Saturday, February 12, 2011

Brightest Day Is Any Day For All I Care #95

Brightest Day #17
Brightest Day #18
Brightest Day #19

Brightest Day #17 (DC, 2011, $2.99)
Firestorm cover. Four pages of the interior, two a lazy spread, and none at all the following two issues. Fuck you, truth in advertising. Aquaman variant cover. No interior pages whatsoever. No water based lubricant, much less Vaseline.

Firestorm is in the anti-matter universe, so I guess the Anti-Monitor is going to cock things up before this is all over.

I couldn't understand what people were seeing in the Deadman strip, but this edition featured a luscious Dove and some Tuesdays With Morrie manipulative bullshit that worked just well enough to sucker me in.

The Hawks dominate this issue, and they appear to be feasting on their own entrails. There's a 1 1/3 page spread, a two-pager, a splash, and a bunch of three panel pages, but someone needs to explain to Ardian Syaf that none of it sells the scope of an epic battle if you never draw more than four figures and some abstract background elements. Between Hath-Set being dead and Hawkgirl's evil mother not being able to "act" through her featureless mask, I just keep thinking this should have been over with by now. Worst of all, there's a totally arbitrary "twist" at the end that will leave you... yeah, it'll just leave you.

Brightest Day #18 (DC, 2011, $2.99)
Captain Boomerang and Captain Cold are on the first page of this book for no reason but to allude to a storyline in The Flash and remind people the Boomerang has to show up at the tail end of this thing to fulfill some bullshit prophesy. It pisses me off, because Boomerang only shows up for a few panels every five or six issues for this purpose, because this whole series is pretty pointless beyond setting up the inevitable spin-off series. It's like DC Sampler as a maxi-series.

The second page is a series of panels acknowledging that, unlike the Martian Manhunter, the book hasn't completely dropped Deadman or Firestorm yet.

The third page is yet another splash by Ardian Syaf involving wonky eyes, wonkier tits (think Audrina Patridge,) and same three characters flying across purple skies as we saw all of last issue. I love how Star Sapphire, who I believe can transverse galaxies in no time, failed to evade an energy blast two assholes in strap-on wing easily outmaneuver. How about the part where the villainess chokes Hawkman instead of tagging him as she did Star Sapphire. I'd also like to know why a rock given by the Predator entity was able to defeat it when it went off on a tangent for no particular reason, and somebody should also remind me why that particular gift was given, and whether or not it was tacked-on to Blackest Night. Did anybody walk away from this having given a crap about Hawkgirl's evil mother? Syaf at least did some nice riffing on the Kuberts here and there.

Man, was that resolution with Deadman stupid left field, or what? Let's blatantly put some characters on the shelf, either until the end of this story, or for a follow-up series. God damn it! I'm tired of DC Comics lying to me about these yearlong event series.

52 was supposed to be a weekly account of a "lost" year of continuity involving the entire DC Universe. That's a pretty ambitious premise, and with four separate writers at the helm, I understand why it became essentially an anthology title starring a dozen or so C-listers. Countdown spent a year spoiling Final Crisis, and that whole "showrun by Paul Dini" shit dried up quick. I still don't know why Trinity took up so much space, beyond the "thrill" of seeing milquetoast Mark Bagley servicing the DC Universe before scurrying back to the warm, safe arms of Brian Michael Bendis. Speaking of whom, Marvel kept telling the big lie that Secret Invasion Siege or their next big project would be the culmination of everything creators like Bendis have worked on for a decade, in much the same way quesadillas have been building up in Quesada's belly. Geoff Johns has been playing with the same toys for five years or more, and when Blackest Night asked more questions than it answered, Brightest Day was supposed to finally be the real deal.

Two writers. Twelve characters. Twenty-five issues. One epic story. My ass. There is no way this shit was seriously planned out, and if it was, those involved are fucking incompetent. The title started out as a multitude of concurrent serials, and when that proved untenable, they switched one or two characters dominating and some subplots. Fifteen issues of this book were wasted building up D’Kay for a wimpy final battle in fantasy land before the Martian Manhunter creative team pissed off to take over Batman and Robin. The Reverse Flash, Jade, Hawk, Max Lord and Osiris were resurrected by contrivance because writers on other series wanted to use them for unrelated stories. Even the stars of this series are just spinning their wheels until the big finale and they get their solo books. Instead of inventing new life complications for Hawkgirl, how about explaining (or at least mourning) the existence of Kendra Saunders. Aside from commanding dead fish, Aquaman couldn't be more divorced from what appears to be the unifying plot. Martian Manhunter at least took a break from his lame arc to drag Green Arrow into this mess. Firestorm has had the most purpose with regard to the over-arc, but that's only amounted to retreading the zombie heroes of Blackest Days and twiddling thumbs until everybody else catches up. I think by issue eighteen, we can rule out all these disparate elements coming together in a satisfying, sensible conclusion. Instead, mark your calenders for the clusterfuck, where we'll learn who gets off the island and how many clues were just shell game distractions.

Brightest Day #19 (DC, 2011, $2.99)
I'm sure new readers are coming on three-quarters of the way in, so how about a recap of shit we know to well and some cryptic dickery from the White Lantern entity. Also, let's have Ivan Reis draw all of this issue, so he can overextend himself and have his art suffer for it at times. Of course, the rest of the time he's a four color orgasm, so slap my mouth and call me Mary.

I want to like the Aquaman story, but after all this wasted time, I can't get it up. I'm not sure if its worse if the "Aquawar" does or does not tie in to the over-arc. I'm just tired of the umpteen-jillionth variation on the "Atlanteans attack the surface" trope. Oh hey, how does a teenage boy living a seemingly unexceptional (if not outright sad) life who has just discovered aquatic powers managed to dominate experienced soldiers with comparable powers? I know we take for granted that aquatic bad guys are fish-stink pussies, but honestly, do you think you could take on more than a couple of Hydra troops at once?

There was an "oh shit" moment at the end of this issue. The correct answer is "new regeneration powers." That, or everybody gets their turn at being dust...

1 comment:

LissBirds said...

When I grow up I'm going to be just like you, Frank. I can see it coming.

I think you're being too optimistic which (if any) solo books come out of this. I was thinking they'd just integrate the resurrected heroes into the relevent ongoing series. Wait, never mind. They'll want to make us buy a whole bunch of new books and hype how amazing and exciting they'll be.


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