Brightest Day #18
Written by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi
Art by Ivan Reis, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark, and Joe Prado
And back to Zamaron we go as the Hawk’s and Sapphire’s take on a Predator infused Queen, with all the marbles on the line. I have to say, even going in to this issue, the only thing I was excited about was the prospect of the Hawk quest ending so that more time could be devoted to….everyone else. They’ve been almost exclusively uninteresting since the book launched, and I was just hoping to maybe see them wrap up and leave the book so that the final issues could tighten focus to Firestorm, Aquaman, Deadman, and J’onn. Heck, maybe even wrap up J’onn and keep the focus on the three guys who have the most momentum coming through this title. ANYWAY, this is a Hawk issue, and while I didn’t mind the last one, I’m still living in waryness of anything with a Hawk on it.
Thankfully the Hawk action in this book is just that, action. Johns and Tomasi finally figure out that the most interesting thing these characters can do is brain someone with a mace, and that there is nothing wrong with that at all. Hawkman, at the very least, is a barbarian, and when Johns wrote his solo series several years ago the best issues were the ones that revolved around past lives, or beating people with a mace. It isn’t to say that the Hawk’s aren’t good characters, just that…well, they’re fine bit players. They go well on a team, or in an ensemble cast, but unless you can find the right hook it’s hard to promote them as main characters, and unfortunately Johns already wrote the book with that successful hook, so in here they needed a new one. One that included the death of Hath-Set several issues ago (I almost wrote “last year”) and thus the curse on Carter and Shiera being broken, which was interesting. They can finally actually die now, no more resurrections, but can you really use that as a hook with these characters? That they can finally be in love?
I’m sorry, the only way Hawkman winds up in a romance comic is if he’s playing the role of Fabio on the cover, because he’s a freaking warrior! And thankfully he looks good in this issue playing the part. The downside to this, to play the other side of the coin, is that in being such a great warrior this makes two appearances by the Predator in which it has gone down REALLY easy, especially when compared to things that Parallax and Ion have done in their various hosts. Or even what the Butcher did in a recent Green Lantern issue, or Hector Hammond with the Orange Entity. Why is the Predator such a push over?
Boston gets a few pages this issue as well, including the one that DC teased the other day. What this means is that he is directly effected by the White Ring powering up, which finishes doing so this issue. I won’t tell you what happens when it reaches full power, as I’m not completely sure myself, but it could be a game changer. I can’t say exactly what happened here (though if you check the spoilers, I’ve already taken care of it there), but it’s a heart wrenching moment that goes perfectly with the shot of Boston we were teased with.
There are also a few brief single panel vignettes for Firestorm and Aquaman, which imply that big things are coming for each. Deathstorm and his Black Lantern’s have reached their destination to hand the battery over, and Mera brings Aquagirl into the mix (yay Lorena!), but nothing giant. Each took literally one panel to play out.
Syaf’s art has improved a lot since this series started, and this issue really benefitted for it. There are a lot of big action sequences, giant spreads, and unique characters, and everything looks great. If I have any complaints to make on the Hawk sequences it’s the over use of pink because of them being with the Sapphires, it is really, really distracting. Ivan Reis’s final pages of the issue truly steal the show, however. Even with the overuse of white in them.
This issue wound up being a lot bigger than I had figured it would be with a lot of things happening. A story arc wraps up, a few more big conclusions are set up to come soon, and hey look, big game changing ending. The Hawks have been the most uneven character arc in this book, generally hovering towards the negative end of the spectrum, and they’ve been a drain on this title since its inception. With their story wrapped up it looks like we’re going to be able to move on past that and let the title have more focus in the final stretch. I imagine J’onn will be the next returnee to wrap their arc, followed by Aquaman, then Firestorm, and Boston Brand’s story being closure for this title.
Tags: Brightest Day, Geoff Johns, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Ivan Reis, Peter Tomasi, Reviews