By: Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi (writers), Scott Clark, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado (artists), David Beaty (inker), Peter Steigerwald and Rod Reis (colors)

The Review: It’s hard not to like a flawed hero, being mentored by someone less experienced than him, travelling through a dark and storied wilderness, to sneak up on the most powerful bad guy in existence, thirteen green-lantern-level heavies, to rescue the lantern of life and the two fathers. The nostalgia trip for me was pretty high (I read Crisis on Infinite Earths month by month when I was fourteen), especially the throwaway touch of “Ronnie Was Here”. The menace of “le bad guy” was huge in the script and visually, and the double splash page opening pretty much sets the tone. The Anti-Monitor’s plan for the White Lantern is pretty ingenious considering his past eating habits and the reaction of the White Lantern to everything going on around it is, as always, mysterious, puzzling and page-turning, although it’s probably no spoiler that we don’t find out in this third-to-last issue what’s up its sleeve. Brightest Day is continuing to put the pieces in place for the big finale.

Artwise, Clark, Reis and Prado, with Beaty, Steigerwald and Reis (the other one) told a good visual story and had some shining moments, literally. This art team knocked the shiny bits out of the park, like the White Lantern and the Anti-Monitor’s armor. They did equally well on the spooky color work and eerie alienness of the anti-matter universe, especially that double splash page at the beginning and the blue and purple clouds against starry sky on page one. The action sequences were clear, although not innovative in view angles, poses or panel layouts.

There was nothing wrong with this issue, but Ronnie Raymond himself has always been a bit of a whiny hero, which means I have a hard time really caring what happens to him. As Ronnie’s character is only as deep as a kiddie pool, there’s not much even a pair of good writers can do with him. I would love to see a drastic, discontinuous change in personality in Ronnie, something triggered in this series ideally, but am not holding my breath.

Conclusion: I liked the plot and the art told the story, with some very effective visual moments, but I couldn’t really engage with the weak main character. I recommend that Brightest Day fans and Firestorm fans tune in and buy.

Grade: B

-DS Arsenault

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