-1 of the Indigo Tribe, and Larfleeze. Their energies combined into a white light that was the only clear method of destroying the Black Lanterns. Earth's heroes also banded together to combat the threat... to their peril. Black Lantern Batman rose, and with him a wave of contamination of currently living metahumans who had previously resurrected, making Black Lanterns of Wonder Woman, Superman, Superboy Conner Kent, Kid Flash Bart Allen, Green Arrow Oliver Queen, Troia, and Animal Man.

The recently revived Jordan and Barry Allen Flash managed to evade this compromise, although when a group of Earth heroes took on spectrum rings, Allen became a Blue Lantern. Wonder Woman was restored by a Star Sapphire, Lex Luthor went orange, Mera saw red, the Atom turned into a shrinking violet, and The Scarecrow turned yellow. Luthor soon came to covet the other rings, but was fought off, then the majority of the actual ring corps made landfall. It was finally revealed that what had drawn everyone to Earth was a Life Entity buried within it, representing the ultimate combined energies, and the target of Nekron. In the face of mortal peril, it briefly conscripted Thaal Sinestro to be its White Lantern.

"Blackest Night" was by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert with Joe Prado.