I do of course realize that there’s no overarching rule outlining what an issue #0 and an issue #1 need to be, but that lack of law doesn’t change the fact that this was really the second issue of a miniseries and formally came together a bit awkwardly. The core story about Boston Brand advanced a few inches, and the underlying situation got some more definition, but as a first chapter in an epic story, Brightest Day #1 just wasn’t what the cover appeared to be selling.
Brightest Day #0 left me with a very pleasant aftertaste going into both the series and the post-Blackest Night DCU. If you hold it up against issue #1, however, and list the five most important actions or events between them, I’d challenge you to give more than one of those bullets to this chapter. And that’s my biggest complaint. It wasn’t that this was necessarily a bad comic. It just felt like a second issue.
In fact, the final reveal at the end, which I won’t spoil, is great, but the hilariousness of the character choice and focal point as issue #1’s big surprise, just served to punctuate this read as an advancement of issue #0 with nowhere near the payload of page-by-page cliffhangers shock moments.
That said, the Deadman tale was what hooked me in issue #0, and Boston’s storyline remained intriguing here, even if it was given a minimal number of panels. In as much as Geoff Johns, Peter Tomasi, Ivan Reis, Pat Gleason, Ardian Syaf and everyone else succeeded on that front, I’d be interested to know why there wasn’t a #2 on the cover.
Let me go on the record, too, as saying this book could have been numbered as #-3 and I still would have loved the zombie shark action just as much. On no pages have these artists’ talent been better used than during the Aquaman scene, and I hope to see much, much more in Brightest Day #2.