Monday, May 10, 2010

Comic Book Review: Brightest Day #1

Book Information
Written by Geoff Johns & Peter Tomasi
Penciled by Ivan Reis, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark, Joe Prado
Colored by Peter Steigerwald
Inked by Vicente Cifuentes, Mark Irwin, Oclair Albert, David Beaty
Cover by Ivan Reis

My All-Inspiring Opinion
If you were to try and decipher the differences between Blackest Night and Brightest Day, you might find the task a little more daunting than expected.  This first issue (well, 2nd if you count issue #0) begins the latest chapter in the Green Lantern mythos.  Johns delves into the mystery involving the risen heroes and the mysterious white light that seems to be weighted down in its Lantern shape by some unknown force.  We also see the beginnings of conflicts that our featured heroes, Aquaman, Firestorm, the Hawks, and Martian Manhunter will face in the coming issues.  Each hero finds themselves faced with memories or events of a violent nature, riddled with violent stranglings…

Dead sea animals rising from the depths…

And cleavers slicing through men’s throats…

I would say that the title “Brightest Day” is quite deceiving in its uplifting and appealing connotation. 

In seeing the the 3rd panel on the 5th page of Hal Jordan attempting to lift the White Lantern from the ground, I was very close to tossing this book across the room.  But my frustrations were relinquished when Geoff Johns clearly wanted his audience to be aware of this aspect in the story’s plot development.  I was relieved that Johns wasn’t trying to hide the fact that this IS going to be the story of “The Sword in the Stone.”  This gives DC’s most popular writer the ability to shock and alarm his readers since he will most assuredly give Brightest Day an unexpected conclusion.  Will the “destined one” be a King Arthur type of figure, or a lowly man who has a deeper connection with life and death?

While Blackest Night had some of the most disturbing visuals I’ve ever seen in comics, Brightest Day gives us some fairly disturbing sequences of which play around with the mind much more.  Aquaman, despite having risen from the dead and being completely healthy with no Captain Hook arm, (Thank God!) he finds himself unable to call on the aid of living sea animals.  In addition, Firestorm, the Hawks, and Martian Manhunter are flooded with disturbing images and scenes that cause me to wonder just what emotional baggage do they unwillingly carry from the events of Blackest Night?  Just when you thought all your questions would be answered, Johns throws a monkey wrench into the story.

Aquaman and Mera seem to share a problem.  As stated, since being severed from the Black Ring’s power, Aquaman still finds himself connected with the dead, only able to contact a deceased, mauled Shark and giant squid.  Likewise, Mera still seems to have some connection with her brief, but intense relationship with the red ring of rage.  This theme of lingering connectivity with the emotional spectrum stuck out at me the most and I feel Johns could be going somewhere with this. 

As most of you who follow my blog, I’m sure you’ve already guessed my opinions on the artistic approach.  The entire team of artists on this book are great, but the toggling from artist to artist drives me nuts.  Ivan Reis does fantastic work, so why couldn’t DC just hire him to draw the whole friggin issue?!?!  He’s not doing anything right now!  I don’t get it!  I can’t justify ranking the art high when I become so distracted by the different art styles.  Although, Reis certainly gave us some amazing visuals…

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
Nothing more can be said except that this issue is great.  I don’t think it deserves any awards for greatest comic book ever, but it does start the mystery off well.

Writing: 9
Themes: 9
Art: 6
Overall: 8 out of 10

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