Thursday, February 3, 2011

Comic Book Review: Brightest Day #19

Written By: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Oclair Albert& Rob Hunter
Colorist: Peter Steigerwald
Cover Artist: David Finch, Scott Williams & Steigerwald
Letterer: Rob Clark Jr.
Editor: Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
Now we’re talkin’!  Two weeks ago Brightest Day presented a much more focused storyline in issue #18.  Now, two weeks later, #19 revs up with an even better installment, wrapping up a few unsolved questions and presenting some new ideas to help keep the story interesting.  But with only a few issues left to go, can Johns and Tomasi really wrap this miniseries up without pushing some aspects aside?

Much like hit TV show “Lost,” Brightest Day is so compact and filled so many mysteries and plot devices that it’s hard to think everything is going to be resolved in the end.  The Hawks are disintegrated, with an explanation of why, (Even though we still aren’t sure of some things right?) and now we’ve moved on to Aquaman and the Aquawar. While no new answers were given during the whole beach battle, some clues are thrown our way which might help wrap up Aquaman’s purpose.  I don’t want to give much away – just keep in mind that this issue is one you can’t skip over.

And of course we’ve all been wondering about the Dark Avatar, what it will look like, and how it will be utilized in the story.  A teaser image is thrown at us, with a very exciting series of images that will get your blood pumping for the duration of this series!

I was looking at the credits and it shows four artists working on this issue…right?  I’ve looked…and looked…and looked…and looked and everything seems to be done by one artist.  Well, I should say TWO artists since Steigerwald obviously took charge of coloring every page.  So unless I’m mistaken, this must mean that all four artists took a lot of time to hone in on one artist’s style and mimic it.  My guess?  Ivan Reis was the model for the other four.  And check out pages 12 and 13 for a breathtaking two page spread.  In the words of Dan Woodward from “It’s A Dan’s World”…Now THAT”S a splash page!

Now, back to the faults.  Brightest Day certainly is making a mad to get everything resolved by the end.  The hawk’s part in the story is complete, and Aquaman’s purpose is beginning to see an end.  One can only assume this means the other aspects of the story will begin to climax.  But in this haste, will some minor details that we saw in the beginning of the series be push aside in order to make sure things come to a successful conclusion?  The white ring hinted at this when in conversation with Boston Brand…

“The twelve that I gave life to each plays a role in saving the soul of your homeworld. Some have already prevented further destruction to it and given us more time…while others are more significant to my purpose.”

With this being said, it makes me think that something established in the beginning is going to be left out because Johns and Tomasi just don’t have the time to address it.  It happened with “Lost”, I’m sure it’s going to happen here.

My biggest complaint…and this is a doozey…is Aquaman losing his hand once again.  I’ll be honest, the moment Manta slices it off is pretty intense and will get grab your attention very quickly, but it’s revisiting a time in Aquaman’s life that I had hoped wouldn’t come back to rear its ugly head.  I never felt like it was a good idea before Arthur died, and now that he had a second chance, Johns throws it right back in my face.  Ugh, whoa is me!

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
So for all you haters of Brightest Day (me being one of them) your hopes and dreams have been met.  The series is finally getting good.  But I think we should all knock on wood this very instant because having two successful issues doesn’t necessarily mean all is well.  Keep your fingers crossed, throw the salt over your shoulder, partake in whatever superstitious ritual you can think of because Brightest Day is far from over.

9 out of 10 


  1. I knew Johns and Tomasi would give this series some "umph" sooner or later. But I'm still worried about it finishing smoothly.

  2. Ha! Thanks for the plug Jimmy!

    This issue definitely shifted gears - and while I had the reaction to the whole Luke Skywalker hand chop, hopefully we'll get surprised with where the story ends!

  3. I had that exact same react as well. Except there was no paternal confusion, nor was there any death defying leap as a way of showing defiance, which is why I left that reaction out.