Geek Reads

Geek Reads

Monday, October 3, 2011

Brightest Day Vol 3 - Is it really Bright?

One review that I read prior to finishing the 3rd and last volume of Brightest Day asked the question that I also found myself asking at the end of it all, was that, “Was it needed?”

If we go by the Lantern Oath and pick up on the beat of Geoff Johns thinking, then perhaps yes. Because after Blackest Night, something should follow suit, and true to Oath form of the Green Lantern Corps, Brightest Day does follow. But does it make sense? Does it strike a chord in the characters, much less the readers?

It did when I first finished Blackest Night, which by the way was a tour de force in itself. From storyline to the artwork, the pacing of the panelling and how the entire arc of the story affected the entire DC universe. It was brilliant. And having the creative lightning strike hard and strike gold, could it have been possible to do it a second time?

Picture this.

At the end of Blackest Night, several DC characters who were dead were brought back to life by the sentient living entity that was hidden underneath the Earth. It spoke of the path that follows the dark. And metaphorically, I do get it. That after the dark and having been touched by light, what do we do? After epiphanies of our own, being in the dark for some time before that, how do we deal with the consequences? Of course, we move forward, live our lives and go where the light takes us. But somehow, somewhere in the midst of my reading all 3 volumes, I was asking if I wanted to be taken there in the first place.

As opposed to the first crisis that involved dead superheroes becoming Black Lanterns and corrupting the living, Brightest Day doesn’t add much on that scale and narrows the “crisis” down to the resurrected characters and how their lives and choices affect the others in the DC universe. Vol. 3 continues the battle of Hawkman and Hawkgirl against her mother in beating out the life and death Prophecy cycle that they have been subjected to. Aquaman battles for his place in the underwater kingdom and mentoring the new Aqualad, who just happens to be the son of his nemesis, Black Manta. Not to mention dealing with Mera’s revelation that she came to Atlantis to kill him but not counted on falling in love with him. Firestorm for his part had to deal and reconcile that being fused into one as Ronal Raymond and Jason Rusch has its advantages and drawbacks while being transported to the Anti-Matter Universe. Martian Manhunter dealt with D’Kays treachery and deception while Deadman, had to face with how it is to live his life and discover love with Dove in the process. All of these lives and their subsequent choices are as the White Lantern reveals all part of the process.

But after the process itself was revealed, I felt for Deadman. He was duped and manipulated by the White Entity to push these returned heroes to live out their choices because they were being groomed to take part in another battle to come. And that was against the so called, Dark Avatar; a residue of Nekron’s influence on the Earth during the Blackest Night crisis.

When I read Blackest Night I felt that it could have been longer. I wanted more action scenes played out as it was indeed in the truest sense of the word a worldwide crisis. But after this Brightest Day “crisis” which spanned the whole year long before it was compiled and doled out in 3 increments, I felt that it could have been shortened. Was Geoff Johns like the White Entity manipulating and cashing in on readers to buy his latest effort? One would surely look at it that way. But from a creative side, one would argue that he had a story to tell.

And yes while I applaud the effort for a story, it could have been shortened and heightened with more kick ass action rather than the low key and philosophical implications that we are left with and only to be sparingly laced with action and manipulated mystery along the way. No doubt that I may yet get some gem of wisdom from reading all 3 of them again. But I like my superheroes, swinging, flying, shooting and beating the crap out of the bad guys. But with given that Life itself is the challenge to deal with this time, there really are no bad guys; just bad choices stemming from a different form of perception.

 And that perception itself may have come from a place of capitalism in order to cash in more profits for one’s coffers or the perception that if a story is stretched to the limit, it may make for a good yarn of a tale. And because it is such a yarn, consider me like the cat that buys in on that ball of yarn and brings it back to you, looks you in the face and with utmost hope, purrs, “What’s next, Geoff Johns?”

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