What They Say:
There can be only one who wields the White Lantern…but is it truly Deadman? And what will happen when he attempts to charge the white ring? Meanwhile, Ronnie Raymond risks everything for Firestorm, Martian Manhunter uncovers more clues about the bizarre string of murders stretching across the country, Aquaman searches for the key to the ocean’s survival and the Hawks come face-to-face with the evil that lurks within the strange land known only as Hawkworld!
Brightest Day continues its use of multiple storylines and this issue reinforces my belief that the one involving Hawkman and Hawkgirl is the current weak link in the series for me. Since going through the gate to this otherworldly place, events for them have been bloody and brutal but it’s also lacked clarity and focus. With the two of them separated, Carter is doing his best to get to the Nth City in order to find Shiera. This gives him a chance to learn a bit more about the world in a very casual way with how the Lionmane pride is take advantage of and how those that are taken to the Nth City are literally tossed from it to plummet to their deaths below when their use is all dried up. Shiera’s storyline offers a little more meat to it as she deals with her time in the Nth City and there is a revelation that the woman ruling over it may actually be her mother, which is certainly open to debate with the way it unfolds. Still, it’s a shock for Shiera that comes at a time when Carter thinks he may have the army he needs down below to achieve his goals. It’s the kind of movement that’s helpful in a story but the characters and world they’re in really hasn’t been all that appealing so far and this only reinforces it.
The story at the White Battery doesn’t offer up much either, but it’s a small part of the issue overall as the group that’s assembled there, Boston Brand, Hawk and Dove, try to figure out what’s going on. The idea that the White Lanterns have been brought into existence in order to help usher in someone else, a true protector that will take on the mantle effectively, is an interesting one as it builds up an order before the head can be there. But that doesn’t sit well with Hawk in the slightest, no surprise, as he believes the only reason he has been brought back is to eradicate crime and to protect Dove. His mindset certainly isn’t that different in a lot of ways from how he was introduced quite a few years ago and considering the nature of the character, that’s appealing. Boston, for his part, just wants to do all that he’s told by the Battery in order to get the ring off his finger so he can find what his purpose or path is. Of course, events have to play out in a way that ticks off Hawk with Dove and Boston being whisked away by the ring to find Hal Jordan.
The part of this issue that really kept my attention though involved my favorite martians as M’gann tries to prove to J’onn the truth of what happened with her encounter with the other green martian. With his belief that he is the last of his kind and that all the white martians have been accounted for, he has to believe that it’s just a rogue white they missed somehow who has gone to ground for so many years and is now making his play. When M’gann shows him the truth in her mind, it sets him off to find this creature with a real passion. Or at least as much passion as J’onn can show. The idea that he may not be the last is certainly something to motivate him, but that they are actually quite violent and have little regard for anything goes against his hopes and dreams, the peace that he’s found in himself. The fight that’s shown between M’gann and the green is short but really nicely done as it works both in terms of the physical attack as well as the psychological side. J’onn’s newfound determination isn’t something we saw often and it’s something that has a definite edge of darkness to it.
This Comixology edition of Brightest Day contains both the David Finch primary cover which features Hawkgirl looking quite menacing and the Ivan Reis variant cover which has a really great, clean image of Firestorm all in white sitting on a throne. It has a really ominous yet regal look to it. 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 doesn’t provide any significant forward momentum here, but it does put a few characters on some interesting paths. J’onn has a lot to grapple with in the idea that there may be another, that he may not be the last of his race, but it’s colored by the fact that the other survivor isn’t quite like him in terms of his sense of justice or serenity of mind. Those at the White Battery find themselves on a path that’s slowly making more sense but just asks more questions while Hawkman and Hawkgirl operate in another world altogether that still hasn’t clicked well. Its connection to the main storyline isn’t even tenuous at best yet as I’m unsure of where it’s trying to go or what it means. What I do know is that it hasn’t interested me terribly and is the main weak storyline in an otherwise very fun and engaging series to read so far.