Brightest Day #21
Written by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason, Ivan Reis, and Joe Prado
This book is boiling down to the final issues at an ever quickening pace; the Hawk’s are wrapped up, Aquaman is as well, and this leaves us with only two of our core characters left in J’onn and Firestorm, and since Firestorm is feeling more and more like the endgame of this title, seeing that this issue is a J’onn issue didn’t surprise me at all. Though I have to note right off the bat that I love how this issue picked up with the heroic community trying to figure out what happened to the Hawk’s and Aquaman, as it’s nice to see this title emerge from it’s self contained bubble, as I can’t see a reason why the heroic community wouldn’t be cleaning up after Aquawar.
This is a J’onn issue though, and for a few minutes I had to sit and remember when we last saw him and what he was last doing. It feels like it’s been forever, you know? J’onn’s story has been one of the better parts of this book, but it’s been spaced out horribly and the impact has been diluted. D’Kay hasn’t been built up as anything other than a crazy female Martian, and that’s what she comes across as. There is a lot of drama in the exchanges between her and J’onn, but it only really matters because J’onn matters. She’s angering him, pissing him off, screwing with his head, and trying to force him to love her, but she’s insane. It all boils down to that, she is completely insane, and even being the only female Green Martian in the universe isn’t enough to get some lovin’ out of J’onn.
Finally having enough of her lies and deceit, her utter insanity, J’onn embraces the world he lives on, and he forces the minds of everyone on Earth to rush through her telepathy, much in the way she wanted for a new Mars. J’onn defeats her by accepting who he is, what he is, and that there are things far more important than a rebirth of his homeworld. J’onn makes hard choices in this issue, but they’re all the right choices. Even when the book ducks into the realm of other Brightest Day story enders, J’onn stands tall and proud, accepting that there is more to the world than he can understand. He reminds us why he was the stalwart member of the League, and just like the others before him, he does something truly heroic at full risk of his own life.
Pat Gleason does an awesome job with his pencils in this issue. The designs for D’Kay and J’onn change almost from panel to panel at one point in the book as they keep changing their shapes, and he keeps the designs fresh and intriguing. D’Kay is incredibly creepy looking as she goes from form to form, whereas J’onn maintains a proud and strong look, very classic, very, well, J’onn. Even damaged, J’onn comes across looking like aces. Reis has similar accomplishments with the character during his brief moment with him as well.
Another long running plot comes to a close with this issue, leaving only a few still hanging. The endgame is still up in the air, but with five issues to go, we’re going to be seeing it next month. The identity of the soon to come Champion of the White Lantern is still very much a mystery, and for all the focus we’ve had into other plots, and even details as to the true nature of White Lantern and its actions, who the Champion will be hasn’t really been touched on too greatly. Big things are coming though, and after this issue, I really can’t wait for J’onn to be a part of them.
Tags: Brightest Day, Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Martian Manhunter, Patrick Gleason, Peter Tomasi, Reviews