Brightest Day #4 (Late August, 2010)
Writers – Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Artists – Ivan Reis, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark & Oclair Albert
Inkers – Vicente Cifuentes & David Beaty
Color – Aspen MLT’s Peter Steigerwald w/John Starr
Letterer – Rob Clark, Jr.
Assistant Editor – Rex Ogle
Associate Editor – Adam Schlagman
Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $2.99
It’s still #BrightestMay… and I’m running out of clever things to say. That is assuming, of course, that I ever did!
Who wants more vignettes? Let’s do it.
We pick up with the Hawks… if you recall, we last left them stood before a portal crafted from their own remains. They’re not amused… but intrigued. Tell ya what, that Claw of Horus really wants to see what’s inside. And so, mace-in-hand, they step through… and get to witness all of the times they’d died. Once on the “other” side, they find themselves… somewhere.
We shift scenes to Georgetown where Deadman finds himself in the bedroom of (the lilac scented) Dove. His arrival stirs her from her slumber, and she waylays him with a jab. He’s surprised… not only because of the punch… but because it would appear that she can actually see him!
Dawn Granger then “Doves up” to see just what’s going on. After noticing that he still wears a white ring, she tells Brand that the Justice League have been looking for him, in order to offer him “documentation”, that is… officially proclaiming him “back among the living”. At this point, Boston ain’t so sure that’s such a good thing.
Just then, Hawk bursts into the room! He sensed that Dawn had changed into her costumed identity and wanted to find out what’s going down. He grabs the interloper by the throat… and is surprised to learn that it’s Deadman… what’s more, he surprised to see he’s still wearing the white ring. Because… Hawk himself might have a good use for it (any guesses?).
We next shift back to Silver City, New Mexico… where a young man named Jackson is about to go swimming with his friend Maria. Well, he would if a) he knew how to swim, and b) if there were any water left in the pond. Hmm…
Next stop, the Bermuda Triangle. Where a ship comes across a pair of “badly dehydrated” people bobbin’ in the surf. By “badly dehydrated” they mean almost completely without skin. While they approach the bodies… they wind up attacked by Siren! Yawn. If you’re saying to yourself “Hey, that looks like Mera!”, well… meet Mera’s sister. Double yawn.
Meanwhile… a raging kegger is going down at Pittsburgh University. One which Ronnie Raymond has decided to skip… or at least turn in early from. He is awakened, however, by the very salty (nyuk) Gehenna. She grabs Ronnie by the throat demanding he say her name… before exploding into… well, more salt. We can see that Jason… or the Firestorm Matrix might just be responsible for this “visit”.
We wrap up back with Hawk, Dove and Deadman… as they stand before, you guessed it, Don Hall (the original Dove)’s grave. Hank comments that while a Black Ring couldn’t coerce him into “rising”… perhaps a White Ring could.
I kinda feel like I’m experiencing Brightest Day in the least effective way possible. My first time through I read these as they came out… so, with few exceptions, that meant I read ’em two weeks apart. That gave the time for each “layer” of vignettes to kind of “settle”… and feel ready to be “built upon”.
The other way a lot of folks read this was in collected edition… all in one big bite. That way you get it all done-in-one, and perhaps hardly notice the repetition and glacial pacing. You experience the whole thing… and you move on. You might dig some bits more than others, but by the time you’re reflecting… it’s over!
Then there’s the way we’re doing it here. Every couple of days we read a bunch of vignettes. What’s more, every couple of days we actually discuss what occurred in each one, when really… not all of them are really worth mentioning. I’d just feel like I wasn’t doing the book the proper “service” if I were to leave anything out.
This way feels just so… redundant. So monotonous. I must have picked the exact wrong way to get the most out of a series like this. Not sure if this bodes well for the second half of the month… but, as always, we’ll do our best!
Let’s start with the Hawks. They decide to pass through the bone-portal… and as they do, they see all the ways in which they’d died. Pretty cool effect/visual. Out the other side, though? They’re “not in Kansas anymore”… and I’m not sure I’m all that interested.
In Silver City we meet… a young man. Okay, this is the new Aqualad, of course. He definitely looks a lot less like a tool than his post-Rebirth counterpart… so, I’ll give him that. Not much more to say about him just yet.
Siren attacking the ship in the Bermuda Triangle? Man, another bit I just don’t care about. It feels like anytime Aquaman gets involved with a story we see the same damn scene… I mean, almost exactly! Look at the page where Siren is emerging from the water… flanked by generic Atlantean soldiers. Tell me we haven’t seen that exact page dozens of times!
The Firestorm bits were decent. From the cover, I was hoping Ronnie and the gang might be the focus here… but nope. We get a salty-ghosty Gehenna… and that’s about it.
The real “meat” of this issue (if we can even call it that) is the Deadman, Hawk and Dove vignette. First, Deadman can be seen. That’s something altogether new for Brand… and it’s neat “seeing” how he copes with that. I guess being defined by your lack of living might make the transition into the land of the living a bit tougher for him.
I’d almost forgotten that Brightest Day features a strange little romance brewing between Deadman and Dove. Just one more sign that the DC brass had no inclination toward New-52ing the universe just one year later.
Hawk asking Brand to attempt to revive his brother Don is pretty cool. One of the most creative parts of Blackest Night was a black lantern ring attempting to revive Don Hall… only to find that his soul was too “at peace” to be swayed. I feel like that’s such a perfect moment… and one of those head-slapping “of course!” moments. Of course Don, the personification of “peace” wouldn’t take a black lantern ring… it makes perfect sense!
A white lantern ring though? Maybe, right? At this point in the story we had no idea who would go on to wield the white ring… and the speculation was (relatively) wild. Could it be Don Hall? Why not? Such build-up… and yet another sign that DC hadn’t yet pulled the plug on the pre-Flashpoint universe.
Overall… this is more vignettes. If you’re digging the way this story is being told, you’re also going to like this issue. If the pacing has been a turn-off, this won’t do anything to change your mind. I’d say it’s worth a look… but might be more enjoyable in a collected edition format.