Thursday, April 28, 2011

Brightest Day, Dim Ending

Brightest Day came on the heels of Blackest Night, supposedly to help reintegrate the resurrected characters back into the DCU. Some of the series worked well to do this, introducing new characters along the way. But the final issue squandered what was built up over the year and sold the main characters short in favor of what was basically a DC marketing ploy.

The best parts of the series involved Deadman coming to terms with his life. Here was  character that I never really cared for, suddenly becoming compelling and vital. Over 23 issues, we followed Boston Brand on his journey to determine who the real guardian of Earth would be, often believing it would wind up being Boston himself. By the end of it, his fate is not just tragic, it's completely cruel and unnecessary. I understand that once a character gets what he wants, there is no conflict and the story is basically over. So, if we want to continue to see Boston Brand be vital, then he has to lose something by the end of Brightest Day. However, what we got instead was a return to exactly what he was before Brightest day started. So, ultimately, DC could have just left the character alone if this is what they intended all along.

Of course, the big news of the series was bringing two major Vertigo characters back into the regular DCU. Mind you, this did not happen until the last 2 issues. Before that, there was really no clue that these characters would be appearing. One of them only shows up as a teaser in the last 2 pages of the last issue. A few months back, Lex Luthor encountered Death of the Endless, another major Vertigo character in the pages of Action Comics. It's been argued that it was out of context, and I don't agree with that, I think it was in context, but at the very least, it didn't take a whole maxi series to bring the character in. The same thing could have been done with the other two characters (I'm trying not to spoil it, even though it's all over the Internets anyway). There was no reason the characters couldn't come back in the pages of any of the current DC books. Maybe Superman could have bumped into them on his walk across America.

So, Brightest Day is over and now we head into DC's big event of the Summeer, Flashpoint. Like most events, this is being hyped as changing the DCU forever. Well, that remains to be seen, and although I'm skeptical about the outcomes of big events, Flashpoint does seem like it could be fun. Time travel, alternate realities, what's not to love about that?

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