Release Date: August 25, 2010
Cover Date: October 2010
Story: James Robinson
Pencils: Mark Bagley
Inks: Rob Hunter and Norm Rapmund
Cover: Mark Bagley and Jesus Merino
1:10 White Lantern Variant Cover: Ryan Sook, Fernando Pasarin, and Joel Gomez
Fighting Alan Scott and the Jade/Obsidian hybrid is proving to be too much for the JLA and JSA. Back on Earth, Mr. Terrific has Supergirl and Power Girl rapidly assemble a device which will allow them to nullify the Starheart’s influence long enough to travel to the moon to join the battle. Doctor Fate tries to separate Jade and Obsidian with a spell, and they do split…but not because of the magic. Jade becomes a White Lantern, and has a vision telling her to “balance the darkness.” Immediately following this, she is told that her mission is accomplished, and her life returned. Obsidian wants to merge with her again, but Kyle Rayner takes him far away from the fight. Batman theorizes that the Starheart is actually afraid of Jade, since it could never control her. She siphons off part of its power, enabling Alan Scott to finally regain control and return to normal. However, Jade and Obsidian must stay far away from one another for the foreseeable future, lest they merge into the hybrid again.
Overall, the conclusion to “The Dark Things” felt rushed. The Power Girl and Supergirl subplot seemed tacked on and pointless, as they didn’t contribute much to the final battle. Jade separated from her brother due to her nature as a White Lantern, which again had no relevance to the other superheroes present. I think we all knew she’d save the day and rescue her father, but her solution to drain the Starheart herself seemed like something she would’ve done in the first place. Jade has always been aware of the fact that the Starheart is where her powers come from.
Weirder still is that Jade’s mission was considered accomplished before she actually did anything. She was tasked with balancing the darkness, but the Entity is the one that split her off from her brother by activating her White Lantern powers. When she siphoned energy from the Starheart, that was still well after the Entity considered her mission complete. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Strangely enough, Eclipso did not appear, except in Jade’s vision. So what was his importance? Maybe Eclipso will show up further down the line, but if that’s the case…why bother showing him to Jade now, if her work was done?
Since the story left a lot to be desired, let’s talk about the artwork. The splash page art of Alan regaining his role as Green Lantern was phenomenal. This issue also completes the five-piece cover; I’m really hoping it will be reproduced as a poster or other high quality image, minus the logos and other cover text.
One last thing, and it’s rather curious: Alan Scott was referred to as “the most powerful human alive.” I’m honestly surprised that a line like that got past DC editorial. You’d think they’d want to apply that description to someone like Hal Jordan, as he’s the publisher’s golden boy du jour. But there it is, clear as day: no human is more powerful than Alan Scott, and that’s now DC Universe canon. That ought to fan the flames of a lot of nerd debates.
“The Dark Things” was a decent story, but it’s ending was a bit too quick as I said, and its connections to Brightest Day and the White Lanterns seemed to fall apart somewhere. Still, it was worth a read for Alan Scott fans, and that’s exactly which is exactly why I reviewed this story in the first place.