Monday, November 22, 2010

BRIGHTEST DAY #11

“Father’s Day”

Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Pencillers: Ivan Reis, Scott Clark, Patrick Gleason & Joe Prado
Inkers: David Beaty, Oclair Albert, Keith Champagne, Tom Nguyen
Editors: Eddie Berganza

Synopsis

Deathstorm has returned, and he plans on using Martin Stein’s mind and memories to destroy Ronnie Raymond.  Jason and Ronnie form Firestorm, but Deathstorm absorbs Alvin Rusch as well and flies off towards Silver City.  There, he infect the White Lantern, and Firestorm can only watch helplessly as Deathstorm revives the Black Lanterns of those who were restored to life by the White Lantern…

Aquaman battles Black Manta, giving Jackson Hyde and his father time to escape.  Manta is determined to get to his son at all costs.  Manta taunts his old foe, but Aquaman overwhelms him, tossing him in front of an oncoming truck, incapacitating him briefly.  Aquaman, Jackson and Mr. Hyde escape, and Aquaman uses Jackson to open the chest which is the boy’s by birthright.  Inside is a map telling them where to go next…

J’onn J’onzz returns to Mars, only to find that a forest has sprung up around his home in the shape of a Black Lantern symbol…

Notes

Page 1:  Deathstorm, Martin Stein, Ronald Raymond and Jason Rusch last appeared in Brightest Day #10.

Deathstorm is, of course, the recently returned and renamed Black Lantern Firestorm.

“You already know what that’ll do.”  In Brightest Day #10, Stein told Ronnie and Jason that their arguing could result in another Big Bang, of which they would be the only survivors.

Page 2:  Man, that Deathstorm is such a show-off…

“There’s no good or evil.  There’s only dead or alive.”  It’s easy to call Nekron and the Black Lanterns evil but, in reality, they are only an expression of death, whereas the Entity of the White Light is not necessarily good, but it does represent life.

Page 3:  “You know Ronnie better than me, don’t you?”  He had better, considering that he spent years inside his head, every time he merged with him to create Firestorm.

Pages 4-5:  Aquaman, Jackson Hyde, Mr., Hyde, Black Manta, Hila and her soldiers last appeared in Brightest Day #10.

I have to say, this is the most bad-ass that I have seen Aquaman looking in years…

“Where is she?  Where is Mera?”  No clue.  She hasn’t been seen since Brightest Day #9.

Hila is Mera’s sister, in case you arrived to the party late.  All these new faces, we really need to start handing out nametags or something…

Page 6:  “…you know how important sons can be to their fathers.”  An especially hurtful statement from Black Manta, given that he murdered Aquaman’s son Arthur years ago.  Then again, no one ever said that Black Manta was a very nice man…

Page 7Saved by the Bell was a television series about high school students that, for some inexplicable reason, ran for five seasons and spawned two spin-offs.  It was arguably the career high-points for stars Dustin Diamond and Mario Lopez.

“If you’re going to live life hiding from it in the bottom of a bottle, why live life at all?”  Since his return from the dead, Ronnie has been drinking and partying to an excess.  Interestingly enough, after he and Stein first became Firestorm, Stein would have no memory of his super-hero life after he and Ronnie separated.  Despondent over his blackouts and missing time, he began to drink until Ronnie told him about their time as a hero.  Stein knows a thing or two about drowning your sorrows in a bottle.

“How could he not after what we did to his girlfriend?”  Black Lantern Firestorm transformed Gehenna Hewitt into a pillar of salt in Blackest Night #3.

Page 8:  Ok, I was fairly critical of it in the beginning, but I am starting to dig Scott Clark’s artwork on this series.  Still not my favorite of the artists working on this title, but it’s growing on me.

The Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Man was the title of Firestorm’s first ongoing series, which debuted in 1982.  The book was re-titled Firestorm the Nuclear Man with issue #65, and ran until issue #100.

Page 9:  "I still remember the sound your son made when I gut him like a fish."  Actually, Black Manta suffocated Arthur, Jr.years ago; Perhaps he just has dreams of gutting children and all of the sudden finds himself talking about them out loud. 

“If you’re here, that means she finally told you the truth I’ve always known.”  And what truth is that?

“About what her people did to me.”  What did they do to you?

“About what they wanted to do to you.”  In Brightest Day #6, Mera admitted that she was originally sent to Earth to kill Aquaman.  Whether or not this is the whole truth, and the true connection Black Manta has to Mera’s people, remains to be seen. 

Page 10:  “You were the last to know.”  Wait, hold on a second, he still doesn’t know.  And neither do I, so maybe I’ll be the last to know…

Page 11:  Alvin Rusch last appeared in Brightest Day #3. 

“How’d you get so damn smart?”  Unlike Ronnie Raymond, who was a jock, Jason Rusch was a good student in high school, and didn’t necessarily need to rely on a smarter co-pilot like Martin Stein to aid him as Firestorm.

Page 12:  I am still unsure about how Deathstorm teleported Alvin from Detroit to Pittsburgh; this has never been one of Firestorm’s powers before.

Page 13:  Where are Hila and her troops during this fight?  They just vanished as if they were never there.

Page 14:  Okay, check out Panel One, specifically between Black Manta’s left arm and leg.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Dum da da da da dee dum de dum…

Doesn’t there look like there is a hell of a lot of blood there?  Like, akin to Manta being gutted and profusely bleeding out?

But in Panel Four he just gets right up with nothing more than a small gash on his shoulder.  His right shoulder, no less. 

Weird.

“We need a lift.”  So the king of the seven seas and one of the founding members of the Justice League of America flees from a battle…in a big rig? 

Oh, good, Hila and her men finally show up to the fight.  They must have stopped off at a White Castle along the way…

Page 15:  I did a little experiment here.  I went onto Yahoo Local Maps and got the driving directions from Pittsburgh, PA to Silver City, NM.  And, according to that, the distance is about 1,881 miles, give or take a few feet. 

So even if Firestorm and Deathstorm are traveling at 1,000 miles per hour (which seems extremely y fast, but bear with me)m it would take them almost two hours to make that trip.  Has Firestorm just followed behind him the whole time?  Or did he decide to try to lasso Deathstorm just as their flight was over? 

I know it’s just comics…but for some reason this REALLY irked me…

Hey, it’s Russell and Jerry!  We haven’t seen them since Brightest Day #7.

 “Jason…do you remember the vision we saw?”  In Brightest Day #7, Ronnie and Jason saw a vision of Deathstorm holding and corrupting the White Lantern.  The Entity of the White Light told them, “Don’t let him destroy me.”  It seems that they need to get working on that particular mission…

Page 16:  “Man, it’s heavy.”  It seems that the White Lantern can only be lifted by the one who was chosen to wield its power.  Deathstorm needs to corrupt its power in order to lift it.

“No.  You will not destroy the White Lantern.  You will bring the White Lantern to me.”  So who could this new Big Bad be?  I think that it’s too soon for a return by Nekron, but maybe the Anti-Monitor?  A new incarnation of Darkseid?  The Rainbow Raider?

Page 17:  “The power of life will belong to me.”  Well, whoever he is, he has some lofty goals, I’ll say that much for him.  “Power of life,” what ya gonna do with that, hmmm?

Pages 18-19:  “Rise.”  This two-page spread is, of course, an homage to Blackest Night #8, pages 24-27, in which the White Lantern Twelve returned to life.  Now, their Black Lantern counterparts have returned, which is never a good thing…

By the way, from left to right are Black Lanterns of the Reverse-Flash, Maxwell Lord IV, Hawk, Jade, Captain Boomerang, Firestorm (er, sorry, “Deathstorm”), J’onn J’onzz, Aquaman, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Deadman and Osiris.

Page 20:  In Brightest Day #10, Mr. Hyde revealed that Jackson was not his son; a woman from the sea gave the boy to him and his wife to protect him.  She also left behind this chest which only Jackson could open; when he placed his hand near the clasp, it glowed in conjunction with the tattoo on his arm, as it does here.

And inside there’s a…

A map. 

A map?

Abandoned by his parents, attacked by Black Manta, and all Jackson gets is a map? 

Man, some kids have no luck…

Page 21:  J’onn J’onzz last appeared in Brightest Day #9, which took place concurrent with Green Arrow (third series) #4.

Pages 22-23:  You know, it’s never a good sign when you leave your arid, dead world and then come back a few days later to find that the vegetation has miraculously re-grown but into the shape of a Black Lantern symbol…