“Rise and Fall”
Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Norm Rapmund & Oclair Albert
Editor: Eddie Berganza
As natural disasters threaten the world, the only safe place on the planet is the Star City forest, where Boston Brand attempts to procure the White Lantern from Firestorm. When the Entity transforms Firestorm into a fire elemental, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter emerge in their elemental forms just in time to face off against the Dark Avatar – the Swamp Thing. As the elementals battle, Hawk, Dove and Brand defend the White Lantern tree and await the arrival of the Earth’s chosen protector, Alec Holland…
Page 1: That’s the Earth. It first appeared a long, long, long time ago, before comic books, even.
Looks like it’s getting a bit cloudy all over the world. Wonder what that could be…
Pages 2-3: Scenes of chaos all across the Earth.
In London, Superman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Power Girl, Captain Atom and Superboy help land some out-of-control planes.
I’m assuming that this issue takes place after the events of Justice League: Generation Lost #24, or else Captain Atom would still be considered a fugitive for killing Magog and destroying Chicago in Justice League: Generation Lost #13.
Who is that helping Superboy carry that plane? Looks kinda like the Kryptonian Flamebird, but I’m pretty sure that she’s dead.
In Rio de Janeiro, Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Jade, Doctor Fate and the Flash (Barry Allen) deal with earthquakes and volcanoes.
Jade last appeared in Brightest Day #21.
Batman (Dick Grayson), Batwoman, Robin, Black Lightning, Cyborg, Black Canary and Huntress deal with the crisis in Gotham City.
Page 4: Boston Brand and Firestorm last appeared in Brightest Day #22.
“My name is Boston Brand. When I died, I became the spirit known as Deadman.” Way back in Strange Adventures #205.
“But it wasn’t until I was resurrected by a White Lantern and given a white ring that I really got a second chance at life.” Brand was restored to life in Blackest Night #8; his quest to appreciate that life has been an ongoing storyline since Brightest Day #0.
Page 5: The Star City forest first appeared in Brightest Day #0; it sprung up from a section of Star City that was destroyed in Justice League: Cry for Justice #7. It has been a major component of Green Arrow’s life since Green Arrow (fourth series) #1.
Green Arrow last appeared in Brightest Day #19.
Ollie, did you really think that an exploding arrow would break through that force field?
Page 6: “First the lantern sends us off to rescue it, then it teleports us back here?” In Brightest Day #7, Ronnie and Jason learned that they needed to prevent Deathstorm from destroying the White Lantern. They set off in search of it in Brightest Day #11, their journey eventually taking them to the antimatter universe. In Brightest Day #22, they retrieved the White Lantern and found themselves teleported back to Earth.
“I required information only the Anti-Monitor possessed.” The White Lantern retrieved this information in Brightest Day #22, but we still don’t know what it was yet.
“And, most important, I needed you to witness Professor Stein’s death for yourself.” As seen in Brightest Day #22, Deathstorm transformed Professor Stein into salt, killing him. It was a heart wrenching scene, really it was.
“Soon the Dark Avatar will rise. And he will come.” The Entity of the White Light first mentioned the Dark Avatar in Brightest Day #19.
Page 7: More heroes protecting the world. Seen here are Hawk, Dove, Static, Vixen, Starfire, Mera, Aquagirl and Aqualad.
Hawk, Dove, Mera, Aquagirl and Aqualad last appeared in Brightest Day #21.
Not sure why Starfire is back on Earth; last I looked, she was working with the R.E.B.E.L.S. in the Vega star system.
“Bet we go there and find Deadman.” Everyone is pretty darn suspicious of Boston Brand ever since her transformed Aquaman into water using his white ring. He also disintegrated Hawkman and Hawkgirl into air and merged J’onn J’onzz with the Earth, but not everyone knows about that yet.
“Dawn Granger. Your presence is required.” Dove has a connection to the White Light that has yet to be explained. It was first demonstrated in Blackest Night: Titans #3, when she was somehow able to destroy some Black Lanterns.
Page 8: Captain Boomerang last appeared in Brightest Day #18.
As indicated by the caption on Page 7, Captain Boomerang is talking to his fellow Rogue, Captain Cold.
“A voice told me to come here.” Not sure when this occurred; I think it took place off-panel.
“Like I told ol’ speedy…time to get busy livin’ – or get busy dyin’!” Captain Boomerang said this to “speedy” – that would be the Flash – in Brightest Day #0.
“Digger Harkness of Earth. Throw the boomerang at her.” Captain Boomerang received this vision from the Entity of the White Light in Brightest Day #7 and The Flash (third series) #5.
Page 9: “I think I killed Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Aquaman.” Close, but not really. He disintegrated Hawkman and Hawkgirl in Brightest Day #18, and transformed Aquaman into water in Brightest Day #20.
“I did something to the Martian Manhunter.” He merged J’onn into the Earth in Brightest Day #21.
Pages 10-11: Swamp Thing, a plant elemental with the memories of Alec Holland. First appeared in House of Secrets #92. Able to control and inhabit plant life and other natural elements.
Page 12: “The Green has become the Black.” The Green is a realm inhabited by all of the members of the Parliament of Trees, a group of former elementals. It connects all forms of botanical life on Earth; plant elementals are able to commune with it. It has seemingly been corrupted by Nekron’s dark power.
Page 13: “Where it once had memories of one…it now has the memories of another.” The “one” would be Alec Holland; as originally conceived, Swamp Thing was a mutated version of Alec Holland. He was, however, reinvented as a plant elemental that absorbed the personality and memories of Holland, becoming a plant-creature trying to live like a human.
Whose memories the Swamp Thing now has have yet to be revealed.
“Your boomerangs. They’re for her.” Since The Flash (third series) #3, Captain Boomerang has had the ability to generate black energy boomerangs that he can throw, instead of relying on his “normal” ones.
Page 14: “Death sometimes makes you stronger. Or simply just dead.” Man, that Entity of the White Light has a bizarre sense of humor.
Page 15: “That wind…Seems familiar.” It should. I’m sure that Hawkman and Hawkgirl have slapped you across the face with a mace more than once, Boomer.
Pages 16-17: Elementals assemble!
Nah, doesn’t really have the same ring to it…
Firestorm, the Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Hawkman and Hawkgirl are in the same poses as when they were resurrected in Blackest Night #8, in the four-page spread drawn by Ivan Reis.
Note that the elementals logos are unchanged; they seem to serve as visual links to their mortal selves. Is this why the redesigned look for J’onn J’onzz had that circular emblem on his chest?
Page 18: So the tree bearing the White Lantern logo in the Star City forest is the foundation of the Parliament of Trees. If it survives the events of Brightest Day #24, will this forest then be the new home of the Parliament?
Page 19: This reminds me of “The Elemental War,” a four-part storyline that appeared in Firestorm (second series) #90-93, which starred Firestorm, Naiad, Red Tornado and Swamp Thing. Anyone else recall that tale?
Page 20: “It holds the body of the one.” And who could this “one” possibly be?
Page 21: So Alec Holland is the White Lantern? Earth’s ultimate savior?
Guess I was completely off-base about my Isis prediction, hunh?