blurred_view's Brightest Day #18 - Easy Come, Easy Go review

The Entity Is Such A C-Blocker.

Almost completely devoted to the Hawk-plot, this issue brings what has easily been the weakest of the Brightest Day storylines to seemingly an end as Hawkman and Hawkgirl complete their White Lantern tasks. Finally, we see the destination of this plot, and upon seeing it, we have to wonder why the hell we took such a terrible route to get here. 
It turns out the Hawk-plot is exactly what it was said to be at the start of the series. With the death of Hath-Set, the curse is seemingly broken and the two lovebirds have a chance to live out their lives without having to look forward to another tragic death and separation. That is a good story premise, but this is not a good story. Hath-Set stopped being the main villain of this story awhile ago. He was inexplicably replaced by Queen Shrike, who now seems to serve no real purpose. The character is so soundly defeated this issue it is hard to understand why she was ever brought into the picture. 
On top of this, it seems to make no sense that the Predator entity possesses Queen Shrike. Last issue attempted to give some weak explanation about the Predator being drawn to beings empty of love. But since when and how does that make sense? When it possessed that stalker in Las Vegas, it was a sensible commentary on the thin line between love and warped obsession. This is just plot convenience. This is just a nonsensical boss battle. Then there is the nonsense about how the only way to defeat her is to make her feel love. She has just been possessed by the embodiment of love. What? Does the Predator do nothing to a person but dress them in an ugly costume? 
What the hell was Hawkworld? What was the point of shoving Queen Shrike into this story? Why was she even attacking Zamaron? Why did the Predator possess her? This is just a trainwreck of storytelling that mercifully ends this storyline in one big cluster of pink madness. 
Then when it is all done, we get more of the Entity arbitrarily deciding things for the sake of story drama. 
This may be the worst issue of Brightest Day. It desperately tries to wrap up a plot that went off the tracks months ago, so in all fairness, this was never going to be good. Queen Shrike is a poorly conceived villain whose mother/daughter connection with Hawkgirl never materialized in a meaningful way and who was a poor replacement for Hath-Set, a villain who did have powerful dramatic connections to both Hawkgirl and Hawkman. There is never a real sense of what is at stake in the battle on Zamaron, because there is never a tangible reason why the attack is even taking place. So much reads as the plot deciding things for the sake of itself and not anything close to a natural progression of events. 
The best thing that can be said about this issue is that the art is enjoyable and it hopefully ended the Hawk-plot, leaving us with the much better plots to look forward to. Aquawar is next.

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

The Predator was drawn to the stalker because he didn't know how to feel love. That's why it culminated into Carol asking him if he loved her and he said himself, he 'WANTED' to love her. She kissed him and The Predator left. Hal asked her if she really needed to kiss him and she said, 'I needed him to feel loved to break the connection.' Just like most of the Star Sapphires are recruited AFTER true love is torn from them, The Predator possesses hosts who have a void where love should be that needs to be filled. 
Other than that, you make a lot of good points. I don't completely agree with your analysis, I think you may have judged this issue a little harshly, but you stated it all pretty well and clearly thought-out.

Posted by Blurred View
@The Mighty Monarch: But there was still a hook to the stalker. The idea that he was confusing obsession with love made sense and related well to the Star Sapphires and how they were previously portrayed as stalker-ish obsessed villains. The stalker had a warped concept of love which in turn warped the Predator. Plus, defeating him by making him feel what love was actually like made a lot of sense in that context. This story with Queen Shrike doesn't really have any of that, though. It simplifies it to just lacking love, which really isn't the same thing at all that was going on with the stalker. Queen Shrike wasn't suffering from lost love, a warped view of love or really anything to do with love. She was just power-hungry, and "loving absolute power" really doesn't work as a hook. Was she maybe jealous of Hawkman and Hawkgirl's love? That could've worked, but it wasn't really developed. But as it was, nothing to this effect was really developed and having her possessed by the Predator came off as something just artificially dictated by the plot. Not to even mention how the "feeling of love" this time came at the point of a sword instead of a meaningful moment. 
Am I harsh to this issue? Yeah, a little. I admit to that. Because there's some frustration that comes with the Hawk-plot. It started strong and aimed for a strong conclusion. It could've been great. But the entire ordeal with Queen Shrike was like a noose around its neck. To me, her ultimate defeat in this issue shows there was no point to her inclusion besides providing an awkward and artificial finale on Zamaron, The story with the Hawks hunting down Hath-Set and breaking their curse was strangled so we could ultimately have this. A nonsensical boss battle with Queen Shrike/Predator. So yeah, I feel a little insulted and cheated by that, and this issue gets to be the target of that since it's where the story comes to a head.
Posted by The Mighty Monarch
@Blurred View: Either way I think we can agree that went downhill when she was introduced. Not to mention her completely bullshit plot convenient power to 'control anything with Nth metal' which she JUST AS CONVENIENTLY LOST AS THE PLOT DEMANDED IT. I would've been a little better with her possession if they had MADE HER LOOK COOL or at least unique instead of becoming all butch and exactly the same as the last Predator host. Did Barry or Kyle look exactly the same as Hal when each of them was possessed by Parallax? HELL NO! I guess I took her death as satisfaction for killing such a terrible villain, especially when 'AT FIRST' at first I liked her because of her badass wings, then she betrayed me with her crappy powers and other stuff, while you took her defeat as, like you said, proof of her meaninglessness. 
Also I will admit, I was completely jaded by the ending of the issue.
Posted by Blurred View
@The Mighty Monarch: I just realized something. I was so frustrated with all this stuff surrounding Queen Shrike that I totally forgot to mention what I think one of the main failings of the Hawk-plot has been. 
Shiera. Now, I liked Kendra a lot but I'm not saying I hated that Shiera was brought back instead. I'm saying that since they brought her back it was their duty to sell me on her character in this story. That's the point of Brightest Day, isn't it? A Rebirth for a bunch of these resurrected characters. Well, here we are and I don't know ANYTHING about who this character is. Besides being a white redhead, I have no clue how she is different from Kendra. I don't think this story at any point spent any time characterizing Shiera. The only reason I can see that she was brought back was to have that hollow connection with... Queen freaking Shrike! 
I just can't stop thinking about how much better this whole plot would have been without Queen Shrike. More time could've been spent showing us what Carter and Shiera are like together and how their dynamic is so different from Carter and Kendra's. Or show us more of what Shiera is like as an individual character. Maybe a better way to tie things into the Star Sapphire Corps could have been figured out. Hath-Set could have had a more deserving role and a death that wasn't so underwhelming that I seriously cannot remember how he died as I write this.
Posted by The Mighty Monarch
@Blurred View: Ah. I have little to no history with either of them, so that whole issue of Kendra vs. Shiera just kind of glossed over for me.

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