WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Blackest Night #1, by Tim Seeley, Kyle Hotz, Dexter Vines, Danny Miki, Walden Wong, David Baron, Allen Passalaqua and Rob Leigh, on sale now.
The Tales from the Dark Multiverse specials have revisited classic moments in DC Comics’ history, reimagining them with an appropriately disturbing, sinister twist that showcases how close the DC Universe came to enduring horrific tragedy if events had gone slightly different. The latest one-shot focuses on the best-selling crossover event Blackest Night, weaving in elements and characters that had been conspicuously absent from the initial story — most notably, the Fourth World and Jack Kirby’s New Gods.Continue Scrolling To Keep Reading
The powerful denizens of Apokalips and New Genesis were completely excluded from the original Blackest Night due to the cataclysmic events of Final Crisis and its year-long buildup shortly before the rise of Nekron and his Black Lantern Corps. Before Final Crisis was even formally announced, DC launched a weekly comic series, Countdown, that saw a mysterious figure hunting down the extensive cast of Fourth World characters, which continued on into Jim Starlin’s spinoff miniseries, Death of the New Gods. The two lead-ins to Final Crisis depicted the epic, last stages of the eternal war between New Genesis and Apokalips to transition the Fourth World to the Fifth one.
Final Crisis picked up from the conflict’s conclusion, with Darkseid killed and reborn on Earth as the living incarnation of evil before attempting to reshape the planet as a new version of Apokalips, complete with corrupted superheroes. At the end of the story, as the New Gods’ personification of Death Black Racer kills the reborn Darkseid, the exiled Monitor briefly glimpses the creation of the Fifth World and its reincarnated pantheon of New Gods, with the characters largely untouched for the remainder of the DCU until the reality-altering events of Flashpoint two years later.
In the interim came Blackest Night, with the superhero community still reeling from the apparent deaths of Martian Manhunter and Batman during Final Crisis. However, even as the Black Lanterns swept across the far reaches of the DCU, the newly created Fifth World and its reborn New Gods did not appear at all. With Kirby’s characters now appearing frequently again, the creative team of the Dark Multiverse special puts the New Gods right in the Black Lanterns’ crosshairs to terrifying effect.
Apokalips is revealed to have been completely overrun by the undead Black Lanterns as Sinestro leads Dove and Lobo, the last two survivors of Nekron’s attack on Earth, into deep space. The trio meet with Mister Miracle, the final surviving New God, who uses his skills as a master escape artist to elude the undead incarnations of his old friends and enemies, including his zombified wife Big Barda. Even Darkseid had fallen under the Black Lanterns’ rampage, no longer proclaiming himself the God of Evil but rather the God of Death itself; the Anti-Life Equation incarnate.
One of the biggest strengths of the latest Dark Multiverse special is including vital, fan-favorite elements of the DCU into Blackest Night that had been omitted due to recent editorial and publishing decisions made over a decade ago. Now right in the middle of the action, the New Gods make the Black Lantern Corps deadlier than ever as they join their undead ranks.
With Earth already lost, the twisted new death of the New Gods makes the crossover event even scarier and more hopeless as the Dark Multiverse continues to explore the dark, alternate side of a DC Universe at its most hopeless.