Commentary: Brightest Day #7 does to Magog what Armageddon 2001 #2 did to Hawk? + Ties to Justice League: Generation Lost?

Following my read of Brightest Day #7 and its reveal of the White Entity missions for the back from the dead characters from Blackest Night including Generation Lost’s Maxwell Lord, I was struck with memories of 1991.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

As you can see from the below image, Max’s mission is to stop Magog from starting a war that will engulf the world.

[more commentary after the image]

Ok, while there is a lot of story still to tell as we’re still only about 25% into Brightest Day, this reveal that Magog might turn out to be evil (or perhaps as misguided as Max with the unintended consequence of destroying the world through their thought-to-be-noble actions?) had me bit bummed. Now, it does seem to fit the character for anyone who read Kingdom Come back in 1996, or some more recent portrayals, but it still had me saddened in a way that Armageddon 2001 did.

Here is a synposis of that 1991 mini-series from Comic Vine:

Famously mismanaged DC crossover from the early 1990s.

Waverider is sent back in time from a dystopian future to prevent a tyrant from gaining power. Armed only with the knowledge that Monarch used to be a superhero, Waverider touches each superhero with his or her own Annual for a glimpse of the future.

The problems arose when word leaked early in the summer that Monarch was going to be Captain Atom. In a ridiculous attempt at damage control, the editors at DC decided to re-write their ending on the fly. At the last minute, Captain Atom was allowed to continue as a hero while Monarch appeared and brutally murdered Dove from also-ran Titan wannabes Hawk & Dove. When Dove is killed, Hawk goes crazy, murdering Monarchwho is revelaed to be a future version of Hawk and putting on the Monarch armour himself.

It was a ignominious end for Hawk and Dove and was received badly by fans who sensed the rush job.

I really hope there is more than meets the eye to this Magog reveal. Now, I have to say, DC has been firing on all cylinders recently. While the internet (and me sometimes) has the tendency to focus on the negative, I have to say that I haven’t been this excited for Wednesdays to come since the mid-1980s. With an ever increasing DC pull list that includes the bi-weekly Brightest Day and many of my other fave characters (Hawk and Dove, Osisris, Deathstroke, Deadshot, Rip Hunter, etc.) in other books, I do think today’s DC has something for everyone. However, I have to admit that my first reaction to Magog’s reveal as part of Max’s mission had me relive some of the same emotional disappointment I had when Hawk turned evil in Armageddon 2001.

The other similarity is that this week’s Magog #12 was the last issue of that title (same week Brightest Day #7 shipped) in the same way that Hawk and Dove #28 was the last issue of that book around Armageddon 2001 #2 hitting store shelves in 1991.

I also wonder if this is an attempt to redeem Maxwell Lord fully. There seems to be pieces put in place in Generation Lost that hint he was not (is not?) of his own mind, so I wonder what DC’s plans are for these seeming ill-fitted antagonists of Maxwell Lord and Magog. Should be an interesting journey, but I do have a tinge of forboding. Time will tell if my gut is accurate. But, I’ll be along for the ride… for now.

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