Wednesday, August 31, 2011



Writer: Jonathan Vankin

Art: Marco Castiello

Publisher: DC

Reviewer: The Writing Rambler

                So I’ve had the pleasure of being able to read/review all 3 of the BRIGHTEST DAY AFTERMATH: SEARCH FOR SWAMP THING issues for AICN and boy does this final issue end with a glorious bang. Yup, those are the exact words I would use to start a review if I lived on the Bizzaro planet of Htrae, where everything is opposite. Unfortunately I don’t and for the 3rd time DC readers are given a jumbled, messy story that has no real meaning or explanation towards the reintroduction of John Constantine and Swamp Thing to the mainstream DCU.

                This 3rd and final issue of the limited series was supposed to be the conclusion of Constantine’s journey searching for Swamp Thing and the newly resurrected Alec Holland, but instead were given more of the same confusing runaround with no real furthering of the story. Random appearances from Madame Xanadu, Batman, Superman and Deadman (who I assume was thrown in to remind us this is supposed to connect to BRIGHTEST DAY still) add to the “chaos” of this series. To put it simply there is no point to this book other than being a 3 part reminder that Constantine and Swamp Thing are part of the DCU again. From Constantine’s odd change of heart at the end of the book to Batman’s horribly cheesy comment about EPA regulations, this final issue seems like a culmination of bad ideas put to paper.

                There’s not much new or unique about the book’s artwork other than it is consistent with the first two issues. Marco Castiello returns to take the reins back from Renato Arlem who handled the 2nd issue and while he does a good job depicting the mess of a story that were given, I did find it funny that his version of Batman here just made me think some drifter stole Batman’s costume and is pretending to be him. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but something is off about this story’s caped crusader.

I do have something positive to say about this book and that is I’ve finally come to peace with the cover art. If you’ve read my past reviews on this series you’ll know I’ve been pretty annoyed how the covers so far have both misrepresented the content and then mostly copy and pasted the previous issue’s artwork. Well with this issue we finally get a cover that has something to do with the content within, so I guess that’s a good thing, right?

Overall, this entire series has been a huge disappointment to readers who were anticipating learning more about John and Swamp Thing’s place in the current DCU. When you couple this with the fact that this series is also supposed to be the wrap up to a huge event like BRIGHTEST DAY you realize how much of a failure this really is. All I can hope is that with the relaunch of the DCU upon us we will be given much better stories for all of the characters involved.

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Ron Frenz
Publisher: DC
Reviewer: The Writing Rambler
                EMERALD WARRIORS 13 is the final issue of the series as well as the last GREEEN LANTERN title we get in the pre “reboot” DCU. While there is no big, epic story that some may have hoped or even a bridge to what will happen in the “new” DCU I actually really enjoyed what we’re give here. It’s yet another one shot focused on Guy Gardner (much like the past two EMERALD WARRIOR issues), who this time is teamed up with Batman in what feels much more like an issue of THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD than any GREEN LANTERN title.
                I really love what Tomasi has done with these final issues as he is great at delivering stories that use Guy Gardner’s personality to the fullest. He just seems to really enjoy writing Guy stories and it shows. Throw in getting to see him include Batman and the unique “chemistry” that he and Guy share and you have a really enjoyable story overall. The issue is a quick whodunit that takes place on an international space station but truthfully none of the background matters as it’s the fun of watching Batman and Guy act as a successful team that keeps you turning the pages.
                The art by Ron Frenz blends with the story and keeps everything moving well. The art in any book is there to enhance what should be a well written story and it’s exactly what we get here. Nothing we’ve never seen before, but enjoyable because it flows with everything and never becomes a distraction to the reader like I’ve experienced in some of the WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERN: AFTERMATH books as of late.

                This book probably isn’t for everyone as many people don’t like throwing down their hard earned $3 to buy a one shot that has no real significance in the larger GREEN LANTERN storylines, but these are often the stories that are made for the die-hard fans. As a fan of GREEN LANTERN I definitely recognize that many of the major events in the DCU for the past few years have somewhat had a Lantern influence and if anything we’ve been spoiled with large arcs that have taken the title to new heights. Because of this, we often dismiss smaller issues that don’t have some type of larger theme/event going on and it’s a shame. An issue like this should mean just as much to a fan because without books that create and build up these character’s personalities for us to love/hate, their actions in larger stories would be pointless. In a way I think this issue is a fitting end to this series as it reminds me that despite not having several lanterns featured or any universe spanning story it’s still a completely enjoyable read and that it’s the personality of characters like Guy Gardner that keep me coming back for more.

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