Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bright Reviews

Well, 2 of 3 are bright.

Birds of Prey 1 is billed as a Brightest Day tie-in, but it's all Birds and it's all good. Art-wise, Benes is better than ever  and story-wise, it's great to have Gail back on this book, not to mention having the book back. The Hawk and Dove story arc promises to be intriguing. Gail excels at intriguing. Best of all, she's bringing me Zinda once a month! Zinda is a great character. I do hope, though, that this go 'round, Gail sneaks in some mention of Roy, because he's a big part of Dinah's life.

Brightest Day 1
I can't decide if I like this. It looks good. The writing is competent. There's a mystery surrounding the back from the dead dozen. Boston Brand is alive if not visible. Arthur and Mera are together again. Carter and Shiera are together again. There are weird goings on. What's not to like, even love? But something feels off. Maybe I'm just tired of big event books. I wanted some of the dead characters back. Aquaman. Shiera. But I also wanted the Dibneys. I had no desire to see Firestorm messed with and I can take or leave the Martian Manhunter.

And I don't want to see a return of the DCU circa the '70s. I was upset to hear that Ryan Choi/Atom was killed off. I don't need or want Ray Palmer back as Atom if it means Ryan had to die. There are a bunch of Green Lanterns and no one minds. I do want comics to be fun, but retreating into the past isn't how to do it.

So, yes, bring back BoP, which never should've been canceled. Bring back Bruce Wayne. Dick Grayson has proved himself worthy of the Cape and Cowl, so there's no reason why Bruce can't return to claim it.

But I don't want to lose all the good that's happened in the DCU over the last decade or two. I don't want to lose the diversity. I don't want to lose the hope and promise. I don't want to lose the chance of being surprised, in a good way. So far, the "surprises" have been dark (the killing of Lian Harper and Ryan Choi) and Lian's death was telegraphed well in advance.

I have no idea where Brightest Day is heading, other than it being a misnomer because it isn't all that bright so far. Give us danger and intrigue and suspense, but give us hope and awesomeness, too, DC. Here's hoping the DCU will be a better, diverse place at the end of this storyline.

And yet...

Secret Six 21 is dark. And yet, most likely due to Gail Simone's writing skills, there's an odd level of hope. These characters might be criminals. They might break the law without a thought, but they have their own code of ethics. They're three-dimensional. They're complex. And in their own way, they're loyal to each other.

This issue continues the storyline focusing on Catman and the flashback to his childhood is telling. Thanks to Gail's writing, he's become one of my favorite characters and this has become one of my favorite books. If you want to write dark and creepy, you would do well to follow this example.


  1. Wanna know why all the characters and storylines are reverting? Simple: the inmates are running the asylum. Didio, Johns et al. are convinced that THEIR childhood comic book versions were the BEST, and they intend to bring them back to that way. (Except for notable exception like Jaime Reyes...)

  2. As I said, I don't mind bringing back the old characters. I love having Shiera back. I just would like them to find room for the old and the new to co-exist. If there can be many Flashes and many GLs, why not many other heroes, too. Or give them new names. But keep them for the new generation of fans. That's how you develop and keep an audience over time.

  3. It has been an odd sort of month so far, hasn't it? I'm simply delighted that Aquaman and Martian Manhunter are back, I couldn't care less about Hawk or Osiris, and I'm highly depressed that the Dibny's and Ted Kord didn't make it out alive either.

    I'm torn about Max Lord. I wanted Max back...but not EVIL Max.

    But Birds of Prey was fabulous, and it was lovely to see Zinda. Hopefully we'll be seeing a LOT more of Zinda.

    Secret Six was dark, yes, but I always expect it to be dark...with some really black humor. I am less expectant of other books to be offing people right and left however.

  4. I only knew Max when he was evil, so it might be nice to see a good Max. :)