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Monday, January 03, 2011 

A very unclever fawning job on Brightest Day

The Nashua Telegraph writes the umpteenth fluff-coated article about the latest comics output, including the first large trade collection of Brightest Day, volume one, which costs a whopping $34.99 for starters. They say:
I don’t have a clever segue into “Brightest Day Volume One” ($34.99, DC Comics), but this book is clever enough to provide its own. “Brightest Day” is a 26-issue, twice-monthly series that has spun off the successful “Blackest Night” superhero horror story, but has little to do with that. It’s not even all that “bright” – in places it’s a pretty dark story.
And that's the problem - even if they said at a few conventions that this wasn't going to be like its title, they've still beaten the dead horse of darkness far too often, and it's not really all that different from its predecessor in terms of violence, if anything.

So no, they don't have a clever segue to this at all.
What “Brightest Day” is really about is second chances. Or maybe third, fourth or fifth chances. Specifically, it’s about 12 characters that were deceased, but have returned to life for mysterious reasons they slowly discover. Metatextually, it’s about second-banana characters who have failed repeatedly to hold their own titles, given yet another chance to gain reader interest and loyalty.

Can characters like Aquaman, Firestorm, Hawkman and Martian Manhunter ever succeed creatively and financially? So far, “Brightest Night” is proving they can. I’m enjoying the nostalgic vibe of these characters, whose greatest successes were in the past, but I’m also interested in how writers Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi are developing them for the 21st century. Good for them – and good for us!
Oh please. How can we as an audience give the writers, if anyone, second chances when they've already soured our ability to do so with the shock tactics that are Black Manta's cutthroat attack on customers in a fish store, the martian-disguised-as-mother's murder of a family, Mera's forced change into a kind of villainess, or even the pointless story with 2 Firestorms jammed into one? That's not developing for the new century; it's soiling everything for PC's sake. And have they looked at sales results lately? Some ostriches the MSM has sticking their heads in the sand.

It's not good for them, and certainly not good for us.

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