REVIEW: Brightest Day #5

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Brightest Day returned last Wednesday after a week off and focused on Hawkmen, Hawkwomen, and other assorted bird-, cat- and fish-people. PTB and I are keeping our discussion of the book on our original bi-weekly schedule even if the book isn’t, so let this hold you over until issue #6 next week.

Cover Art

PTB: I’m really into the David Finch cover on this issue. I don’t remember seeing any previews or other images in advance and I was really impressed with it when I first got my hands on it. Over the course of 26 issues, I’m hoping we get see more iconic images of characters across the DC Universe like this one of the Hawks.

KevinMLD: Yeah there’s not much of a background to this image, but Hawkman definitely looks cool. Are you suggesting, however, that the depiction of Black Lantern Firestorm wasn’t iconic enough for you last month?

PTB: I do not recognize the need for an iconic image of Black Lantern Firestorm and it created some confusion about the nature of part of the story. Still, I will admit it looked good.


PTB: Did we know Aquaman and Mera were heading to an oil spill the Bermuda Triangle? I don’t remember that specifically, but it’s a little confusing they’re involved in this action in the Triangle and there was also that plane crash last issue. Everything might be connected, but I felt a little bit like I had opened the wrong book at first.

The fish around them continue to die, but it looks like that could be as much due to this oil spill as it is to Aquaman’s Black Lanterness.

I was so confused by all this I went back and looked to see what the deal was here.

  • #0 Aquaman and Mera are in a place called Amnesty Bay living in a lighthouse. Aquaman sees his Black Lantern reflection in the water and seems afraid to jump in.
  • #1 They’re busting Somali pirate heads and Aquaman brings up the giant zombie squid.
  • #2 They’re in Dubai and from the looks of it that’s where they’ve turned the pirates (or whatever’s left of them) over to the police. All they really do is dive off of a dock leaving dead fish in their wake.
  • #3 They’re in the North Atlantic and Aquaman almost gets eaten by a giant dead whale. Mera mentions she’s from another dimension. No oil rig, just a downed plane over the Bermuda triangle.
  • #4 Plane rescuers attacked by Mera’s people. No Aquaman in the issue. No oil anywhere before issue #5.

The people attacking the rescuers are Mera’s people as we’d guessed, but we also find out that Mera was sent to kill Aquaman. I don’t really know their history, but I’m assuming this is a major revelation?

KevinMLD: I’m assuming this is a major revelation but since no one on the planet has ever read a single Aquaman comic before ever, I don’t think there’s any way that we can be sure.

PTB: I’m not sure how I feel about the very topical oil spill story. I like when comics provide a certain degree of social commentary, but this one seems a bit on the nose. I may be a little more sensitive to it since this is a disaster that’s ongoing and we don’t have an Aquaman to save the day.

KevinMLD: I hate stories that are torn from the headlines. It’s just an embarrassingly lazy way to write. Having said that I don’t mind Aquaman becoming kind of an Eco-terrorist (though isn’t that Namor’s gimmick?). I just don’t want all of the situations he confronts to be whatever was on CNN the afternoon Geoff Johns sits down to write. Coupling this oil spill 5000 feet below sea level with the previous appearance by Somali pirates and consider me concerned.

Hawk and Dove

PTB: This Hawk guy is kind of a bully.

KevinMLD: Yeah I’ve really never understood the appeal of the character.

PTB: Deadman is blocked from bringing back the original Don Hall Dove and again he hears the voice of the White Lantern. He tells Hawk he spoke to his brother, is he lying here to get Hawk off his back or do you think he really interacted with Don Hall?

KevinMLD: I don’t know. We certainly see Don Hall, but there’s nothing to suggest he spoke. I’d prefer Aliveman was lying to Hawk because Hawk sucks, but I have no idea if that’s the actual writer’s intent.

PTB: I thought he might have been lying as well, but failing to resurrect Don Hall, Deadman readily moves on to Dove’s dead sister. Who for some reason is not resting in peace?

KevinMLD: Apparently.


PTB: So this is indeed Hawkworld they are on (and we would have known this at the end of issue 3 if we had been paying attention to the words “Next: HAWKWORLD”), is it consistent with previous depictions of that planet? Also what’s the connection here to Rann or Thanagar? I know nothing about those places (planets?) but for some reason they’re connected in my mind.

KevinMLD: I have never read Hawkworld. I always assumed it was Thanagar though. There were Rann-Thanagar wars recently. One of those worlds was destroyed.  I think Thanagar, but I’m too lazy to research it.

PTB: The Hawks seem to have some awareness of the Black Lantern component of their trip to Hawkworld last issue, but the corpse-kiss makes it clear that something is rotten. Before they can discuss it they’re attacked by…Cat-People? And rescued by…beak-faced Hawk-People? Maybe not since they throw Hawk-Woman into some sort of energy cage.

KevinMLD: This all seems like nonsense to me.  I’m just sayin’.

PTB: Also, when I went back to issue #0 to check up on Aquaman’s story I saw that we had been told from the outset that the bone shard that’s now in the Claw of Horus was given to them by a Star Sapphire. There’s really no new information, but they do confirm that they don’t know much about it either.

KevinMLD: Good to know.

PTB: Also, the forest in the center of Star City sprung up in that issue.

KevinMLD: Ugh.  So stupid.

Action Figures

KevinMLD: So DC Direct just announced the line of action figures that will ship beginning in March tied to Brightest Day. They were literally just announced yesterday.

PTB: They look good

KevinMLD: I thought so. Especially Hawkman. That may be his best figure ever. I’m not loving Aquaman’s collar though. And the current Green Arrow costume sucks.

PTB: Those two aren’t great, but the others are really good.

KevinMLD: Yeah the Deadman figure is great and that’s the first normal Mera figure ever. It’s so strange that they made a Red Lantern Mera before a normal one.  I’m not loving the Martian Manhunter in pants yet. Maybe that’ll grow on me.  Now that I look at it, I wonder if the fact that it’s the Jason version of Firestorm is a spoiler.

PTB: I’m OK with Martian pants, but that’s a good point about Firestorm. Although when Ronnie and Jason are bound to each other it’s the Jason version, right?

KevinMLD: No, I think Jason has been trapped in his head. So its been the Ronnie firestorm since Blackest Night.

PTB: You’re right. This wouldn’t be the first time an action figure preview has spoiled a plot point.

Final Comments

PTB: Again I have to point out that I really like the interior artwork on this title (artists: Ivan Reis, Ardian Syaf, Joe Prado, and Vicente Cifuentes). Not being a regular reader of any titles set in the DCU, the quality of the art on this book has been a major factor in keeping me around.

KevinMLD: The art has been way stronger and consistent than Countdown, 52, or Trinity. But I think the way it all looks ok together contributes to the perception that DC has a house style right now. As someone who prefers artists who are more cartoony and experimental, I’m not sure this house style is actually a good thing.

PTB: I would be happy for Marvel to have anyone using this style on the books I’m reading. This is much more what I like in comic book art, but our tastes are very different.

KevinMLD: True. Obviously I think yours are wrong.

PTB: Well put.

Read our thoughts on:
Brightest Day #4 / Brightest Day #6

More on the series can be found at our Brightest Day hub.

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