IF YOU DON’T WANT THIS SPOILED BEYOND THE COVER CLICK AWAY NOW.
Are the spoiler-fearful gone? Good. This issue is the not-so-penultimate issue where the players on both sides of the field are drawn up against each other. Kids gloves are off and weapons are unsheathed. Max Lord makes his final move and the (not quite) Justice League call in a few ringers.
Like a runner conserving energy before the final sprint to the finish line, Judd Winick doesn’t put too much into this issue, holding some back for what’s to come. There are bits that do get resolved, like the three ringers the League adds to their side of the struggle. We also get to see Max Lord’s latest plan, but it really doesn’t feel like this issue is anything more than another chapter in the saga. It’s a transitional issue that helps straighten things out.
A great deal of that story feels recycled. The threat is one we’ve seen before. The characters are in a situation they’ve been in before. The stakes are slightly different, but the overall feeling is very “Infinite Crisis.” I’m not completely sure that that’s a good thing.
Joe Bennett’s art is serviceable, but not electrifying. There are moments where Bennett really shines through, but there are also panels where characters look too much alike. There are panels with heroic-looking heroes and other panels with heroic-looking “normal” people. Overall, though, Bennett’s art is uneven, stronger in certain parts of the story, but lacking in others. He’s definitely dialed in for the “big moments,” but some other moments suffer in storytelling.
It’s a twenty page story, but it certainly feels like less than that given the cumulative effect of the stories advanced herein. What does happen is that some long-running story beats that have been scattered across DC Universe titles are starting to come together. Winick’s got two issues left to wrap things up or spin things off, and from the end of this issue, I’d dare say either direction is certainly possible.