I started reading comic books in college for a few reasons. This included having Watchmen and Sandman foisted on me in digital format as well as discovering the original V for Vendetta. And someone in the school’s library acquisitions had good taste, because that’s where I first read Green Lantern: Blackest Night, one of the major events in the DC universe.
So when I came across Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps last night, I thought it the best possible book to use my 50% off coupon on. I didn’t bother rereading the other two Blackest Night books I have because I know the basics. More importantly, it’s often hard to tell ahead of time, when looking at the trade collections, where everything fits in. Oh sure, I could turn to the internet, but that takes effort and I can be very lazy.
As implied by the title, Tales of the Corps is an anthology book with stories from each of the various lantern groups. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, and black are all found here to a greater or lesser extent. Some of these tales are backstories that dedicated fans had probably long desired to see. Others read as prequels to the actual event.
I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of this goes over my head, just because I don’t have an especially deep understanding of the DC multiverse. And the very idea of the multiverse can be, well, brain-breaking. Similar to how I have issues with time travel. But I can follow enough to get through the stories. Although I do have to wonder if some of this was altered when compiled into trade from the individual issues. There’s a section of William Hand’s thoughts (aka Black Hand) about the various aspects of the emotional spectrum that would probably make the most sense if inserted at the end of the related short stories, instead of being a separate section. Watchmen (and now Doomsday Clock) does that, with the miscellaneous papers, advertisements, articles, etc. at the end of each comic issue relating to what just happened and foreshadowing what is to come.
Overall, it’s not a bad collection. It just suffers from my being more interested in the plot of Blackest Night than the multitudes of characters involved. One shot comics are very short, which makes it difficult for me personally to have much investment in them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still keeping Tales of the Corps, it’s just much less likely to be reread than my other Blackest Night trades.