Today is the day: everything changes in a flash! DC’s Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1 are officially in stores, and with them comes a brand new universe full of brand new possibilities. We have just about no clue what is actually going to happen in the months to come – but we do know what has happened right now.
Or, more specifically: we know what has happened in the past month.
The month of August featured all of DC’s finales, wrapping up every single book in their main imprint. So that’s why we at Multiversity thought it would be fun to read every single final issue and write a few thoughts on it, whether or not it was good as a book finale or if it just ended up being a random issue to be forgotten in time.
Join Matt and Brandon after the cut for 36 finales (and come back in a month for 52 first issues), and find out what you missed in all the various finales. Spoilers abound, of course
The Finale: Paul Cornell said on Twitter that this is somewhat a “season finale” to Superman’s story, and that is inherently true. Just like the regular Superman title, this issue brings a close not only to the main storyarc with Doomsday but also offers up a nice quiet line to wrap-up this version of Superman in general. Cornell’s work on Superman should not be ending because he’s been doing a fantastic job on the title, but all things considered this does wrap-up into a nice and neat little package, bringing full circle all of Cornell’s work and offering up a nice “this is why Superman matters” ending, which, really, has been something writers on this title have been reminding readers for quite some time now. – MM
Adventure Comics #529
The Story: While the Legion fight Saturn Queen, the trainees of Legion Academy battle Cosmic King.
The Finale: All things considered, it’s a pretty good finale. The final part of the issue “breaks up the band” so to speak, and Variable Lad dies saving the day. As far as the story and arc goes, it is a reasonable concluding point. It does appear that there was much more Levitz planned to do with the Legion of Untrained Super-Heroes, but the final page of the issue teases readers to check out the Legion of Super-Heroes, so this is more an arc ending than a book ending. Think of it like the Empire Strikes Back for Legion fans. – MM
The Story: Stephanie Brown handles business and legions of fans are immediately sad when they finish the book.
The Finale: As far as finales go I dug this one. I enjoyed the visions of potential future stories or alternate versions of where the book could have gone. The splashes that showed these left me sad that we would not be seeing these stories and that this era of Batgirl was officially over. Was it a good wrap-up issue? Sure was. Is it sad to see it go? Hell yes. I really hope Steph doesn’t get a prolonged “cooling off period” as some characters like Wally West and the JSA are getting. The character has some heat right now so to let her cool off would be a shame. – BB
The Story: Damian recounts stories of the Batman. The issue is more or less a brief Batman history lesson from the perspective of Damian Wayne.
The Finale: I am not going to lie, I was extremely happy to not see Tony Daniel’s name on this. Aside from that, this was a really enjoyable book and it felt like one of the better wrap-up issues in my opinion. It gave a brief history of the current Batman continuity and ended with Damian imparting wisdom that showed character growth. It was both a great stand-alone issue and a wonderful sendoff for the Batman and his friends that I grew up with. I know the continuity is supposedly remaining intact for the relaunch, but some things will undoubtedly change and this issue felt like a sold last hoorah. – BBContinued below
Batman and Robin #26
The Story: Batman, Robin and Nightrunner travel to the French equivalent of Arkham Asylum to fight the Son Of Man, who has let all the inmates free.
The Finale: This is barely a finale. This issue, like many others in DC’s August line-up, is just a one-shot for the sake of being a one-shot. While Batman and Robin hasn’t been a connected title since Morrison left, we’re given an arc worth of ideas jam-packed into an issue that is “pretty good” at best. It’s kind of a rush job, though, and does David Hine a great disservice to his creativity. – MM
Batman Beyond #8
The Story: Inque gets her origin story told.
The Finale: Same problem as Batman and Robin – this isn’t a finale, it’s just a one-shot story. The final page teases that Batman Beyond will come back, which is something I didn’t know, so it shares that idea with Adventure Comics that this is just a volume breaking point rather than anything reaching what could be a natural conclusion. Nope. It’s just a random story. – MM
Batman: The Dark Knight #5
The Story: Batman attempts to save Dawn from evil Ragman while battling Etrigan, but fails to do so.
The Finale: Again, same problem as the other Batman books. I don’t think at any point anyone writing a Batman book didn’t think, “Oh, this’ll come back. Batman books sell like hotcakes. This will come back.” That statement is true – pretty much every Batman currently being published is coming back in some form or fashion. Why bring things to a conclusion? With David Finch, he too had his book get a stay of execution, with a second volume starting up with the relaunch. His story isn’t over. This is just the end of an arc. – MM
Batman Inc. #8
The Story: Batman and Oracle have an adventure in Internet 3.0, and a villain is “unmaksed.” So to speak.
The Finale: This is a tough one. As far as a finale to a volume goes, it is both not a finale and … well, kind of a finale. In regard to the first part, there is no major wrapping up of ideas or themes here. This isn’t a logical “end point” by any step of the imagination. On top of that, there are two additionally solicited issues that are now being combined into one issue, with the second of the two issues sounding like a logical season finale. On the other hand, the major villain is technically revealed, which would seem like a good point to end a story temporarily. There’s also a wink and a nod to the reader with the “I hope you’re ready for another glimpse into the future” line. Generally I’d say this fails the average finale critera we have, but it is by far the least offensive of the finale screw-ups so far. – MM
Birds Of Prey #15
The Story: The Birds of present deal with the Birds of past’s villain.
The Finale: This is the wrap-up of the two-part arc being told between this and the last issue, but it’s hardly a series finale. Birds of Prey didn’t have any major storylines that were in danger of not wrapping up (I think?), so it basically just passes by unnoticed, same as Adventure Comics. I mean, there will be a Birds of Prey in September with a new line-up, so whatever. One volume ends, a new one begins, and it all makes sense because comics. – MM
Booster Gold #47
The Story: Booster battles Doomsday, looks for Flash and the woman who may or may not be the disappearing woman from the Justice League International covers takes one for the team.
The Finale: Equally delightful and frustrating is how I’d best describe this issue. I love that Booster went out fighting as hard as he could. I also loved the left turn the story took with the disappearing woman taking the shot for Booster and seemingly dying. I don’t care for the fact that Booster spent 47 issues being the supreme protector of the multiverse and the “the world’s greatest hero no one’s heard of” and essentially blows it when it counts the most. I really was hoping he’d be the only one to remember ala Psycho Pirate post Crisis on Infinite Earths. Oh well, excited to see where this picks up in JLI #1. – BBContinued below
Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #3
The Story: John Constantine attempts to reunite Alec Holland with his Green-y self, with help from Batman and Superman.
The Finale: It’s pretty much the single most anticlimactic thing I’ve ever read, and a very poor finale. When Brightest Day ended with the return of Constantine, you’d assume that the story would be going somewhere after that. But it doesn’t. Maybe it was the impending reboot that made DC editorial and Vankin decide that this ending didn’t matter, but nothing changes. You spend little time with Holland, certainly not enough for a new reader to give a damn, and then Constantine says, “Hey, wanna die? No? Ok, later.” That’s literally the ending. But hey, if you’re looking for a definitive end, then here you go. Come back in a month to see Snyder write a good comic (I hope). – MM
Detective Comics #881
The Story: The culmination of Scott Snyder’s run on Detective Comics. We see how all of the plot points tie together and the deal is sealed, hopefully, on Dick having a long-term archenemy.
The Finale: Great issue! Great wrap-up to Scott Snyder’s run featuring the amazing art of both Jock and Francesco Francavilla. While Dick may no longer be Batman he finishes this series with a brilliant new archenemy that will hopefully come back to haunt him again. I also love the way the series ended with Commissioner Gordon all but spelling out he knows who and what is involved in the Batman world. I love it when Gordon is treated as the intelligent man he is. Great issue, great run, can’t wait for Snyder’s Batman run and also for Nightwing to see where Kyle Higgins takes Dick. – BB
Doc Savage #17
The Story: Doc Savage attempts to save Major Afanasy as Popov attempts to ressurect Genghis Kahn.
The Finale: This is arguably the worst treatment to a comic I think I’ve ever seen. Doc Savage’s final issue is not only not a finale, it’s not even the finale to the story it is telling! The book ends with a “To Be Continued”, except we know that it won’t be because DC axed the First Wave line. So way to go, DC. I know not that many people were buying Doc Savage, but that is a pretty dick move. – MM
Gotham City Sirens #26
The Story: Ivy, Harley and Catwoman battle it out for one last time now that their friendship has dissolved.
The Finale: You know, you wouldn’t necessarily think it, but Gotham City Sirens has one of the best series finales out of all the various DC books. I’d assumed that the book would be cancelled for quite some time, but you have to give it to Calloway – it’s safe to assume he knew the reboot was coming, and he tied everything up. This is a series finale, not just a finale. The few loose threads that existed from when Dini left are all wrapped up neatly, and anyone reading Gotham City Sirens from issue one will hopefully be given a satisfying ending. I suppose the quality of the title is on a personal basis, but compared with everything else being published, it’s nice to see a book allowed to have a proper ending. – MM
Green Arrow #15
The Story: Green Arrow defeats the religious zealots in their giant mechs (that are not in anyway related to the religious zealots in giant mechs from Fear Itself) and saves the day.
The Finale: This pretty much has Batman syndrome, but to a lesser extent. It’s little more than an arc finale, but it does attempt to be a series finale in a manner of speaking. Green Arrow has a very tongue-in-cheek dialogue at the end of the issue before walking off into the sunset for another adventure. I wouldn’t call it a good series finale or anything like that, but it’s not like there are left over threads to be oh wait a minute, there’s a ton. Never mind. It’s just an arc finale. – MM
Green Lantern Corps #63
The Story: A series of stories that focus on various GL Corps members and their differences. In the end the stories tie together and show that one thing unites them, despite these differences, their want and need to help others.
The Finale: I wouldn’t say it was a great finale but some things were touched upon, namely Boodika struggling with her Alpha Lantern transformation, that were long overdue. It was a nice sendoff for the book but could easily have been used anytime. It didn’t feel finale specific. I suppose it didn’t have to since the book will be returning and it will maintain the status quo. I honestly would like to see the Alpha Lanterns undone though in the relaunch. I never bought into them and the lanterns floating in their chest like a circle lava lamp always seemed like a stupid design. Anyone else? Just me? Didn’t think so. – BB
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #13
The Story: Guy and Batman (Bruce) team up for a buddy cop in space one and done.
The Finale: This was a nice one and done issue that had some fun. The interactions between Bruce and Guy were hilarious as Guy tries to take lead and Bruce just whole scale ignores him. As far as wrapping the series goes this was a good way to end the book. The last few issues have been stand alone stories that highlight Guy. I enjoyed the issue and I think it helps that we know not much needs to be wrapped here as the Green Lantern properties are sneaking into the DCnU with essentially the same status quo. – BB
Jonah Hex #70
The Story: Jonah Hex dies. Then wakes up. Then realizes he’s dreaming. Then dies again. Then wakes up. Then realizes he’s still dreaming. Then dies. Then wakes up? Or maybe not. The top is still spinning.
The Finale: Jonah Hex is an odd series. As far as I know, it hasn’t followed a central narrative in some time, instead just telling one-and-done stories from a competent creative team and a rotating art cast. If we take that into consideration, I’d say an issue where Jonah Hex dies is a good way to wrap things up, no? – MM
Justice League of America #60
The Story: The Justice League of America, as assembled by James Robinson, have their final meeting and go home.
The Finale: This issue is kind of sad, to be truthful. If there was ever an indication that the DCnU blind-sided a lot of writers, it would be this issue alone. Robinson went from being a well-known writer of great comics to a well-known writer of very poor comics, with Justice League of America and Cry For Justice being at the frontier of the internet witchhunt. I never gave up on Robinson, though, as difficult as it was. This issue feels like the sad last breaths of a man who had some great ideas and just couldn’t get them out. It’s a finale allright, and it talks about things that never happened but Robinson had planned, before finally somewhat breaking the fourth wall and asking, “Will anyone even remember us?” Justice League of America was never the best title when Robinson came on, but you can’t say he didn’t try. – MM
Justice Society of America #54
The Story: The JSA fight the big bad that is set to destroy Monument Point. Oh yeah and someone dies.
The Finale: While this issue had stones and actually killed someone important, and a favorite of mine, it still felt rushed and unimportant. Not just because we know the relaunch is coming but also because it didn’t have the impact it should have. I enjoyed the,” who died?” aspect of it but in the end it was a let down. It also wrapped up the Monument Point chapter of the JSA in less than satisfactory fashion. I was actually rather enjoying the idea of Jay Garrick as Mayor and wish the story had more time to develop and pay off. That was not in the cards though, sadly. – BB
Legion of Super-Heroes #16
The Story: The Legion goes up against Saturn Queen, and Earth Man saves the day finally.
The Finale: You have to hand it to Levitz, here. He actually wrapped up everything pretty nicely. Levitz’s story was always about Earth Man more than any other character, and after a 15 issues worth of weird one-off stories that seemed to serve no purpose, it all ties together here. I can’t say that I think it’s a good issue, but this is definitely the series finale that most other books don’t seem to have been afforded the luxury of being. A few elements do seem rushed, but Levitz got to tell his full story. In that, Legion wins. – MMContinued below
Power Girl #27
The Story: Power Girl works to halt three separate attacks by Calculator with a little help from Cyclone.
The Finale: While the issue itself wasn’t awful it really wasn’t a wonderful sendoff for a character that may or may not be around post relaunch. We know Karen will be around but perhaps PG will not and that makes this issue a disappointment. There are no plot threads wrapped at all. Instead we get a story that could have easily been pulled from some draw at DC HQ marked Stock Material. I did enjoy seeing Cyclone as she is another character I enjoy who may or may not be around come next month. All in all this was a stock issue with no proper sendoff for a great character. Weaksauce x5. – BB
Red Robin #26
The Story: Tim finally gets his chance for revenge on Captain Boomerang for killing his father. After a hellacious battle he kills Boomerang much to Batman’s dismay. Well, that last part is a lie. Wouldn’t that have been a hell of a thing though?
The Finale: Tim dukes it out with Boomerang and turns him over to the police as Dick, Damian and Bruce all take in the show and then essentially congratulate him on his good decision. It was nice to see Digger and Tim finally get some resolution but I wish a ballsier move had been made here. I wish Tim would have shot him and started down the path to his dark version from the future in Teen Titans. It would have been one hell of a shock ending and if they wanted to they could have undone it with the relaunch. I wish DC had done a twist of some sort somewhere but instead we got a lot of run of the mill status quo upholding finales. This was yet another. – BB
Secret Six #36
The Story: Bane wants to kill Batman. Bane enlists the rest of the Secret Six. It does not work.
The Finale: I felt the issue was rather forced and took the series out on a rather unfair note. I wish this book had more time to wrap things up. Instead it goes out in rather forgettable fashion. This was a book I fell in love with when it was just a mini and to see it make it this long to go out with no more than a whimper was a huge disservice to both the characters and Gail Simone. Not to mention myself and the other fans of the book. This is probably one of the more frustrating elements of the DCnU rebootlaunch to me. – BB
The Spirit #17
The Story: Three short stories of the Spirit are told, none of which are connected in any fashion other than the fact that they are about the Spirit.
The Finale: Again, this suffers from “One-Shot Syndrome,” in which DC thinks it’s a good idea to just throw a random one-shot of an issue on the stands rather than something that matters to the series. If I was a fan of the book, I would honestly feel a little jaded by this action, because David Hine, who had been writing the series since it launched with the First Wave books, doesn’t have any part in the issue. Seems unfair. Then again, there’s a part illustrated by Brian Bolland, so you can’t be too upset. Just mostly upset. – MM
The Story: Phantom Stranger, Superboy and his merry band of misfit helpers save Smallville from an ancient threat then kick it on the top of a water tower to celebrate.
The Finale: While the story wraps up the ongoing story that started with Jeff Lemire’s run it does it in rather unsatisfactory fashion. I don’t blame the creative team for this though as I am certain they did the best they could with what they were given. Some things go left unsaid though as we never truly find out who sent Psionic Lad and why he needed to kill Superboy. It wasn’t a horrible issue but, like a lot of other DC titles that had a long-term narrative going, it felt rushed and underwhelming. This is a sad way to end for a title that had such promise when it initially launched. I know I for one will miss Lemire’s interpretation of the character. – BBContinued below
The Story: Supergirl saves the day and gets the boy.
The Finale: I would hardly call this a series finale, but after Sterling Gates exited the book you could tell DC didn’t know what to do with it. Nick Spencer came on board but left before an issue hit the stands, with James Peaty filling in. Now we wrap up with Kelly Sue DeConnick, who wrote a good arc, but not a final arc. Then again, there was no larger over-arcing story in Supergirl or anything like that after Sterling Gates left, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter. It’s just nice to see Kara finally get the boy. – MM
The Story: Grounded ends as Superman remembers what’s so great about being him, and we’re given a tease to a tomorrow that will never be.
The Finale: This issue is certainly a finale – everything is wrapped up here in a neat little package for the arc that has been going through the book for the past year. Nothing is left unresolved, and all things considered it does basically “wrap-up” Superman, with a wink to the reader before it’s all said and done. In terms of it being a quality issue or not, that’s completely up to personal opinion. – MM
The Story: Superman and Batman battle the Joker, who has murdered a reporter who discovered Bruce Wayne’s identity.
The Finale: Superman/Batman, much like Jonah Hex, hasn’t been a book with a central narrative in some time. It’s just a place for competent creative teams to come together and tell some stories starring Superman and Batman. So to that extent, I suppose it’s fine that this just an arc ending rather than a grandiose ending to the title. However, considering the book did start with a central narrative and stars the two biggest characters in DC’s arsenal (since apparently no one at DC gives a damn about Wonder Woman (which is a rant for another day)), you’d think a book with the two of them having a nice bro moment would have been… well, nice. But alas. – MM
Teen Titans #100
The Story: The Teen Titans face Superboy Prime and his Superboy clone brigade along with other TT villains of the past.
The Finale: I actually totally dug this issue. I have stuck it out through thick and thin with this title since it initially launched. I can still remember vividly getting the issues. It was one of a few books that got me back into comics after a year or so absence. This is a book i’ve truly loved and this issue to me was satisfying. It was not a solid final issue though as it left too many things unresolved. Many things were left in places I wish they hadn’t been, the main one being Cassie and Conner’s relationship. I wanted so badly for them to embrace their relationship in the end. Alas, this was not to happen. Sadly, this issue may be my last TT issue for a bit as I am not sold on the new direction. Here’s to the end of an era. – BB
THUNDER Agents #10
The Story: Colleen defeats her mother, the Iron Maiden, much to her personal chagrin before we’re given a farewell with a bittersweet story of the former Dynamo and Iron Maiden.
The Finale: THUNDER Agents was given a stay of execution after what seemed like an eternal (and quite infernal!) wait, which makes the ending a bit less sad. If there wasn’t going to be a second volume, I’d probably be complaining a lot right now. This is simply an arc ending, not the series getting to any kind of concluding point. Considering Nick Spencer seems to always have a plan and a trick up his sleeve, I’d imagine he’d probably be pretty sad too. But all is well; THUNDER Agents will come back, and we will get over the usual annoyance that we have with simple arc endings as opposed to book finales and just patiently wait. Well, as much as we can, anyway. – MM
The Story: Arsenal and Deathstroke fight. Ryan Choi is buried…finally.
The Finale: While I enjoyed this run for some strange reason I am the first to admit this thing was a mess from the word Go. This issue is no different except it was really bad. It was forced and wrapped up a lot of the plotlines a little too neat in places. Also, how many lives does Jericho have? Is he the true Resurrection Man?! This felt more like an end then a lot of other titles that “ended” this month but in the end I gotta say it felt like one giant who cares moment. – BBContinued below
War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath #2
The Story: Some GL’s recruit Soranik Natu to kill her father, Sinestro. Some are not willing to let this happen.
The Finale: As most already know Batman and Green Lantern titles are continuing into the DCnU with much of the same continuity. While I am sure some stuff will be tweaked to fit the adjustment, more or less it’s business as usual moving forward. This isn’t any clearer that this is the case than in this book. It seems add to discuss this book and the way in which it wraps because it doesn’t wrap a thing. If it does anything it points the reader down the road the books will be moving from here on out. I thoroughly enjoyed the issue and am very excited for the GL books moving forward. I know there are some haters but as the saying goes, “Haters gonna hate”. – BB
Wonder Woman #614
The Story: Wonder Woman defeats Nemesis and restores her time, to much rejoicing.
The Finale: This is about as good of a series finale as this book will get, honestly. When JMS came on, there was hope in me that he’d take the book in new places, but he very quickly abandoned it. Phil Hester picked up the slack to great acclaim I think, and the book went up in quality. To that end, Hester really only finished the arc, giving the overall series a mild bookend that sort of explains why there are so many changes in the book and Wonder Woman’s continuity. It’s a nice nod to the ever-shifting habit of comics, but it does reassert that Wonder Woman really is an important character. Hopefully Azzarello’s run will help make that more apparent. – MM
The Story: The floating skull fortress is reclaimed through some clever trickery, but David ends up going home to be a bum for a little bit instead of living forever with a beautiful woman.
The Finale: Xombi never got a chance to breathe, really. IT came out at the worst possible time it could (right after the death of it’s original creator), and was quickly shoved under the bus by DC as bigger and “more important” comics came along. However, Rozum managed to wrap it all up rather quickly. Six issues is a good length for a mini, all things considered, and Rozum found an interesting way to bring it all full circle back to the opening scene of issue #1 in a way that I wouldn’t have assumed he would. If we pretend this as always supposed to be a mini-series, then I suppose there’s no reason not to be happy with it, right? As far as DC’s smaller titles go, at least it got better treatment than Doc Savage did. – MM
The Story: Zatanna deals with a witch boy who wants to be her apprentice.
The Finale: It fells like DC totally abandoned Z. Paul Dini was weaving an intricate tale to give her a life of her own with the introduction of Brother Night and a new beau, but he quickly left and the book fell into one-shot syndrome. It’s possible the impending rebootlaunch had an effect on this, but it’s a definite shame. The book knew it was ending, that’s for sure, and it is reflected in this issue. It’s kind of tongue-in-cheek in a way, showing how “difficult” her life is but how quickly things can be wrapped up. It’s certainly a series finale, I’ll give it that – it’s just not one that’s very good, nor is it the one the book deserved. – MM