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Brightest Day #11: Any Port in a Deathstorm

Brightest Day #11 shipped yesterday to comic shops across the United States.  While I haven’t had a chance to pick up my copy, I read the five-page sneak peek DC Comics published on their blog earlier this week.  Three of the five pages were specific to Firestorm.  Here they are:

Brightest Day #11 teaser page 1 with Deathstorm

 Brightest Day #11 teaser page 2 with Deathstorm

 Brightest Day #11 teaser page 3 with Deathstorm

So its official, the Firestorm Matrix stowaway will be called “Deathstorm” going forward.  Ugh.  I’m not thrilled with the name, but I think I get it.

Geoff Johns intended the attitude of Superboy-Prime to represent the attitude of real-life whiny fanboys that complain about comics.  That was revealed by Johns during interviews and its obvious when you go back and re-read Superboy-Prime’s appearances.  Similarly, I believe Deathstorm is Johns’ way of representing all the “dark” and “hardcore” comic book characters from the late-1980s and early- to mid-1990s.  One of the hallmarks of that age were dark, twisted versions of our favorite characters, such as: Cyborg Superman, Knightquest Batman, Spider-Man Doppelganger, Parallax, Deathwing, and even the Elemental Firestorm’s dark reflection Shadowstorm.  Also common during that era were the “hardcore” attitudes of characters such as: Wolverine, Cable, Sabretooth, Ripclaw, Battalion, Warblade, Deathblow, Bane, Spawn, and Badrock.  Combine the evil doppelganger idea, the hardcore attitude, and the dated speech patterns and you have Deathstorm – a modern-day reminder of that era of comics!   If you’re interested in commentary on comics of the late-1980s and early- to mid-1990s, check out The Dark Age: Grim, Great & Gimmicky Post-Modern Comics by Mark Voger.  Fascinating reading about a fascinating time in comics.

Again, I haven’t read Brightest Day #11 yet, but a few quick thoughts come to mind after reading these preview pages:

  • I love the art by Scott Clark and Dave Beaty!  Wow!  They keep getting better and better!!!  I really, really like the way Deathstorm looks as compared to the Black Lantern Firestorm.  Clark and Beaty do a great creepy skull face!
  • How about this coloring?!?!?  So very atmospheric and awesome!
  • Really neat idea to have Professor Stein kidnapped into the Deathstorm Matrix.  I’m interested to see where this goes.
  • Is Deathstorm the same character as the Black Lantern Firestorm?  He states that Ronnie and Jason created him.  Does that imply he’s an all-new character with similarities to the Black Lantern Firestorm, or is he the same character just kept alive by Ronnie and Jason somehow?
  • As outlined above, I get that Deathstorm is a throwback to the “Dark Age” of comics.  What I don’t get is why?  Why did Johns’ decide to write this character in that fashion?

That’s all I’ve got for now.   Can’t wait to read Brightest Day #11!  Anyone else want to share their thoughts?

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  1. Luke says:

    I too got the overly 90s vibe with Deathstorm. You hit it on the head.

    As to why… I think that Deathstorm’s overtly “dark” and “gritty” and “cool” 90’s manner is going to be directly contrasted with Firestorm’s late Silver/Bronze Age heroism. There is a bit in here with Ronnie and Jason which I think you will like that sells this concept. It’s the same sort of statement which Johns made in Infinite Crisis about modern comic book heroes versus the older ones.

    I too like that Deathstorm doesn’t look quite the same as the BL Firestorm. He looks very unique and demonic, and next to the brightly colored Firestorm is very visually arresting.

  2. liquidcross says:

    The name is dumb, but what he does later in the issue is very interesting, indeed. I think you’ll dig it.

  3. outburst says:

    Roughly half the issue is devoted towards Firestorm-related issues, which is great. I was starting to get a little tired of only two page spreads on all resurrected heroes.
    Hopefully we’ll get more of him like this in the future, since he now seems to be integral to the storyline.
    I’m really hoping for a vindication of Ronnie’s character. He’s always been accused of not being focused enough, too immature, etc., similar to what Wally West went through in his early days as a top-line hero. But the writers let Wally grow up and conquer his demons.
    It’s time to let Ronnie do the same, and Jason seems prepared to forgive and forget, which is a good harbinger for a continued partnership.

  4. Boosterrific says:

    For the record, “Knightquest Batman” was exactly what you suggest Johns is doing here: the character was designed as a critique of the 90s zeitgeist for “darker” characters. Denny O’neil created that character specifically to provide a foil for the morality of the Batman in specific and DC Heroes in general in comparison to the tsunami of newly “Spawn”ed anti-heroes of the early 90s.

    The entire Knightquest storyline, despite it’s gimmicky set-up, still holds up well. If Darkstorm can provide the same prolonged and enduring reading satisfaction, I have to say I’m all for him.

    On a similar note, since 52 was able to redeem Booster Gold after years of punchline status, I certainly have high hopes for Ronnie Raymond following Brightest Day.

  5. Dave Beaty says:

    Glad to see most Firestorm fans are enjoying the series. Scott Clark and I working hard to make it the best we can. As a Firestorm fan myself it’s been a real thrill to get to actually ‘work’ on the character, let alone contribute to his mythos. Also cool to see my work show up on a site I frequent. Keep up the good work.

  6. Scott Mateo says:

    Eh, Deathstorm comes off like Shadowstorm (minus the elemental side) [ ] with a dash of Black Flash thrown in for good measure. Again, nothing really new or original here…unless both entities are somehow connected.

  7. […] “Deathstorm.” And with godawful dudespeak, to boot. What the hell is this, 1992? (Note: Firestorm Fan posits that Deathstorm is Geoff Johns’ commentary on early 1990s “extreme” heroes […]

  8. dan says:

    The idea to have Stein join the Deathstorm is a stroke of genius. It’s the ultimate in both punishment and insider trading. If we could just smooth the name out this guy would be instant material for a new Injustice League after BD.

  9. James says:

    Deathstorm actually works because if you look at it as a lame name, it fits DS acting like a ’90s reject without a clue, cause only he would think that name was cool.

  10. I thought this particular issue was freaking amazing. I LOVED everything related to Firestorm (obviously). Actually the other day I was buying some back issue comics and opened up the first issue of the Jason Firestorm run. I had no idea Jason’s father was an abusive asshole (much like Ronnie’s was in the beginning). That gave the whole scene with Jason’s father a bit more emotion to me.

    And, as always, the art for the firestorm parts TOTALLY rocked!

  11. […] for a while, but now it’s official.  In an article for USA Today last week, Geoff Johns confirmed our suspicion that Deathstorm represents the dark and hardcore comic book characters from the […]

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