Brightest Day #5 (2010)

Brightest Day #5 (Early September, 2010)
“Under Pressure”
Writers – Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Artists – Ivan Reis, Ardian Syaf & Joe Prado
Inker – Vicente Cifuentes
Colors – Aspen MLT’s Peter Steigerwald
Letterer – Rob Clark, Jr.
Assistant Editor – Rex Ogle
Associate Editor – Adam Schlagman
Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $2.99

I’m really not sure what I expected when I initially pitched the #BrightestMay event… to myself.  I must’ve been insane to think that I’d be able to give an issue by issue overview of the entire event in only 31 days!

Well… hopefully by the time May 31 rolls around we’ll have at the very least scratched the surface!

And there’s always next year… and the year after that… and the year after that.

We open off the Bermuda Triangle where Aquaman and Mera are checking on the rig that was attacked last issue (feels like it’s been years since we read that!  We might call that the “The Dark Things” effect).  Anyhoo, they find themselves attacked by some very Mera-like water constructs… originating from that new Mera-like mystery woman, Siren!

We shift scenes over to Deadman, Hawk and Dove who are still standing in front of Don Hall’s grave.  A reluctant Boston Brand finally decides to try and use his White Ring to revivify the dead Dove… and lemme tell ya, the ring ain’t entirely happy about it.

Back in the drink, Aquaman and Mera fight off Siren’s generic forces… until Mera and Siren lock eyes, at which point Mera insists that she and Aquaman ought to beat a hasty retreat.  It would appear that she’s got a secret.  Mera, that is.

Next we pop over to whereverthehell the Hawks wound up after passing through the portal.  They admire all of the floating land masses… kinda looking like a less pretty Zeal from ChronoTrigger.  They are able to deduce that only one of these masses appears to be inhabited.  They then kiss… and begin to, er… decay a li’l bit?

They are then attacked by a group of Cheetahmen!  Thankfully this gang doesn’t hop out of a television set.  They fight for a bit, until…

Bird beasts join the fray!  Looks like our heroes have found themselves in the midst of a beast war!

One of the birds nabs Hawkgirl and manages to deposit her into an electrified cell.  Hawkman is embroiled in combat, and more or less helpless to stop the abduction.

Back on Earth, the attempt to raise Don Hall proves to be unsuccessful.  You know how it is… he’s too “at peace, maaaaaan”.  Hank ain’t convinced… after all, he’s heard that line before (and so have we).  The trio aren’t about to leave well enough alone, however… ya see there’s a nearby cadaver that isn’t at peace.  That would be Dawn Granger’s sister (and former Hawk, herself) Holly!  The White Ring is still displeased.  Ya know, Ring, if you’d be a little less cryptic, ol’ Boston might actually do your bidding.

Back in Hawkworld… oh yeah, that place where Hawkman and Hawkgirl went is actually Hawkworld… Hawkman wakes up next to a beast man who… welcomes him to Hawkworld.

We wrap up back by Bermuda, where Mera finally comes clear to Arthur.  Ya see, she was originally sent there… to kill him!  A revelation that might’ve carried a bit more “oomph” if Aquaman hadn’t just been dead for an extended period of time.

Well, we’re still in vignette-city, but kinduva more focused “suburb”.

This time around we only follow three of our story threads… which, if you ask me, is both a good idea, and a bad idea.  Good in that, it made this issue feel like something actually, ya know, happened.  Bad in that, it might be a few issues time before any of these threads get followed up on.  I mean, if you were reading this for Firestorm or Martian Manhunter… you get a whole lotta nothin’ here.

That aside, this was a far better issue structurally.  Although it still felt somewhat cramped, the bits we do get feel like they get a decent amount of panel-space to “breathe”… or at least stretch their legs some.

Let’s talk Aquaman.  The “army of underwater baddies” isn’t my idea of a good time.  I’ve said it before… it just feels like we’ve been here too many times before (and since) to get all that excited about.  The “twist” at the end?  Ehh.  I get it, it’s hard coming up with a cliffhanger every two weeks.

The Hawkworld bits… almost got me interested in Hawkman?  Well, no… that’s a lie.  This is yet another well-tread trope that we’ve seen skatey-eight hundred times before.  The heroes wind up in the middle of a war… and will ultimately be drafted into it.

The Deadman part might’ve been the most interesting, if it wasn’t so infuriating.  The White Ring is a major pain in the ass at this point… we’re moderately deep into this thing, and we still don’t have the foggiest idea what it wants… because it refuses to tell Deadman what it wants!  Maybe next issue will start with it dropping poor ol’ Boston into Granny Goodness’s shower as a punishment or something.  Maybe it’ll drop him into a room where the only thing to do is read comics starring the Spectre!  Talk about “cruel and unusual”.

The “Don Hall is at peace” thing?  Talk about “diminishing returns”.  That whole thing felt so right during Blackest Night… but, now it’s kinda spent.  It’s like if you make the mistake of laughing at a little kid’s joke… then the rest of the day they keep trying to retell the same joke to get the same response.  It had it’s moment… but that moment has passed.

Overall… a pretty middling issue.  In fairness, it’s taking place during a “middling” portion of this “crossovent”.  I feel like there’s enough forward momentum to recommend this… but maybe not in single-issue format.  More and more I feel like this should be read in trade form (hell, that’s definitely what they had in mind when they were writing it).


If you’ll allow me the indulgence of switching gears for a moment… May has been a very “thematic” month at the Palatial Christate.  Here at the humble blog we are in the throes of #BrightestMay… however, in the podcasting world, we are just wrapping up the crossover event #JLMay2018.

Throughout the month, we along with several of our fellow podcasts have run through the entirety of the Silver Age event from 2000.

Today it all comes to a close with the release of the latest episode of our Cosmic Treadmill, wherein we check out Silver Age: 80 pg. Giant #1.

Definitely check out the rest of JLMay!

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