Posted by: Graeme McMillan on May 6, 2010
Pardon me one moment, while I rant about one small thing concerning BRIGHTEST DAY #1. Namely, it’s not the first issue. I know, I know; it’s numbered “1”, and the cover says “First Issue,” but… it’s really not. Not just in the sense of “There was an issue prior to this” (Although, you know, that should be a clue right there), but in the sense of, “There are no real introductions or beginnings in this ‘first’ issue, if someone picked it up cold and didn’t know that there’d been an #0.” Each of the story threads is already in progress, and the characters barely introduced. The first scene, in fact, picks up from the cliffhanger of the previous issue, which itself picks up from the end of Blackest Night #8. Beyond the number on the cover, there is nothing “first issue”-ish about this issue. Bad form, DC.
(Don’t get me wrong; I’ve got nothing against the idea of an #0, and DC have shown they can do it right: Blackest Night #0, and even this week’s Superman: War Of The Supermen #0 – Whatever happened to that JG Jones cover, by the way? – did it “right,” or close enough for me to be happy… Spend the #0 setting the scene and bringing new readers up to speed, but then open #1 with an introduction in and of itself. Speaking of SUPERMAN: WAR OF THE SUPERMEN #1 – Well, I didn’t see that coming; guess I know why that last mini-series was called Last Stand of New Krypton, even though they won. It also signposts a way to end this whole storyline, but despite it being a low-Good, high-Okay read, I remain weirdly uncomfortable and unhappy with the brutality it has, and the casual treatment it gives what’s a breathtakingly genocidal act – It’s literally “Lots of people dead for cheap motivation! Let’s get on with the ass-kicking!” so far, and I hope there’s something more to this in future issues.)
With all of that out the way, Brightest Day #1 is… Okay, I guess? It’s too early to make any real decisions or declarations about the series as a whole, but from the first two issues, it already feels scattered and out-of-control (due to scale, perhaps) in a way that its closest relative, 52, never did, perhaps because I’m already expecting the crossovers and stories tumbling in and out of this series the way that they did in Countdown. I’m also already worried that we’ll see some kind of “They’re all still Black Lanterns really!” reveal coming down the line, considering the Aquaman and Martian Manhunter scenes, which is pretty much 100% what I don’t want from this series – I understand the value of the core narrative to keep fans engaged, but I’m already wearily wishing that the characters had been reborn without this mystery hanging over their heads, and that Brightest Day was a series really merely looking at how they dealt with returning to life. But that may explain why I don’t work in comics.
What do the rest of you think?