Just in time for Halloween comes one of the darkest tales of the DC Universe. Well, while this isn’t billed as an Elseworlds or a Tales from the Dark Multiverse, it still isn’t the main DC Universe. Thankfully so, because this story plays for keeps, as Tom Taylor does with his stories. Tom does such a great job of finding the essence of a character and giving them moments that count. I have to say that I am very happy with the conclusion of this mini-series, because sometimes we get stories that just don’t stick the landing. Let us jump into the issue and pity the dead. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Right off the bat, Tom Taylor hits us hard with the emotions. I mean, who doesn’t get excited when they hear the phrase, “Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?” But if you remember, in issue #5, we just lost Superman and Tom reminds us of Superman’s greatest power…to fill people with hope. This opener goes to show just how scary and fatal it will be to see that famous S logo now attached to an infected Superman. And this is just the first page…wow! This gets us to think and understand just how lethal the Anti-Life Equation is — honestly, before this story, the “ALE” just didn’t have any impact on me, but now I get it.
We finally find out the narrator is actually Lois Lane; some may have caught on, but now we know for sure. That narration just makes this issue hit even harder, as this is a Lois Lane who has to watch her husband become a mindless destroying monster that brings the end with him. Humanity is hoping to escape this doomed Earth by way of the Space Arks, but even the heroes recognize that the Arks are just giant targets. I like how Lois talks about the choices that had to be made in order to get people on the Arks and just how honest it really is. Imagine you are trying to fit all of planet Earth’s population onto two Space Arks all the while making sure they don’t get destroyed or the people get infected.
The character moments are not always dark, as Green Arrow does bring us a laugh in the form of not being considered a “planetary threat” by Batman. Even in death, Batman has a solution for disaster, but I like how Wonder Woman steps in and takes the reins in order to stop Superman by way of using magic and Kryptonite together. She is showing just how a warrior thinks and I like that Tom Taylor shows that side of Wonder Woman.
We get to see conclusions for characters that have been a part of the story here, as well. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy have a nice moment explaining why they choose to stay on Earth, very beautiful and endearing to their relationship. Black Canary as a Green Lantern was a great idea and I like how she combines her two powers in this issue. Mera lives to see a horrible attack by an infected Aquaman and Atlantean Army bring a Kraken to Paradise Island, but survives and makes it to the Arks. We bear witness to the last stand of the Amazons as they hold off Apocalypse from Paradise; it was a brutal battle, but some very honorable moments for the Amazon Warriors. Yet Wonder Woman herself has a hard fate bestowed upon her. I won’t spoil the Kent family parts of this issue, but when you do find out what happens to them it will make Lois’s narration that much more heavy.
The moment between Cyborg and Wonder Woman was so intense; a great representation of the Alpha vs the Omega. We know from the start of this mini-series that Cyborg is the carrier of the virus, but now it has taken Wonder Woman. Cyborg’s use of the Lasso of Truth was brilliant and he starts questioning the infected Wonder Woman and learns some harsh truths, which I’ll leave you to read inside this issue and be shocked yourself. It’s a beautiful scene with some deep philosophy — once again, a major shoutout to Trevor Hairsine and also Neil Edwards and Stefano Guadiano for the amazing art that they all brought to this finale. They manage to make the moments cut that much deeper because of the emotions they bestow on their character images. The backgrounds also really show just how much the cost is to this infected world.
Now that this series is done, I would highly recommend that you sit down and read as a whole. Experiencing all six issue and the one-shot as one book will make it hit that much harder now that shipping and wait time are no longer factors. Thank you to the creative talent involved in this blockbuster mini-series, as it was a surprise hit!