Monday, 10 May 2010

Proud Lion Recommends Brightest Day #1

Brightest Day settles into its groove with issue #1, reminiscent of the pace of its spiritual predecessor 52.

For me, Countdown and Trinity struggled to get that same style. 52 was a complex comic book weaving multiple story arcs together. Some issues would only have a few pages to the different threads, but each narrative had momentum.

Brightest Day #0 established that the now alive Deadman would be our guide. His white ring continues to make him skip between the other returnees, yet leaves him invisible to them. And now we discover he is unable to intervene too, as he witnesses modern day pirates and slavers about to brutalise children.

Thankfully, Aquaman and Mera are back. Words I never thought I'd type by the way. Fishboy - sorry, Aquaman - was always a character I mocked, but Brightest Day #1 makes him a bad-ass. Something is not right in Arthur curry's world, but it certainly makes him a much more interesting character.

We also see Martian Manhunter's continuing renovations of Mars, when a psychic flash pulls him away and onto the next leg of his journey. One panel also hints that things aren't quite right for J'onn J'onzz either.

There's also a look at Hal, Carol and Sinestro and the White Lantern battery becomes akin to something from English legend. Plus, more of Hawkman and Hawkgirl - who are also characters I never really liked until Brightest Day #0.

What is telling, is that certain characters are notable by their absence. If you want to see what Maxwell Lord is up to for example, you'll need to keep buying.

Thus - as I said at the start - the rhythm from 52 returns. I have no doubt that this will be a fine addition to the DCU.

DC Comics certainly have a distinctive art style that many of their artists use and it certainly makes their comics accessible if somewhat homogenised compared to the distinctive artistic styles on offer at Marvel. That said, at least DC never makes me suffer through Humberto Ramos and his quirky brethren.

Brightest Day is recognisably a DC Comic, but this is one of those cases where it works very, very well. Five different artists worked on this issue, yet rather than lurching from one style to the next like Brian Michael Bendis' Daredevil #50, Brightest Day #1 is a smooth ride. Some panels simply sing, the rest do the job nicely.

If you loved Blackest Night, 52 or you're a fan of any of the twelve returnees you have to buy this title. For more info, check out the special minisite DC have set up.

Brightest Day #2 is out May 20th.

Ben Fardon is the owner, proprietor, manager and filing clerk for Proud Lion. Bascially, Ben is Proud Lion is Ben. He often uses the personal pronoun 'we', in an attempt to not feel like a man alone. In that context 'we' refers to Ben, the bricks and mortar, the stock and the branding that comprises Proud Lion. It also makes him sound kind of crazy. 'We' are OK with that.

Ben has been reading comics since he was five years old and his Dad bought him a Transformers comic at the local newsagent. In the same comic were reprints of Iron Man in the red and silver armour. To this day, Tony Stark is his favourite superhero.

He likes eating, swimming and science fiction Tv series. He recently became addicted to The West Wing.

One day, he'll finish a script for something.

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