The wait is over, the first arc of Justice League has now come to an end, and it did so rather unceremoniously, regardless of what that ceremony at the end wants you to believe. Darkseid. The name alone is enough to give heroes and mortals of DC universe nightmares of epic proportions, he’s the man who shot Batman through time and space, he brought Superman to his knees, and yet in this issue he felt no more threatening than Lex Luthor in his old metal suit. The last couple of issues had Darkseid throwing the team around town like rag dolls, and all of a sudden he can’t get a hit in? That’s besides the point really, because this is DC’s top selling book, we knew it would end this way the entire time, which is exactly why it fell short. For the most part in any comic book, readers always have the sense that everything will be OK and the superheroes will win. It’s the writer’s job to make that ending exciting, even though the reader is already anticipating it. And quite frankly, unless you’re a Cyborg fan (which many of you might be) this issue was just alright. What came with this issue was a backup story for Pandora, the hooded woman in red that fool-heartedly masterminded Flashpoint (in the DC world at least). She gets interrupted by the Phantom Stranger, they argue and fight, and she leaves unscathed. Those six pages were more interesting and better paced, and all in all it was a better read than the main story. This finale was decent, but it wasn’t anything unexpected, really. 3/5
If there was exactly one superhero book that not enough people are reading, it would be this one. Here’s the deal with this book – it is written exceptionally well, the art is perfectly suited for the book, and everything comes together in a fantastic manner. This isn’t a traditional superhero book, because the powers are a “gift”; special suits give individuals powers with the caveat that these powers will eventually kill them. With war breaking out in Subterranea, the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents find themselves in the most unfortunate situations: one dead, one captured, and the rest in hostile territory. What Nick Spencer has been doing exceptionally well in this series, as well as the first volume, is incorporate a tremendous amount of humanity into these characters. These are characters with histories that are far from illustrious, and yet when they die you take notice, you stop, you care. With only two more issues left to this mini-series I can only imagine that there is more death and glory to be had. And while the deaths of these characters will be a sad event, you can be sure that they won’t be in vain, because if past issues have taught us anything it’s that Spencer knows what he’s doing with these guys (and gals). Luckily for him, in both volumes, he’s had the luxury of working with some tremendous artists. Wes Craig and Sam Kieth don’t hold back in this issue. They each bring a distinct and unique feel that works with their portion of the story. Hands down this issue was the better of the these two DC books. 5/5
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