EXCL. PREVIEW: "Avatar: Smoke & Shadow" TPB Threatens the Fire Nation
Once dead, twelve heroes and villains were resurrected by a white light expelled from deep within the center of the Earth. The reason behind their rebirth remains a mystery. But it will not be a mystery for long. This is the Brightest Day.
So reads the mission statement which began each issue of the year-long, twice-monthly, just-concluded Brightest Day miniseries (written by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi, drawn by various artists). One might therefore be forgiven for thinking that BD would have used this premise to mold those characters into an imperfect ensemble, in order to explore collectively what “life after death” meant in a superhero context.
Instead, BD farmed out almost half its potential cast to other titles, thereby transforming itself (rather quickly) into a multi-headed Rebirth-style rejuvenation. From there it reintroduced readers to Aquaman, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Firestorm, J’Onn J’Onzz, and Deadman, and used them in turn to reintroduce … well, you probably know by now, but let’s wait a while to talk about that.
Here in Memphis, the heat index has been over 100 degrees for the better part of a week, and it’s not likely to let up anytime soon. If it’s this hot during the last week of spring, I can’t imagine what summer will feel like.
September seems very far away indeed.
And yet, it’s that time again, when we look ahead two-and-a-half months and try to figure out what will still hold our interest when summer ends, football starts, and the days grow ever shorter. Maybe by then it’ll only be in the 80s.
I’m probably not the first person to suggest this, but why not have a group of white supremacists, skinheads, etc., gather expectantly (if misguidedly) around the unfortunately-named White Power Battery, so that they might subsequently receive an appropriate beatdown? That would let Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi distinguish between the mission of the white-light Lantern — white light being a mix of all the spectrum’s colors — and our society’s odious “white power” ideology.
When we first meet Aqualad in BRIGHTEST DAY he’s Jackson Hyde. An average student, with an on-and-off girlfriend, that’s pretty bored in New Mexico.
Since he was young, he’s been taught by his parents to fear water…they don’t want him near it because his true parents would be able to locate him. Not to mention certain changes happen to Jackson when he gets in the water.
Jackson has kept this secret hidden for years, lying to his girlfriend about being afraid of drowning, being unable to swim and being in the dark about the mysterious tattoos he’s had since birth. He’s done his best to avoid it. But soon something’s going to force him out into the open and dive into the water.
Obviously, this all ties into the larger Aquaman and Mera story within BRIGHTEST DAY, but Jackson’s adventures will also be seen in the YOUNG JUSTICE animated series this fall along with more DC characters than you could imagine.
I really believe in the story behind Jackson and, like Blue Beetle, I hope you give him a chance to grab your heart and imagination as he arrives on the scene in comics and cartoons.
Back in April DC announced a new Young Justice cartoon starring Superboy, Robin and several other young heroes, including a Black Aqualad. “…a lot of people asked who the new Aqualad was,” DC CCO Geoff Johns wrote on the Source blog today. “And a lot of people thought they’d have to wait for the show to start. But you won’t.”
Turns out the new Aqualad will debut in comic book form as well; witness the cover to Brightest Day #10:
“Aqualad’s story actually begins in a few short weeks in BRIGHTEST DAY #4,” Johns said. “I won’t tell you much yet, but I will tell you – he has no idea he’s about to become Aqualad. In fact, he lives in one of the driest places in America – Silver City, New Mexico.”
(And yes, I’m purposely not going with the obvious joke here … I’ll leave that for the comments section.)