This is the thinnest issue of “Brightest Day” yet, or at least it seems that way. There’s no Martian Manhunter or Aquaman in this issue. Firestorm makes an appearance in secret identity only. The Hawks are here, but they’re walking and talking, speculating on what awaits them through a portal constructed from the bones of their previous incarnations. Call me silly, but if I were Hawkman, I wouldn’t be taking my helmet off before I walk into the unknown. Sure, the face of Carter Hall is more expressive out of the helmet than under it, but the expressions should at least vary from stoic nonchalance and a mild grimace. Syaf’s art in this segment is otherwise very strong and richly detailed.
The place on the other side of the portal looks to offer up plenty more story for the resurrected Hawkman and Hawkwoman.
Following the lead-in with Hawkman and Hawkwoman, the majority of this issue — with three exceptions — focuses on Deadman and his continuing world tour of the White Lantern-resurrected heroes. This issue puts him in the living quarters of Dove. Where there’s Dove, Hawk can’t be far behind, and he makes a dramatic entrance.
Jackson, the character who will eventually become Aqualad, is introduced here as he and his gal pal are strolling up to the quarry for a swim. For readers not completely plugged in to the internet flurry surrounding the introduction of this character, this interlude would seem more setting for the story of the White Lantern than actual character introduction. This is significant folks. DC Entertainment even put out press releases about it.
The cover to this issue shows Black Lantern Firestorm, whose influence is felt here, in a Scott Clark-drawn Firestorm story. This segment visits ghosts of the recent past, as Gehenna appears before Ronnie Raymond. For getting the cover, though, I certainly expected a lot more of an explanation here. It’s obvious the Black Lantern has some sort of influence on the Firestorm matrix, but that story seems to be the slowest moving of the bunch.
Those two tales are connected by the sudden appearance of what appears to be a Red Lantern Mera. I presume it’s more folks from Mera’s home, but little insight is offered at this point.
I suppose the strongest testament to the art for the remainder of the issue — aside from Syaf’s and Clark’s — is that it seems very similar, but I cannot discern if it’s Ivan Reis or his long-time inker Oclair Albert. At any rate, the art is strong, but very dark, as Hawk, Dove, and Deadman press against the shadows to see what the White Lantern ring can do.
This issue, as I already mentioned, feels thin, but that may be in part due to the fact that the story is moving quickly. There are a myriad of plotlines floating about that any given issue can only address so many. This book has a lot to offer, but it isn’t consistent in the amounts of what it offers each issue.