Bleakest Day

Brightest Day #2

Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch are trapped sharing the same body as Firestorm. They can’t figure out how to separate, and they’d really, really like to separate, since they both hate each other. Ray Palmer shrinks down to see if he can manually shut off the so-called Firestorm Matrix at a subatomic level. But the matrix doesn’t want to be shut off, and it tricks both of them into arguing with each other, which heats things up for the Atom. Hawkman and Hawkgirl discover that Hath-Set, a continually reincarnating foe from Ancient Egypt who’s been responsible for many of their deaths through the millennia, is targeting them again, and they resolve to go after him this time and kill him first. The Martian Manhunter returns to Earth, investigates Professor Erdel’s grave, discovers that he had a daughter, now in a nursing home, and visits her in the guise of her long-dead father — while talking to her, he learns that he was actually the second Martian Erdel brought to Earth — and the first one was a ravaging monster.

All that, plus a seemingly normal housewife discovers that J’onn J’onzz is alive again, so she kills her family and tears her skin off. Hey, everyone! It’s the Brightest Day!

Verdict: Thumbs down. We’re getting bait-and-switched with this one. DC nod-and-winked at us to imply it was going to be a less murderous series, and it’s defintely not. And I don’t have to keep wasting my three dollars on this crap.

Legion of Super-Heroes #1

I’m a bit amazed I picked this one up. I’m generally familiar with stories about the Legion — the futuristic superhero team from the 30th century — but this one really requires a pretty in-depth knowledge of the “Legion of Three Worlds” and “Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes” storyarcs from a few years ago. This is a grown-up Legion, largely distrusted by Earth because a villain named Earth-Man had absorbed the Legion’s powers and led his faction of xenophobes to attack all non-Earthlings.

Aaaaanyway, Earth-Man is now in custody, being drained of his powers. Saturn Girl returns to Titan for a visit, along with her children. The rest of the Legion learns that, as a condition of allowing the Legion to remain headquartered on Earth, the planet’s government wants them to accept Earth-Man as a Legionnaire. While Brainiac 5 starts building a special flight ring that’ll allow the Legion some control over the psycho human-supremacist, the Time Institute starts up operations on their new headquarters on Titan. Unfortunately, they choose to use their new time-viewer to check out the moment the universe was created — something that generally leads to disaster for anyone who tries it. Sure enough, the Time Institute explodes and destabilizes the satellites that keep Titan habitable. The Legion tries to save everyone on Titan, Saturn Girl tries to find her kids, and a tiny alien on Oa takes a Green Lantern ring to offer it to one person. Will the Legion save Titan? And who will be the new Green Lantern of Sector 2814?

Verdict: Ehhh, I really don’t know. There’s a lot happening here — always a challenge for any Legion comic, since they’ve got several dozen members — but most of it makes sense. On the other hand, some of the dialogue is spectacularly over-written, and the idea that the Legion would accept a villain like Earth-Man as a member, under any circumstances, goes past my ability to believe. I’ll give it at least another issue, but there better be some serious improvement before I decide to make this one of my regular reads…

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1 Comment

  1. RAB Said,

    May 21, 2010 @ 12:12 am

    I’m afraid I saw this coming with Brightest Day, so I stayed clear of it…but your description gives me that weird feeling of quasi-satisfaction that comes from being right about something when you wish you weren’t.

    The new Legion book was hard to get through. Possibly due to editorial mandate — as you say, it tied together several years’ worth of previous storylines in other titles by other writers — what we got was basically nonstop exposition. It’s as if Paul Levitz had in front of him a lengthy checklist of plot points that needed to be covered, and you can just see him ticking through each one in succession. It felt oddly joyless and mechanical. And I have to wonder, how much of that is the heavy hand of Didio and Johns?