Overview: “Guys, don’t worry about this. I got this… We got this… We got this, right?” – Starman, 2019
Synopsis (spoilers ahead): Hawkgirl heads inside Wonder Woman’s chapel to meet up with Starman. He has a plan. The Titans that attempted to destroy Earth back during No Justice had another purpose as well; to serve as part of the Source Wall if needed. However, after killing the Entropy Titan, they are now one short. Thankfully, Kendra is also part of that last line of defense. She can also communicate with the other Titans. The Green Lantern Corps, the Thanagarians, and the New Gods have agreed to bring the other three Titans. Now he just needs to tell Kendra her part.
Two weeks later, the Justice League are riding in a ship called the Javelin to the outer edge of the universe – where the Source Wall is. Kendra is nervous – scared. J’onn reaches out to her but doesn’t get much. Starman, however, has never been more sure of anything in his life. He opens three portals, allowing the three remaining Titans to come through and take their place on the Wall. Kendra ventures out in a specially made Nth metal suit. J’onn reaches out to her again. The Titans will go into a hibernation-like sleep when they become part of the Wall… He wants to make sure she’s comfortable. So he’s built her a mental construct; her very own slice of heaven. She cries and kisses him. J’onn is snapped out if it at this time. Something is wrong. Brainiac is here, and he’s bright an army with him.
Brainiac chastises Luthor; Starman has the power of the seven elements of creation if he had just taken him, he could have unlocked Perpetua long before this. Brainiac, more than anything, just wants the knowledge. Starman is about to lock Kendra into the Wall, when Brainiac launches a device that latches onto Starman and transfers his powers directly into the Totality, unlocking it. Perpetua is released; the Creator and mother of the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor, and the World Forger. Her army was made up of the Giants who now make up the Source Wall. They expel their remaining energy to her, and a battle between the heroes and Brainiac’s minions stops. One by one, groups of heroes are being taken away. The Source Wall explodes; exposing the universe to the vast void that is now consuming it. J’onn rips Kendra away from the Wall before she could be harmed. The multiverse knows too. The feeling ripples through to everyone – including the House of Heroes. Many blame there Earth heroes for what just happened (which makes no sense to me… Yeah, the JL is Earth-based, but the Green Lantern Corps, Thanagarians, and New Gods were all there helping too and failed…whatever) and make their leave. The heroes are dejected. Like a dog, they tuck their tail between their legs and head back home.
At the Legion of Doom headquarters, with Perpetua finally at his side, Lex Luthor prepares for a battle that this multiverse has never seen.
Analysis: If I had to describe Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV’s script for this issue in one word, it would be this – ambitious. To dive in and dare to answer questions that the DC Universe has had for quite some time is pretty ballsy. Whether they stick the landing will be determined at a much later date. A story this ambitious will heavily depend on it’s ending. The snowball effect can only go on for so long and once that ends I hope there is enough there to justify the rollercoaster ride we’ve all been on. This single issue delivered. Which is strange for me that it’s in an annual, for me. Usually, annuals feel less important than any issue in the regular series. Here, we get major ramifications that will be dealt with in the issues to come. And it makes me wonder what is to come next? All this failure makes things seem pretty bleak. Will things really get worse?
Daniel Sampere (pencils), Juan Albarran (inks), and Adriano Lucas (colors) handle the art duties here. Sampere’s pencils look great. I’m not familiar with his work, but I liked how dynamic every single page was. At times, his work reminded me of Jiminez, but a little less stylized. So if you are a little more into “house-style”, this art is probably a little more to your taste. I really liked the guy’s art and would like to see him on normal stuff in the future. Albarran’s inks were very clean and his linework was beautiful. His lack of crosshatching left for a cleaner look, which matched the style of the artist perfectly, along with the colors chosen. Lucas comes back to color once again and continues to lay out dynamic work. The vivid colors he chooses look fantastic and his use of lighting is some of the best that I’ve seen. I’m starting to believe that whoever’s work he colors, will instantly be near the top of the charts in terms of quality. Tom Napolitano (letters) here and continues to be the consistent force on the title. I liked the letter balloons he used for Brainiac, and his sounds were great.
Final Thoughts: Although not perfect, this was still a really good installment in the series. I’m not sure if the landing will stick, but that’s to be determined at a later date. For now, we feel like we are reaching a climax… To what exactly, we aren’t sure just yet.