(Some info taken from Wikipedia)
Usually the comic companies bust out their biggest events and drop their biggest shockers in the summer, much like the movie industry. This years is not looking like a great year for summer events. DC Comic has got this one in the bag with "Blackest Night". Here's what we got this year:
The Blackest Night:
The crossover was first mentioned at the conclusion of the Sinestro Corps War in Green Lantern #25. As the war between the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps reaches its climax, the four Green Lanterns of Earth (Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart and Kyle Rayner) are told by the Guardians Ganthet and Sayd of the "Blackest Night" prophecy. According to the prophecy, the two existing Corps would be joined by five new ones, each driven by a specific emotion and empowered by a specific color of the emotional spectrum, leading to an all-out war of light that would end up destroying the universe.
Shortly after the defeat of the Sinestro Corps, the Anti-Monitor is transported to an unspecified location, recently revealed to be space sector 666. He is recognized by a dark voice that bids him rise. Too weak to resist or escape, he is engulfed by a Black Power Battery. The teaser proclaimed that "...the armies of fear and willpower must come together, because across the Universe, the dead will rise." A rotted hand was shown coming out of the ground with a black ring on its finger. The symbol on the ring is of Green Lantern villain Black Hand.
Both Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver have stated that Blackest Night will be the third part of a Green Lantern War Of Light: Trilogy that began with Rebirth and continued with Sinestro Corps War. In an interview with IGN, Johns stated that he has the monthly Green Lantern book plotted up until issue #55, which (presuming there are little or no delays in the book) would come out in June of 2010.
More details for the event are revealed in DC Universe #0, which also sets the stage for most of the DCU line in 2008-2009. DC Universe #0, which bridged the story between Countdown #1 and Final Crisis #1, depicts Green Lantern villain Black Hand discovering the black power battery on a distant planet.
Blackest Night will feature Aquaman, as DC's Executive Editor Dan DiDio explained: "Aquaman’s storyline picks up again in Blackest Night, and what happens following that is a key story beat of Blackest Night."
Blackest Night #0 will be released on Free Comic Book Day 2009, and recaps the key moments from the Sinestro Corps War and Rage of the Red Lanterns that led to Blackest Night, and will give readers everything they need to know about the Green Lantern universe, their ongoing War of Light, and their dark days ahead. Ivan Reis will leave the Green Lantern monthly title with the beginning of Blackest Night to focus on the mini-series and a later project involving Geoff Johns. When Blackest Night begins and Reis leaves the main Green Lantern title, he will be replaced by Doug Mahnke.
The crossover is preceded by two crucial "Prelude to Blackest Night" storylines in Green Lantern Corps #33-#38 and Green Lantern #39-#42. "Emerald Eclipse" in Green Lantern Corps chronicles Mongul's conquering of Daxam and his elevation to the leadership of the Sinestro Corps whilst "Agent Orange" in Green Lantern introduces the Orange Lanterns.
It has been announced that the story arc will consist of the Free Comic Day issue, an eight issue, self titled limited series; issues of both Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps starting with the issues shipping in July; and a hand full of 3 issue limited series which will bear the title Blackest Night:... Titles and shipping months for some of the three issue titles have been announced as: Tales of the Corps with all three issues shipping for July; Batman, Superman, and Titans which will begin in August; and Wonder Woman and other unspecified titles shipping from November
At the grave of Bruce Wayne in Gotham City, Hal Jordan and Barry Allen reflect on Batman's death and how the hero community is avoiding linking Wayne and Batman.
This reflection tuns to the pair looking at their own deaths, comparing the sadness that Barry's engendered in others while Hal's produced anger. Hal sums it up by telling Barry, "I died a sinner. you died a saint." The conversation moves on to the world becoming "more dangerous" after Barry's death and observing that the deaths of Arthur Curry and Martian Manhunter cost the Justice League its "heart and soul". As they leave the cemetery, Barry expresses hope that their dead comrades will be returned to them. He specifically cites Batman noting, "If there's an escape, you can bet Batman's already planning it."
Black Hand approaches the grave saying "Yes. This one." He then pushes his hand through the ground infromt of the headstone and forcibly extracts Batman's skull. He then begins to recite:
“ The Blackest Night falls from the skies...
...the darkness grows as all light dies...
...we crave your hearts and your demise...
...by my Black Hand--the dead shall rise! ”
Interspersed with this are scenes of the headstones of Ralph and Sue Dibny and Ronnie Raymond.
While reciting the oath, Black Hand's ring begins to glow and swirl as light shines in the eyes of the skull he is holding. Guardian Scar is shown watching and grinning
Two forensics scientists in Central City are investigating a murder case. Despite DNA evidence proving the accused man's innocence, the head scientist (citing the accused man's criminal record) insists on altering the evidence in order to relieve the media pressure the police department is facing. While the two are talking, a mystery man wielding a spear with a lightning bolt- shaped tip closes the door to the lab and brutally murders both scientists. He rearranges several containers of chemicals on the shelves and, using the spear as a lightning rod, recreates the accident that first gave Barry Allen his powers on himself. He escapes from arriving police officers with a dash of super-speed. The man's thoughts indicate that he is somehow responsible for Barry Allen's return, and that it's "the worst thing" he could do to him.
In Central City and Keystone City, Linda Park-West announces that a huge celebration will be held for the return of the Flash. Celebrations are taking place in both cities, as well as in Gorilla City. Meanwhile, Captain Cold, Weather Wizard, Mirror Master, Heat Wave, the Trickster, Abra Kadabra, and Dr. Alchemy, are shown to be preparing for the return of their nemesis.
Different members of the Flash family react to Barry's return: at Justice Society headquarters, Jay Garrick recounts how Barry inspired him to return to superheroics; at Titans Tower East, Wally West remembers Barry with fondness and respect; at Titans Tower West, a newly returned Bart Allen views his grandfather's return with skepticism, admitting a desire for things to "go back to the way it used to be" with Wally as the Flash and himself as Kid Flash, as well as feeling angry that Barry is the only one to escape the Speed Force (referencing Max Mercury); and Iris West Allen waits happily for her husband to come home. However, Iris receives a phone call from police Captain Frye, who asks for Barry's help.
Barry Allen himself is visiting the Flash Museum, where he meets with Hal Jordan. Barry is studying the exhibits to catch up on everything that has occurred in his absence. He admits that his memory from his time spent in the Speed Force is fading. Barry also reveals that he feels he wasn't supposed to come back, and that the Speed Force is trying to draw him back in.
In Fallville, Iowa, Barry Allen's birthplace, two boys find the charred remains of the Black Flash. The skeleton crumbles to dust as soon as it is touched.
Back at the Flash Museum, Barry states that he won't be going to any of the celebrations in his honor. Barry feels that he can't waste time and appears obsessed with the notion of mortality ("...time will run out on me again. It'll run out on all of us. Every second does matter."). He dons his costume, commenting that he is going to "be late." Hal asks him what he means. Before Barry runs away, he replies that the world needs him.
Barry ponders on his return as he runs. In a flashback, it is revealed that Barry's mother was murdered when he was a child. Furthermore, his father is arrested for the crime. (This is pointedly contrary to the original, pre-Crisis Barry Allen stories, in which both his parents appear alive.) Barry's thoughts are interrupted when a hand materializes out of the lightning symbol on his chest. It belongs to the evil super-speedster Savitar, who fully appears a moment later. Barry recognizes him from one of the Flash Museum's exhibits and gives chase. However, as soon as Barry catches Savitar, he receives some sort of feedback from Savitar's energy and the villain begins to decay and crumbles into dust. As he dies, Savitar cryptically comments that "You were the beginning, Allen...and you're the end." Barry is left shocked at what he has apparently done.
At the same moment, all of the heroes connected to the Speed Force experience a sudden, painful discharge of energy. This includes, Wally West, Jay Garrick, Bart Allen, Wally's children, and Jesse Chambers.
In the Balkan Mountains, Lady Flash conducts a ritual in an attempt to contact Savitar. The lightning created by the process kills her fellow cultists, and Lady Flash witnesses a series of images displaying Savitar's death at Barry Allen's unwitting hands.
After Green Lantern arrives and quarantines Savitar's remains, Barry hurries home to talk to Wally about the deceased villain. He sees a police car outside of Iris' house and flashes back to the day they first met (revealed to be the same day on which he would gain his powers, which is again contrary to her first appearance in comics, where during their meeting one day after Allen's accident she says Barry's always late, meaning she has known him for a while) after the trial of Sam Scudder. It is also revealed that, even after his father's death in prison, Barry never stopped investigating the murder of his mother in the hopes of proving his father's innocence.
Barry arrives at Iris' home and meets with police captain Frye. Thanks to Wonder Woman and her government connections, the outside world believes that Barry has been in witness protection during the years he was missing. It is then that Barry receives a phone call from Wally and learns of the "speed seizures" the other super-speedsters experienced.
Barry and Wally race to Fallville, Iowa to investigate a mysterious lightning storm taking place over the town. They discover the remains of the Black Flash, and try to figure out what happened to him. However, the pair are attacked by Lady Flash, her powers amplified by the sacrifice of her fellow cultists. As soon as Barry touches her, though, she disintegrates in the same fashion as Savitar.
After Lady Flash dies, Barry's costume begins to transform. As Wally watches in horror, Barry turns into a new Black Flash
Published by Marvel Comics, it deals with the aftermath of the Secret Invasion limited series, which led to a shift of power in the Marvel Universe toward Norman Osborn. "Dark Reign" refers to Osborn's rise to global power and the ramifications of the changes across the Marvel Universe. Joe Quesada, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, stated that Dark Reign is not really "an event; it's what happening in the Marvel Universe". He believes that "Dark Reign leads to an interesting place in the Marvel Universe. I think you'll see a pulling back at the end of Dark Reign, but you'll understand at the end of it what we were trying to get to
Following the invasion of the Skrulls, Norman Osborn (the former Green Goblin) replaces Iron Man as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Osborn disbands S.H.I.E.L.D. and creates his own organization - "H.A.M.M.E.R." Osborn later forms an alliance called the Cabal with Doctor Doom, Emma Frost, Namor, Loki and the Hood.
There are a number of characters whose stories are told across a number of titles.
Norman Osborn, the central focus of Dark Reign, features in most of the on-going series and mini-series linked to the Dark Reign storyline. Brian Bendis notes that "people know he's a bastard, but ignore it as long he gives them safety". The character is shown as willing to destroy anything that would threaten his new status as public hero. Writer Matt Fraction has commented that as the Iron Patriot, he is a "showman in armor". Across multiple titles, the character has been shown as mentally unstable.
The Hood's role in the Dark Reign storyline is featured heavily in both New Avengers and Punisher. In the first, writer Brian Bendis has explored the character relationship with Dormammu and his quest to become the new Sorcerer Supreme, while Rick Remender, writer of Punisher has focused more on his activities as a gangster and criminal. During the event, the character also features in "Dark Reign: The Hood" written by Jeff Parker. He also has a major role in Marvel Zombies 4. Writer Fred Van Lente explains that "The Hood of course may not be acting of his own volition, since he has an unholy alliance with the Dread Dormammu, who may want the zombies and the virus that creates them for his own nefarious purposes. Plus, the Hood doesn't just bring any group of villains with him on this jaunt. He brings a very horror-oriented group of villains with him." This group being Night Shift.
Doctor Doom hopes to use the Cabal to conquer the world. A short story written by Jonathan Hickman reveals that he plans to kill or enslave all his current allies in the near future. Doom is shown as almost killing the Black Panther, when he rejects a chair in the Cabal.
Loki, often written as an great manipulator, used Osborn help to realize a scheme to make Thor the killer of Bor, (Odin's father), and cause Thor's banishment Then with Doom's help, Loki realizes her plan of taking the throne of Asgard. However, during Chthon's attack on Earth, Loki, disguised as the Scarlet Witch, gathered a new Mighty Avengers team, which defeated the evil god. Loki has since subtly maniputaled them to endanger Osborn's mental state, and quicken his fall.
Namor has possibly the smallest role in Cabal, appearing mostly in titles written by Matt Fraction, who shows him as a warrior with a great pride, and building a sexual relationship between him and Emma Frost.
Emma Frost wishes the mutant community to have a position of power in Osborn's new world order. Matt Fraction has written a number of stories which indicate her relationship with Cyclops has suffered because of secrets they keep from each other.
The first shot of the events of Ultimatum seems to have been fired in the first issue of Ultimates 3 #1, when - as is revealed in #5 - a lovesick Ultron shoots and kills the Scarlet Witch, with whom he believes he is in love, but whom he can never possess. Ultron's rebellion and Wanda's death lead to a series of events which end with the death of Wanda's brother, Quicksilver - killed unintentionally by Hawkeye, who had targeted Magneto instead. Magneto, sick with grief, vows ultimate revenge on the Ultimates ("For what they have done, they must pay the ultimate price."). Before escaping the Ultimates, Magneto is able to steal Thor's hammer. A further twist is revealed when the destroyed remnants of Ultron are pondered over by Doctor Doom, who states it was he who arranged for all this to happen
Ultimatum begins with scenes depicting the characters of the Ultimate Universe in routine circumstances. Reed Richards is proposing to Sue Storm, Ben exercises, and Franklin Storm encourages Johnny to be mature, like his sister. Giant Man has now adopted the Yellowjacket uniform (though Hawkeye wasn't impressed by it). Captain America convinces Tony Stark to stop drinking and be ready for what disaster awaits them. Thor is doing his usual training with Valkyrie, Peter Parker and his friends (including a resurrected Gwen Stacy) are planning what to do with their day, and Dazzler, Angel, Nightcrawler and Beast are talking about a play. Everything seems well until a series of disasters befalls a few major cities: a lightning storm suddenly appears in New York City and a tidal wave hits Manhattan. Reed Richards and Sue Storm attempt to make it back into the Baxter Building while the Thing attempts to hold off a blue whale that crashes into the building. Giant Man breaks out of Tony Stark's mansion looking for Jan. In the flooded streets in New York City, Bruce Banner appears to have drowned only to turn into his Hulk persona. He then notices that a Watcher is in the middle of New York. Kitty Pryde helps Peter get on his Spider-Man costume and encourages him to save as many as he can. Angel rescues an unconscious Dazzler whom he believes is dead. Iron Man proceeds to rescue Captain America, stating that many people have died and that he doesn't know where the rest of the Ultimates are. With New York City underwater and time running out, Sue Storm manages to push all the water back out of the city with a colossal force field which knocks her unconscious and leaves her on the brink of death. Reed later assumes that Namor was the one who caused the tidal wave. Namor aggressively denies any part in the destruction of New York City, his reasoning being that he would never knowingly put Sue in danger. After knocking him out, Reed wonders who it truly was. In Latveria, Doctor Doom leaves his castle to notice that everyone and everything is frozen. Professor X states that millions have died and telepathically tells Captain America, Reed Richards, Iron Man, the Thing, and Spider-Man that Magneto has arranged for all of this to happen. Magneto is then revealed to be in his floating citadel with Thor's hammer Mjolnir.
At the time when the Ultimatum Wave slammed into New York, Aunt May was being questioned about Peter Parker's connection with Spider-Man. Kitty Pryde is shown attempting to rescue people on the L train while Spider-Woman swings down to save Aunt May, who in turn is trying to save Detective Mary Lambow.
William Stryker's wife and son are killed by the Ultimatum Wave. At Xavier's school, Jean Grey tells the team that Dazzler and Nightcrawler are dead. She refuses to allow Rogue to become involved following her recent use of Banshee. Upon Toad stating that the X-Men don't trust her, Rogue leaves the mansion. A group of survivors, incensed at Magneto's actions, find William Stryker in Central Park and offer him the opportunity to lead an anti-mutant militia using armor plating scavenged from the remains of destroyed Sentinels. Rogue flies to Canada to find Alpha Flight member Vindicator, revealing that she knows he is actually former Weapon X watchdog John Wraith. He tells Rogue that he will help find former Weapon X agents who are working for Magneto. They find Sabretooth and Juggernaut in a pub and incapacitate them. William Stryker and his armored death squad begin hunting mutants in upstate New York; their first act of violence is against Syndicate.
Following the Ultimatum Wave attack, Franklin Storm is found dead, Sue is in a coma, and Johnny is missing. The Thing is alone at the Baxter Building while Mister Fantastic searches for him. Thing travels to Pinehead Buttes, Montana in search of Dr. Arthur Molekevic. Josie and her team lead Thing down into the caverns where Dr. Molekevic is discovered, imprisoned by the Lava Men. Thing manages to rescue him and return to the surface. Upon reaching New York, Molekevic agrees to help Susan in any way he can; after examining her, they conclude that they will have to travel into her body. Dr. Molekevic asks Thing if he has access to Pym Particles.
Hulk assists Spider-Man in freeing a New Yorker trapped beneath a car. At the Triskelion, Iron Man arrives with Captain America's lifeless body, and convinces Carol Danvers to put Cap on life support. Hawkeye volunteers to help Hank Pym search for Jan, stating that nobody deserves to suffer the loss of a loved one. Back at the Baxter Building, Ben Grimm watches over Sue Storm, who remains comatose after saving the city. Her powers remain active but uncontrolled, and Grimm nearly falls victim to her unrestrained telekinesis. Meanwhile, Doctor Doom and Zarda confront Reed Richards, for help in stopping Magneto, which necessitates retrieving Nick Fury from the parallel universe which is home to the Squadron Supreme. Thor seeks the land of the dead to save Valkyrie and is confronted by Hela, who forces Thor to battle Hela's army of fallen warriors to reach Valkyrie. Captain America appears, implying that he died in the Triskelion. Hawkeye and Hank Pym notices something on a flooded New York street: Blob eating the remains of the Wasp. Meanwhile at Xavier's Institute for Gifted Children, Magneto confronts Professor X. Magneto tells him that the deaths of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch "merely opened [his] eyes", stating that man has been in the constant decline spreading disease, war, ecological ruin, and famine. Magneto alludes to the biblical flood, but Xavier says that Magneto is not God, and that upon captured or death he will be recalled as a monster. Enraged, Magneto snaps Xavier's neck.
The Daily Bugle staff relocates to New Jersey where J. Jonah Jameson starts writing articles to support Spider-Man after witnessing his daring acts of heroism when the Ultimatum Wave hits. As Spider-Woman rescues Aunt May, Spider-Man persuades the Hulk to help save people from the Ultimatum Wave. After Hulk uses his power claps to douse some building fires, he and Spider-Man find the body of Daredevil. When Hulk regresses to Bruce Banner, he blames himself for the carnage that has happened. Spider-Man tells him that it wasn't him who caused the damage which Bruce was witness to, but Banner is inconsolable. He asks Spider-Man to kill him, as he transforms back into the Hulk, who attacks Spider-Man. While Spider-Man swings over to Greenwich Village to escape, he sees that the Sanctum Sanctorum had been hit by the Ultimatum Wave; dozens of demons emerge when the Sanctum Sanctorum's roof collapses.
General Thunderbolt Ross shows up to oversee the Thing and Dr. Molekevic's mission. They prepare a vehicle that they will use to travel into Susan's body. When the Awesome II vehicle is complete, Dr. Molekevic and Thing head into her body and go through various parts to get to her brain stem. When they get to the brain, Molekevic uses his laser to stimulate the appropriate section. They fight off the remaining nano-bug on their way out (at rapid speeds since the bug damaged their size-holding processor). As Susan Storm wakes up, Ben is offered a job as a test pilot for the Army. Sue discovers that the nano-bugs were created by Reed for some unknown reason. She uses this discovery to postulate that they can find Johnny if he has the same bugs in his system since they give off a microscopic signal.
William Stryker's Sentinel units invade the X-Mansion and managed to deliver the final blow on Syndicate. At Department H, Rogue convinces Sabretooth to help out while John Wraith does the same for Juggernaut. Rogue receives contact from Psylocke that William Stryker's goons have invaded the X-Mansion. When William Stryker's group surround the school, Liz Allan (who had just joined the X-Men as Firestar) starts throwing fireballs at them. One of Stryker's men fires at Liz, but Toad blocks the attack and is nearly killed. Rogue and the others arrive. One of them fires a poison dart into Juggernaut's eye where he apparently dies in Rogue's arms. Rogue gets angered by this and attacks William Stryker.
Mystique taunts Magneto about destroying the world for his "little girl," and some of the mutants begin turning on Magneto for killing other mutants - seen as "turning on his own people." Hank Pym, furious at the death of Janet, bites Blob's head off before carrying her body back to the Triskelion. The X-Men are also mourning their dead, and Angel swears he's going to kill Magneto for what he's done, and when Jean tries to reach out to the professor, she tells the others that he's dead as well. Thor officially sacrifices his life to save Valkyrie and Captain America from Hela's realm. Meanwhile, a horde of Jamie Madrox's dupes act as suicide bombers, attacking Ultimates headquarters as Iron Man and Carol Danvers struggle to hold them off. Eventually, Hank arrives back and realizing the direness of the situation. He sacrifices himself to destroy the clones by taking them out to the water, but not before instructing Tony to take Wasp's dead body and find an encrypted file titled "The Jocasta Project". Captain America wakes up not long after. He is infuriated by the death of both Hank and Janet, the woman he loves. Captain America then orders the Ultimates to hunt down all remaining heroes as they are going after Magneto.
While looking for Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Thing, and Doctor Doom find Mister Fantastic's signal in the Squadron Supreme dimension.
Jamie Madrox's duplicates attack the X-Mansion and Rogue uses her powers to copy his in order to fight them. Wolverine heads to the Savage Land to find Jamie Madrox. With the help of Ka-Zar, Wolverine finds Jamie and kills him
Amazing Spider-Man #600:
The greatest Marvel super hero of all celebrates his 600th issue with the biggest all-original issue of Amazing Spider-Man EVER! This one’s got it all! The return of Doctor Octopus, Daredevil, a wedding you never predicted, and the return of one of the most important people in Peter Parker’s life in a giant-sized lead story by Dan Slott and John Romita Jr. Doc’s back in town, but it’s only a prelude to darker days ahead as Spidey unknowingly prepares for a gauntlet he can’t even see coming. On top of all that, witness the return of one of Spider-man’s creators, Smilin’ Stan Lee (along with Masticatin’ Marcos Martin) as he presents a story of unbridled passion, drama and angst as Spidey reflects over his many, many years of adventures. But that ain’t all…as the rest of the Spidey Web-Heads bring you several short features showcasing some rarely explored aspects of both Spidey and Pete’s life, drawn by some of the greatest artists in comics. Plus, several other surprises and NO REPRINTS! 104 pages of goodness brought to you by some of the best creators that have ever worked on Spidey!
Captain America #600:
Where were you when Captain America died? It's the anniversary of the day Steve Rogers was killed, a day of reflection and mourning in the Marvel U...a time to look back on the things Steve did and what he stood for... or is this issue actually the beginning of the most wicked plot twist since issue 25? Yeah, actually it's both. Plus, contributions from Cap creators past and present, including a very special essay by Joe Simon, a classic story from Cap’s Golden Age, a full gallery of 600 Cap covers, and more anniversary shenanigans than you can shake a shield at!
TOP COW COMICS:
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Official Movie Adaptation:
Kahn attacks and blows the enterprise to smithereens! Kirk has to consider facing death for the very first time! Plus, he meets his kid! The action-packed movie continues in this three-part, bi-weekly extravaganza!
It's about darn time! The only Star Trek movie to not receive the comic book adaptation treatment, and ironically it's the one most ST fans consider the best of the original series movies.