Brightest Day #18 Review

January 21, 2011 at 1:52 PM | Posted in (All Posts) | Leave a comment
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Read on for the full review:

Story by
Geoff Johns / Peter J. Tomasi

Art by
Ivan Reis / Ardian Syaf / Scott Clark / Joe Prado / Vicente Cifuentes / David Beaty

Brightest Day has been a series I hold near and dear. I applaud the effort of DC to try and take characters like Deadman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and Firestorm and try to push them to the forefront of the DC Universe. For nearly a year, Brightest Day has been THE big story for DC — a story that largely has little to do with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and even the Flash or Green Lantern. The bi-weekly book continues to be a financial success, despite mediocre reaction from critics.

Yet Brightest Day has had much to live up to. The run on Green Lantern from Geoff Johns has been on a consistent rise since the writer took the series by storm in 2004, and his home-run event — Blackest Night — was teased right from the get-go. Blackest Night ended in 2010 and we saw the dawn of the Brightest Day. Eighteen issues in, Brightest Day has had many highs and many lows. Each character that the book focuses on has had good and bad moments, some more consistent than others. Overall I’ve been very pleased with the book, but even I can admit that my expectations were set much higher than what BD has delivered.

That all being said — Brightest Day #18 focuses mostly on the story of Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Deadman. There are bits that show Mera, Deathstorm, Dove, and a few other characters, but this is mostly another Hawk-family-focused issue.

Carter and Shiera are currently on Zamaron — the Star Sapphire homeworld — and battling the “Queen” of Hawkworld, Shiera’s mother. The last issue focused on Hawkman and Hawkgirl as well, but their story comes to a “concluding” point in Brightest Day #18. The Queen of Hawkworld was possessed by the entity of love — the Predator — at the end of BD#17, and this issue is an all out battle between the Hawks and Star Sapphire (Carol Ferris) taking on the Queen Shrike and her Man-Hawk army.

A quick personal note: I have always loved Hawkman as a character. First and foremost, Hawkman is appealing on his physical appearance alone. You have this savage human with the absolute fittest human physique who can both fly with these large wings and he wields close-combat brute weapons — by choice. Despite his complicated (yet now “corrected”) past, the character works best when he is just beating people up. Geoff Johns knows this, and Brightest Day #18 shows Hawkman and Hawkgirl kicking a lot of butt.

Adrian Syaf does the bulk of the Hawkman/Hawkgirl art, and seeing him draw these winged-heroes on a pink battlefield is very pleasing to the eyes. There’s something so good about seeing all this destruction and warfare taking place on Zamaron — the Star Sapphire homeworld that is normally a place of finding love.

Ivan Reis does the artwork for the Deadman pieces of the book, and like in the past, he makes Deadman look great even when standing completely still.

I can’t go into much more detail because the battle on Zamaron does conclude, but what follows after is (what I would consider) a big deal. In short — Brightest Day #18 is an action-filled issued that is BY FAR the best issue focusing on the Hawks and also on of the best issues out of the entire series. Considering how the issues ends, it’s very ironic that Hawkman and Hawkgirl finally hit this moment of greatness.

What you see above DOES HAPPEN in this issue. What that image means is a big spoiler. I have to say this — I would be severely disappointed if this is the closing of a chapter and we never see this “happening” corrected. I really hope — as a fan — that this all gets resolved. That being said, the “shock” I experienced at the end made me realize how lacking Brightest Day really has been in certain parts. But trust me when I say this is one of the better issues in the series.

On a grading scale, Brightest Day #18 gets a very solid “A” for how excellent it is. Brightest Day has been good, but I can see how some readers have found it to be very sluggish and dull at moments. This issue is a nice change of pace that brings the quality up once again.

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