Archive for Brightest Day

Dumbest Day

Okay, just ’cause I’ve quit reading DC’s “Brightest Day” miniseries doesn’t mean I’m gonna quit making fun of it. Especially when they release previews of the next issue that have this much wrong with it.

First, there’s the cover. The Black Lantern version of Firestorm is on it, and the alternate cover features the Black Lantern versions of Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Even DC’s preview blurb points this out: “If this is the BRIGHTEST DAY then what is Black Lantern Firestorm doing on our cover?!”

Yeah, DC, other people are asking that, too. But we’re not really seeing it as a reason to buy the comic. We’re seeing it as a reason to ask what the heck is wrong with DC.

“Blackest Night” is over. It was a successful series. I’d even say it was a good series — one of the best comic crossovers we’ve seen in years. But it’s finished and done with. And when you keep going back to that well over and over and over, people have a right to ask if you’ve got any other ideas you can offer, or if your creativity is completely tapped out.

As for the preview itself, it focuses on Hawkman and Hawkgirl, who have discovered that Hath-Set — an ancient enemy whose spirit possesses his descendants as he eternally seeks to ambush and kill the Hawks whenever they reincarnate — has been collecting the bones of their predecessors in order to build some kind of magical gateway. Hawkgirl wants to destroy the gateway so they can get back to their lives; Hawkman wants to go through the gateway, find Hath-Set, and kill him before he can kill them again.

Well, here’s the thing — Hawkgirl’s idea makes a lot more sense. Because Hawkman’s idea is just entirely stupid. How do you kill a spirit? I’m pretty sure you can’t do it by hitting it with a mace. And even if he manages to kill Hath-Set’s current host body (great job killing the innocent possessed victim, Hawkdork), he’s still left with the problem of Hath-Set’s spirit possessing yet another person and trying to kill the Hawks. So yeah, there’s no reason not to wreck the gateway like Hawkgirl said — that’s the kind of chore that a mace is perfect for anyway — then dispose of the bones so Hath-Set can’t use ’em again.

But here’s the bit that really bugs me about this preview. In a situation where Hawkgirl has all the smart ideas and Hawkman’s argument is basically “ME AM MAN, ME WANNA KILL MAGIC SPIRIT,” Hawkgirl finally responds with these words:

“If that’s your final decision then I’ll stand by it just as I’ve always stood by you.”

Shorter Hawkgirl: “Whatever you say, dear.”

Alternate slightly longer Shorter Hawkgirl: “You’re the man, and I’m just a dumb girl, so we’ll do whatever you want. Tee hee!”

So in addition to DC sidelining or killing off most of their non-white characters, I can now add “lazy and alarmingly dumb Barbie-doll anti-feminism” to the list of reasons why DC makes me want to kick the crap out of comics publishers.

Here ya go, DC Comics, Geoff Johns, and Dan DiDio — this song is for — and about — you.

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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…

Today’s Cool Links:

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Dead Ringers

iZombie #1

This is the first issue of the new series by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, and it’s available for just a buck, which means you should go pick it up, ’cause nowadays, that’s dirt cheap.

Not a whole lot of plot in this first issue — just introducing our cast of characters. Our lead is Gwen Dylan, a gravedigger with a secret — she’s dead as a doornail. Luckily, as long as she eats one fresh brain a month, she won’t go all “Night of the Living Dead” on anyone. But for a week after she eats that one brain, she’s going to have the deceased person’s memories, and she’s going to try to take care of their unfinished business. Her friends include a ’60s-era ghost named Ellie and a wereterrier named Spot, and other supernatural types in the area include a bunch of vampire babes who run a paintball course and a couple of monster hunters.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice art, decent dialogue, nice setup for the characters, and again, it’s just a dollar! Go get it already!

Brightest Day #1

A white power battery has appeared, and no one seems to be able to lift it. Deadman finds himself on board a ship smuggling children and is unable to help, but Aquaman and Mera appear and save the kids — with the aid of some unexpected zombie sea creatures. Meanwhile, the villain formerly known as Black Manta is working out of a seaside fish shop — when he hears that Aquaman has returned to life, he kills all his customers and gets his armor out of storage. Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch are unable to separate from the Firestorm matrix, and the Martian Manhunter, trying to terraform Mars, has a vision of himself murdering Professor Erdel, the Earth scientist who accidentally brought him to Earth. And Hawkman and Hawkgirl pursue a bunch of criminals who have stolen the bones of Prince Khufu and Princess Chay-Ara — the original versions of the Hawks from Ancient Egypt.

Verdict: Thumbs down. We get a lot of different stories, all just barely addressed before we rush off to some other barely-addressed story. It’s a rotten way to tell a story — it’s only a way to stretch out a crossover. And there are worse problems than that. In the zero issue, Aquaman was afraid to go in the water — now he’s swimming around just fine. We also get calls-back to the “Blackest Night” crossover, with Aquaman’s zombie sea minions and the partial reappearance of Martian Manhunter’s Black Lantern costume when he has his vision of Professor Erdel. And quite honestly, as much fun as “Blackest Night” was, it’s not a good sign when your first crossover afterwards is already running back to that well again.

And on top of that, the implied promise of “Brightest Day” — a more hopeful, more “Silver Age,” less mindlessly murderous future for DC’s comics — has already been completely abandoned. A zombie shark gorily dismembers someone, a blood-drenched Black Manta slaughters three people at more-or-less random, and we get treated to detailed closeups of some commandos getting shot in the back of the head. Sure, I expected DC to go back to lazy massacres soon, but I never imagined it’d happen so quickly. I thought for sure Geoff Johns could go at least a few issues before splattering some guy’s blood across the page.

I’m giving this one just one more chance. I don’t have infinite patience for crossovers any more.

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Dawn of the Brightest Day

Brightest Day #0

Well, the Blackest Night is finished — now it’s time for the Brightest Day. DC’s newest crossover is leaning hard on the implication that stuff’s finally going to be less bleak and horrible, but no one’s buying that too much. Still, an interesting start for this new series — Deadman is the only revived ex-zombie who’s still wearing a White Lantern Ring, and he’s just discovered that it allows him to revive the dead. The ring also takes him on a tour around the solar system catching up with the other twelve resurrected characters. Aquaman is making up for lost time with Mera but is afraid to go back in the water. Professor Zoom and Captain Boomerang are locked up in Iron Heights Penitentiary. Hawkman and Hawkgirl are remembering all their past lives while shady characters uncover the ancient bones of the Hawks’ first Egyptian incarnations. Maxwell Lord has another plan to take over the world. The Martian Manhunter wants to rebuild Mars. Jade is getting training from the Green Lantern Corps. Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch are stuck in the Firestorm matrix together, even though they hate each other. Osiris hopes to bring Black Adam and Isis back. Hawk and Dove are not really going to work out as crimefighting partners. So why did all these specific people get brought back from the dead?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not the most enthralling debut ever, but it’s not bad. This functions more as a re-introduction to these characters before most of them are farmed out to other comic books, but it’s a fairly charming re-intro. Dialogue seems fine, very nice character conflicts being set up, and the art by Fernando Pasarin is very, very nice.

The Flash #1

Barry Allen is back as the Flash getting re-acquainted with Central City. He’s back on the job as a police scientist — his long absence explained away as a few years in the witness protection program — in a police department plagued by high turnover and too many unsolved cases. And the first big mystery of the day — the apparent murder downtown of the Mirror Master. Who’s behind it? The Rogues? A new player? A threat from the future? Or it is Barry himself?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice glimpse into the fairly rotten situation Barry has gotten himself into. The current version of Central City is no Gotham City, but it’s a place where the cops are not generally winning the fight against crime. And Barry is definitely the odd man out at his new job — most of his coworkers really dislike him, ’cause the brass have been pushing him as the golden boy who’s going to fix the department. Fighting supervillains almost sounds easy in comparison…

And hey, I definitely need to drop y’all another reminder — don’t forget the Lubbock Comic Book Expo, this Saturday and Sunday at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. Let’s turn it over to Will Terrell, and he can tell you what’s what:

We have a great event planned for everyone, with lots of Fun Sketch Club activities for the whole family, from group drawing tables, silent panel comics and even a stick-figure drawing competition!  We also have talented comic book artists selling their own books, art and sketches.  And even costumed characters!  This event is part of the Lubbock arts festival.  The festival is $2 for adults and $1 for kids, and the Comic Expo is free!  The Expo will be 10-7 Sat and 11-5 Sun, and we will be upstairs.

We hope to see you this weekend!  This will be the fourth comic convention our group has organized.  When we first started, our intention was that if we were only able to do ONE convention, that we hoped it would be one that people would remember fondly for years to come.  We have been extremely blessed to be able to put on FOUR shows that have far surpassed our hopes and expectations.  They have all been very fun and memorable for everyone that attended them!

There ya go — be there or be square.

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