Brightest Day #10 Review

September 17, 2010 at 9:03 AM | Posted in (All Posts), Comic Reviews, Reviews | Leave a comment
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Brightest Day #10 Review

Written by: Geoff Johns / Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Ivan Reis / Scott Clark / Joe Prado

Now at the 10th issue of the series, how is the story holding up?

What You Need To Know (Before Reading):
Brightest Day #10 only focuses on the stories of two heroes that have been resurrected — Aquaman and Firestorm. Aquaman just recently found out that his wife, Mera, had been originally sent to this world to assassinate him. Not only that, but Black Manta — one of Aquaman’s most prominent rogues — has a son — and the mother is someone who crossed over just as Mera did.

Firstorm is now Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond. Professor Stein — one half of the original Firestorm Matrix along with Ronnie — is helping the boys get control of their powers. There also appears to be a third presence within the Matrix, possibly being some remnant of Ronnie Raymond being a Black Lantern that has now permanently fused itself to the Firestorm Matrix.

What Happens:
The issue opens up with Firestorm in a lab with Professor Stein as they conduct more tests. On a side note: How many labs does Professor Stein have? Haven’t Jason and Ronnie destroyed about four of them now?

Professor Stein explains how he originally discovered the Firestorm Matrix when he was trying to prove the existence of the “Big Bang” (the theory — not the show). Stein fears that the same equation that brought about the spark that created the universe could be embedded within Firestorm.

While experimenting, both Jason and Ronnie find out that they must think in complete unison for their powers to work. If Jason knows the formula for plastic but Ronnie does not, the power to transform an object into plastic can’t occur.

Stein says that he always felt the matrix was drawn to Ronnie in a symbiotic way, and it had the same need to be bond to Jason as well. His theory is that Firestorm is a power that is going through another level of metamorphosis — and Jason and Ronnie will be the hosts for this new power.

But just how powerful is Firestorm? What potential does it have? And just who is the third voice in Firestorm with Ronnie and Jason?

As for the Aquaman side of things — Jackson Hyde — the “soon to be” new Aqualad is off with his father to find out about his past. His father brings him to and old cabin by the sea where he says that he and Jackson’s mother used to visit. One night, a woman from another world (guess who) brought a baby (Jackson) onto the land and said that it needed fitting parents. She said that the boy had mystical powers that connected him to the water and he would play a key role in a war between sea and land. Jackson’s parents fell in love with the child. They raised him as their own and tried to hide his mystical past from him, but Jackson’s father feels the time is right to tell his son about this.

Just as the teenager comes to grip all of this, his “biological” father hits the scene — Black Manta — and a watery hell breaks loose. A showdown between the new Aqualad and Black Manta takes place. The fight takes them all the way from the cliffs to the waters below.

Jackson does everything in his power to protect his father, but Black Manta proves to be too much. That is — until a certain someone shows up.

Keep in mind that I didn’t cover the entire issue. Brightest Day #10 did only focus on the stories for Aquaman and Firestorm, but there are some big surprises I skipped over — plus one scene at the end that I wasn’t expecting to see this soon.

My Thoughts:
I still love the idea as much as I did when the series first began: Take a group of characters that are on the cusp of becoming so “mainstream” in the comic medium and give them a big story to push them to the top. Aquaman and Martian Manhunter have always been at the forefront of the DCU, but most readers would struggle to think of more than just a few significant stories with them in the past 15 years.

Brightest Day continues to take a compelling story about these resurrected characters and push it in new directions. Characters that I previously had no interest in — like Firestorm — are suddenly on my radar.

One extremely appealing thing about this book is that not every character will fit the interests of every reader. There are going to be characters you like and characters you don’t like, but with two issues a month, you’re always going to get an issue that focuses on the characters you care about.

My hat goes off to Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi for pushing these characters and trying to give them the spotlight. The DCU has really found a new throne for the Green Lantern mythos on the same level of Superman and Batman, just in the past decade. I love the fact that DC is trying to get more of these “household name” characters like Aquaman and Hawkman onto a big stage.

This is one issue that suffered from no nagging flaws. The art was consistently good and the story was easy to follow. Each issue flows a lot like a movie. While this usually makes the comic a quick read, you really feel like there is another big plot point just waiting to be revealed.

My only complaint lies in the pacing; I really never thought I’d say that. 10 issues in and the story for some characters just hasn’t progressed enough.

The series is distancing itself from the Green Lantern books more and more. There is no doubt that some readers jumped on this book expecting a Hal Jordan-focused story much like Blackest Night — but I applaud them for this effort.

Brightest Day #10 gets a “B+” / 4 out of 5 Stars.


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