Friday, April 29, 2011

Oh Brightest Day

But first...

Detective 876
This is a perfect example of everything I love about Dick Grayson being Batman. The commissioner shows up to get Dick's help with a whale that appeared in the middle of a bank. The age-old question of whether or not Gordon's figured out Bruce was Batman and Dick now is is, of course, still unanswered, though I'm sure he knows or is nearly certain. But he does know there's a new Batman, so you've got to give Gordon credit for being a fairly astute, intuitive investigator. He rose to his rank and has stayed there for a reason. And there he is, talking with Dick about more than the whale's sudden appearance. He has to tell Dick the case is connected to Zucco, the man who killed Dick's parents. And after that bit, which throws Dick for a bit, Gordon asks him to meet with his son James. I just don't see this scene happening with Bruce as Batman, or not with the emotion that fills most of the panels. This just felt so real. I don't see Gordon asking Bruce to meet James. Bruce is the father figure to Dick and Tim, and he's a playboy and he just isn't someone you'd want to casually get to hang out with your son to see if he's changed for the better. But you do ask Dick, who's more a contemporary of James and who can relate better. And I just got such a warm fuzzy from the scene. It might go down as one of my favorite scenes in the Bat books.

Dick, of course, is not quite the seasoned Batman Bruce is, and he's not quite the automaton Bruce can be in the cowl, so he makes a few more mistakes, which lead to the inevitable issue-ending cliffhanger with his life in great danger, which makes him a very human hero who continues to impress me in his new role.

Scott Snyder, who wrote the issue, deserves kudos, and I hope the story gives me the emotional payoff I'm now expecting. And I can't say enough about how perfect Jock's art is. The 2-page spread showing the whale in the bank is impressive and the facial expressions on Dick and Gordon during their conversation are perfect.

Brightest Day 24
I loved the original Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing was Alec Holland, no ifs, ands, or buts. I didn't read the Vertigo version, but I've read how he was changed into being some sort of plant that thought he was Holland, possessing somehow, Alec's memories. And that was just wrong. It took away the human part of the equation, a beast who was once a man and who can't reverse what happened to him. Alec had to cope with his loss of humanity while somehow retaining it. He couldn't become a monster, but he could never again be truly human. He was a tragic, yet noble character. A plant, no matter who he thinks he is, is not and never was human. He couldn't be tragic. So I am very happy that Johns and Tomasi restored Alec to the Swamp Thing entity.

I was, however, pissed at Shiera being dead and Carter without his love. We'd better get a Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman back soon. And while I loved Kendra, I prefer Shiera.

I wasn't happy to see poor Boston die again, but he is destined to be Deadman, I guess. But we do have Aquaman and Mera together, so that's nice.

Was this a big deal, year-long EVENT story, worthy of capital letters? Maybe. It sure seemed disjointed at times and a bit obvious, with the resurrected characters getting the chance to tie up loose ends, so to speak, and ultimately, the story was about bringing back the one, true Swamp Thing. I'm glad I read it, but it really didn't have to be drawn out like this.


  1. Well, Brightest Day did have its ups and downs, but I think that there were more ups in the long run. And by God, the art was gorgeous. We also have J'onn back, and even Boomerang, whom I am rather fond of.

    But yeah, it's a shame about Shiera. Although I am not completely sure that she is actually dead, she may just be turned into the "Air" thingie. Which still, sucks for Hawkman.

  2. Yeah, but being an air thingie is as good as dead. After all, Boston is still around, but he won't be sleeping with Dove, anymore. ;)