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.
The newly announced Aquaman series will re-team Geoff Johns with Brightest Day artists Ivan Reis and Joe Prado, the writer revealed today at WonderCon 2011 in San Francisco.
“I don’t think you can get much better in comics,” Johns said during the DC Nation panel. “Everything the do elevates the characters they work on, and we hope to do the same for Aquaman.”
Announced last weekend during MegaCon, the new Aquaman will mark the seventh series for the 70-year-old character. Although he was left dead with the cancellation of Sword of Atlantis in 2007, the sea king was resurrected during Blackest Night before going on to play a central role in the current Brightest Day series.
Johns has insisted that Aquaman is one of DC Comics’ A-list characters, telling Comic Book Resources in December that, “He’s got to be showcased like that, and he’s got to kick ass like Green Lantern or Batman or the entire Justice League.”
Aquaman #1 is expected to debut later this year.
For longtime comic readers like myself, there’s nothing quite like when a team book introduces a new character to the mix. This Wednesday, artist Nicola Scott gets to bring Solstice, a character she designed, into the Teen Titans mix with the release of Teen Titans 93. In addition to discussing Solstice, Scott notes the shift in tone/sense of fun that series writer J.T. Krul has brought to the series; how she considers herself a character-driven artist; as well as the lessons learned from collaborating with the likes of writer Gail Simone/dealing in subtext (among other topics). At the end of the interview, she invites fans to suggest characters we’d like to see her draw in the future–be sure to chime in with your ideas in the comments section.
Tim O’Shea: Over at the Source, you expressed part of what appealed to working with J.T. Krul on Teen Titans. ” Character, tone, direction. He has blown me away.” What is it about Krul’s approach to character and tone that appealed to you?
Nicola Scott: Over the last couple of years the tone of the book seemed to have become quite dark, and seemed to be missing youthful energy and a sense of fun. The characters weren’t quite connecting in the way DC hoped for them to. Straight off the bat JT had them feel exactly like their regular selves. The comradery had returned too and that’s such an important ingredient with the Teen Titans. The script for the first issue was fun, a great recap of the characters and who they are to each other. There were some gags and some drama and it felt like young people with huge responsibility. Another ingredient that I think was important, was bringing it back to the core members. A couple of new additions is fine but when most of the cast is unrecognizable to outside readers, it’s hard to grow the audience.
Both The Source and C2E2′s Lance Fensterman share the official poster for next year’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, or C2E2, which will take place March 18-20. The art was penciled by Ivan Reis, inked by Joe Prado and colored by Rod Reis
With just two days until Comic-Con International, DC Comics early this morning unveiled a poster for its Brightest Day event. Created by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Rod Reis, the poster — in keeping with tradition — is chock-full of clues and Easter eggs, from the pile of boomerangs and the broken trident to Martian Manhunter stoking a fire and Deadman engraving “RISE” on a tombstone. Plus, there’s that whole Hal Jordan-White Lantern thing. And that energy ring-constructed coffin. And … well, there’s a lot to take in.
You can see a much larger version of the poster here.
DC kicks off its Comic-Con programming at 11:30 a.m. PST Thursday with a panel titled, fittingly enough, “DC Nation Convention Kickoff!”
Happy Sunday and Happy Fourth of July, as we once again delve into what the Robot 6 crew are reading this week. Joining us as our special guest this week is Jeff Lemire, creator of Sweet Tooth, The Nobody, The Essex County Trilogy and Lost Dogs, and the writer of the Atom strip in Adventure Comics and the upcoming Superboy series.
To see what Jeff and the Robot 6 crew are reading, click below …
Blackest Night, written by Geoff Johns and pencilled by Ivan Reis, is the culmination of at least five years’ worth of Green Lantern storylines, not to mention elements from DC’s recent Big Events. It sets up several more storylines, both in the GL books and throughout DC’s superhero titles. It also lays out a new way to look at the very nature of life in the DC universe.
These are all elements of what I’ve called “process” stories: vehicles for taking characters from one basic setup to another, many times without much more depth than that. Process is a big part of Blackest Night — these rings work together thusly, these beings power the rings like so, etc. I haven’t had much use for process stories. Indeed, if BN were merely a process story, it would be an eminently appropriate way to cap DC’s perpetual-crossover period. One more cog in the four-color Rube Goldberg device.
Thankfully, Blackest Night aims higher — and that ambition saves it from the tedium of pure process. BN isn’t perfect by any means: it’s a gruesome spectacle of ripped-out hearts and (literal) emotional manipulation, Geoff Johns’ dialogue can be clunky, and Ivan Reis’ pencils are sometimes overwhelming. Ultimately, though, the miniseries is an engaging diversion with its own point of view, and I ended up liking it well enough.
Yesterday the eighth and final issue of Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis’s hit event comic Blackest Night came out, and DC has been celebrating its successful conclusion (how about that fold-out spread, huh???) in grand fashion. On Tuesday, DC’s official blog, The Source, hosted an open thread for fans to share their favorite Blackest Night moments and memories. Source blogger and PR guru Alex Segura posted a heartfelt encomium to the series, its spinoffs, and its creators once it wrapped on Wednesday. Today, editor Eddie Berganza contributed a eulogy of his own.
All well-deserved, as far as I’m concerned: Blackest Night clearly worked for its intended audience, myself included. A hook everyone could understand, a huge (and fun!) expansion of the Green Lantern mythos that convincingly roped in characters from the Flash to Lex Luthor to Hawk and Dove, rock-solid art from Ivan Reis, perhaps the most t-shirt-friendly concept in comics history…I had a hoot with this book and its parallel Green Lantern tie-ins as well, and judging from the uniformly positive fan feedback in the comments for Segura’s tribute, I’m far from alone.
They say nice guys finish last, but when event comics will finish is anybody’s guess. The demands of a high-profile series around which entire shared universes revolve can play havoc with scheduling. Naturally, editors and publishers love to maintain the artistic quality and consistency (and sales levels) provided by the big-name writer-artist teams that tend to lend such books a sense of “this is a big deal.” On the other hand, they need to get books out on time so that other series whose storylines depend upon what happens in the event can proceed as planned — and so that they don’t end up alienating retailers and readers. But these same readers and retailers can end up just as irritated if they get the sense that the creators are being rushed, or if fill-in artists aren’t up to snuff. It’s a tough row to hoe.
With his front-row seat for a variety of events this decade, including Avengers Disassembled, House of M, Civil War, and Secret Invasion, Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort knows this better than anyone. So it was with an obvious mix of boldness and trepidation that he made the following prediction on his Twitter account:
It’s height of hubris time: I’m willing to bet that SIEGE will wrap up before BLACKEST NIGHT does.
Lisa: Dad, you shot the zombie Flanders!
Homer: He was a zombie?
To paraphrase Milton Berle, of all the universe-shattering events DC Comics has published over the years, Blackest Night #1 (written by Geoff Johns, penciled by Ivan Reis, and inked by Oclair Albert) is certainly the most recent. At the risk of being unfair to the various bits of Green Lantern lore Johns and his collaborators have been outlining over the past five years, Blackest Night is essentially a zombie story. A mysterious, malevolent force “recruits” its members from among the universe’s deceased, giving them black power rings and bidding them to “rise.” Now the Green Lantern Corps, and their colleagues in the superhero community, have seven more double-sized issues (plus ancillary tie-ins in other titles) to stop the Black Lanterns. I thought issue #1 was promising, and I’ll tell you why.