Artists: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Patrick Gleason, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark, Norm Rapmund, Vicente Cifuentes, Oclair Albert, Tom Nguyen, Mick Gray, Mark Irin and David Beaty
You don’t really realize how much work goes into a comic until you have to type up everyone who worked on the book name for your review. Being that this is the final issue though, I assume it was half to give credit to all the wonderful people who worked on the series, and half to get it out on time.
That said, I won’t start this review off the same way I did with Generation Lost. The major differences between the two is I knew coming out of Blackest Night that I would need to read this series, and it had expectations attached to it. And unlike Generation Lost, I felt that this series’ quality was like a rollercoaster ride, it had some terrific highs but when it was low it was low. So I feel there was an added pressure on the finale to deliver. Would all the plot points be tied together neatly? Would our journey have been worth it? Do all characters get their moment to shine?
The short of it is, the issue is good and has some tremendous emotional beats, and it does conclude the series, but I feel in a manner it robbed the reader. I guess my biggest issue deals with the White Light hero, the one the entire series has been built around. I mean they’ve built it up nicely, but then to have it be a character who wasn’t really featured in the books until the cliffhanger of 23 and then for him to get the bulk of the issue just feels wrong. For 23 issues, we’ve followed the adventures of the Hawks, Firestorm, Deadman, Hawk and Dove, Aquaman and Manhunter. And they all get their moment in this book, but nothing on the scale you would have imagined from their rebirths at the end of Blackest Night.
Now don’t get me wrong, what’s in the issue is fine, and it does include a proper conclusion to the main plot and several of the subplots, but it just felt like not enough attention was put on the main characters so that we could get the big bad final battle.
That said, as I mentioned before, the main characters all do get some moment in the comic. Some are more satisfactory than others, and some really pull on your heart string. The moment between Boston Brand and Dove has to be the strongest in the issue and perhaps one of the best in the series. I’m honestly not sure what happened with the Hawk-people, but won’t go into that for spoiler reason. Firestorm sets up their own little personal side story I guess, and the rest find some form of peace.
I would note, and this is something one of my Tweeps pointed out, that there were characters who had their own plot/development in various series like Gen Lost or Green Arrow or The Flash, who get noticed in like a single panel here. It was a weak inclusion, but hey at least somebody remembered these were supposed to tie together!
Another minor point is that the conclusion of this story needs the reader to know more information than provided for in the 24 issues they were given, and while its cool for fans of the character, it probably doesn’t sit as well for people who are unfamiliar with him.
With a list of artist longer than this page, it is no surprise that the art in this book is fantastic. You get some awesome imagery and splash pages throughout the book. I would share some, but as I’ve been vague on most specific things in this book, I don’t want to ruin it for you.
Brightest Day as a whole is a tough nut to crack. The series as I mentioned before varied greatly in quality. Most of what transpired throughout the run of the series, doesn’t really matter by the end of the series. Aside from the new White lantern hero, not much has really changed as far as the status quo goes. Which isn’t always a bad thing, but at the end of the day, you could probably get away with not reading the series and still understanding what has been going on in the DCU with no problems.
Recommendation: Rental Hey, if a friend has it, I’d read it, but wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it.
New Reader Accessibility: 1 This book could go higher or lower. Lower in the sense that it wants you to be familiar with characters not presented in the book until the finale, but somehow vastly important to the story. Higher in the sense that the book really does take its time explaining one of the new key characters in great detail, which is kind of weird in the finale, but it works here to a degree. Anyhow, like I said with Gen Lost, I’d never recommend someone jumping in at the final issue of an arc especially a year-long maxi-series.