Brightest Day #0 - The jakob187 Review
With the Blackest Night at a close, the great mystery of "why these twelve people" has come upon us. Familiar faces of the past are storming the DCU to mix things up, and with Geoff Johns at the helm, it's sure to be a roller-coaster ride.
With issue #0, Johns takes the time to reintroduce long-time readers with these characters from DC's past while simultaneously giving any new readers a baseline catch-up on what they need to know for the upcoming story arc. It's one of Johns' many great talents (you can pick up Rebirth or Sinestro Wars without having any previous knowledge of what happened and be right into the story). Unfortunately, it falls a bit flat with #0 of Brightest Day. The typical idea of a #0 issue is to set up what is going to happen, but essentially, Johns just shows us the twelve who have returned, with the "resurrected" Boston Brand (aka Deadman) being transported between everyone to see what is going on.
The set ups for each character can be confusing without any real back story being presented, which can easily help create interest in these individuals' previous stories. Johns just doesn't make them that intriguing, and aside from popular and established characters like Aquaman and Martian Manhunter, it seems like the question of "why these twelve people" is not just on us as the readers. It's something that the characters themselves exclaim many times, almost as if they are breaking the fourth wall to say "yeah, we're asking the same thing, guys".
Out of the entire issue, the most intriguing portions came from Aquaman, Maxwell Lord, and Deadman. With the reflection of a Black Lantern Aquaman shining in the water that Orin stares into while Mera goes out to swim, it's an interesting idea that there is still some level of corruption in each of these resurrected characters. Maxwell Lord's piece is short, but the mystery of what he's doing is incredibly lengthy. Who is he trying to mind control? The allusions point towards Hawkman, but this is a point of contention (and mainly, at least to me, because I've already read issue #1 as of this writing). As for Deadman, it's an interesting juxtaposition that the guy who wasn't fully dead and couldn't control that...now can't control the fact that he's a White Lantern and he's being forced to go to these places and see these events. He couldn't understand death when he was dead, and he can't understand life when he's alive. If anything, I feel that Boston Brand will end up becoming a character to watch out for, as Johns' writing on Deadman is astounding to read.
The real drawback of the issue, however, is that it's a $4.00 book that just doesn't deliver $4.00 worth of material, despite the fact that it's over sized! Most of the characters have a lacking set up for this story arc, and the issue isn't necessary in any way other than for the people who really know their DCU info.