They used the title! Yay!
Reaction to this issue:
Page 1: I guess Brainy’s dialog indicates that Legion of Three Worlds takes place after Superman Beyond, and that Superman goes home from that in this issue. Which is confusing for a number of reasons, not least being that Superman was supposedly flying around Metropolis with clear blue skies before he was yanked into the future, but eh. As for the Final Machine, I guess Granny *was* right in #5 when she asked if the battery was the ultimate technology Metron pointed humanity towards.
Page 2: I guess Superman had some kind of selective mindwipe, since he was standing over the Inertron cube when the Miracle Machine was locked away back in Adventure Comics #367, but hey, whatever. Douglas Wolk has an extensive history of the machine in continuity over at his annotations.
Page 3: Of course, the ultimate technology looks like Metron’s sigil – I assume Superman only has to look to memorize that pattern? It’s never been called “Geh-Jedollah-The-Absolute” before, although an anonymous commenter at Wolk’s previously linked site came up with an interesting theory. Superman fading assumedly means he’s returning to the 21st century, unless this takes place between the pages of Superman Beyond or something. We’ll find out next week.
Page 4: Picking up from where we left them in #4, Black Canary and the remnants of the Justice League are hanging with Tattooed Man on the Satellite. T-Man’s personal epiphany is, of course, detailed back in Submit.
Page 5: Ray, Joan, Linda and the kids. Justifiers in TIE fighters, which is a great touch – since Darth Vader was so inspired by Darkseid and Justifiers are his stormtroopers… I wonder if the joke is on Rudy or Morrison’s part.
Pages 6-7: JG Jones drawing some great action, not much to comment on here. Nice to see Wildcat remarking on how obnoxious Liberty Belle and Hourman can get in battle, and Morrison is definitely a master of onomatopoeia. (“Yukk!” “GURRG!”)
Page 8: I wonder what’s going to happen to the Old Gods when this is all done? I guess “Desaad” was Mary’s blasphemous new name, and that was how he gained possession; I’ve enjoyed how all of the Evil Gods have come in these various and bizarre forms, like Granny as an Alpha Lantern and Desaad as a word of blasphemy. I guess we’ll never see those Evil Gods in the Sketchbook, either.
Page 9: “Kukk!” “Gtt!” Freddie begins to re-formulate the plan they used to take down Black Adam at the end of 52.
Page 12: Not much to comment here or on the last two pages other than that this is a pretty spectacular fight sequence.
Page 13: Well, at least Darkseid’s equitable about survival for the fittest. Mary seems pretty traumatized by the ordeal, which is understandable. Iman’s dialogue translates to “Something approaches. Like the sound of horses.”
Page 14: Man, is it just me or does Tawny remind anybody else of Cornelius Bear? I think I remarked earlier on how I wondered how the peaceful, honorable tiger civilization of Kamandi would evolve out of Kalibak’s tiger people, and now we know!
Page 15: First off, why the hell is Shilo Norman white? Is this a plot point by now? He’s standing right next to Mr. Terrific, a black dude who looks black. What the Hell is going on? Is it a side effect of the symbol? Does the colorist just think he’s Japanese? Morrison’s interest in “godly alphabets” goes all the way back to his Invisibles work. “Black Gambit” is a new concept which will be introduced shortly.
Pages 16-17: Top is the Justice Society fighting the Female Furies in what remains of Bludhaven. Sonny Sumo apparently jumped from a parallel world, explaining why the Sonny Sumo from the original Fourth World books was able to go back in time and spend the rest of his life there. After the surely deliberately soap opera-ey “I must tell her before we die!” moments, we finally discover Superbat’s true power, which, apparently, is the same as Batman’s.
Page 18: Luckily, Tattooed Man’s tattoo saves him from Anti-Life!
Page 19: The last panel appears to be the Bleed starting to break through. I find it interesting that it’s only around Earth; what does that mean for the rest of the universe? Especially after the events of this week’s Action Comics.
Page 20: As has been established in Justice Society of America, black holes are gateways between universes in the new DC Multiverse, and Morrison seems to be using gravitons as a stand-in for “gravity particles.” Overman won’t be very happy with Checkmate if he ever finds out they’re about to dissect the hell out of his cousin… also, Renee’s comment about the Spectre seems to imply that this takes place after the events of Final Crisis: Revelations.
Page 21: The Black Gambit, the Omega Offensive, was apparently all along to get the hell out of Dodge and resettle on a new universe – a universe run by Brother Eye with a Global Peace Agency, so basically the universe of Jack Kirby’s original OMAC, with an army of Questions as Global Peace Officers. The name “Lord Eye” is a clear reference to Maxwell Lord, villain of The OMAC Project and the guy who originally ganked Brother Eye from Batman. I can’t imagine that brain inside that Renee’s looking at belongs to anybody other than Lord himself.
Page 22: I guess this explains how Calculator supposedly survives for the Oracle miniseries after this; he’s presumably saved after being in this multiple-day state of perpetual dying.
Page 23: As Sivana says, that’s definitely not the last we’ve seen of him. Luthor running the army of Justifiers should be fairly amusing next issue.
Page 24: This confirms that Barry’s ‘death’ in Crisis on Infinite Earths was him just “crossing the superluminal barrier,” which is probably just another term for the Speed Force. Also, confirmation that Black Flash (From Flash #139-141 by Mark Millar and Pop Mhan), the avatar of death for speedsters, is the same as the Black Racer, which probably throws all the different DCU versions of Death into one entity.
Page 25: I guess the Black Racer circled back around after #3 and is about to hit them again, and Barry Allen’s time in the “superliminal” let him know where he’d come back? I’m sure there’ll be more about this in #7.
Page 26: The composition of this page, especially the pattern behind Darkseid, is reminiscent of Shilo Norman entering the Dark Side Club in Seven Soldiers #1. Of course, when Shilo walked in, he offered his life to Dark Side and got shot in the head; here, we see Batman use the Radion bullet as foreshadowed in Batman #683. Darkseid’s comments about his final battle with Orion being “splintered like light through a prism in an infinite number of deaths” not only clears up the insanity with Death of the New Gods and Countdown but also is a nice nod to the Mindless lads and the Prismatic Age.
Page 27: “DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?” Man, fuck you, Darkseid, Batman’s about to give you your “first and last lesson in cosmic realpolitik.” Back in Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle, Morrison redefined the classic “Omega Effect” as the Omega Sanction, a sort of dimension where you live an endless number of lives, over and over again, reincarnating every time, never able to rejoin with the Source. Mister Miracle escaped from that, so it’s not impossible that Batman could either.
Pages 28-29: Batman R.I.P.
Pages 30-31: Man, Superman’s probably trying to prevent Mandrakk from sucking his dickcheese out or something and all he can hear is Jimmy’s fucking watch, he must want to kill that kid. I guess Lois gets out of the emergency ward okay, too. What’s up with Carter being such a douchebag, and why is this conversation included? Is one of the Hawks going to die this issue or next? I’m not sure what the “root” Alan Scott’s referring to is, unless it’s some generic root of the world tree/magic/whatever crap. Metron’s referring to Mandrakk; Wonder Woman’s metahuman virus from #3 is ravaging the people in the mid-right panel. The Black Gambit is in play, which probably means that Checkmate’s probe has breached the Bleed Wall, and then Wonder Woman gets the classic Superman-shows-up line.
In terms of references to Morrison’s past work, the whole simultaneous armageddon/starting a spacetime machine is similar to the confluence between the 2012 incident and the time machine in The Invisibles. And note all the panels are sort of built as monitors Nix Uotan’s seeing around him, which is pretty great design on Mahnke’s part.
Page 32: Superman’s really, really pissed about something.
Page 33: You wanted a Crisis? HERE’S a Crisis! HERE’S your Red Skies!
Page 34: Yay! They used my favorite title!