Brightest Day #6 Review

Sometimes all you need is a cheeseburger.

What They Say:
Deadman discovers the truth behind the formation of the White Lantern and what it means to the twelve returnees and the rest of the DC Universe. Plus, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Firestorm discover the price for their resurrections…and why they may be doing more harm than good to the world.

Brightest Day #6 Review

The Review:
After the previous issue which had a fair number of revelations and movements made for some of the key characters, the sixth installment in the series shifts more to the build-up phase again for a different set of characters. Thankfully, some of the threads from that issue cross over into this one and we get a segment that starts to fix the main problem I’ve had with this series with Firestorm getting a bit of work. While I enjoyed the character ages ago, the Blackest Night event made things really bad for the current combination. Both of them really want little to do with each other and there are serious issues when they’re together, but that whole killing his girlfriend really made it an unworkable relationship. Thankfully, they do show that in a time of crisis, even if Ronnie is drunk, they can work together to save lives. But more importantly, both of them are now hearing the voice in their combined head that’s been nudging both of them towards fighting with each other.

With four storylines running through this issue, there’s a lot going on here. Firestorm has some tidbits to offer, but there’s much richer material to this book. The Martian Manhunter storyline has been the least interesting overall so far but it started offering up some potential with recently with the murders being caused by the green martian combination creature that’s been hunting and killing since J’onn first arrived here. It’s more of a mystery what it’s purpose is, though she seems to enjoy killing with a certain need to it, so the focus is more on J’onn’s investigation into it. His visit with Oracle leads him to the Titans so he can find M’gann but that takes the story to its cliffhanger ending that definitely makes you want to come back to see exactly what’s going on with her. There’s a deep story gong on here that provides a new parallel story to J’onn’s existence all these years while not impact what we’ve read during that time.

Aquaman’s story is similar though it offers a more radical change to the character of Mera. With her introduction back in 1963, Johns takes all of that and adds a new back story to her that has her here in the world to kill Arthur as the place she came from was actually once and Atlantean penal colony that became completely separated and cut off from everyone when they were sealed in. While she found life to be very different on the outside and she put her past behind her completely, it’s not come back to haunt her as Siren, revealed to be her younger sister, is there to finish the job she never followed through on. While the changes to the Martian Manhunter fit without altering things that have been established with his life, this changes the way you have to view just about every appearance of Mera throughout the years. And while she’s not an A-lister or anything, it’s still something I dislike seeing happen. But it’s one more rough challenge for Arthur to face now that he’s back, one that in a lot of ways will be much harder to deal with than the other ones so far.

Boston Brand’s arc is a bit awkward, but only because of the humor tat gets mixed in with the morbid moments. With Hawk trying to get his brother brought back and Dove suggesting her sister might have regrets, all Brand gets is something about cheeseburger’s and warnings not to do it. There’s some hint about the limits of what the white rings can do as some things must be off limits, but we’re getting a stronger indication that it’s largely looking out for Brand’s welfare at this point by trying to keep him alive and reminding him that his body needs food. When you consider how long he’s been dead, you forget about mundane things you need to do to survive and that plays into this part of the story. It’s a good piece that cements Brand more in the real world but it’s easy to see how some people may not care for the cheeseburger humor in the middle of trying to bring back Dawn’s sister Holly.

Digital Notes:
This Comixology edition of Brightest Day contains both the David Finch primary cover which features Hawkman and Hawkgirl and the Ivan Reis variant cover which puts its focus on the current Hawk & Dove along with the statue of Don All in between them. With the variant included in here as it would be with a trade paperback release, it’s definitely a welcome value added piece for digital fans rather than making us choose between two editions to buy, a practice I do not like as I’ve seen it done elsewhere.

In Summary:
Brightest Day hits up a lot of information here and offers two different types of retcons. The first is one that has a new story running parallel to established history. The second is one that radically changes a characters origin story which alters how you view that character upon reading older stories. Some things fit, others don’t. Of the two types, I definitely prefer the first but I’ll admit a certain intrigue with how Mera’s being reworked here because it’s something that will be used to build up what Aquaman has to deal with in the future. With a good part of Brightest Day being about making him an A-list character again, expanding his enemies list makes a lot of sense. Having all of this on top of the new twist added to the Firestorm story and expanding more on the deal with Boston Brand, this issue brings a lot to the table with a good part of it being fairly controversial.

Grade: B

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