Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Not All It Is Promised To Be: Blackest Night Special Edition #1 Is Hardly Special!

The Good: Compliments the action figure set fairly for two of the figures, Good artwork
The Bad: Entirely incomplete story, Short, Low collectible value, Odd coloring issue, Does not include two of the four characters from the box set!
The Basics: Blackest Night Special Edition #1 is a bonus book in the Blackest Night Action Figure Box Set . . . which provides unfortunately minimal context for the figures in the set!

When my wife was shopping for birthday gifts for me recently and she was on the fence about getting me the Blackest Night Action Figure Box Set (reviewed here!), one of the selling points that actually pushed me over into wanting the set (and asking her for it) was the Blackest Night Special Edition #1 book that came in the set. My hope was that the exclusive comic book would include a lost chapter for me in the Blackest Night Saga (reviewed here!). After all, despite my love of the Saga, I could not remember any chapters that included Black Lantern Blue Beetle specifically.

Upon receiving the gift, I enthusiastically broke out the figures and it took me a few extra days to get around to reading Blackest Night Special Edition #1. Unfortunately, for those looking for a grail in the boxed set, Blackest Night Special Edition #1 falls short; in fact, it does not even live up to the promise of its own table of contents! Blackest Night Special Edition #1 includes two issues of Green Lantern which were culled from the anthology Agent Orange (reviewed here!). The story is actually the story of Larfleeze, but it includes the brief time that Hal Jordan was a Green and Blue Lantern (simultaneously). The table of contents in Blackest Night Special Edition #1 promised Booster Gold issue #26 . . . but then does not actually include it! Instead, it has two covers, both featuring the Black Lantern Blue Beetle . . . but no story to go with it! That is a huge letdown for the fans.

In fact, Blackest Night Special Edition #1 poorly sells the set it is included in; it does not have any stories that include Munnk and only the pictures of the Black Lantern Blue Beetle. Rather ridiculously, the way the story is consumed with the tale of Larfleeze, fans reading the book are much more likely to wish the boxed set included a limited edition Larfleeze figure (it does not!).

What Blackest Night Special Edition #1 includes – outside incongruent covers and advertisements for the Blackest Night and Brightest Day action figure lines – are two chapters of Agent Orange. In them, Star Sapphire Fatality accepts her life beyond the Sinestro Corps as a member of the Star Sapphires. She journeys in search of Green Lantern John Stewart in an effort to find him and forgive him for the destruction of her homeworld. The main plot, however, has the Green Lantern Corps converging upon the Vega System. No longer a forbidden system, the Guardians insist the Green Lanterns go there to stop the criminals in the sector from fleeing to the rest of space.

On Okaara, the Green Lantern Corps encounters the universe’s sole Orange Lantern, Larfleeze. Hal Jordan, still wrestling with trying to get the blue power ring off his finger, tries to aid the Corps as it infiltrates Okaara. Once there, though, he falls to the mercy of Larfleeze while his compatriots are shocked at the quartering of Green Lantern Gretti . . . and his subsequent resurrection as an Orange Lantern construct. While the other Green Lanterns battle constructs, Hal Jordan gets the backstory on Larfleeze and John Stewart comes face to face with Fatality!

The adventure in Blackest Night Special Edition #1 is entirely incomplete. The story lacks a beginning and a resolution, so it is little more than an advertisement for Agent Orange, though the story in the book is engaging enough.

The artwork is generally wonderful, though Fatality’s coloring is much lighter than the action figure would have one believe for the character! The Fatality storyline is abruptly presented and left entirely unresolved, which is frustrating for readers hoping that Blackest Night Special Edition #1 would actually flesh out the characters in the box set.

In short, as people break open their Blackest Night Action Figure Box Set and Blackest Night Special Edition #1 books hit the secondary market independent of the toys in which it was included, it is very easy to pass by.

For other special comics, please visit my reviews of:
Wonder Woman 100-page Spectacular
Man Of Steel: The Prequel


For other reviews, please visit my Book Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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