Decoding DC’s Brightest Day Teaser Image

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If it’s San Diego Comic-Con, then it’s time for another promotional image from DC Comics teasing events in upcoming months for various titles. Unlike previous attempts, however, this latest image comes with a tagline – “Sometimes the light reveals the darkest secrets” – and seems… well, almost understandable.

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Here: I’ll break it down for you, and tell you what titles will (most likely) tell what stories.

Who Are Those Winged Beasties? In the top left of the image, you can see humanoid monsters with wings flying through some kind of glowing pink portal made of skulls, with Hawkman and Hawkwoman chained to it (Well, Hawkwoman looks more like she’s just sitting down and taking a rest, but still). These are the citizens of “Hawkworld,” another planet/dimension that Hawkman and his wife got to by passing through that skully portal in Brightest Day #5. The portal itself is made of the skeletons of the Hawks’ previous incarnations, in case you’re wondering: Recycling! Series to follow: Brightest Day.

Red And Green Should Never Be Seen: Just behind the Hawks, that’s Green Lantern Guy Gardner and Red Lantern Atrocitous (No, honestly, that’s his name) building something together. Building what? I have no idea, but it’s probably got something to do with their secret mission together that was teased in Green Lantern Corps #48, and forms the basis of Peter Tomasi’s upcoming Emerald Warriors series. Series to follow: Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors.

You Can’t Die, Hal, You Have A Movie Coming Out!: Yes, that’s Green Lantern Hal Jordan lying bleeding in the upper center of the image, wearing the costume of the White Lantern, and lying in the remains of a giant white lantern. Considering that the white lantern denotes the power of life itself, a shattered white lantern probably means very bad things indeed. Series to follow: Green Lantern, Brightest Day.

Those Smoky Eyes, Set In A Smoky Face… Made Of Smoke: Yes, that’s the Anti-Monitor (AKA the big bad from 1985′s Crisis on Infinite Earths, AKA the guy who almost managed to destroy reality and was later brought back to life at the end of Blackest Night; good job, heroes) in the smoke in the background behind Hal; he’s already appeared in Brightest Day, but we were told that he wasn’t the reason why everyone came back to life… so maybe he’s not due for a reappearance in that series? Nah, I call double-bluff and say Series to follow: Brightest Day.

Forest Fires Are Dangerous, J’Onn: Why is the Martian Manhunter trying to set fire to that tree? You’ve got me, considering that fire is supposed to be his greatest weakness, but that tree comes from the heart of Star City (explaining the sign right next to it), and is part of a magically-created forest that Green Arrow now calls home, while he gets his Robin Hood on. The Martian Manhunter, whose current home is the biweekly Brightest Day, appears in September’s Green Arrow #4, so maybe we’ll see why he’s become a twisted firestarter there. Series to follow: Green Arrow, Brightest Day.

Aren’t Those Supposed To Come Back?: You know, when the reborn Captain Boomerang discovered the ability to create his own magical boomerangs in last month’s The Flash #2, I don’t think he expected them to end up lying on the ground in a teaser image like this. Seriously, Digger, take more care of your deadly, deadly toys. Series to follow: The Flash.

Aqualad!: Yes, that guy with the glowing hands? That’s the brand new Aqualad, who hasn’t even taken up the name or costume yet; that happens in Brightest Day #10, this September. But what’s with the trident he’s standing over? Is that Atlantean? What should we be reading into it being broken? Series to follow: Brightest Day.

One-time Circus Aerialist, Skilled With Chisel: The resurrected-and-needing-a-new-name Deadman, Boston Brand, is making a gravestone marked with the one word with which the White Lantern power brought him, and eleven others, back to life: Irony, or heavy-handed symbolism? You be the judge, but note that he’s still wearing the sole remaining White Lantern ring that we know about at this point. Series to follow: Brightest Day.

What’s With That Shield?: Okay, I admit it, this one has me stumped. Is it a Wonder Woman shout-out, to the now-displaced status quo of Amazons and Paradise Island? Perhaps, but that doesn’t seem to have a Brightest Day tie-in like everything else… Help, someone? Series to follow: You got me.

Ebony And Ivory, Work Together In Perfect Har-Mon-Eee: Are Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch working together to bury the Black Lantern version of their alter-ego Firestorm under those rocks, or to free him? And why are their feet on fire? Series to follow: Brightest Day.

Hawk! Dove! Jade!: Why is Hawk holding a prone Jade? What connection to the characters have, beyond their shared White Lantern resurrections at the end of Blackest Night? I’m tempted to say “None,” and that this was just a way of working the characters into the image; Jade now appears in Justice League of America, where she’s facing her own demons, by which I mean demons possessing her father and brother, while Hawk and Dove are in the relaunched Birds of Prey. Series to follow: Justice League of America, Birds of Prey.

Seriously, Again? Didn’t You Just Die Already: Poor Mera; it looks like Aquaman can’t help but kick the bucket, in the center of this image. If this wasn’t just a visual metaphor for his Brightest Day storyline – in which, and I’m sure I’m not supposed to find this as amusing as I do, his telepathic powers now only work on dead sealife, so we get to see zombie sharks and octopuses – I’d be worried for the occasional King of Atlantis. Series to follow: Brightest Day.

More On Techland:

Emanata: Blackest Night, Into the White

What Does Aquaman Have To Do With DC’s Brightest Day?