Revelations of disturbing natures are made for several people involved before the series shifts a bit to the cosmic scale with the least cosmic of people.
What They Say:
BRIGHTEST DAY continues, but in ways you can’t possibly expect! What does BRIGHTEST DAY mean to the DC Universe? Is everything from here on out going to be bright and shiny? No, BRIGHTEST DAY means something else entirely, something we can’t tell you…yet. But we can tell you our heroes will need to rise up more than ever to combat the forces of evil, and a select few will uncover a secret that binds them ALL.
With the second issue of the series, Brightest Day continues to focus largely on the same cast of characters as the first, though it’s expanding things a bit. A good part of its focus is on Firestorm, a character that I once enjoyed thoroughly but feels somewhat dated in a way compared to others these days. Bringing back this strange combination has made for some tough moments as neither of the characters that make up the pairing are coming across well while Professor Stein and Ray Palmer work to figure out how to solve them. It doesn’t help that Ray dons a really awkward looking protective suit this time around as well in order to shrink down and enter Firestorm to check out the matrix inside to see what’s going on in there. And as bad as the two characters come across while fused together, their position isn’t helped any further when they start to hear a voice that eggs them on to arguing with each other which makes the whole situation more volatile. Nobody comes cross well here, but the mysterious voice is the first intriguing area in the story so far.
One storyline that is curious here involves the very slowly percolating path that the Martian Manhunter is following. With him back on Earth following the dream he had, he’s found out that the scientist he knew back when he was discovered had a daughter, so he spends some decidedly creepy moments trying to track her down. And when he does, because she’s not altogether there anymore in her mind, he takes on Erdel’s appearance and plays the role of her father in order to try and discern something of what the dream means. As an expanded origin piece, it also ties in to something else that’s out there that’s about to start hunting him down. I’ve always liked J’onzz, but he’s a difficult character to deal with because of his aloof personality. His arc here has him coming across in a way that definitely shows his alien nature and the way he still seems disconnected from the emotions of humanity.
The other two primary elements of this issue revolves around the other main characters so far. Carter and Shiera have discovered who it is that’s been watching them throughout their lives and come to realize the scope of just how twisted and disturbing it is as Hath-Set’s collection of post-death masks he’s made of them over the centuries is revealed. The nature of how they’re reincarnated has been dealt with a lot over the years, but little has been said about what happens to their bodies afterward. I’m not sure it needed to be explored, but as a way for these two to start defining their lives more, coming to an understanding of it is likely necessary since they never thought about it before. In addition to this, the Boston Brand story finishes out the book and leaves me really wanting more of his storyline, almost more than any other one at this point. With the White Ring bringing him all over and some different voice talking to him now about what needs to be done, he’s gone through the personal side of experiences so far but is about to be thrust into the huge cosmic side of it with what he’s being told to fight.
This Comixology edition of Brightest Day contains both the David Finch primary cover which features Aquaman and the Ivan Reis variant cover which puts its focus on Firestorm. With the variant included in here as it would be with a trade paperback release, it’s definitely a welcome value added piece for digital fans rather than making us choose between two editions to buy, a practice I do not like as I’ve seen it done elsewhere.
Brightest Day grabbed my attention easily with the zero issue and then held it with the first issue, but this one has to work a bit harder. There are definitely interesting things afoot here with some of the characters but it’s balanced out by story plots that are less than interesting. The Firestorm arc is full of anger, which is certainly appropriate considering what they’re going through, but it’s not engaging. You can see a lot of setup still at play and it all looks good, but the disturbing moments are what really defines it. J’onzz taking on the role of a dead man to gather information out of a woman who’s losing her mind, Carter and Shiera discover new things about past bodies and Firestorm falls for some racial insensitivity. Similar to the first two issues, I really want to follow Brand’s story more and this one certainly sets up a lot of expectations for what’s to follow. I certainly don’t expect every issue to be non-stop revelations and advancements, but this one leaves me feeling a little uncertain about how far it wants to go with some things.