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Death of the New Gods #5

Death of the New Gods #5

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 30, 2008

Cover date: March 2008


Writer: Jim Starlin
Penciller: Jim Starlin
Inker: Art Thibert

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Superman fights Kalibak and Mantis to protect Scott Free.

Orion arrives, and smashes into the city, leveling blocks. When the dust clears, Mantis and Kalibak are dead from the chest wounds that have killed the other New Gods.

The Source and Metron speak. The Source explains the history of the New Gods, and how several of the Pantheon of Gods (with what appear to be Zeus, Thor, and another causing it) brought it about. The Source explains that its plan is to start a Fifth World, using the new wall it is creating.

Mister Miracle scuffles before going to a moon to see Orion, who Miracle believes to be behind the deaths. Miracle changes into his Anti-Life form and challenges both Superman AND Orion.

1Story - 1: Okay, this series suddenly turned into a pretty chaotic mess. Not that it was insanely good to begin with, but at least it had a compelling mystery and some good character interaction, and an interesting premise in seeing Scott Free use the Anti-Life equation.

Now, we've essentially learned that the New Gods AREN'T all dead through media interviews, taking a lot of the steam out of this story for me, but beyond that, I'm appalled at the step back in storytelling.

This story consists entirely of a twelve page fight that isn't extraordinarily compelling (justified if it were, but it's not), and characters acting out of character, coupled with summary. Essentially, this takes the theme and tone of Countdown.

Metron sits as The Source tells him things that he already knows that even I think seem a bit off from my limited knowledge of the Fourth World.

Finally, and worst of all things, this whole issue is just a flagrant disregard of what's already been established with Miracle's powers. He has the Anti-Life Equation, and is using it.

Ergo, he doesn't need a bodyguard, ergo the fight between Supes and the villains is stopped when Scott says, "STOP!" Thus the fight, which wasn't that great, didn't have to happen.

THEN, Miracle uses it in a ridiculous way when Superman puts his hand on his arm, instantly snapping into EVIL MIRACLE despite being able to hold it together after the DEATH OF HIS WIFE.

Then, he irrationally suspects Orion, and sees he's on the moon. HE HAS THE ANTI-LIFE EQUATION, it is worth noting.


Or more appropriately, "ORION, DIE."

End of story. That's why you have to be very careful when you're writing someone with the Anti-Life Equation, and why this issue fell apart when Starlin didn't.

2Art - 2: Beyond that, I'm just utterly disgusted with having Orion descend on a population center, destroying it, and with Superman hardly moved. Behind him, particularly disturbing to me, was a building that looked almost photo reference to the Oklahoma City building. You're telling me Superman wouldn't have a visceral, angry reaction to that instead of twelve pages of fighting?

But beyond that, the art either works or it doesn't, depending on that panel, and that inconsistency drives me crazy. Sometimes we have a classic Superman pose, great action, and wonderful coloring. At other times we have the hideously cheesy Anti-Life Equation version of Miracle, Superman's face looking like he's had fifty face-lifts, and a version of The Source that looks like, well, a boring circle.

All in all, it leaned toward the worse for me this issue.

3Cover Art - 3: Decent pose. Happened in the issue. Still a bit cartoonish for me.

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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