Although my local shop did not receive its order of White Lantern rings associated with this issue, which at first had been really one of my only reasons to purchase it after reading issue #0, I have to admit my own enjoyment at finishing this story. While I’m not yet sold on the series after the fatigue and letdown I felt at the completion of Blackest Night, Geoff Johns & Peter Tomasi have crafted a solid and intriguing story that convinced me to give this new series more attention beyond the first issue.
I realize that DC is remaining mute on just how Brightest Day will tie into the related books such as Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, and others, but one of my major hesitations in committing to this series is time and money, especially the cost of a bimonthly series after having shelled out a considerable amount for the main Blackest Night series and its various mini-series and one-shots. When I finished the latest Green Lantern #53, I was not so much disappointed by the story but rather the potentially misleading information Johns revealed to fan who wanted to continue buying Green Lantern, but not Brightest Day. According Johns on Twitter, you could read only Green Lantern and miss out on Deadman. Here, in Brightest Day #1, Green Lantern plays a very insignificant role, with his primary use being on the cover to sell and market the book. It appears that Johns was correct and Hal Jordan’s involvement will primarily occur in the pages of his own series, which is probably for the best as both Johns and Tomasi are already juggling a stellar cast of characters, each of whom deserves their moment to shine.
This is definitely the big action sequence explosion of the series that so often began James Bond films as Johns and Tomasi thankfully move away from the third-person narration that dominated Johns’ Flash Rebirth and quite a bit of Blackest Night, and instead allow the characters’ dialogue to shape the momentum of the scenes. Hardly anytime goes by and no rest at all for the reader as the one-two punch just keeps coming, and this pacing and timing is beautifully captured by the artistic team of Ivan Reis, Pat leason, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark, and Joe Prado. Suffice to say, that while my only previous experience with Aquaman had been with the Super Friends on tv or as a member in JLA, I want to know more about Black Manta more than ever. And, although I am unfamiliar with Hath-Set and the Thanagarian duo of Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Johns and Tomasi pique my curiousity in way not seen since 52.
Will this title join my buy pile? Right now, I’m not sure. From a purely economical angle, the delivery of a well-written, well-plotted forty-page story for only $2.99 is a big draw for me personally. I’ve had to skip several of my favorite authors because their recent books have been in the $3.99 range and it’s cheaper to wait for a trade collection or catch back issue sales at local stores to get them. I had told myself from the onset that I’d give Brightest Day a chance, originally referring to issues #0 and #1. If Johns and Tomasi can maintain this level of excitement and adventure alongside solid story-telling, then Brightest Day looks to be one of the best books of the coming months.