Thankfully, I don’t have to wait a full month for more of this story! This comic is probably one of the best bets that DC has ever spun out of an event. Think about it for a moment or two: Aquaman, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Firestorm, Martian Manhunter, and Deadman. Everyone who reads comics knows at least a couple of those heroes. A vast majority of comic readers know all of them. More than a few comic fans will claim that at least one of the above is or was a favorite character. Add in Atom, Mera, and (so far) Green Lantern and you’ve got a pretty high percentage of characters to entice readers to pick up this book.
Not content to stop there, Johns and Tomasi thread in a few mysteries. Why these heroes? Is Deadman King Arthur to the White Lantern’s Excalibur? Why can’t Deadman interact with the world around him — again? Beyond that, Johns and Tomasi drop some new mysteries on us, such as the creatures Aquaman summons (accompanied by the “Super Friends” sound effect) to help him and the skeletal remains that are being coveted by a shadowy figure.
The stories, for the most part, are riding parallel, with no interaction between resurrected characters save for the non-interaction between Deadman and Aquaman. The issue demands widescreen, jaw-dropping action, and many of the pages and panels deliver, especially the intended surprise appearance on the last page. Johns and Tomasi do a solid job of balancing out the heroes and giving each story worthwhile moments.
The art is masterfully assigned, with Reis handling the New Guardians (Sapphire, Sinestro, and Green Lantern) pages, Syaf on the Aquaman story, Clark drawing Firestorm and friends, Gleason giving us his interpretation of the Martian Manhunter, and Joe Prado taking flight with the Hawks.
The coloring is almost too vibrant for my taste, with shimmers and refractions, highlights and glints bouncing off of nearly everything in this issue. That makes sense for the New Guardians, but could be toned down a bit with the other characters. The loud colors do help to make this book an over-the-top bombastic adventure.
DC has a surefire hit on their hands and on comic stands with this assemblage of story, talent, and characters. I get the distinct impression, however, that nothing is as it seems. Lucky for me, I only have to wait fourteen days to learn a little more about what’s going on here.