] type='image/vnd.microsoft.icon'/>

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Brightest Day #10 - Nov. 2010

Comics Weekend "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Geoff Johns, Peter J. Tomasi, Ivan Reis, Scott Clark, and more.

This issue of Brightest Day opens with some startling news to Firestorm--that he may be the most dangerous being in the universe! But that's for Shag to cover--let's talk Aquaman!
Considering all that's happened, I can see why Arthur would need some alone time--I'm sure he'll get over it soon enough.

Meanwhile, we catch up with the young man named Jackson who is--will be--the new Aqualad. His Dad takes him to a small seaside cottage Jackson has never been to before, and tells him the story of how they adopted him as a baby.

It seems that one night a woman--Mera--walked right out of the sea with a baby in her arms, saying his real parents "weren't fit to raise" the boy, and that he would be instrumental in saving the world in a battle between the land and sea. Mera also left behind a chest that has not been opened, ever, by Jackson's parents.

Before they can continue, they get a surprise visitor:
Jackson's Dad gets him into their car, and they drive straight off a cliff into the sea. Black Manta gives chase, Jackson's "treasure chest" in hand.

But when he gets close, Manta gets a face-full of his son's powers:
(this sequence should be accompanied by Harry Chapin's "Cats in the Cradle")

Anyway, Manta is stunned but impressed: his son's got game! After giving Manta another shot, Jackson lifts his Dad out of the water, only to land with a thud on the shore.

Waiting for him is not only Manta, but Siren, as well:
...and with that, we have Brightest Day's first "Aquaman, F**k yeah!" moment. To be continued!

This issue pretty much ends all the speculation as to who Jackson's parents are--Siren and Black Manta, not Mera and Manta--whew!

I have to say, these final two pages of the issue made me giddy. It didn't really occur to me until recently, but for almost the entire length of time the Aquaman Shrine has existed, Aquaman has been dead in current DCU continuity. Brightest Day represents the first time the Shrine's raison d'etre has been around to discuss in any sustained way.

And while I'm no longer wrapped up in the whole "official continuity" thing the way I used to be, I have to say it gives me an old-timey comic book thrill to see Aquaman back like this, and given such a classic, superhero-esque, about-to-kick-some-supervillain-butt moment. I can't wait to see what's next!


Anonymous said...

YES! If I could kiss Geoff Johns on the forhead I would!

Finally, we see Aquaman deciding to be his own man and take a little break from hanging with Mera. This was Aquaman getting back in the driver's seat!

Also, the attention to detail in every panel for the Aquaman story... the reflections on Manta's goggles, the rearview mirror scenes, the emotional tone that the story hits when Jackson finds out about his true origins, Aquaman's heroic entrance in the end saving Aqualad's dad... the suspense, the action, the drama! It had it all! And having Aquaman say "I've been waiting for this": Priceless!

I loved this issue, it's the best one so far. Even the Firestorm story kicked into high gear.

I cannot wait to see where this goes.

This issue was a 5/5 for me, no doubt

IADW said...

I loved that arrow catch - you didn't even need to turn the page to know there was going to be an amazing splash of Aquaman stepping in and Reis didn't drop the ball at all. Look at the trident!

Also that panel with Black Manta reaching out? Awe-some.

Rick L. Phillips said...

This was a great issue. I think I will like this new Aqualad. But why was Deadman on the cover? He had nothing to do with the story.

rob! said...

Rick--It seems BD is bringing back the old-school comics tradition of having covers that don't really represent the issue's contents. They've been doing that during this whole series for the most part.

Wings1295 said...

AWESOME! Awesome, awesome, awesome!

SO glad that the new Aqualad isn't Mera's son. Makes much more sense for him to be the son of Manta and Siren, such a villainous legacy to overcome for the character.

And also liked the Aquaman/Mera scene. Yeah, he asked point blank if there was more, she said no, end of secrets. Now, he has things to do, as she does, but you can tell they are bigger than petty anger. Just some alone time to work it out, adult and believable. Good stuff.

And that splash page is the best!

Josh Hill said...

Fantastic issue. Can't wait for the throw down between Arthur and Manta.

David J. Cutler said...

So great to see the hero arrive just in time--really felt like we were about to get another DC dead-loved-one motivation moment.

Randy said...

Those two words, "Aquaman. Manta."

Sums up the history between these two characters perfectly.

My favorite moment of this issue and the series so far.

Joe Slab said...

Great issue but it kills me that we have to wait 3 (not 2 ) weeks for the next installment of the story!

Lots of foreshadowing here, especially intrigued by Mera's "a war between the land and sea" warning...

And its clear from Ivan Reis' art that she already has a plan in mind to do her part. I think I know who she is going to seek out for assistance: Atrocitus.

Shellhead said...

Awesome issue, but that wasn't Arthur's first "F Yeah" moment. That came way back during the first issue where he summoned the dead sharks and squid.

Very cool, though. You can almost sense the new Aquaman series is about to raise its head.

Joe Slab said...


I hope you are right! I've been getting the same feeling too...

David J. Cutler said...

I have semi-insider info that says that's not happening for a very long time, and after Brightest Day Aquaman and Mera will move to the Justice League book and feature as headliners there.

rob! said...

Interesting, David--that doesn't quite line up with what Shag has heard, which is that every BD star will be getting their own book once the series is over.

I'd be happy to see Aquaman and Mera in the JLA, though.

Joe Slab said...

How reliable is that info?

Another "insider" source (see Firestorm Fan) says that all the major players in Brightest Day will be getting their own series' post-Brightest Day...

Dennis Doucette said...

I cant wait to see how Reis draws Aqualad in his Aqualad getup.

David J. Cutler said...

Haha, already feeling like I said too much. I trust the source completely. I won't say who but it was a fellow Aquaman fan and DC talent I ran into at a con this summer. They told me they'd been campaigning heavily to land themselves a gig on the Aquaman book, but was told the character would feature in Justice League rather than get his own title. I know who told them, too, but I dunno if I should say that either. So long as this person understood what they'd been told, I'd say it's reliable.

I find it hard to believe there will be books called Jade and Isis and Captain Boomerang anyway, beyond maybe a mini series branching into the next event, but we'll see I guess? Aquaman and the Hawks are (I think) the only Brightest Dayers who've had even marginal success with an ongoing book, so far as I can remember.

We'll see in 8 months or so, I guess!

Anonymous said...

@David: Don't mean to sound impertinent, but if you're not gonna tell us at least what one of your sources was, then why bring it up in the first place?

Anyway, hope a cat steals your tongue (or fingers in this case) and what you're saying wont come true. I really REALLY want an Aquaman ongoing...or even a co-feature!!!

Saranga said...

I was *so* glad to see the new Aqualad being a true hero. The car scenes were just great. And yes, Arthur is a badass again. I think he's at his best when he's acting the monarch and not brooking any shit from anyone.

Can you clarify something for me: Did Siren exist before Brightest Day or is this whole Mera has an evil twin and she was sent to Atlantis to kill Arthur thing a retcon? I think it's a retcon, but i'm not sure how much of it is a retcon.

Joe Slab said...


Mera had a twin who was not truly evil named Hila. She was married to a man from Xebel (then Dimension Aqua) named Kandor (no connection to Kryton). Hila has 1 recorded appearance in all of comic book history and has never been mentioned by Mera since that one shot story.

Siren ia a new character, not Mera's twin, who may or may not be a retcon of Hila. It hasn't been stated what her given name is and I doubt her parents named her "Siren" lol. I am sure there is more to the story yet to come.

Joe Slab said...

@ David J.Cutler

I love having these kind of fan speculations and debates...as long as they don't take a turn for the mean and personal.

Here's a another piece of info for the equation. James Robinson told me personally via twitter that he has full support from DC Editorial to be in charge of an extended run of the Justice League of America (which as you probably know, has no members of the JLA appearing in the book-just former Titans, Outsiders, JSAers, and Forgotten Heroes) and that none of the big 7 will be appearing in the book as an ongoing member anytime soon, and I would assume that includes the Sea King.

Brent said...

I'm disappointed to read these "spoilers" that Aquaman a) isn't getting his own book and b) will be in the JLA book, especially if it's in its current lineup. JLA is wading into the murky waters (HA!) that have in the past caused me to consider stop buying the title, i.e. none of the Big 7. I'm cool with the temporary inclusion of Donna and Dick, but Jem and the monkey dude? Seriously?!? Leave Aquaman out of that second string mess. I'd be happier saving him for a return of the Big 7 version of the JLA.

David J. Cutler said...

@TheZoner The source might get in trouble if I announced who they were, and what's more, might look like liars or confused if it turns out not to be the case. Things change. I mention it because I personally do believe what I've been told, and I see a lot of people getting their hopes up for something that could be a loooooong way off.

@Joe I'm made to understand the moratorium on the big seven in the JLA ends pretty much in a year, when brightest day is over, Superman's walk across America is over, and Bruce Wayne is back in a Batman costume (and maybe the Wonder Woman stuff is over too? I dunno).

I could be very wrong on all this, and I'll eat my words in a years time if that's the case haha... I don't think it will be though. Although I hope I am wrong, for the record.

Saranga said...

@joe: Thanks for the info!
I had just assumed that Siren was Mera's twin. thanks for clearing that up.

Anonymous said...

I haven't had this much fun reading comics since DC revived Oliver Queen 10 years ago. It's a real kick to see the classic, Silver-Age costumed, clean-shaven Aquaman back in continuity, and the confrontation scene with Black Manta says absolutely everything there is to say about why people read and have read comic books for the past 75 years. This is the kind of good-old-fashioned superhero stuff that's been missing from DC comics in recent years, and it reminded me of why I loved superheroes as a kid. Thanks very much for the post.