This certainly seems like a personal project for Dwayne McDuffie. I don't claim to know the guy, but from what I THINK I know, the story in the pages telling the end of the Milestone universe could certainly parallel some of what I've heard. The overall story concerns Dharma's all-or-nothing plan to save the Milestone universe. To save it, he needs to destroy it and then insert the unique pieces that make up the Milestone world into another universe. We actually get to see Dharma use Rift (from the old Worlds Collide crossover, I believe) to insert Dakota and the other aspects of Milestone into the DCU. Dharma uses the fall of Darkseid as his chance to interweave the two universes together. It's a neat idea and it explains how the JLA and the Shadow Cabinet knew of each other in McDuffie's last JLA arc. Seeing how Hardware struggles against his cage, thinking he's out, it just might parallel how McDuffie and DC get along these days? Or maybe I'm reading too much into it. As I said, I don't know the guy (but I love his work).
This isn't the best part of the issue, though. The high point is seeing Static and Hardware one last time. I wonder if this is supposed to be a real-time type deal, since Hardware seems older and Static is coming back home for his 10th high school reunion. Are we seeing what the Milestone Universe would be like had it kept publishing? While I enjoyed the Hardware arc for its psychological aspects, I adored the Static story. Seeing Static horsing around with his friends was fantastic. The humor, the action, the biting Spider-Man like ribbing of villains; hoo boy, have I missed Static. The pale shadow currently occupying a spot on the Teen Titans is NOT Static. If this is the last time we see the real character, then the guy went out on top, paired up with the longtime love of his life. The glimpse of his great life was a wonderful send off for this awesome character.
Chris Cross stole the show. There are other pencillers in this book, but man, the panel where Static yells "Shazam!" to change in to his costume, and the lightning just burns his clothes--that was tremendous. I loved how clearly we could see that Static's friends were just cracking up at their nerdy friend.
Hardware - Good
Static - Excellent
Dharma - Good