Brightest Day

After the Blackest Night was prevented, twelve superheroes and villains were revived by the power of the white rings. These chosen people have been brought back and given a task by the life entity so they can have their life returned fully. Brightest Day follows sevenĀ of the heroes: Deadman, Aquaman, Hawk, Firestorm, Hawkgirl, Hawkman,and Martian Manhunter. This story is told by jumping between five different adventures that the characters are on and they merge together near the end.

Deadman’s plot could be considered the main story because it gets the main focus. After the revivals, all the white rings dissipated except for Deadman’s. This gives him a connection to the life entity, who tells him to find a new champion of the light. During his journey he works with Hawk and Dove and experiences life again after being dead for so long. This is an enjoyable story and it’s really unpredictable so I was always hooked on it. The character dynamic between Hawk, Deadman, and Dove is good too because of their opposing personalities.

The Aquaman story involves Aquaman’s powers starting to revive dead sea animals. Before he can deal with that he is attacked by underwater soldiers from his wife Mera’s homeland. Secrets come out about Mera’s origin and an unknown teenager begins to develop water related powers. All of this ties into the return of Aquaman’s nemesis, Black Manta. This story is quite like a soap opera where ridiculous twists about family and killing pop up. I still enjoy it for what it is and Aquaman is still such a cool character and the fight scenes in his story are really good.

Firestorm’s story involves Jason and Ronnie trying to get along after Ronnie kinda murdered Jason’s girlfriend while he was a Black Lantern. They find out their Firestorm Matrix is corrupted by something dark and that by fighting each other they might explode. This is an alright story, but the two leads aren’t that interesting and it’s mainly their villain who carries the plot.

The Hawk’s story is about them fighting Hath-Set, a priest who is hunting down their previous lives’s bones to create a gate to Hawkworld. This story starts out on the slow side but really picks up towards the end when the true villain is revealed and an unexpected team up happens. The love related dialogue in the beginning hurts it kinda but it all leads to something.

The final story is about the Martian Manhunter and how he is trying to restore life to Mars. He also must face another martian, who is a woman martian who wants to restore their race. There’s also the sudden appearance of a giant star shaped forest in the middle of Star City that somehow connects J’onn to the Earth. This story is very interesting and puts J’onn into situations that make him look like a vulnerable, relatable character who isn’t too strong. He doesn’t just fight his way out of all issues, he uses his mind and this makes the story a smart one.

All across the board the art is fantastic in each issue of the book and the way the stories come together is cool to see, even if after the first one concludes you start to expect the next three stories’ endings. All in all it’s another really good event, where strong plots and characters make a little bit of a scattered format actually work.

Writer: Geoff Johns & Peter Tomasi

Artist: Patrick Gleason & Ivan Reis

Rating: Full Price

Rann-Thanagar: Holy War

[Spoilers for Rann-Thanagar: Holy War ahead]

With the recent announcement of Jim Starlin putting an end to his most famous creation, Thanos, I thought it was a good time to review one of his miniseries, Rann-Thanagar: Holy War.There is a lot of history from multiple series going into this, including the the original Rann-Thanagar War, Hardcore Station, 52, and other cosmic stories. I can just break down the plot into our heroes fighting against religious freaks and overly hyped up villains in space. Sounds like a short summary, but for eight issues that’s your lot. What I really want to talk about in this series are the characters, and boy are there a lot of them.

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Our main heroes are Adam Strange and Hawkman, the representatives of their planet, who have some pretty good camaraderie with each other. Tigrar from the Omega Men, Starfire, Chief Justice Max from Hardcore Station, and Animal Man all serve little purpose in the series. However, Animal Man is treated like garbage throughout the series, constantly being injured and insulted by the other characters. Captain Comet, when he’s not acting like the original Booster Gold, and Bizarro are here to show off how strong the villain Synnar is when he blasts down Bizarro and causes a strong telepath like Comet pain using his mind. My favorite character throughout it is Starman (Prince Gavyn,) who manages to tame Bizarro with cartoons and food, and then battle an evil god called Lady Styx. The real character problem is The Weird, who’s power of intangibility allows him to defeat both main villains, and save everyone multiple times.

There’s also a lot of nonsensical and quite frankly preachy dialogue and plot points. Hawkman is beaten up by Rannians for trying to tell them how evil Styx is and is about to be executed. Then they look outside and a volcano disappears, so they let Hawkman go. Adam Strange’s stepfather becomes very religious for no reason, and tries to push it on everyone, akin to a Jehovah’s Witness. The metaphor isn’t exactly deep or insightful is what I’m saying.

Final Notes: It starts off pretty strong when they are gathering up a team and the scenes of intentional comedy like when The Weird lives up to his name, or the occasional side conversation are promising. But then it gets all muddied with too many cults and depressing moments with no satisfying resolution. The characters are mostly pointless, with The Weird, Captain Comet, and Adam Strange pulling most of the weight. It’s just a mostly boring and preachy story with a couple character highlights from Bizarro and Prince Gavyn.

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Rating: Borrow from a mate