Brightest Day #11

Brightest Day #11

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Brightest Day is a series that has been wildly uneven, possibly due to its expansive creative team (two writers and two or more artists per issue) or maybe because of its bi-weekly release schedule, or maybe because at its core it’s just not very good. There have been a few issues that have cemented my wanting to follow this book, though, and fortunately Brightest Day #11 is one of them.

In this installment of DC’s big “event series,” Black Lantern Firestorm (now called Deathstorm) has some sadistic fun with Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch, while Black Manta and friends continue their pursuit of Jackson Hyde, the new Aqualad. Each plot takes a couple of alarming turns and the issue ends with a two-page spread that is bad, bad news for the heroes of the DC Universe.

In my last “quick hit” on Brightest Day, I talked a little about how I thought that issue’s revelation concerning Firestorm’s character fell kind of flat. I may have been wrong, or it may not matter in the context of this issue, but I loved the work Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi did here. The whole “Deathstorm” opening is tremendous, and whichever of the issue’s four artists drew it (I’m guessing Blackest Night’s Ivan Reis) simply kills when it comes to Deathstorm’s slight costume redesign. Pretty much all the Deathstorm pages in this issue are excellent, full of action, drama, great art and high stakes; I wish the rest of this series had followed that template. In particular, I love that Deathstorm still talks like Jason, so every other word out of his mouth is surfer speak (as in: “The source of all life on Earth!  RADICAL!”).

The Aquaman pages are less exciting, though as this story carries on I suspect more and more that Aquaman is a character that just cannot be interesting. Peter David got the closest in the 90s, but no other reinvention has ever really stuck or made any kind of impact. I fear the same thing will happen here. The new Aqualad certainly has potential, but we haven’t really gotten to know him yet.

Additionally, the art in this issue is really top-notch. It’s hard to believe that four artists worked on this issue, because I feel the art stays consistent throughout, with two minor exceptions (the sequence in Jason’s house and the last few pages). I’m sure it’s no easy task to achieve consistency on a bi-weekly book, but I think Brightest Day #11 is a testament to the hard work I’m sure editor Eddie Berganza puts in to each issue.

The big villain reveal at the end of Brightest Day #11 is interesting indeed, and has me hoping that the rest of this series will continue on as this issue did — namely, with action, high-stakes scenarios and plot progression. That said, you never know; Brightest Day #7 gave me the same feeling and I thought #8 was totally a let down. Either way, I’m on board for the ride, so I guess DC’s got me, but I think we’d all rather read something we enjoyed.

tags: aquaman, brightest day, dc comics, geoff johns

  • http://www.davebeaty.com Dave Beaty

    Just so you know, Scott Clark and I do the Firestorm portions. Not Ivan. He does the Aquaman portions. Scott also ‘tweaked’ the Deathstorm costume. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the series. We work very hard to provide the best comics experience we can.

  • http://nerdynothings.com Rebel Rikki

    Hi Dave,

    First, my apologies for incorrectly calling the artist on the Deathstorm pages. It’s tough for me to tell who draws what in a book with four pencillers, but I think the fact that the segments are not necessarily distinct from each other is a good sign in a book like this.

    Scott’s tweaks on Deathstorm really are spectacular; they’re probably what I enjoyed most about the issue, honestly. I love that his costume is kind of asymetrical and that it’s textured in such a way that it looks like jagged rocks/barren Earth.

    Finally, thanks for your comment and your hard work!

  • Mike M

    Ya enjoyed the Deathstorm stuff alot too.So very cool psychological war at its best.I actually enjoyed the Aquaman stuff espically the reveal with the map.I really think it could lead to some exciting adventures.

  • http://www.davebeaty.com Dave Beaty

    Thanks for all the positive comments. There’s another awesome shot of Deathstorm and his ‘posse’ in the BD #12. Hope you dig it.

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