This book continues to bring the goods and, in the process, is forcing many readers to reevaluate which comic is the rightful bearer of “Brightest Day” title. Yet, I still don’t quite fully understand why this book exist. Four months into the whole Brightest Day line of books and all I can say is that don’t see these books tethered together by anything encompassing, plot or thematic, other than being a collections of Geoff John’s loose ends. From Hawkworld to Magog to Booster Gold, all these stories seem to have their genesis in some John’s stories that were left up in the air. In that regard JL-GL can be considered a follow-up on the status quo that was established post-Infinite Crisis.
Whatever the reason, I am glad this book exist. It’s so refreshing because it read almost as if Judd Winnick and Keith Giffen were told this was going to be part of a line of books called “Brightest Day” and naively took that label at face value. At its heart this book is simply about 6 heroes trying to act heroic and the authors commitment to that simple theme is what makes this book. It’s not that these character don’t face humiliation, horrors and their own small little tragedies; quite to the contrary we find Booster Gold’s unfair treatment by the superhero community, Captain Atom’s sojourn into a post-apocalyptic future, and Ice’s waxing anxiety about life and death. However these moments aren’t treated with some melodramatic tragic pathos rather Winnick treats them as absurd and comical thus side steps the cynicism that seems to pervade the other bi-weekly comic.
For instance, this week sees the not-team breaking into Checkmate Headquarters disguised as Rocket Reds. Hilarious Hijinks ensue:
- Gavril Ivanovich has really warmed his way into my heart and I like the pairing with Fire that Winnick seems to be heading to. However he is still in need of some further character development.
- While I love Jaime and am excited he’s in this book I have no idea why he has agreed to be on this team. He has barely had any lines this last couple issues. Jaime needs some screen time real soon to develope what role he actually plays/will play on this team. I really wish Winnick would explore the Booster Gold/ Blue Beetle Connection a little more thoroughly.
- Aaron Lopresti is fantastic in this issue and is turning to be my favorite amongst the rotating artist on this book.
- Is it just me or did Taleb Ben Khalid seem unusually small?
- OMFG, is it good to see Checkmate again. I miss you Rucka.
- Checkmate seems to have a new White King, Alton Janus. It seems pretty telegraphed that this is in fact Maxwell Lord but it could be a red hearing. None-the-less, kudos for the Checkmate reference (The Janus Directive).
- I find myself surprisingly satisfied with Winnick portrayal of Ice. Although she is definitely on the whiny side its refreshing to see a character actually have feelings about their experiences with death.
Final Grade: B