Brightest Day #4 - The jakob187 Review
With events, it can be difficult to space things out enough for multiple characters to ensure a good amount of face time while still capturing the parts of the story that need to be told. Brightest Day #4 finally brings in a couple of characters that haven't shown up since #0, but it's at the sacrifice of abandoning other characters for a full issue. The breaking of this pace isn't detrimental to the overall story arc, as it does offer a nice timeout for other folks to get some spotlight. Unfortunately, it doesn't feel like all the events are played to their full potential this time.
We start out from the cliffhanger at the end of #3, as Hawkman and Hawkgirl find out that Hath-set has collected all of the bones from their past lives' bodies and made some sort of giant gateway out of them. There is some dialogue shared between them, which was actually nice as it builds up a little tension between the two of them. Hawkgirl wants to walk away after destroying the gate, but Hawkman wants to go through the portal to find Hath-set and kill him. Are they walking into a trap? We know how Hawkman and Hawkgirl's dynamic works, and frankly, it feels like Geoff Johns is about to get these fools killed so they can have a reboot. I'm calling it now.
After that we see Deadman show up in Dove's bedroom, and after exchanging some words about who Deadman was and who Dove is, Hank Hall shows up to defend Dove after she switched into her suit. The Deadman/Dove/Hawk stuff takes over the majority of the space in this book, and it was pretty interesting stuff. Hank is a big ball of angry and pissed-off, while Dove and Deadman want to figure out what is going on. The final panel really brings up the question of whether Deadman is free to use the powers of the White Ring at his own will, or if there is some predestined path that everyone has to walk down.
There was a part that involved Ronnie and Jason, and while people will say that the three pages were short and minimal, they are actually a pretty big deal for those characters. The person that Ronnie ends up seeing in this short time plays an important role in who he is, and the atomic symbol appearing on Jason's head sparks some real questions as well. The problem with this story is that the cover has Black Lantern Firestorm...but he's nowhere in the issue! What gives? DC, stop putting Finch covers on books just to put Finch covers on books!
The final part, which actually had me questioning what I knew about people, was a panel of a specific "woman of the water" leaping out of the ocean in the Bermuda Triangle at a tanker that has found dead people floating after a plane crash...donned in red attire. This follows a portion showcasing the introduction of Aqualad, which was a small piece of filler but still good information to know about the character.
That's where the problem with this issue rears its ugly head, though: it's all filler. It's "hey, let's see what happens when we do this" for the most part. The events that happen in this issue have no context as to where they are going or what is happening. It's difficult to get any form of hype for them unless you have some history of characters prior to Brightest Day as well as a little patience. The revelations are coming with each issue, sure, but what does it all mean? This isn't Grant Morrison writing a book. It's Geoff Johns. We shouldn't be stuck playing a bunch of guesswork about characters showing up left and right with all these crazy intentions...and not know where it is going.
Hopefully, the next few issues can pan some stuff out better. Otherwise, I'd almost be willing to say that they could've just run separate books for each of these characters and it would've allowed for more cohesive and comprehensive storytelling.