Sunday, February 20, 2011

Comic Book Review: Brightest Day #20

Written By: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Ivan Reis & Joe Prado
Inker: Julio Ferreira, Oclair Albert, Norm Rapmund, Marlo Alquiza, & Andy Owens
Colorist: Aspen MLT’s Peter Steigerwald & Nathan Eyring
Cover Artist: Gary Frank & Nathan Eyring
Letterer: Rob Clark Jr.
Editor: Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
Aquawar comes to an end with a lifespan of only two issues!  A little disappointing if you ask me.  I guess DC should have called it “Aqua Crisis” in order feel justified in stretching it out further huh?  Never-the-less, many resolutions happen in this issue; Mera and Aquaman come to terms with each other, Aqualad and Aquagirl have a very strange “brother-sister” moment, the Aquawar (or Beach battle) is wiped out with a huge splash of a finish, and as a reward for completing his mission Aquaman is put to death.


That’s basically what I asked myself with almost every page turn of issue #20.  Not only is there a confusing twist at the end, but everything in this issue makes me do a double-turn; mostly because this White Lantern and his moralistic ramblings just aren’t making any sense.  This, in turn, causes me to think that Brightest Day is one of the more contrived miniseries I’ve ever read from DC.

To start off, was the purpose of Aquawar purely to help Aquaman get the truth from Mera?  Is that all?  The White Lantern really thought that putting everyone’s lives in danger only to help Arthur discover the truth was the best course of action?  Yeah, it worked – the two lovers got back together in a loving embrace, very romantic I must say.  But how does this event do any good when the White Lantern kills Aquaman off at the very last moment, only causing more pain and anguish for Mera?  If it was Aquaman who needed to learn something, why create this whole scene when the purpose was to have him die immediately after?  With only four issues to go, Johns and Tomasi had better make some sense of killing everyone off after they’ve completed these “tasks” the White Lantern has secretly given them.  Right now, I feel like I’m reading a series by Grant Morrison.

The White Lantern seems like it’s on crack, or high on meth doesn’t it?  It tells Boston Brand to eat hamburgers, open up the Bermuda Triangle where all Hell breaks loose, and seems to be stringing everyone along on this wild goose chase.  I’m all about waiting for a mystery to make sense, but good grief, how much plot twisting chaos can a person put into a story until it becomes a pile of incoherent jargon? 

This issue isn’t without its bright sides however; the clever (flirty) interaction that Aqualad and Aquagirl have did put a smile on my face.  But most of the better moments stem from the visual aspects; Mera’s powerful water wipe-out, with nothing but clean and incredibly beautiful blues and whites to give the water that colorful, yet destructive personality is almost perfect.  It’s also very difficult to draw people as if they are in the water, floating and swimming about; another reason why Reis and Prado are masters at their craft and career.

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
While this issue held my interest, it left me disappointed and wondering what happened to the great momentum built up by issue #19.  Resolutions to problems are being lost in confusion and flow of story transitions are dying out as fast as the characters are.  Johns and Tomasi, please help me to understand what’s going sooner rather than later!

4 out of 10 Stars

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