As the weeks have gone by, it has become easy to forget that Brightest Day is more than just a collection of unrelated storylines. Though most of its plot threads have remained in isolation up to this point, the latest issue serves as a reminder that Johns and Tomasi have always meant to tell a somewhat unified tale. The pair give us what appears to be the conclusion of the Hawkman/Hawkgirl segment, leading the characters into direct contact with the White Lantern energy that has been at the series’ heart.
The wrap-up of the Hawks’ story is a welcome sight for this Brightest Day reader, primarily because it has consistently been the least interesting of the bunch. Even so, the arc gets some measure of redemption here at its ending. Finally, Johns and Tomasi offer a satisfying explanation as to why this particular story mattered, making clear why its key elements weren’t simply a rehash of previously published Hawkman material. The fact that it all ties in to the grand Brightest Day plan is an added bonus.
In keeping with the style maintained throughout this series, few events pass by without the characters making some rather overt comments about the writers’ intended subtext. In this case, it comes in the form of an extended conversation about the power of love, a subject on which Johns has taken his lumps in the past. On the whole, I like the way in which Brightest Day has been consistently infused with superhero metaphor, but I won’t deny cringing at the sub-Harlequin Romance levels to which this issue’s dialogue descends.
From the beginning, the Reis/Syaf/Clark/Prado team has been the best among the series’ many rotating artists, and this issue is no exception. Nearly every page looks great, including the many that are bathed in the bright light of the many Power Rings and Lanterns the story calls for.
With the release of Brightest Day #18, I’m definitely excited to see where this series goes as it heads toward its ultimate end. With even the book’s weakest aspect brought to a rewarding close, it seems likely that readers are in store for some pleasant treats in the weeks to come.