REVIEW: Brightest Day #3

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DC Comics‘ Brightest Day #4 is in stores this week. That makes this as good a time as any to share some thoughts on issue #3.

PTB: The cover really caught my attention on this one. At first, I thought they were the resurrected characters, but upon thinking about it that’s clearly not the case. I know it’s just the cover, but with Atom and Mera included it just got my wheels spinning about who the twelve resurrected characters are now that I’ve got a handle on some of them.

KevinMLD: The characters on the cover are the stars of Brightest Day to date. I assume the other resurrected characters will play a role in the title at some point, but they’re clearly not going to be main characters the way Mera and the Atom have been so far.

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REVIEW: Brightest Day #2

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DC Comics Brightest Day #3 hits stores today, ptb and I have taken some time over the past two weeks to share our thoughts on issue #2. Things are broken down according to the characters focused on throughout the issue.


PTB: OK, I really don’t get all this Firestorm stuff and I don’t really find their story all that interesting. I understand how they share a body, but the association with the Atom and the Professor is a little lost on me. It’s clear some crazy Black Lantern stuff is going down here so it may lead to a decent pay off.

KevinMLD: The professor used to be merged with the Ronnie Firestorm. That’s kind of the classic Firestorm status quo. Jason was the modern replacement Firestorm, I’m not sure who he was merged with.

I honestly don’t really know much about Firestorm beyond those basics, but I think that the Matrix that the Atom was pursuing is what binds the personalities. So the Atom is trying to help separate them. Obviously the Black Lantern version of Ronnie is still active in some capacity.

I’m also not sure why the resurrected Ronnie is such a jerk as a character. Was he always that way? Is this something new tied to Blackest Night? No idea.

I’m interested to see if the big explosion killed Jason. The reason being that in the last few years DC has launched a series of diverse replacement heroes including a Chinese Atom, an African-American Firestorm, and a Hispanic Blue Beetle. The new Atom had a very short run before DC brought back the classic Ray Palmer Atom that we see here. This left the all-new Atom with very little to do except be brutally murdered by Deathstroke and his new team of Titans. If Jason died here it will continue to look like DC is killing their diverse modern characters to replace them with Silver Age white dudes. Maybe (probably) those Silver Age white dudes should never have been replaced in the first place, but turning their diverse characters into cannon fodder just feels wrong. Why did DC bother introducing them in the first place? No one took them seriously because DC was simultaneously bringing back characters like Hal Jordan and Barry Allen. This gave readers zero incentive to get invested in new characters.

Martian Manhunter

PTB: Who is this crazy mother that hates Rock Band and the Martian Manhunter? This part of the story was brutal and I have no idea if she’s been seen before. Speaking of the Manhunter, his story was kind of creepy. Is the daughter of the the professor someone new too?

KevinMLD: No idea. I thought maybe she was a white Martian, but they don’t need to wear fake skin as far as I know. The daughter of the scientist was the old lady he visited later in the issue. I’m guessing the mother is that monster that was called to Earth before The Martian Manhunter was just a few pages later in this issue.

PTB: That’s a good call about the monster that was called to Earth first. It makes a lot of sense. Seems like they’re trying to build a new supporting cast for the Manhunter here, is that fair to say?

KevinMLD: I’m not sure that the Martian Manhunter has EVER had a supporting cast. If I remember correctly, the only time he’s headlined a title was in the late 90s during the JLA’s hey day, but I certainly didn’t read it.

The Hawks (but not Hawk of Hawk and Dove – seriously who thought resurrecting three Hawk characters at the same time was a good idea?)

PTB: The Hawks’ story is getting interesting and some of the new (to me at least) information on Hath-Set helped me to get more of what’s going on there.

KevinMLD: Agreed. This is the strongest part of the series so far not starring Aquaman and giant dead sea life.

PTB: Speaking of dead sea life, did a bunch of fish die when he and Mera entered the water on the one page they were on?

KevinMLD: Good catch. It sure looks that way to me!


PTB: Then there’s this Anti-Monitor stuff at the end again that I know is supposed to be HUGE, but it’s meaningless to me even though I know you’ve explained that the Anti-Monitor is the baddest of the cosmic universal bad guys. And doesn’t Planet Qward have something to do with Sinestro?

KevinMLD: My understanding is Sinestro was banished to Qward when he was kicked out of the Green Lantern Corps. Qward later became the Sinestro Corps home world. But it’s also where the Anti-Monitor came from… Think of him kind of as DC’s Galactus, but less human. I don’t remember him being much of a talker.

I wish the Deadman story would pick up. So far he’s really annoying and I want him to be awesome.

PTB: Given the ending, I think Deadman’s story pretty much has to pick up. The Anti-Monitor seemed to be very much aware of his presence even if the rest of the world isn’t.

The artwork was decent on this issue, but it looks like they used a team approach. It was pretty consistent throughout though so it worked well. The crazy lady, the first Manhunter page and the first Hawks page look fantastic

KevinMLD: I’m very happy with the art so far, but I’m still not totally into this title yet. I wish DC would do a long term weekly-biweekly story at some point that actually starred their A-list characters. None of these year long books have really featured the main Justice League characters interacting in any significant way. Even Trinity which was supposed to star Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, mostly was about alternate versions of their supporting casts on a quest to find the three of them and bring them back to Earth as they had evolved basically into gods on another world.

I just don’t see Martian Manhunter and Firestorm being able to sustain a bi-weekly book for an entire year.

PTB: I agree with you completely about the absence of A-listers, but at the same time I’m not sure if I’d be any more into the book if they were there. I liked that Blackest Night didn’t suffer from too much Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman. Obviously Green Lantern and Flash are bigger characters than Manhunter and Firestorm, and they were at the center of Blackest Night so that puts Brightest Day in a very different place. They’ve been the focus so far, but there’s a whole host of other resurrected characters that haven’t really been touched on at all and we both agree that the Aquaman and Hawk people stories are solid.

I think this is unfolding nicely and I’ll continue to give it a shot. The $2.99 price point really helps too.

KevinMLD: About the missing resurrected characters I can tell you the following:

Hawk is appearing over in Birds of Prey, which had a fantastic debut issue.

Captain Boomerang is appearing in Flash.

Osiris is a part of the Deathstroke led Titans book, which had a terrible debut issue.

Max Lord is the antagonist of the other 26 issue bi-weekly DC book starring the Justice League International, which has so far been incredibly bland.

Read our thoughts on:
Brightest Day #1 / Brightest Day #3

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


REVIEW: Brightest Day #1

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DC Comics Brightest Day #2 hits stores today, ptb and I have taken some time over the past two weeks to share our thoughts on issue #1.

KevinMLD: So what did you think of Brightest Day #1?

I enjoyed it more than I expected to. The Aquaman stuff is a great twist. Clearly the resurrection of these characters isn’t as simple as it originally appeared. I like that he’s off fighting Somali pirates, though that risks becoming too topical down the line… But that he now controls dead sea life is a really interesting change. I wonder if it’s just freshly dead creatures or if he’ll be calling on like dinosaurs at some point.

I’m not sold on Deadman’s role yet and, as I’ve said before, his story is what I’m most interested in.

ptb: This was a major improvement over #0 for me. The appearance of Green Lantern, Star Sapphire and Sinestro at the opening really helped since I wasn’t sure the resurrected characters were going to hold my attention. Although I agree completely that the twists surrounding their returns are intriguing.

Savage undead giant squids are a good way to keep Aquaman interesting (the two page spread as it rose up to attack the pirates was amazing) and the reveal with the guy gutting fish (and people) was a real surprise.

I like that Deadman is central to the story since he’s a character I’d like to know more about.

I’m not into this new Firestorm at all, but Martian Manhunter and the Hawks’ stories have caught my interest even though I know nothing about Manhunter’s flashback or who Hath-Set is.

The connection between the White Power Battery and Excalibur could be cool or completely awful.

KevinMLD: The weird thing about the Martian Manhunter flashback is why hasn’t he tried to bring Mars back to life in the past? Is he demonstrating some new abilities tied to his resurrection like Aquaman? Also, what about the other Martians we’ve seen like the white Martians from JLA (unless they’ve all been killed at some point and I missed it) or the Teen Titans’ Miss Martian? He isn’t the only living Martian as far as I know.

I’m not sure about who Hath-Set is. I recognize the name but can’t remember if he’s tied to the Hawks or Black Adam.

I’m hoping the sword in the stone thing remains just an a metaphor. If it doesn’t they’ll probably go the obvious route and make Aquaman the White Lantern. His name is Arthur and they’ve gone with the once and future king motif for him in the past.

My prediction for who the White Lantern will be is either Aliveman or Dove of Hawk and Dove… Though I guess it’s probably more likely it will be someone entirely new.

I guess we’ll see sooner than later.

Also read our thoughts on:
Brightest Day #2

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


DC’s Blackest Night and Brightest Day

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As Brightest Day, the follow up to DC Comics‘ hit miniseries Blackest Night, officially begins today (issue zero was released last month), ptb and I have taken few moments to reflect on what has come and speculate on what’s ahead.

ptb: The thing that stood out most to me about Blackest Night was the way it made me realize how little I know about the DC Universe. The major players and surface details I get, but as soon as you go a little deeper I’m lost. After reading issue one, we talked a bit about who was who and clarified a lot of civilian/code names. Knowing who people are is one thing, but understanding why they’re important is another. Barry Allen being back is kind of lost on me, but resurrections of guys like Max Lord are a complete mystery. The appearance of the Monitor (or was it the Anti-Monitor?) also didn’t mean much to me although I know it’s a big deal.

KevinMLD: Now you know how I feel when I read about Bastian!

The reason for Barry Allen being back is a mystery to me and so far DC has done very little to demonstrate why he’s something special beyond the fact that he was on the Super Friends when Geoff Johns was a kid.

The Anti-Monitor has played major roles in both Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis as well as the Sinestro Corps War. He single-handedly destroyed the original DC multiverse. That’s literally all you need to know about him. He’s the biggest of the big bads.

Max Lord is a little more complicated and stupid. He kind of ran or financed the Justice League during the 80’s sitcom years from what I know. He has some mind control powers. He was basically ignored as a character for years, but made a comeback just prior to Infinite Crisis. He turned heel in a big way and took over the organization Checkmate, which is a DC universe spy organization similar to Marvel’s SHIELD. He had big evil plans that involved using his mind control powers on Superman to do some supervillainy stuff until Wonder Woman snapped his neck on national television. This led to people distrusting Wonder Woman because no one knew how naughty Max Lord had been.

ptb: A second major issue I had with Blackest Night was the fact that throughout it, I was hearing about what was happening in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps and those seemed to be the books I should have been reading. Blackest Night gave the main story from a DCU-wide perspective, but I’m honestly more interested in the spectrum of Lanterns than how Blackest Night affects the Atom (and he may be a bad example since he became a Lantern).

KevinMLD: The Blackest Night story obviously concluded in the Blackest Night main book, but I definitely think most of the major story beats took place in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. The main War of Light stuff took place in GLC, with the adventures of Hal Jordan and the main allied rainbow corps members taking place in the GL book. In fact, the Blackest Night main series felt like it was a tacked on, money grab on DC’s part until the last two issues.

This also reminds me of how I felt reading Civil War. Why did Spider-man side with Tony Stark again? If these companies are going to run major events like this, they need the information that is most important to the story to take place in the main title.

ptb: I read the whole thing and I definitely liked it, but I know there was a lot that I missed. Brightest Day #0 didn’t really change much of this. The tone and perspective of this issue may have been different from what’s to come in order to set things up since it is a zero issue, but it’s going to have a hard time maintaining my interest if it focuses only on the White Ring resurrected characters. The covers indicate that Hal Jordan is involved so maybe that will help.

Both series look great and that’s a big plus, but I’m definitely unsure of how long I’ll be sticking around from here. How many issues does this series run?

KevinMLD: I like that Aquaman is back, but a lot of the other resurrections aren’t very exciting… Especially Hawkman and Hawkgirl (not to be confused with Hawk who was also resurrected) who were killed twice in the last year and Martian Manhunter who just died during Final Crisis. But I am really excited about the resurrection of Deadman. That’s a brilliant concept. Deadman is a character who was completely content being dead. Being dead has always been his gimmick. This is brand new ground for the character. I’m kind of sad that the now “Aliveman” has powers. I wanted to see him just be human for awhile and come to grips with his new life. I hope there are interesting plans in place for him.

Anyway, even as a big DC fan I’m not totally sold on Brightest Day yet as there has been very little revealed about the story and due to the fact that it’s going to run for 26 issues. I’ll be there for the first few issues though.

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