Overview

Brightest Day #3

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Brightest Day #3

Credits

  • Words: Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi
  • Art: Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark, Joe Prado, David Finch, Scott Williams, and Peter Steigerwald
  • Inks: Vicente Cifuentes, David Beaty, and Mark Irwin
  • Colors: Aspen MLT's Peter Steigerwald, John Starr, and Beth Sotelo
  • Story Title: Revelations
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 3, 2010

For a series that has consistently delivered in its short four issue lifespan and one that was previously described as having yet to disappoint, the honeymoon has officially hit its first bump with Brightest Day #3. 

Unlike the previous issues, this latest offering from Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi shows the hazards when juggling multiple storylines side-by-side doesn't fully pay off and the seams begin to show.  While not enough for new readers to jettison the book, as this issue is perhaps the bridge between a high-powered issue #2 and later stories, the suspensions (to maintain the bridging metaphor) are very strained.

Brightest Day #3 picks up exactly where #2 ended and it's relieving to see Johns and Tomasi move away from the plot summary of the previous issue or the events unfolding in Green Lantern or Green Lantern Corps.  Of all the Brightest Day stories, this is the first standalone one that attempts to move the plot forward without playing catch-up or rehashing prior trials and encounters. 

The story begins with Deadman combating the Anti-Monitor and from the outset the fear and the dramatic threat initiated by the last panel of issue #2 are reinforced; however, the actual "battle" leaves much to be desired as the entire meeting is little more than an opportunity for the White Lantern ring to teach Deadman a lesson.  In the process, this undercuts much of the action and emotional buildup that the cliffhanger left readers with in #2.  Perhaps it's this letdown in the beginning that makes the transitions between stories much more apparent.  As a result, readers may come away with a feeling of reading separate, disconnected vignettes rather than a cohesive narrative of different characters building towards a central theme or goal.

The remaining stories in Brightest Day #3 also fail to live up to the intensity of their predecessors.  Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch are bedridden and while it's understandable that not every panel or sequence requires non-stop action or super-heroics to make a strong sequential story, the pacing and progression really stall within these four pages.  Even the appearance of Aquaman and Mera, and the short-lived fight with a deceased orca do little to resuscitate this installment.  The only compelling tales within Brightest Day are the two-page Martian Manhunter story where he learns even more about Melissa Erdel's memories and his arrival on Earth, and the three-page Hawkman story.  While neither overcomes the weaknesses of the preceding stories, they should provide just enough mystery and intrigue to keep casually committed readers tied to DC's mega event.

Artistically, apart from the cover and the short Hawkman/Hawkgirl detour, this issue also appears to lack the emotional punch and atmosphere of the others as well.  There is little doubt that the Anti-Monitor is a terrifying force bent on destruction, but it's nothing DC readers haven't already seen before.  Additionally, there is also a certain level of awkwardness in the facial depictions of Ronnie, Professor Stein, and even Aquaman that prior issues do not share.

Brightest Day #3 is not a bad comic and no event that has been hyped and promoted such as this can ever live up to such glorified expectations; however, after the stellar performance of Johns and Tomasi on the first couple issues, this latest adventure seems to fall short of the bar they have already firmly established.

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