Thursday, April 28, 2011

Geoff Johns' "Brightest Failure" Deadman Edition WARNING: MAJOR SPOILER ALERT

So I picked up the final three issues of the 24-issue maxi-series Brightest Day today and I was really happy with Firestorm's issue (#22) but then when #23 hit...well... I'll get to that later.

It started wayyy back in June of 2010 with Brightest Day #0...actually, it started in Blackest Night #8 with the resurrection of 12 heroes and villains; Jade, Maxwell Lord, Deadman, Hawk (of Hawk & Dove-the original, male, version), Hawkman, Hawkgirl (brought back as Shiera Hall instead of Kendra Saunders like last time), Martian Manhunter, Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond & Jason Rusch), Aquaman, Reverse-Flash, Captain Boomerang (Digger Harkness-the original), and Osiris.

Wait--before the summary...DID YOU SEE THAT GODDAMN IMAGE UP THERE!? It's a freakin' knock-off of Brightest Day #1's first printing cover! The original one was a skull with a bunch of Black Lantern rings shooting out...WHY THE HELL DO THEY HAVE TO RUIN EVERYTHING EVEN REMOTELY TIED WITH THIS SERIES!?!?

Boston Brand (Deadman or, as I, X-Man, and JT prefer, Aliveman)

The series' #0 issue was great. It showed the only resurrectee with a White Ring left on his finger, Deadman (AKA Boston Brand), being told that he was supposed to "help [the ring], help them." "Them" being the resurrectee's. Then when #1 hit stores, the story really kicked off. Boston was being forced to jump around from resurrectee-to-resurrectee by the White Ring. He does this for about four issues, then somehow appears in Dove's (Dawn Granger) dorm room. Uhhh...Can I say pervert, much? How old is Boston? Like 80-something? And Dawn is maybe 24 or 25? Well anyway, the good old White Ring decides to make Boston's presence known to Dawn and she turns into her Dove-form.

Out of nowhere, Hawk comes bursting through the wall and pins Aliveman against it. Then Dawn and Boston start talking and his stomach rumbles. APPARENTLY, being whipped around the Universe by a talking ring that is connected to all life, means you can't stop for a hamburger every once-in-a-while. Well that's exactly what the ring tells him to do..."eat a cheeseburger." So insightful, Mr. Ring.

We next see Boston, Hank (Hawk), and Dawn sitting in a diner with a few cheeseburgers sitting on the table. Boston takes one bite (because that's gonna fill anybody up) and the Ring zaps them away to the White Lantern (for some reason it's...) in New Mexico.

Just because the little runt taking Garth's place as Aqualad lives in New Mexico, doesn't mean the Lantern should go there.

Anyway, there the Lantern tells all 12 resurrectee's their "missions" which Boston's is to find the New Champion of Earth. (DUH! WHY ELSE WOULD THE RING STILL BE ON HIM?)

So Boston and Dawn go to like…the Gotham Library or something and they start interviewing people to see which one would be the Champion of Earth. They happen to be talking to Resurrection Man or whatever. This guy dies and then comes back with new powers every time. Whatever. Boston then looks outside and see’s the Batman signal-thing out in the sky and thinks “Hey, it must be Batman because I’ve been eating wayyyy too many cheeseburgers!” and runs off towards the Batman signal.
After he gets to wherever Batman was needed he manages to somehow fight off a few of Mr. Freeze’s henchmen until Batman shows up to take down freeze. Boston then tells Mr. Ring to get off of him and take over Bruce because Bruce totally belongs in white. Bruce then gives Boston some really long lecture about how he needs to embrace life instead of take it for granted like he is now. One of Freeze’s henchmen shoots Boston when he doesn’t have Mr. Ring. He begins to die (again) and Mr. Ring shows him what his life what like way, way, way back before he died the first time. He was a complete asshole and it sets up Boston begging for his life back and Mr. Ring decides to be nice to Boston (HOLY SHIT, MR. RING’S GONE SOFT!) and lets him come back.

So then we see Boston and Dawn in her dorm house thing in which they imply that they slept together. Boston is making cheeseburgers for breakfast (I'm a vegetarian, so the thought of meat is just outrageous to me but a cheeseburger for BREAKFAST?) So at this point Aliveman is making his time by sleeping with girls that are about 55 years younger than him and not doing what the all-powerful Mr. Ring told him to.

So after finding out that his bazillion-year-old grandfather is still alive. Seriously, though. That guy must be really, really old. Considering that assumedly his grandfather was in his 60’s when Boston was killed? And Boston’s stories started in the 40’s or 50’s? Hmmm… The guy must be just about 66-years-older. Oi vey, Geoff. Do some math. Maybe…MAYBE…his parents would still be around. But his grandfather? Ugh!

Sorry. I love to ramble about stuff that doesn’t make sense. Anyway, so he and his grandpa go riding motorcycles because of a random backstory and Mr. Ring begins charging. When Mr. Ring completely charges, he makes Boston bolt into the air and to the Aviary. So then the Hawks end up completing their quest from Mr. Ring and my second favorite quote of the entire series happens.

Carter: “I love you more than life.” (To Shiera)
Mr. Ring: “What an odd thing to say.” (To Carter)

Then the Hawks get really confused as to why Aliveman is there peeping in on the mating gallery at the Aviary. He explains that Mr. Ring is controlling his entire body and that nothing he could do would be able to get away from his good old pal, Mr. Ring.

So then Mr. Ring turns the Hawks into some ash or air or something like that. Then Boston goes a couple issues without doing anything important until SpongeBob—I mean Aquaman finishes Mr. Ring’s mission for him and then he makes him dissolve into the water…or something. Then Martian Manhunter finishes his mission, though unlike the other 6 main characters, he understands what Aliveman is doing and allows him to shrink him into the ground. Then when Ronnie and Jason get the Mr. Ring’s Lantern back from the Anti-Monitor he burns them alive. Literally, alive. Because some crazy magic allows fire to not effect fire! Who would’ve known!?

Then good old Mr. Ring brings Dawn to Star City’s forest (where Boston and the rest of the “Elementals” are along with Mr. Ring’s tree) and Hank tags along for a ride. Mr. Ring tells Boston, Dawn, and Hank (who isn’t supposed to be there) to protect his tree while the Elementals fight off the Black Lantern menace guy who I will reveal at the end of the post. But then Mr. Ring tells them that Alec Holland (aka Swamp Thing’s host person-thingy) is the Champion of Earth.

So we’ve finally made it to issue 24 of Aliveman/Deadman/Boston Brand’s Brightest Day run. I’ve decided since this post is so long that I’m going to break up the Brightest Day breakdowns into five separate posts all posted throughout my birthday weekend (this weekend).
Let’s get this post over with so I can work on Ronnie Raymond’s!

So then Mr. Ring tells the origin story of Alec Holland/Swamp Thing which is the following:
“He was a scientist, Dove. A biologist or botanist…or both. I’m not really sure. He had a lab in the Louisiana swamps. There was an explosion…” “An attack, Boston Brand. Many men who would exploit this world wanted Alec Holland’s work for themselves. Alec Holland was engulfed in an explosion that ignited his lab. Alec Holland died in the swamp. And his memory was absorbed into the life web of the Earth called The Green.” “I know. And a…creature made of vegetation rose out of the swamp thinking it was Alec Holland.” “But Alec Holland was dad. It was not Alec Holland. It was Swamp Thing.” –Aliveman and Mr. Ring-Brightest Day #24
Anyway, so Digger Harkness (who was supposed to throw a goddamn Boomerang at Dove) it peeping around a tree looking at Boston, Dove, Mr. Ring, and Hawk. Then it’s revealed that Swamp Thing thinks he is Nekron for some reason. For those of you noobs who don’t know, Nekron was the villain in Blackest Night. So Boston, Hawk, Dove, and Mr. Ring talk for a while until Black Lantern Swamp Thing starts stomping around. Mr. Ring peer pressures Boomerang into throwing the Boomerang at Dove (like a good little suck-up to Mr. Ring) and he does so. Hawk, realizing his chance to catch the Boomerang (which was his mission), tries to catch it but the boomerang goes straight through his hand. Uhhh? Mr. Ring, you son-of-a-bitch, why did you not allow Hawk to catch the boomerang so what happens next didn’t have to?

So Boston, realizing his girlfriend was about to get pierced with a boomerang, jumps in front of the boomerang and it goes straight into his heart causing a big explosion that was unneeded. Dove and Boston start crying and saying how much they mean to one another until Boston ends up dying (for the third time ever) and the ring shoots into Holland’s mouth. Now Holland, returned as a human rather than Swamp Thing, walks around confused. I also noticed that Mr. Ring is not on any of his fingers.

Then Holland randomly turns into Swamp Thing (not to mention a giant Swamp Thing) and has a really lame fight scene with Black Lantern Swamp Thing using the different Elemental’s powers against the Black Lantern.
Back to Boston’s body. Hawk and Dove are really sad standing over his body when White Lantern Swamp Thing (who is entirely green still, might I add) says the Earth will take care of him and Boston’s body shrinks into a bed of flowers and disappears.

Sadly enough for Boston, Mr. Ring won’t let him move on from limbo. Though Boston is now able to talk to living people when he’s in his ghost form, not even taking over a body.

The rest of #24 will be revealed in a later post but not after I say the only awesome thing Swamp Thing has done as a Mr. Ring’s new host so far… killed a bunch of oil company board members (obviously focused on BP). Oh and to finish of the series finale, John Constantine’s return to the DC Universe appears on the last page of the series with one word, and I quote… “Bollocks.”\
Thanks guys for reading my long and rambly Boston Brand Brightest Day post. Join me next Friday when I post my Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch Brightest Day post. Next Saturday I’ll post my J’onn J’onzz Brightest Day post. And finally next Sunday with my Hawks Brig