Overview

Brightest Day #1

Review

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Brightest Day #1

Credits

  • Words: Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi
  • Art: Ivan Reis, Pat Gleason, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark, Joe Prado
  • Inks: Vicente Cifuentes, Mark Irwin, Oclair Albert, David Beaty
  • Colors: Peter Steigerwald
  • Story Title: "Second Chances"
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: May 5, 2010

The hardest thing about putting out a book like Brightest Day #0 is following it up with a first issue that’s just as strong or stronger than its predecessor. In Brightest Day #1, Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi and a couple of hockey lines worth of artists attempt to keep the momentum rolling in the unfolding saga of the White Lantern.

Unfortunately, they’re only partially successful. As Boston Brand continues his trek around the globe, surreptitiously checking in with Aquaman and Mera, a handful of resurrected heroes struggle to cope with their new status quo. Although, he’s no longer the main POV character, Brand is still engaging in his new role as bearer of the white ring. With the revelation that the white entity has transformed into a power battery that not even Hal Jordan can lift, Johns and Tomasi seem to be setting up Brand as the only man who can pull the sword from the stone. It’s an ironic, if tongue-in-cheek metaphor and an unexpected evolution of an intriguing underused character, one that will hopefully garner him newfound appreciation and fans.

Each of the resurrected heroes featured in this issue must still face the ongoing repercussions of their return. There’s no easy way out for a sea king that only the dead follow. Johns and Tomasi continue to do a terrific job with all of these characters, providing the audience with a couple of character moments carrying true emotional impact.

The story’s pace cruises along smoothly, at a nice clip but the dialogue and narration lack the same cohesiveness. At times, Johns and Tomasi have an almost intuitive understanding of the characters they’re writing, as is the case with Boston Brand. Other characters lack the same natural cadence, their dialogue sounding either stiff or overwrought. The Martian Manhunter’s scene, while visually spectacular, feels awkward because J’onn spends the entire time talking out loud – to himself.

Although numerous artists contribute pages to this issue, the visuals remain fairly consistent throughout. Reis, Gleason, and crew all have similar styles in the traditional DC mold but it was still a little surprising that the art didn’t suffer too much overall. Here’s the thing, though. Besides Reis, it’s almost impossible to tell which artist drew which page. Again, this is a good thing for the sake of consistency, but for those of us who are curious about some of the more unfamiliar names on the creative team, there’s no clear indication where one artist’s work ends and another’s begins.

I can remember a time when first issues meant something, when they were collectors’ items because of great storytelling and not simply due to the number under the logo. In this day and age of alpha and omega issues, zero issues, and perpetual reboots, revamps, and relaunches, the first issue of a comic series no longer holds any weight. Dimmed by the rush to capitalize on the momentum of the previous chapter and keep the marketing gods happy, Brightest Day #1 isn’t a bad comic. It simply fails to shine like its predecessor.

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