This four-issue miniseries is more of a kickstart than an event in and of itself, and that’s even clearer after reading the fourth issue out today. This miniseries has forced heroes and villains to work together, but more importantly, it has changed the DCU in a huge way. By the end of this issue new stories and series are coming (including Scott Snyder’s Justice League #1), supplying new life and stories for months if not years to come.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The epic finale that everyone will be talking about! After the unimaginable happens, the DCU must band together to defend Earth from annihilation. Before the end, new alliances will be forged…and some heroes will be lost forever. Don’t miss the event that will set the stage for the Justice League in 2018 and beyond!
Why does this matter?
This is the conclusion to the miniseries and Earth hangs in the balance. Four alien god-like creatures are about to feast on the planet and the heroes and villains who are available to stop them have already failed to save Brainiac’s planet. The odds are against them, which usually means it’s time for characters to dig deep for solutions.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Francis Manapul draws this entire issue and continues to use every inch of the page in a variety of layout designs that are huge in scope. That’s perfect for a story that dovetails well out of Dark Nights: Metal which was equally huge — and both are doing a great job kickstarting a new DCU with huge potential for new stories. Manapaul uses a double page layout design quite a bit in this issue which allows him to showcase the size and scope of these world eaters who each have a unique design. A bunch of heroes get to shine visually, such as Cyborg, Batman, and Green Lantern, which helps center the focus of the story on the heroes.
This issue does a lot to set up future stories. The end literally mentions three new series to keep your eyes out for and this issue–and the series itself–has done a good job to give characters new questions they want answered. Martian Manhunter, Lex Luthor, and Wonder Woman are two of the characters who get intriguing new directions and somehow through all of this Amanda Waller (and by extension her Suicide Squad) has material to build off of too. I was most surprised by how this miniseries ties into Dark Nights: Metal, serving as a mirror to that series. Where that series offered despair and great turmoil, this one promises new beginnings, worlds, and cosmic opportunities.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The resolution comes quite easily and will require you to suspend your disbelief enough to have it make sense. I don’t want to spoil it, but how could these heroes know it would work? On top of that, I’m not exactly sure how they were capable of preparing the seed that won the day. The characters all seem to understand what they’re doing, but it transpires over one very quick double page layout and has something to do with new fruit and transferring energy. This plan is all thanks to a bit of Deus Ex Machina in the way of Brainiac’s downloaded brain (a complication in itself if this was another story) resolving itself over eight pages (all eight double page layouts). I suppose it’s all logical in the end, but it comes at you so quickly and is resolved with such ease it reduces the impact of the resolution.
Is it good?
I like this series for how well it sets up new stories and new directions for a lot of the characters. It’s also only four issues, all of which released in quick succession, effectively delivering on the promise of a big event without dragging it out. This series has served as a recharge and it has kickstarted a bright new direction for DC Comics.