REVIEW: Brightest Day #11

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Welcome back again for our semi-bi-weekly discussion of DC ComicsBrightest Day series. Issue 11 focuses on Aquaman and Firestorm with a few pages dedicated to the Martian Manhunter. We also manage to bring DC’s Earth One graphic novel series, a Doctor Who episode from 1975 and Death herself into the mix.

Spoilers will follow…

PTB: I guess the cover lets us know that the Black Lantern Firestorm isn’t unique to the story. While we’re talking about him, what do you think of his new name “Deathstorm”?

KevinMLD: I’m not a fan yet. It just reminds me of this terrible Dick Grayson-from-the-future storyline that ran in Titans in the ’90s. I don’t know what all the details ended up being, but basically this guy who claimed to be the future Nightwing was evil and called himself Deathwing. It was horrendous. Here’s a picture of his extreme costume courtesy of the seriously amazing TitansTower.com website. If you’re at all curious about the Titans, you can spend hours there.

PTB: I can see why that might keep you from embracing Deathstorm. I kind of like the idea of, but I hate the dialogue they’ve given him. All the “chills,” “mans,” and “dudes” make me nuts.

KevinMLD: It’s the worst. He talks like Spicoli but it’s 20+ years later. I definitely find his dialogue cringe-inducing.

PTB: Deathstorm dragging in Professor Stein and Jason’s father was unexpected, but it really made the threat personal for Firestorm.

KevinMLD: Yeah I didn’t see that coming. I kind of liked it.

PTB: The theme of fathers and sons continued into the Aquaman section. We may have talked about this before, but Black Manta killed Aquaman’s son?

KevinMLD: Yeah, I think that’s a late ’80s Watchmen/Dark Knight inspired grim and gritty moment. An attempt to make an Aquaman title cool. Obviously it didn’t really work since they’re still trying 20 years later.

PTB: Who is Tempest that Manta refers to when he’s taunting Aquaman?

KevinMLD: He used to be Aqualad. He was a Teen Titan back in the day. I liked him. If I remember correctly the Black Lantern Aquaman killed him early on in Blackest Night.

PTB: That’s one of the things that was lost on me when reading Blackest Night in not knowing much of the DC Universe.

The artwork in this section is great, particularly some of the lighting effects on Manta’s eyes. Speaking of which, he clearly has the eyebeams, but any idea what he zaps Aquaman with when he touches him?

KevinMLD: I wasn’t into the heavy use of the smoke effect in the early scenes. It was too obviously computer generated.

I honestly don’t know anything about Manta’s abilities, but I like to think Aquaman is borderline invincible except when exposed to tasers and itty-bitty harpoons.

PTB: That harpoon was tiny, and why is the line attached to it? Was he planning to reel Aquaman back in?.

KevinMLD:I think that was exactly the plan. Real him in and then keep him in a little bucket of water, until he was done fishing. Then he’d just throw him back.

PTB: At the close of the story, we see that Deathstorm is not only able to lift the White Lantern, but contaminate it with his black light. We also hear a new voice commanding him. Is this the voice of the Black Lantern?

KevinMLD: Yeah I don’t know. Seems like it. I guess I need to reread Blackest Night to understand the concept of what Nekron was and what the Black Hand was in relation to the Lantern. I didn’t expect there to be a voice with both of them gone.

PTB: That’s a good point. Although the Black Hand isn’t really gone, he’s just the prisoner of the Indigo Tribe. That’s actually one of the stories I’m really hoping to see followed up.

KevinMLD: I’m not sure this is what you want to hear, but I think this is coming up soon in the main Green Lantern title.

PTB: Of course it is. That’s where a lot of what I was most interested in during Blackest Night went down too.

The final spread of the twelve Black Lanterns returning to stop the resurrected White Lanterns is great. Again it makes me wish more of that group was featured in this title.

KevinMLD: So they’re just generated out of thin air? They don’t need to possess a body anymore? Not a fan. It’s a cool looking page though… smoke effects aside.

Trust me, however, the less we get of Hawk and Dove, Captain Boomerang, the Reverse Flash, and Osiris in this book the better.

PTB: The Firestorm matrix combined with the White Lantern could have something to do with how the Black Lanterns manifest. It makes some sense. I also thought some of the police officers and others that were shown at the site may have been transformed.

The final pages with the Martian Manhunter are interesting. I wasn’t crazy about the art on the first page, but the shot of life on Mars was awesome. Are pyramids an expected thing on the red planet? There’s an old Doctor Who episode called The Pyramids of Mars, but I wasn’t sure its presence should be a given.

KevinMLD: Didn’t he build the pyramid in like the first issue when he was just hanging out on Mars? Did I just imagine something like that happening?

PTB: He may have. I know he started out on Mars at the beginning of the series. I was also struck by the fact that the vegetation is growing out in the shape of a Black Lantern symbol. Seems incongruous with new life on a dead world.

KevinMLD: Yeah I’m kind of over the Black Lanterns. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but their stories got so repetitive. I guess if it’s a dead forrest back to life it makes some kind of sense? Almost?

PTB: An ad also caught my attention near the end of the book, what is Superman: Earth One?

KevinMLD: Earth One is a new line of ongoing original graphic novels. Kind of like the Ultimate Universe but without monthly titles. They’re supposed to be by superstar teams and feature streamlined continuity. They’ve announced two series: Superman by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis, and Batman by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. This is really targeting the bookstore market and it’s an idea I’m excited about. I’m just not sure how much the title “Earth One” is going to appeal to non-fans. The Superman books is due soon, with Batman to follow next year.

PTB: “Earth One” is a bit more of a comics insider reference than “Ultimate,” so I see your point. Also, Death is appearing in Action Comics #894 written by Paul Cornell with a David Finch cover. I’ll buy that.

KevinMLD: Allegedly, Neil Gaiman is involved in writing Death’s dialogue so that’s kind of cool. She cameo-ed in the last issue. I’m digging Action right now. Hopefully it stays strong.

Read our thoughts on:
Brightest Day #10 / Brightest Day #12

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

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  • The Irredeemable Shag said,

    Hey guys – Great review as always! I hadn’t noticed the policemen being transformed into the new Black Lanterns. I’ll have to go back and look for that.

    In regard to Deathstorm, I think I understand what Johns’ is going for. I wrote it up about a week ago. If you’re interested, here is the link:

    Keep up the great work here!

    The Irredeemable Shag

  • ptb said,


    I may be completely wrong about the police officers transforming, but two were shown when Deathstorm arrived at the While Lantern crater. The way the black light split out of Deathstorm I thought they might have been targeted for transformation.

    I read your post and I think you’ve made a great case for what Deathstorm is meant to be. I don’t understand why either, but both you and Kevin saw that connection to Dark ’90s Doppelgängers (D9Ds).

    Great to hear from you. Thanks for the kind words.

  • Aaron Schantz said,

    Good review guys. You bring up some points that I hadn’t noticed – like the father/son stuff.

    Reading this recap is really only reinforcing for me how little I care about where this story is going.

    I liked Darkest Night because it was clearly building towards something. This seems like a mush-pot of storylines that are loosly tied to the overall story.
    I was really hoping for more about the white lantern, what Deadman is doing, what’s up with Anti-monitor, etc. Y’know, stuff actually having to do with the resurection and the new lantern.
    Keanu-Reeves-Firestorm and Manta Jr storylines are not what I’m plunking down my $2.99 for.

    I think I’m going to read issue 12 in the store. If I like it, they get my three bucks, if not, I’m out.
    DC really dropped the ball on this title, and it’s pretty dissapointing. (What’s also dissapointing is that it took me 11 issues to realize it. Apparently I’m a bit slow.)

    Thanks for the recap.
    – Aaron

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  1. REVIEW: Brightest Day #10 » My Latest Distraction
  2. REVIEW: Brightest Day #12 » My Latest Distraction