01/03/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: DC Comics. 176 page graphic novel hardback. Price: $24.99 (US), $28.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-4012-2790-6.
check out website: www.dccomics.com
‘Corps’ is an unusual word in that it can be used singularly and plural and still be spelt and pronounced the same way. In the case of ‘Blackest Night: Tales Of The Corps’, it is in the plural as these are tales of specific characters from the various multi-colour Corps that exist explaining for the most part particular character origins. These twelve tales (the last being a two-parter) were originally printed in ‘Blackest Night: Tales Of The Corps # 1-3’, ‘Green Lantern # 49’, ‘Adventure Comics # 4 & 5’ and ‘Blackest Night # 2-8’. As such, for characters that you might instantly recognise this covers Kilowog, Arista, Carol Ferris as Star Sapphire, Mongul and Superman Prime. There are also pages filling you in as to who are members of the various corps and a look at ‘The Book Of The Black’. In many respects, this book is really an appendix to the other ‘Blackest Night’ material which might have been hindered or at least doubled the number of pages in the other books to fit everything in had it been used with the respected issues ran there.
If there is a common theme running through these stories then it’s how choosing a different path and said characters might have turned out differently to how we know them today. Then are often parallels with how some get into their profession. In that respect, you can compare the stories of Arista and Mongul. The Larfreeze story showing the sacrifices he made before becoming a Blue Lantern reminds me somewhat of a Buddhist type story of enlightenment.
I’m at a quandary of how much to say about this book without going spoiler. The stories, to the most part, are short and to the point and in some respects are actually fleshing out these characters in ways I would expect, and if there is any criticism then it’s don’t read them all in succession as you’re likely to get a little punch-drunk. The power rings that many of the characters end up with here obviously fit their character types which probably explains why little of it was truly surprising. If anything, I could see the three writers, Geoff Johns, Peter Tomasi and Sterling Gates, using the scenarios to get an instant grip on the characters for the main event. About the only thing that isn’t addressed is the order of self-sacrifice needed to wear such power rings but no doubt that will be seen later.
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