Saturday, December 18, 2010

Brightest Day #16

“Short Fuse” written by Geoff John and Peter Tomasi, art by Ivan Reis and Scott Clark & Joe Prado.  This installment of “Brightest Day” focuses on Aquaman and Firestorm.  Arthur has brought Jackson and his parents to the Aquacave to hide them from Manta and the mercenaries from Xebel.  I was very excited to see the concept of the Aquacave brought back to modern continuity; it is one more step that Johns is taking into reconstructing Aquaman and his world, and I cannot be happier about it.

In the meantime, members of the Justice League and Society try to figure out what is going on with Firestorm and how to help Ronnie and Jason with their predicament.  While this is happening, Deathstorm continues torturing Professor Stein and Alvin Rusch, Jason’s father.

Aquaman and Jackson learn more about the youngster’s past via a recording left by Mera years ago when she had just met Arthur and switched from evil to goodie two-shoes.  We also learn that even though all the people from Xebel can manipulate water, Mera is probably the most powerful one, being able to create entire constructs, while the others can only make small weapons.  Thank you Geoff for developing the character of Mera, even in absentia.

"Brightest Day" #16 is officially the issue in which the new Aqualad debuts, and the potential this character has is truly immense.  The issue ends with Jason and Ronnie getting into an argument despite having been warned by Professor Stein of not ever doing so, and you don’t want to know what happens next… well, I am sure you do, but you need to see it yourself.

I was glad to see Aquaman again in "Brightest Day" after what seemed to be a very long absence, and getting all the pieces in place before the upcoming Aquawar for which I cannot wait.  I am still very intrigued about Deathstorm, is he really a Black Lantern or something else? And why can he lift the white lantern when no one else could?

Variant Cover by Ivan Reis
One of the things I like most about "Brightest Day" is the way the art duties were assigned; rather than having alternating artists doing a whole issue, each penciler is dedicated to a specific storyline.  Ivan Reis continues to reign with the Aquaman and Deadman sequences; hands down he is the best artist of 2010.  Clark and Prado also do a good job with Firestorm and especially with Deathstorm.

We are getting closer to the end of this series, and it doesn’t look like ten issues are going to be enough to tie it all together; we have the Deadman, Aquaman, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, J’onn J’onns, Hawk, and Firestorm storylines here, while the stories of Boomerang, Reverse Flash, Jade, Maxwell Lord, and Osiris are playing out in other titles.  My concern is that many of the plots are not going to have enough closure and are just going to be left hanging around to be solved at a later time; particularly Hawkman and Hawkgirl, I don’t see that storyline going anywhere.

Overall “Short Fuse” was a great issue, and one that I am sure will be known in the future as the one where one of the greatest characters of the DC Universe made his first apparition, so you just cannot miss it.

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