So Darkseid's plan seems to be unraveling a bit. The issue jumps around a lot, as we check in with most of our protagonists so far. We see the remaining leaguers trying to fight off the anti-life flunkies on the JLA watchtower, and the horde of heroes in Bludhaven is slowly making headway. I did enjoy the use of Hourman and Liberty Belle as POV characters for the Bludhaven fight, that was a neat twist. The Tawky Tawny vs. Kalibak fight was great, and really, how can that not be Talky's finest moment? It was pretty darn cool seeing him take on one of the toughest New Gods like that. Shiloh Norman (miscolored as a white dude) are discussing exactly why Sonny Sumo came back from Feudal Japan (where he was sent in Forever People #7 back in the 70s), something about a destiny to fulfill. There is some nice bits with Sivana and Luthor too, no way would they kneel to Darkseid... On the Checkmate side, I was more interested to see how many ways that organization is fighting back, they've got psychics and magicians working against the anti-life in addition to their big plan. That plan? To flee to another universe and set up there, with Montoya in charge of the global police group they will set up. Are they fleeing to Earth 1? Is the Earth we're reading about going to split and become the new New Genesis and Apokolips? I'm actually wondering if we're going to have the fallen DC heroes as New Gods now...
The big moment is of course, the death of Batman. Bats puts aside his "No Gun" rule for one time, as he uses the god-killing gun that killed Orion to take out Darkseid, shooting him in the heart. Just as he takes the shot, Darkseid lets loose with the Omega Beams and saps Bats in a nice double page spread. I don't believe for a minute either is dead yet. Superman's big return MUST end with a confrontation with Darkseid, so I think the big D is weakened, but not dead. As for Bats, I think Morrison loves Kirby, and Kirby had the Omega Beams transport the target through time, not always kill.
So my predictions for Final Crisis:
- Bats is in another time, but that might still be his body after his death in that time
- Heroes from New Earth will become New Gods (Martian Manhunter as a new Highfather?)
- At least some heroes will transfer over to another Earth, possibly Earth-1
- Darkseid will smackdown with Superman before we're done