In the previous issue of “Brightest Day,” the Martian Manhunter decided that his visions and telepathy were guiding him to the new forest in the ruins of Star City, where he would possibly have to burn it to the ground. It was a strange leap of logic at best, and I know a lot of readers were hoping that it would all make more sense with the new issue.
“So you what, rolled some dice and picked this forest?” Green Arrow snaps at Martian Manhunter this month. Clearly, Green Arrow is also not buying the strange leaps of logic that brought Martian Manhunter to Star City. And neither, I suspect, are the readers. When even characters in the story aren’t buying it, it’s time to stop and re-plot.
If I had to guess I’d think that Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi are supposed to use “Brightest Day” in part to spotlight other things in the DC Universe, and this gives the new “Green Arrow” book its own callout. (It makes as much sense as anything else in the storyline.) It doesn’t work, though, and it feels like a cheat. It’s too bad, because the last page of the scene where Martian Manhunter talks about second chances is probably the best part of his story to date. If only the lead-up had been equally strong, well, this would be a much different review.
The Aquaman, Mera, and Aqualad subplot is moving a bit more swimmingly, at least, and while it’s only now just starting to come to the foreground, it certainly is holding much more promise. I can’t help but think that the new Aqualad will be like so many other new characters that don’t catch the attention of the comic audience, but thrive in the animated world, but I’m willing to be proven wrong. Johns and Tomasi have teased out his story at just the right pace, though, and it’s one of the few “Brightest Day” plots so far that I want to see more of.
With three artists penciling “Brightest Day,” I am impressed that there’s as much cohesion as there is in the comic. Aside from some of the fight in Star City’s forest, it’s a nice and easy to follow overall look, and the art with Aqualad in Silver City is particularly strong and energetic. Considering it’s mostly him standing in the rain, that’s no small feat.
“Brightest Day” is a frustrating series because for every piece that works in an issue, there’s always something else that falls apart. I know it’s difficult to juggle as many stories as there are crammed into this mini-series, but regret doesn’t result in a better comic. There’s a lot of talent packed into “Brightest Day” and I keep hoping it’ll better showcase all of their ability. For now, though, it’s still wildly uneven.