REVIEW: Brightest Day #21

Posted by under *mixed, Comics |

Brightest Day heads into its final four issues last week and we’re seeing a lot of characters coming together now that they’re done with their subplots that had little to do with the main story of the series. Martian Manhunter is the focus of the issue in his battle with the other last Martian in the universe, D’Kay, but there are also appearances by a host of Justice League members including Superman and Batman. Some of the other resurrected characters from Blackest Night show their faces as well, and we get some questions as to what’s in store for Hawk, Jade and the ones we haven’t seen the White Ring use Deadman to collect.

Also, PTB has a baby in his house.

Spoilers to follow.

PTB: We’re back to a Gary Frank cover and with the white background it’s reminiscent of January’s “focus on the characters” set. I actually like it more than a lot of those since it fits into the story so well here. The title “Mars Attacks” was a little misleading though.

KevinMLD: It’s definitely misleading. Mars did no attacking unless they’re talking about the domestic disturbance within the Manhunter family.

Back on Earth, I think it’s good that the entire superhero community at large is involved in the clean up effort after The Aquawar. I’m pretty sure Aquaman would have appreciated some of their help DURING it.

PTB: Good point, although Aquaman and his Aquacrew seemed to handle that threat on their own. As much as I enjoyed seeing the Justice League working on the clean up in Miami and Atom investigating the disappearance of the Hawks, there are so many characters in that scene that I just cannot identify. In particular the guy that points out the dark clouds rolling in.

KevinMLD: That’s because it goes well beyond the Justice League as we see some Titans and the character you pointed out is called Wildcat of the Justice Society. He’s old school DC. I think he dates back to the Forties. But my point is maybe if these guys had been there for The Aquawar there would have been less damage to clean up and less people hurt. Or it could have been worse I guess. You know how superheroes can be in a crisis: buildings destroyed, cars thrown, etc.

I like that the image of Aquaman’s severed hand on page one confirms that it was indeed a very clean slice that took it off as it looks more like a glove.

PTB: That image really undersells how gruesome Aquaman’s injury should be.

KevinMLD: We get several pages of Charlie Sheen style domestic violence during the Martians fight. You know Sheen wishes he could fire lasers out of his eyes. Winning!

PTB: That’s classic Sheen. If you’re a member of his family, he will “love you violently.” That was such a huge story last week that it had to make its way in here somehow. It even penetrated the babyhaze Angie and I found ourselves in last week.

D’Kay and the Manhunter’s battle looked great, but what impressed me most were the panels leading up to their trip into the sun. These were simply amazing, and it’s a shame the pages that followed with Manhunter’s life being returned and his choice of worlds to save looked a little silly to me. As great as those pages were, I couldn’t help but notice the way the forest on Mars was drawn. Wasn’t it originally in the shape of the White Lantern symbol with seven points? It’s drawn in that sequence as the Black Lantern symbol with five.

KevinMLD: Ugh, I don’t remember. And I have no idea what issue that appeared in to go back and look it up. I did enjoy the art though, especially as they were melting on the way to the sun.

The Martian Manhunter seems particularly suicidal in this issue, paricularly for a guy who just returned to life. First he commits murder/suicide with D’Kay and then after the White Ring resurrects him YET AGAIN, he sits back and let’s the ring absorb him or whatever it does. It’s pretty weird behavior from a mainstream superhero.

PTB: I agree with you completely. The way he just gave himself over to those acts seemed out of place. I understand D’Kay had put him through the wringer and was prepared to continue to do so for the rest of their lives, but the way he fought her early on was oddly juxtaposed with his serenity and acceptance during both of his “deaths.”

The White Ring saying that “the Earth has accepted” Manhunter immediately led me back to the fact that the White Entity was originally buried beneath the Earth’s surface. Do we know where the White Entity went after Blackest Night? I know you’ve said these Entities have been the focus of recent issues of Green Lantern as they head in the War of the Green Lanterns.

KevinMLD: I don’t even remember if we’ve actually seen the White Ring entity in the same way we’ve seen Ion or the Predator, etc.

PTB: I’m certain we saw some physical manifestation at the end of Blackest Night when Nekron pulled him out of the ground, but I don’t know if it’s comparable to the other entities.

I liked the way Manhunter’s story culminated and I thought for a moment that the “Dark Avatar” we’ve been warned about may have been D’Kay. It would have really helped to have a character that was established in this series develop into that role. It may still happen, but I’m worried that it’s going to be someone out of left field.

KevinMLD: I am looking forward to the White Ring inevitably coming for Hawk. Hopefully he’ll stay dead this time.

PTB: Hawk continued to be insufferable in this issue.

The advertisements for War of the Green Lanterns continue to call my name. Has this started yet?

KevinMLD: The prequel issue of Green Lantern shipped either last week or the week before. It kind of reminds me of that Black Hand issue leading into Blackest Night as it explains Krona a little better as he seems to be the main antagonist of that series.

PTB: I’ll have to track that down. I don’t know much about Krona and I would like to see a more cosmic story than what we’re seeing in Brightest Day.

Read our thoughts on:
Brightest Day #20 / Brightest Day #22

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

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