REVIEW: Brightest Day #14

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DC Comics’ Brightest Day 26-issue maxi-series has turned the corner into its second half with last week’s issue #14. This one had a huge guest star in the recently returned Bruce Wayne, but as you’ll read, you can’t always judge a book by its cover.

Spoilers ahead.

PTB: You must have enjoyed this more than the past few issues. I’m tempted to even say it’s the best of the series since the zero issue. It didn’t really advance the plot at all, but I enjoyed it very much.

KevinMLD: I absolutely agree this was the best issue in a while. The origin segment was clunky again; climaxing with the terrible Deadman on his knees pronouncing his desire to live scene… But besides that I enjoyed it.

PTB: The Batman appearance was such an afterthought as the story was really all about Deadman. I’m wondering though, did it really tell us anything we don’t already know from this series?

KevinMLD: The Batman appearance was exactly what I was expecting. There never was any real potential for him becoming the White Lantern for very long.

PTB: It’s safe to say that having Bruce Wayne in the book probably brought in a lot of readers just to see Batman. Do you think there’s any reason to be disappointed with the story they got?

KevinMLD: I guess it’s possible that they’d be disappointed, but I doubt it. First off, we’re used to DC publish stories featuring Batman in a weird costume for the sole purpose of selling toy versions down the line. Secondly, Batman fans tend to not like Bruce Wayne getting heavily involved in cosmic adventures. The hate the Internet has thrown at Grant Morrison for Batman’s role in Final Crisis coupled with his recent time traveling adventures is ridiculous. People should really take a step back and appreciate how good Morrison’s run with Batman has been. For most of my years reading comics, the Bat-books have had more in common quality-wise with the recent horrible cash grab, Batman: The Road Home, than Morrison’s series. This run is possibly the best ongoing, extended Batman run of my lifetime. If you’re a Batman fan and disagree, I challenge you to sit down and reread it from the beginning in collected form. You might be surprised how well planned out and executed it really is.

Now look what you’ve done, Pete. You’ve pushed me completely off topic.

PTB: Keep an eye out for the White Lantern Batman t-shirt! We’ve been further off topic in these posts, but I’ll try to reign it back in. I don’t know that anyone should be disappointed with this book since it’s a pretty solid issue, but it is light on Batman. At one point, I think they alluded to the idea that Batman may have come away with some new knowledge after having the white ring (although I may not be remembering this accurately). Do you think we’ll see that resolved in another Bat-title? I’m inclined to agree with you that this will likely be his only Brightest Day appearance.

KevinMLD: He remembers Maxwell Lord. Max is one of the villains resurrected during Blackest Night. He’s the main villain of Justice League: Generation Lost, DC’s other bi-weekly series. Max has made the entire world except the former Justice League International forget he ever existed. I would expect this plot point to be followed up on over in Generation Lost rather than a Batman book, but it’s possible it could become a thread later in Brightest Day I guess. My question is does Bruce remember because of the ring or because he was lost in time when Max made the world forget? This segment was of the most interest to me.

PTB: That’s a good point about him not being around for the mass amnesia bit. It was definitely hard to say what effect his exposure to the white ring will have.

Artistically this issue is a home run. There are just some amazing pages, in particular the Deadman flashbacks. Ivan Reis is one of the top artists at DC (in all of comics actually) and his work really shines in this issue.

I’m a big fan of David Finch’s covers for this series, but this is an instance where I would have much preferred to have the Reis variant. Especially since it’s far more in line with the book’s contents.

KevinMLD: Agreed about the art. Particularly when Aliveman first takes to the Gotham skies and when Batman first shows up and takes out Mr. Freeze. Those scenes looked amazing. As I said above, the flashback is probably my least favorite part of the book, but it definitely still looked nice.

PTB: Unfortunately, the only plot advancement was that the protector isn’t Bruce Wayne and Dove likes Deadman. I can’t wait to see what Hawk thinks of this (not really).

KevinMLD: Also, it became clear that Aliveman has been acting like a selfish jerk. This seems a little out of character to me. I haven’t read a ton of Deadman stories, but the ones I have read suggested he was acting as this selfless servant of this weird zen-like force. I’m not sure being a jerk now makes sense in the context of that information. Granted he may just be reverting back to behaving as he did during his life, but it really bugged me while reading this issue. It’s like nothing Boston Brand experienced as Deadman had any lasting impact on his personality. It cheapens those previous stories to me. Besides, having Hawk running around acting like a jerk was more than enough for me.

Hopefully, his experiences in this issue will put that attitude behind him. Especially since he’s going to come to realize he IS the White Lantern.

PTB: I absolutely agree with you here. The story has been moving in that direction and this issue solidified Boston Brand as the leading candidate for the white ring.

If anyone featured in this series deserved an issue exploring his character and history, it’s Deadman. Let’s just hope the effects of this issue on his future are lasting.

Read our thoughts on:
Brightest Day Halftime Report / / Brightest Day #15

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

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