Review: Brightest Day #23

Published on April 12th, 2011

I have to mention right away that this review will be full of spoilers. I have expressed my annoyance for the number of events going on in the DC Universe right now. I thought that the Green Lantern books finally came back into their own despite the fact that they are headed to another event. However, the Green Lantern series has gotten back to a place where they have their own identity. I’m also not here to talk about those books. Brightest Day #23 is a shining example of the DC Universe having a whole lot of event leading to a whole lot of nothing. Not to say that I’m disappointed, because that would be the opposite of the truth. I think, conceptually, there is a lot of good in this book. Geoff Johns did have a very good idea that I just don’t think was played out to the best of its potential.


For those that have been living under a comic rock for the past year, Brightest Day has been about the return of twelve heroes for a specific “purpose.” Now, I put that word in quotations deliberately, because I am still not sure what the writers think that word means. Ultimately, only five of the twelve mattered. That was dumb. Also, the five only really started to matter in these last five issues. Way to waste my time for a year, DC. That’s not even the worst of it. My jaw dropped at the punch line of the series – the return of Swamp Thing!

Um… WHAT?!

Don’t get me wrong, because I am a big fan of the character, but I cannot believe the ridiculousness of it all. You guys already brought back twelve characters and didn’t even do anything with seven of them! Now, you want to bring back another, for what? Are we just setting up for the next event, Flash Point? That’s just as sarcastically fantastic as I can get. I would like to propose the crazy idea that maybe you should do something with the characters you have before you start complicating our world with more.

Ok, ok. I’m being really harsh. Here is why it’s good. The idea that these dead heroes were brought back for a purpose (those that actually had one) is intriguing. The fact that the purpose was to become a part of life itself made it even better. I very much enjoyed watching these heroes complete their mission to regain their lives. I really liked having Boston Brand show up and kill them. It did give me a kick in my emotional ass to see them so happy and to have that happiness, and their life, taken from them. I loved that they returned as the elements. I thought that was an excellent way to bring everything together, and it really made me think that this book wasn’t going to be as bad as it seemed. Much to my disappointment, nothing was done with this. It was all to guard a tree so Swamp Thing could emerge. Sarcastic hooray.

I hate it when a concept outshines its execution. That is what Brightest Day ended with for me. It was a whole lot of awesome and a whole lot of let down. I only hope that Johns and DC keep going with the elements of life and use them in a really amazing way.