Release Date: April 27, 2011
Cover Date: Late June 2011
Story: Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi
Pencils: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Patrick Gleason, Ardian Syaf, and Scott Clark
Inks: Norm Rapmund, Vicente Cifuentes, Oclair Albert, Tom Nguyen, Mick Gray, Mark Irwin, and David Beaty
Cover: Gary Frank
1:10 Variant Cover: Ivan Reis and Joe Prado
As the Elementals try to hold back the evil Swamp Thing, the Entity explains that the mindless beast once thought it was Alec Holland, but now it thinks it’s Nekron, due to the latter’s damage to the planet. Alec himself never was Swamp Thing, and has no memory past his death in the swamp. Boston Brand is unwittingly killed by Captain Boomerang, and he becomes Deadman once more. The Entity resurrects Alec, and along with the power of the Elementals, he becomes a new Swamp Thing that destroys the corrupted one. The Elementals are returned to their normal forms, except for Hawkgirl, who has apparently become one with the air. Swamp Thing purges the rest of Nekron’s corruption from the planet, and the Entity disappears. Everyone else goes back to their lives, but after Swamp Thing later kills a group of corrupt businessmen, an old friend comes calling: John Constantine.
First, let’s talk about the art. All of the artists who worked on the series worked on this issue, but sometimes it felt very disjointed. The art teams originally handled specific character arcs, but having them draw all of the different characters together and switching up page by page just didn’t seem to work all that well. Still, the splash pages of the Swamp Thing battles looked great, as well as the final shot of Constantine.
As for the story, the concept of the dark avatar being leftover corruption from Nekron actually makes perfect sense. I was worried that it was just going to be waved away as “evil Swamp Thing,” but this brief explanation made things much more believable.
The epilogues were probably the best part of the issue, to be honest. They can set up future ongoing series (or miniseries), but at the same time, they give enough leeway in case those series never come to fruition. Even Firestorm, who’s supposed to explode in just shy of ninety days, gets a break; ninety days in comic book time can be years in realtime. That’s a lot of space for writers to figure out an exit.
The end to Brightest Day did present some notable problems. For example, the Entity had claimed it was dying, but instead…it just disappeared. Is Swamp Thing the “new” Entity now? I doubt it, because then if Swamp Thing gets hurt, every other living thing in the universe feels it. And if he dies…well, take a wild guess. Meanwhile, Hawk failed his mission…but it seemed to have no consequence. Everyone else got their “life returned” for completing their specific tasks, but Hawk’s still alive and didn’t have to do shit.
These and many other nitpicks, as well as my thoughts on Brightest Day as a whole, will be explored further next week in an aptly-titled wrapup post.