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No Zero Issue Rage Shall Escape My Sight

Graeme McMillan

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?

13 Responses to “ No Zero Issue Rage Shall Escape My Sight ”

  1. #0 killed all interest I might have had.

  2. I’m liking it so far to the extent that it seems to be drifting toward becoming a Justice League book, featuring most of the Justice League characters Johns wants to write. That dovetails with the JLA I’d actually want to read about (as opposed to the actual JLA book since shortly after Morrison left), plus Deadman and a couple of others. Maybe Deadman is filling the 70s-era League slot filled by the Phantom Stranger.

    To the extent that Blackest Night threads are present, I see them as potnentially providing a convenient central challenge for the heroes to overcome together–although the series will likely fail to satisfy my desire for it to play out that way.

  3. Maybe they should have launched separate mini-series for each returning character. But I guess that would not have marketed as well.

  4. As a marketing strategy, what they’re doing actually makes more sense than separate books–what Hawkman, Aquaman, the Atom, Firestorm, the Martian Manhunter etc have in common aside from being old-school JLA members is that none of them can support their own series. Ganging them all up in a team book of sorts is a smart, strength-in-numbers way to keep the characters active. They’d certainly all hang separately, so I see this as a Green Lantern-assisted experiment in whether they can at least hang together.

  5. And I say that with the caveat that I pretty much agree with everything Chris Sims says here:


  6. Good to read the Sims piece as I’ve had essentially the same thoughts.

    My interest in Brightest Day is almost totally because of Deadman. I thought resurrecting him was one of those inspired ideas that you never would have thought of but seems so obvious afterward. I curious to see what happen with him.

  7. It seems my brain turned off with that last sentence: “I’m curious to see what will happen with him.”

  8. I’m interested to see what they do, but I enjoyed #0 a lot more… I didn’t mind it being such a bunch of teases.
    That said, I don’t think there was any real progression in this issue at all… just more of the same.

    What happened to Deadman being in a forest?
    Why did the Lantern create a forest?

  9. Because that’s going to be Green Arrow’s new headquarters.

  10. As much as I want to read this because of the characters involved, Geoff Johns scares me…
    Back when he wasn’t so much of a superstar and just kind of a rising star, I really enjoyed some of his work, particulary his first run on JSA and the quirky/interesting Day of Judgement mini that turned the dead Hal Jordan into the Spectre.
    But I don’t find a lot of interesting ideas and wonder in Johns’ work anymore, if they were ever truly there to begin with.
    Perhaps if Johns had a different co-writer on this whom I trusted I might be more willing to part with the coin to read it. But Tomasi isn’t someone I trust to reign in Johns’ penchant for blood and gore and death and violence. So I’m staying far, far away from this.

  11. “Because that’s going to be Green Arrow’s new headquarters.”

    But WHY?

  12. Sorry – WHY would the white lantern want to do that?

  13. Agree, Graeme. I come at this from bypassing (JLA being teh exception) Blackest Night. I rate Good to high Okay, and I’m willing to hang in there for Arthur/Mera and, surprisingly, the reunited old-school Hawks. It would be interesting to see all of these characters back on track, if even ultimately part of a larger team book.

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