Monday, May 31, 2010

BRIGHTEST DAY #1

“Second Chances”


Writer: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi

Penciller: Ivan Reis, Pat Gleason, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark, Joe Prado

Inker: Vicente Cifuentes, Mark Irwin, Oclair Albert, David Beaty

Editor: Eddie Berganza


Synopsis


In Silver City, NM, Hal Jordan, Carol Ferris and Thaal Sinestro attempt to take possession of the White Lantern power battery, but they find that they cannot move it. Carol likens it to the sword in the stone of Arthurian myth, prompting Hal to wonder where King Arthur is…


Aquaman and Mera rise from the ocean to rescue a group of children kidnapped off a cruise ship; unbeknownst to them, an invisible Boston Brand, bound to the White Lantern power ring, watches. The duo dispatches the modern-day pirates, but another ship attacks. Aquaman uses his powers over sea life to summon a giant squid and a shark, unaware that they are dead. The King of the Seas is shocked, as his abilities are acting like they did when he was a Black Lantern…


In Westport, MA, news of Aquaman and Mera’s exploits are being broadcast on GBS News. Upon hearing the news that Aquaman has returned from the dead, a worker in a local fish store goes on a bloody rampage, killing all those inside…


At Pittsburgh University, Firestorm has been sequestered. Jason and Ronnie are seemingly unable to split apart, and it is exacerbating the tension between the two men. However, things don’t get any better when Ray Palmer and Martin Stein inform them that they have bad news…


On Mars, J’onn J’onzz melts a huge block of ice, in an effort to restore water to his planet. He suddenly receives a psychic flash involving Saul Erdel and a mysterious woman whom he decides he must find…


Hawkman and Hawkgirl are drawn to the Andes Mountains in Peru by the Claw of Horus. There, high in the skies, they track down a group of mercenaries and discover that the bodies of Khufu and Chay-Ara have been stolen. One of the mercenaries sets off a concussion bomb and makes off with the Hawks’ original bodies, unaware that their old foe Hath-Set is behind the theft…


The mystery fish store worker destroys his home and walks off into the ocean. He remerges as his true self, the undersea pirate Black Manta…


Notes


Page 1: Russell and Jerry are the two Silver City police officers that are attempting to lift the White Lantern power battery; Jerry is the sheriff. They first appeared in Blackest Night #8.


I don’t think that either of them is destined for a great future in the DC Universe; I just needed something to talk about on this first page here.


Page 2: Hal Jordan, Carol Ferris and Thaal Sinestro last appeared in Green Lantern (fourth series) #53.


Page 3: “Sinestro’s back!” Sinestro arrived in Silver City on the trail of the White Lantern power battery in Brightest Day #0.


“We may have called a temporary truce, but that doesn’t mean you’re welcome here, Sinestro.” As revealed in Green Lantern (fourth series) #53, the Lantern Corps agreed upon a truce until the completion of the clean-up in the wake of the Blackest Night. But tensions are still running high, especially among old “friends.”


Page 4: “That is the Entity that was unearthed from the center of your world.” As seen in Blackest Night #7.

“This is the white light that resurrected Aquaman and the others?” Yes, it is, and this happened in Blackest Night #8.


Page 5: Though Hal is powered by his will, even he can’t lift the White Lantern power battery.


“The sword in the stone” refers to a weapon which only the rightful heir to the throne of England can remove from the stone. That rightful heir is, of course, King Arthur.


Page 6: Boston Brand last appeared in Brightest Day #0.


“I used to be dead.” And then he was called “Deadman.” Now he’s, I dunno, “Aliveman” or something.


As seen in Brightest Day #0, Boston Brand is the only individual who returned to life who is still wearing a White Lantern power ring. It’s also dragging him around the world, making him as invisible as a ghost. Hey, he should be used to that by now.


Page 7: Creepy, kidnapping pirates always make for good villains, don’t you think?


Page 8: Boo-ya! You creepy, kidnapping pirates are in for a world of hurt!


Aquaman and Mera last appeared in Brightest Day #0.


Page 9: It looks like the new, improved and more bad-ass Aquaman is a bit more resistant, able to shrug-off machine-gun fire.


Notice that neither Aquaman nor Mera has to say a single world; those pirate guys know that they’re in deep trouble.


Page 10: “Anyone who hurts children will feel my rage.” Remember, as a deputy member of the Red Lantern Corps, Mera has some rage issues.


Page 11: “VUU VUU VUU VUU VUU” For those of you who are old enough to remember the Super Friends animated series, you’ll recall that this is the sound heard whenever Aquaman would use his mental telepathy to call upon sea life for help.


And if you’re not old enough to remember Super Friends, the run out to your nearest Best Buy and pick up the DVD collections, because you’re missing out.


Pages 12-13: Whoa.


Giant dead squid.


Creepy.


Page 15: Dead shark. Also creepy.


Aquaman is now commanding dead sea life, like he did as a Black Lantern as seen in Blackest Night #2. This is probably not a good sign.


Page 16: Westport is a town is Bristol County, MA. It is so named because it is the westernmost port in Massachusetts.


“Our own local heroes…” This would indicate that Amnesty Bay, where the lighthouse that Aquaman and Mera are living is located, is near Westport or is somewhere in the New England area.


That guy with the knife doesn’t look too happy right now…


Page 17: Nope. Definitely not happy. He seems to have some anger-management issues.


Page 18: Firestorm, along with Ronald Raymond and Jason Rusch, last appeared in Brightest Day #0.


“You died, but the matrix fell from the sky and hit me.” Ronnie died in Identity Crisis #5; the Firestorm matrix bonded with Jason in Firestorm (third series) #1.


“And all I want to do is hang out with my girlfriend.” Gehenna Hewitt, Jason’s girlfriend, was transformed into a pillar of salt and killed by Black Lantern Firestorm in Blackest Night #3. This has caused a bit of stress between Ronnie and Jason.


Page 19: Ray Palmer and Martin Stein last appeared in Brightest Day #0.


Page 20: J’onn J’onzz last appeared in Brightest Day #0.


That pyramid is J’onn’s home; it originated on Mars, was moved to Earth by the Spectre, and was returned to Mars by Superman. Most people just move into a new place when they relocate, but not J’onn J’onzz, oh no…


Page 21: J’onn’s plan is to restore life to Mars. First up is getting some water flowing; the place is just so damn dusty, you can’t do anything with it…


Black Lantern J’onn J’onzz makes a brief return appearance here.


Page 22: The guy being strangled by the Martian-green hands is Professor Saul Erdel, the man who brought J’onn J’onzz to Earth years ago.


Page 23: Hawkman and Hawkgirl, as well as the mercenaries who stole their original bodies, last appeared in Brightest Day #0.


The Zamaron crystal embedded in the Claw of Horus was given to Shiera by Star Sapphire Miri Riam. As revealed in Brightest Day #0, it was apiece of Princess Chayara’s heart.


“We can’t let everything connected to The Curse lead us around by the nose forever.” Carter and Shiera are cursed to be endlessly resurrected and meet one another in each new life, only to die at the hands of their immortal foe, Hath-Set.


Page 26: Prince Khufu and Princess Chay-Ara last appeared in Blackest Night #8. Like Shiera, I assumed that their bodies were destroyed along with all of the rest of the Black Lanterns, but obviously she and I were both mistaken.


Page 28: Hath-Set, first appeared in Flash Comics #1. Able to continuously reincarnate by possessing the bodies of his descendents.


Page 29: Pretty house go “Boom.”


Page 30: Black Manta, real name unrevealed. First appeared in Aquaman (first series) #35. Wears a specially-designed, high-tech suit that allows him to adapt to an ocean environment and is armed with an array of weapons.



Thursday, May 27, 2010

Vacations, delays and other stuff

First off, I do apologize for the lack of posting lately. Totally my fault (as if it would be anyone else's). Basically, after nine months of Blackest Night-related annotations, my brain was a little bit friend, and I needed a few weeks to recharge my batteries.

(I was also busy at work for one week, and then took a long-delayed vacation/honeymoon with my wife, but that's neither here nor there at the moment...)

Anyway, my current plan with this site is to do my regular annotations for the biweekly Brightest Day and Justice League: Generation Lost series, and write monthly recaps for the Brightest Day-related issues. That's the plan. My plans usually go off-track about five minutes into them, so we shall see how it all pans out. Since I have a few hours of free time coming my way soon, I should have a few postings up by the end of the weekend.

The other important bit of information that I want to share is that I recently recorded a podcast with Comic Related's Chuck Moore, where we basically just shoot the breeze about comics for around forty minutes or so. It was a lot of fun, and I thank Chuck for his time. Head on over and check it out here.

Thanks again! Come back soon!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

BRIGHTEST DAY in April

The Flash #1


It’s Barry Allen’s first day back on the job, but he doesn’t receive the warmest of welcomes from the Central City Crime Lab. His boss’ mandate is to close cases…fast. He is soon sent to investigate the supposed death of Mirror Master, but, upon arriving at the scene of the crime, Barry realizes that the body isn’t that of either Sam Scudder or Evan McCullough. After the police get a call about a burst of light in the sky, the Flash races off, only to be confronted by Commander Cold and a group of Rogues from the 25th century, who are here to arrest the Flash for the murder of the Mirror Monarch. When Flash says that he didn’t murder anyone, Commander Cold informs him that he will…


Green Lantern #53


Hector Hammond, trapped in Belle Reve Prison, speaks telepathically with a being from the planet Ryut, who seems to have a connection to the Guardians of the Universe from eons ago. Meanwhile, Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris get reacquainted, first over drinks and then while flying in Ferris Aircraft jets. Their conversation about their complicated relationship is interrupted by Sinestro, who tells Jordan that he’s found the Entity and that it wants to speak to him. In Metropolis, Larfleeze corners Lex Luthor so that he can find out more about Earth and what humans consider valuable. Saint Walker tends to the souls of the dead in Coast City. And, on Ysmault, Atrocitus forges a mysterious alliance with Guy Gardner and Ganthet that puts them all in opposition to the Green Lantern Corps…



Justice League of America #44


The new JLA – Batman, Donna Troy, Starman and Congorilla – are in the midst of a training session in the Kitchen, learning about one another’s powers and abilities, when the Watchtower is struck. A huge shard of green crystal races towards Earth and lands in Germany, prompting the German Elite Guard to action. The armored defenders find themselves under attack by Etrigan the Demon, who wants the crystal for his own use. The JLA arrives to fend off the Demon’s assault, and Donna uses her Lasso of Persuasion to transform Etrigan back into Jason Blood. Donna and Congorilla pull at a crack in the crystal, tearing it open. Inside they find the recently resurrected Jade. Meanwhile, Sebastian Faust informs the JSA that Alan Scott’s power troubles are an omen of the end of the world…


Green Lantern Corps #47


In the wake of the Blackest Night, the Green Lantern Corps reorganizes and rebuilds both themselves and Oa. A memorial of life is erected on Mogo to honor the Lanterns who have fallen. Salaak lifts the moratorium on the distribution of power rings; Mogo sends forth a swarm of rings to locate new members of the Corps. Soranik Natu urges Kyle to start the history of the Corps mural over from scratch. Kilowog informs Salakk that he wants to step down from being drill instructor for a while, and nominates Stel to be his replacement. Vath Sarn wakes up from surgery to find that Isamot Kol gave him a replacement set of legs. Kyle, Guy and Arisia storm the Planetary Citadel and inform the Guardians of the Universe that the Third Law of the Book of Oa, prohibiting love between members of the Green Lantern Corps, is wrong, and hurts the Corps more than it helps it. Kyle argues that it was Lanterns with heart and soul, not cold logic, that saved the universe from the Blackest Night. When the Guardians attempt to scold Salaak, he turns on them, informing them that though he dutifully serves them, he will be neither their puppet nor their errand boy. Later, Guy is horrified that his bar was destroyed, but Kyle convinces him that all they need to do is clean the place up and reopen it. Upon reflection, the Guardians decided to repeal the Third Law of the Book of Oa, giving Guy and Kyle a reason to celebrate over a few cold beers...