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Death of the New Gods #3

Death of the New Gods #1-3

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 28, 2008

Cover date: January 2008

"So Begins... the End!"

"Celestial Genocide"

"Armageddon Tarantella"

Writer: Jim Starlin
Penciller: Jim Starlin
Inker: Matt Banning with Mark McKenna

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Death of the New Gods #1 Death of the New Gods #2 Reviewer's note: We got the request to review this series, given that Superman features... you ask, we deliver! I didn't, however, get this request until issue #2 was already out, so we're just going to combine issues #1-3 for now, and individually review the rest. That's why you get one big maxi-summary here... Neal.

As Darkseid muses over the fate of the New Gods, death comes for the Black Racer, the New Gods' version of "Death."

Jimmy Olsen with the Newsboys examines the case later, finding one of the Forever People on the security cam.

Metron dreams of two spheres becoming one, but cannot surmise its meaning.

Barda and Mister Miracle fight a pair of goons on city streets, one-upping each other.

Metron finds out that something in the universe is slightly off.

A construct of Highfather teaches students on New Genesis about the history of the New Gods, the fall of the Old Gods and the rise of the New Gods, and Highfather's discovery of the Source.

Orion finds Magnon dead with Takion.

Metron consults with Darkseid, who shoos him away.

Miracle and Barda are at home. Mister Miracle checks on a JLA emergency, returning to the other room to find Barda with her chest exploded, as Magnon and other New Gods died.

Orion and Takion explore the missing and dead New Gods, and try to find the culprit.

Back at Miracle's, the JLA seeks clues as to the killer, and find little reassuring. Mister Miracle debates using the Anti-Life Equation, which he possesses, to make things right, and ultimately decides it's not what Barda would want. Instead, he turns his bright costume blue and purple to mourn.

Darkseid, lording over shadow demons, sends Desaad to explore what has killed his concubine in much the same fashion as Barda died.

Orion demands that Darkseid be punished. Superman tries to tell him not to be hasty, and they brawl. Metron appears, stopping the fight, and tells them the same thing that Desaad has learned, that the souls of the New Gods are ripped from their bodies, and that the wounds are merely superficial. Also, their souls are not going to The Source, as is typical.

Darkseid recalls his attempts to secure the Anti-Life equation that has led to him attaining some of the equation, but not all of it.

Big Barda's funeral is held.

Takion and Himon explore the Source Wall, only to find a second wall, this time holding the bodies of the dead New Gods!

Superman and Orion fight their way onto Apokolips, fighting through shadow demons. Darkseid's court allow them in without quarrel.

Takion explores the second wall as Himon returns to New Genesis to report. The killer appears, awash in bright light, as below Barda sits the armor of the Black Racer. The killer kills Takion, but remains unseen.

More shadows appear as Orion and Superman proceed to Darkseid. Superman stays behind to defeat them, but they overwhelm him.

Inside, Mister Miracle and Orion confront Darkseid, who attempts to subdue them with the Anti-Life Equation. Scott uses the whole of the Equation, and instead subdues Darkseid, turning into a cosmic-bodied being. After he dispatches Darkseid, he reveals that what Darkseid says, that the end of the New Gods is inevitable, was much less than what he didn't say.

The pair agree not to tell Superman that Darkseid has some of the Anti-Life Equation, and Kalibak muses in the background, plotting to control Apokolips.

Himon is nominated to control New Genesis in Takion's absence, and Miracle questions the nature of the Source.

Mantis is reborn amidst the dead bodies of his court.

Metron appears at the moment of Takion's death and ascertains his killer, and promises to confirm that guilt at the earliest opportunity through a confrontation.

4Story - 4: I expected to hate this. It just looked schlocky, and I am absolutely against the idea of killing characters, let alone an entire cast of my favorite characters, to supplement Countdown, the most awful event since the Spider-Clone saga it has been my displeasure to endure.

Instead, I'm nearly won over. It's a lot of fun. I don't know why, given that they use a lot of schlocky gimmicks (Oh, it's YOU! I've gotta go tell the others before I-URK! (grabs chest)), but it's still compelling. Maybe they played the Ralph Dibny card on me. When he fell to pieces, Identity Crisis had me. When Mister Miracle fell to pieces over Barda, so too did this series hook me.

It also explores something I think DC should have explored for some time in more depth, the Anti-Life Equation. I'm enjoying the potential implications.

As to the mystery? I have two guesses. My more solid guess, I believe, is Black Racer. Why? Because he's the first victim, making it easy to rule him out. Because his armor's at the source when an energy being attacks Takion. Because Black Racer without his armor would probably consist of energy. Because he's frickin' DEATH, how's that for an obvious clue. And because his character would kill the entirety of the New Gods without gumption if it was their time. I am betting he is influenced by Eclipso.

My other guess is Scott Free, in vengeance for what happens to Barda in a paradoxical way.

But either way, I'm eager to find out who it is, Darkseid is on character, the action is strong, the mystery is fun. It's one of those books where the concept overshadows the writing devices, and I'm digging it.

2Art - 2: Where there are action scenes and splash pages, you can't ask for more, but at other points, there are just horribly lapses of sense and character. Superman looks just plain odd multiple times, and Jimmy Olsen in that first issue is ABYSMAL. But the larger picture overshadows these character lapses, and the overall scene makes things all the better.

3Cover #1 - 3: A bit too busy for me. It's why I didn't pick up the first issue, honestly, until someone recommended the book.

5Cover #2 - 5: Much, much stronger. A good pose, a good fighting scene, and representative of the book. After this book got recommended, this is the image that sold me.

4Cover #3 - 4: A good image, a little odd in the color scheme, but still very strong. It also obfuscates the point of the issue in favor of, "HEY, DARKSEID UNLEASHING HELL IS COOL!" But hey, Darkseid unleashing hell is cool.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2008

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