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DC Comics' BRIGHTEST DAY

A Fresh New Start or Event Fatigue Denial Syndrome?

By Chad Derdowski     April 21, 2010
Source: Mania


Comicscape: DC Comics' BRIGHTEST DAY
© Mania

Just as Abraham begat Isaac and Isaac begat Jacob and Jacob begat Judas, every superhero event shall lead to the inevitable spin-off. Often published on a more-than-monthly basis and continuing upon the path of plotlines left dangling in the wake of the event, the post-event-event shall feature a collection of characters unable to sustain a book upon their own merits. Like the snake which eats its own tail, the cycle continues thusly until the ever-present fanboy population doth dwindle and internet criticism lay a heavy blow upon the collective head of the bullpen.

Or in other words, DC’s never heard of the term “event fatigue” and they aimed to prove that it is a myth with the release of Brightest Day #0 last week.

 

The Prelude

Though it had its detractors, it’s safe to say that the majority of the superhero comic reading population were quite enamored of Blackest Night and for good reason: it was awesome! Focusing on second stringers like Flash and Green Lantern and boasting tie-ins and spin-offs that were for the most part really good and actually relevent to the story, Blackest Night was a universe-spanning cosmic epic that never lost sight of the personal conflicts at its core. But like many of the events that have come before (at least, the more recent ones), it didn’t really end; it just left us with another new story and even more comics to buy.

We love Aquaman as well as Hawkman and Hawkgirl and we’re glad the classics are back in action. Same goes for Reverse-Flash and Captain Boomerang. The idea of Firestorm’s two halves hating each other? Awesome. Maxwell Lord? He’s cool too and the DC Universe could use another high-level villain who’s got ties to everyone in it. And of course, there’s Deadman. The concept of Boston Brand being brought back to life is beyond brilliant and we can’t wait to see how it all plays out. But you know what else we love? Stories with endings.

Empire Strikes Back is undoubtedly the crown jewel of the Star Wars kingdom, but sometimes, you just wanna watch Return of the Jedi and get some closure, y’know?

 

Brightest Day or Fair to Partly Cloudy?

So we might sound a little hypocritical here. On one hand, we’re complaining about the never ending event and on the other hand, we’re praising Brightest Day and telling you how excited we are to read it. Hey, the first issue was good. You want us to lie? But maybe there are a few guidelines we’d like to see imposed upon the series or a few suggestions we’d like to offer.

 

Keep it Small

Actually, this is the the only suggestion we have. Blackest Night was huge and took years of preparation to set up. Keep Brightest Day small and as self-contained as possible. Obviously the intent here is to tell an interesting story with each of these revived characters and hopefully spin them all off into their own series’, but lets keep the spin-offs and tie-ins to a minimum, okay? It’s true that no one is forcing us to buy them and in all honesty, we probably won’t, but for the love of God, will it ever stop? Does it ever end? Will our grandchildren be reading supehero event books titled No Evil Shall Escape Our Sight with the tagline “an event four decades in the making!”? Will it eventually hit a point where the tie-ins and spin-offs make up the entire DC Universe with only Batman and Superman as the only other ongoing series’? It’s starting to feel that way.

DC did it right with Blackest Night. As long as you were reading the main book and Green Lantern, you were all set. Green Lantern Corps enhanced the stories even more, but if you never bought any of the ancillary titles, it really didn’t matter. They helped the story along if you just couldn’t get enough of the Black Lanterns, but they weren’t necessary –and we liked it that way. And as we said, no one is going to force us to buy every (or any) books with the Brightest Day banner at the top – but why do there even have to be any? Can’t Brightest Day just be Brightest Day and not have a billion other books tied into it?

 

Brightest Day Gives Way To Twilight

The whole point of “event fatigue” isn’t that DC or Marvel is forcing us to buy every single book that ties into the event; it’s the fact that these events are inescapable. It seems that every book on the stands has a banner at the top advertising the series. Every book, at some point, will have a crossover with the larger series, if not a spin-off. It’s a lot like Twilight. No one is forcing you see the movies or read the books, but if you have a television, radio or ever get online, it’s impossible to avoid it. At some point, you’re forced to take notice of the craze, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. That is what we’re complaining about and what we hope DC avoids with Brightest Day.

As far as we’re concerned, it’s quite simple. Just publish a bi-weekly book focusing on third stringers and benchwarmers for one full year and at the end of it, try to spin ‘em all off into their own books. Sure, there’s going to be a crossover here and there because there are few books that go an entire 12 issues without having a guest appearance by another hero, but how about sticking with other heroes doing guest spots in Brightest Day rather than the stars of Brightest Day appearing in other books... at least for a little while. And please stop with the banners at the top of every comic on the stands and lets cut out the one-shots! Just for one year. Just for this series.

Let’s try to have a post-event-event that’s really more of a non-event. Or better yet, how about if Brightest Day isn’t an event but just a really solid comic book series?

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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jedibanner 4/21/2010 6:29:35 AM

For me, Blackest night kind of turn me off on DC and this whole green lanterns events. I liked the idea of BN but, I was disapointed with the ending (or, pretty much the whole series to be honest). Maybe I'm in the minority but, i felt the events in the cross-overs should've been in the actual event since they were good and showed a story whereas I felt BN did not offer much.

Following all that, I did read (and bought) Brighest Day and still felt like meh....all that had been done before (dead heroes and villains) is all erased now since they are all back from the dead, at the same time. Sure there will be a reason for this and bla bla bla but, I guess my interest has diminished so much because of BN, I figured I'd rather invest my money in things I really like or, to give a chance to books from Avatar or that new book from Samuel L. Jackson or any new things that are coming out.

But I think it's good suggestions Chad...maybe if DC listen, some fans might come back, I for one, is off that wagon for now.

Rheul_home 4/21/2010 6:52:01 AM

I was going to pick up the Sinestro Corp trade as I am not a regular reader of DC. Make mine Marvel. I'm really glad that I didnt now. As far as I'll go into the DC Universe is All Star Superman. This whole thing has spun WAY out of control. Marvel at least cut back a little on the issues with The Siege being only four issues. But I guess they made up for it with Fall of Hulks. Too many crossovers. I miss the days where there would be a little spot on the cover of a various Spiderman issue with the blurb "Guest Staring Daredevil!" and over in Daredevil there would be a panel that had DD saying "I found this clue while helping Spiderman with that jewel heist last week* (see ASM 156). I like the big event as much as the next guy but enough is enough.

lister 4/21/2010 8:58:31 AM

Not happy about the lack of a conclusion to BN. And I was hoping for a clear definition of the multi-hued Lanterns powers and how they will be co-existing from now on. I don't want to go through 52 weeks of DC figuring it out what their cosmic power structure is.

"The concept of Boston Brand being brought back to life is beyond brilliant". Agreed. For an issue of one comic. Not as the status quo.

Siege is the way to go. Four issues is about all these events can handle any more, what with the tie-ins and all. When Marvel and DC used to do a lot of 12-issue limited series, it worked fine and you didn't need the tie-ins. There was enough story to fill 12 issues. They never have enough story to fill 40 issues!

DarthDuck 4/21/2010 9:29:52 AM

The BN tie-ins started out okay and went downhill in a hurry.  The "main" books like GL and GLC were clearly stuck in a holding pattern just waiting for the event to end.

I like the status quo set up by BN, while totally understanding the complaints on a lack of resolution, but for me Brightest Day is very exciting.  I mentioned this in another post but the page toward the end, the "HELP THEM" page, was fantastic.  That one page gave me hope for the event.

Interesting that Marvel is pulling back.  Siege has been fantastic and perfectly paced at four issues.  Now they're heading into a period with no events, or rather no crossovers.  The X-Men are always doing crossovers and The Gauntlet is contained within ASM.  It will be interesting to see the reactions now that Marvel and DC are giving to very different options for readers.  Events vs. no events.

gauleyboy420 4/21/2010 9:53:06 AM

Rheul_home,

READ Sinestro Corps... In my opinion, it was better than BN...

 

I liked the "ending" of BN, but agree with al of you a conclusion would have been better. Haven't picked up Brightest Day, and am getting ready to be gainfully unemployed, soooo Don't think I'll be buying ANY comics for a while....

 

Thank God for the Public Library, Socialism ROCKS BABY! All the comics I could ever read for FREE!!!!

Rheul, check out Sinestro Corps from your local library

Worth it!

Darkknight2280 4/21/2010 10:34:19 AM

Ok i dont even read DC comics...cept Batman...and im soooo very sick and tired of hearing about this Green lantern Event...its gone on long enough...end it for crying out loud its been going on for over a year!!! Sick of hearing about Blackest night, and pink, yellow, orange lanterns and now white lanterns...ENOUGH!

Darkknight2280 4/21/2010 10:38:36 AM

Ok i dont even read DC comics...cept Batman...and im soooo very sick and tired of hearing about this Green lantern Event...its gone on long enough...end it for crying out loud its been going on for over a year!!! Sick of hearing about Blackest night, and pink, yellow, orange lanterns and now white lanterns...ENOUGH!

shac2846 4/21/2010 11:54:36 AM

I'll agree, I felt the same way with Blackest Night, a solid ending would have been nice but also I could tell that John's had been hatching this out for years. It was solid to me and at least Brightest Day seems interesting enough. I think a lot of you guys are giving DC a harder time than neccesary. I love marvel books just as much as DC but their last mega event Secret Invasion wasn't really all that either and I think it got a pass from many hard core marvel fans and I'm a huge fan of bendis's stuff. Havent' read seige yet but planning on getting it in trade. What would you guys give it out of 10? Is it worth even checking out.

Hang in there Gauley, I am in a somewhat similar situation. Hope you find something soon.

gauleyboy420 4/21/2010 12:07:13 PM

Secret Invasion... SUCKED ... There I said it. Talk about crap endings... all of a sudden they all find the strenth to beat back the skrulls, after the death of Wasp? STUPID Why couldn't they find the strenth to beatthem back 3 issues earlier... I hated Secret Invasion. LOVE Blackest Night.... Really like Siege too! I give it both of these storylines a 9

 

Thanks Shac! crazy times

DarthDuck 4/21/2010 12:39:38 PM

gauley - I felt your pain.  Lost my job 7 months ago and just found a new one.  Chin up man, things'll work out!  Good luck moving forward.

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