Tuesday, April 5, 2011

BRIGHTEST DAY #19

“Aquawar, Part One”

Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Ivan Reis & Joe Prado
Inkers: Oclair Albert & Rob Hunter
Editors: Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza

Synopsis

Boston Brand pleads with the Entity of the White Light to restore Hawkman and Hawkgirl to life, but it tells him that this is all part of the plan to protect the world…

Aquaman and Aqualad race to prevent an invasion from Xebel through the Bermuda Triangle, but Siren and her army attacks them before they can stop it.  The battle spills onto a Florida beach, where the duo is hopelessly outnumbered.  While they try to save as many civilians as possible, Siren enters the fray, attacking Aqualad.  Aquaman comes to his rescue but is blindsided by Black Manta who slices off the Sea King’s hand…

Notes

Page 1:  Boston Brand last appeared in Brightest Day #18.

“What did you do to them?!”  The White Lantern power ring seemingly disintegrated Hawkman and Hawkgirl after they got snippy with it in Brightest Day #18.

Page 2:  “You brought b-back a dead bird.”  In Brightest Day #0.

Page 3:  “This world has been slowly poisoned for centuries by mankind, but Nekron’s attack heightened the contamination of Earth’s life-web – its very soul.”  As seen in Blackest Night #1-8.

“Soon this corruption will rise in the form of a Dark Avatar and it will seek out the forest I created.”  The Entity of the White Light created the forest in Star City in Brightest Day #0.

Green Arrow last appeared in Brightest Day #9.

Page 4:  “The twelve that I gave life to each plays a role in saving the soul of your homeworld.”  The twelve were resurrected in Blackest Night #8.

“Some have already prevented further destruction to it and given us more time…”  Jade balanced the darkness in Justice League of America (second series) #48.  Maxwell Lord IV stopped Magog from plunging the world into nuclear war in Justice League: Generation Lost #13.  Osiris freed Isis in Titans #32.  And the Reverse-Flash freed Barry Allen from the Speed Force a while ago, sometime in the future…well, whenever it was, it was mentioned in The Flash: Rebirth #4. 

“I put them on a journey to overcome what held them back in life.”  This has been a theme since the beginning of Blackest Night, putting the past away and moving into the future.  I respect history and continuity, but I have gotten tired of stories about how John Stewart is agonized by the death of Katma Tui and the destruction of Xanshi, how Gar Logan loves Tar Markov, and how Ray Palmer feels guilt over Jean Loring’s actions.  These characters needed to move forward, and Blackest Night allowed them to confront their demons and do just that.

Brightest Day has done this for a different group of characters.  Hawkman and Hawkgirl have broken the curse that has plagued them for millennia.  The Martian Manhunter is choosing between Mars and Earth.  Aquaman is realizing that he is at home neither in Atlantis nor on the surface.  And Firestorm, after many years, might just be a capable hero once again. 

“Hawkman and Hawkgirl have already done that.  They destroyed the curse that haunted them.”  As seen in Brightest Day #18.

“But once Carter and Shiera embraced life…you took it back!  You killed them!”  Nah, it just transformed them into air-like beings.  Believe me, it’s an elemental thing.  You know, the Hawks correspond to air, Firestorm to fire, Aquaman to water, and J’onn to the Earth.  Saw this coming for a while now…

Page 5:  “This world is too valuable to the future to allow that to happen.”  Is this going to be the basis of another event mini-series, or is that just the usual “Earth is important to the future of the universe” proclamation?

Page 6:  Aquaman and Aqualad last appeared in Brightest Day #16.

Page 7:  So, uh, not to ask an awkward question, but…

How exactly is Aquaman’s trident attached to his back?  I don’t see any sort of strap securing it to his body.  Is it a special form of Atlantean magnetism that holds it to his shirt?

(You don’t know how many times I flipped these pages back and forth to look for some way in which that damn trident is held onto him…)

Page 8:  “My second chance at life hasn’t quite worked out the way I would’ve expected.”  Aquaman has found that he only has control over dead sea life, as first seen in Brightest Day #1.

Page 9:  “Mera saved my life, Aquaman.”  As shown in Brightest Day #10 and 16.

“And she turned against her own family to save yours.”  As revealed in Brightest Day #7 and 16.

“I’ve only had one girlfriend really.  Maria.”  We last saw Maria in Brightest Day #4.  What’s the girl been up to lately?

“I’m stuck in the middle.  My job’s to protect the worlds of land and sea from one another.”  Sounds like a pitch for a regular monthly series to me…

Page 10:  See?  How in the world is that trident attached to his back?  Static electricity?

Page 11:  Whatever it is, it’s on there good.  Aquaman got blown out of the water onto the beach and that trident is still there.  Works better than gaffer’s tape…

Pages 12-13:  Siren, Quana and the Xebel bunch last appeared in Brightest Day #11.

Page 14:  “Death to the air-breathers!”  Doesn’t this attack automatically become a hate crime?

Page 17:  “Your queen is dead.”  That Siren is such a liar…

Page 18:  Black Manta last appeared in Brightest Day #11.

Page 20:  “You should be used to that.”  Very funny, Manta.  Never knew you were such a jokester.

Aquaman lost his left hand in a battle with Charybdis in Aquaman (third series) #2.

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