Brightest Day #7 (Early October, 2010)
“The Secret of Life”
Writers – Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Artists – Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark & Joe Prado
Inkers – Vicente Cifuentes, David Beaty & Mark Irwin
Colors – 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
And so, we wrap up #BrightestMay… with, kind of a bang?
I wanna thank the folks who stuck around for this weird themed month… judging from the numbers, not all that many people really cared to read about this strange time in DC Comics.
Oh well, if I wanted a bigger audience… I’d probably have just become a famous actor or professional athlete or something. Ya live, ya learn.
Speaking of living (and learning), Boston Brand’s about to have quite the day!
We open with some hot cheeseburger eatin’ action. I mean, this stuff is intense… just look at ol’ Boston’s face! He sinks his teeth into that mass o’ meat… and, well, he likes it. Better than he remembers to boot! He and Dawn then proceed to get to know each other a little better. She seems to be really interesting in what makes… or made, Boston Brand tick.
Their chat is cut short by the return of Hank Hall, who just took out some of his aggression on a Dixie Chicks-playin’ jukebox. Were people still talking about them in 2010? Never let it be said that comics are behind the times!
Suddenly… the White Lantern Entity speaks! Asks the gang if they enjoyed their meal (seriously) then teleports them to the White Lantern Battery in Silver City, New Mexico… all without paying for their food! Hawk tries giving the battery a tug, and it won’t even budge. Then, it’s Boston’s turn… and wouldn’tcha know it, he’s able to lift it! Worth mentioning that a nearby Aqualad-to-be feels a bit… weird.
In a pretty great full-page splash, Boston is transformed back into Deadman, though with a White Lantern twist.
The Lantern tells Brand that it (the entity) is dying, and he must find a replacement. Then, Hawk gets a White Lantern makeover…
We pop over to the Tanami Desert in Australia, where we last left the Martian Manhunter happening across the badly beaten body of Miss Martian. The White Lantern Entity tells him to “burn it down”. Suddenly, he’s surrounded with fire… and M’Gann appears to have made one heckuva recovery!
Next stop Pittsburgh University, where Professor Stein tells the Firestorms that everything that is going on is… his fault. As he goes to “show them something” the White Entity speaks! It tells Ronnie to study more, and Jason to study less. Okay, mom.
As this happens… that third member of the Matrix creeps up… holding a Black Lantern.
Off to Hawkworld, where Hawkman is reconnoitering with the beast men who tried to kill him not too long ago. He is suddenly bathed in white… and given a White Lantern upgrade. He is instructed to “stop the Queen”. Hmm… couldn’t be, right? Nah, probably not.
Meanwhile, in the Nth City… Hawkgirl gets Whited-up as well.
She is warned that if Hath-Set happens to kill them here, there will be no more resurrection. Wouldn’tcha know it… Hath-Set just so happens to be her captor.
Back on Earth, Mera continues to apologize to Aquaman… and I really just want this story thread to end. Arthur is then summoned by the White Entity… and advised to “find him” (Aqualad). Just then, the waters go clean… and all of the fish start flopping around alive!
Then we kick the vignette-a-palooza into overdrive… with a single-panel look at everything else going on in the Brightest Day crossovent! Captain Boomerang is told to throw a boomerang, which we saw in the pages of Flash. Jade is told to “balance the darkness”, which… unfortunately we saw in the never ending “The Dark Things”. Osiris must free his sister, which we saw a bit of in Titans. Max Lord is told to stop a Magog-led World War… which, happens in Justice League: Generation Lost… we just didn’t get there this time around. Also, Eobard Thawne is back… and Hawk is told to “catch” Digger’s boomerang.
We wrap up with Boston Brand being given the order to find “the chosen one” to be the White Entity’s “replacement”. Well, talk about a case of being “always the bridesmaid…”.
Lotsa loose threads coming together here… probably one of the (few) “must reads” of the Brightest Day crossovent (so far). So many of the things we’ve been reading about converge here… and kinda “get into place” to move into the middle-third of the story.
Off the top of my head… it’s gotta suck to be Deadman, right? The White Ring won’t leave ya alone… actually drops you in front of the freaking Anti-Monitor just to teach you a lesson… then you come to learn that you’re not the chosen one?! Jerk move, Ring… jerk move. What’s wrong with Boston? He not good enough for you?
One of the things I’ve taken this crossovent to task for is a bit of bait-and-switch cliffhangers… and this issue is no different. We closed out yesterday with Martian Manhunter’s discovery of Miss Martian’s body… and now? She’s just a-okay? I suppose it’ll be elaborated on as we proceed… but, still… kind of annoying.
I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it (or mentioned it enough), but the art all throughout this series… is really fantastic. Each art team has their own “segments”, but it never looks jarring when we shift from one to another. The whole artistic end of this was really very well done.
About Brightest Day as a whole (or at least the first third of it). I’m not quite sure what I think of it. After immersing myself in it over the past 31 days… I just dunno. Ya know how Blackest Night was supposed to be “just” a Green Lantern event? DC felt it could support a line-wide crossover extravaganza… and let it completely dominate the shelves for the better part of a year.
This is kind of the inverse of that. This was intended as a line-wide extravaganza… but, if you ask me, could barely even support it’s two “main” titles. If we look at the tie-ins… the non-Brightest Day or Justice League: Generation Lost books… the Brightest Day “bits” feel forced… and at the same time, kind of like an afterthought.
We had eight-issues of Justice League/Justice Society crossover… and had, I dunno… less than a half-dozen panels that showed Jade in her White Lantern gear? A six-issue Flash arc (which was fantastic, mind you) that Captain Boomerang (and poor Thawne) only get a smattering of appearances?
I’d call Brightest Day ambitious… if only it showed a little… ya know, ambition. I leave this crossovent (for now) disappointed. I recall being “all in” on this back in 2010-2011… it’s only in reading it in a big “glop” and looking at what’s come since that I can truly see what a middling event it really was.
Does this mean I feel like The New-52! was justified? Hell no. These are still great characters… and had this event not been so diluted throughout the line, we might’ve had something really special.
Oh well… tomorrow, the #BrightestMay “chains” are off… which means I’ll have to actually put some thought into what I’m going to cover! Scary thought!