What a ride this has been. And I'm feeling an odd paradox having read it: exhilaration and disappointment all in one.
The Good: The art. From the cover through to the last panel of the last page, the art has been breathtaking. Few artists can draw so many characters and make them each look like an individual and George Perez is one of the best at it. So is Phil Jimenez. Put them together and we've got a real treat. The 2-page spread of the battle for Metropolis in the beginning, with the red backdrop of sketchy characters highlighting the main action. Just gorgeous.
More Good: The dialogue. The story. The action. The power of the storytelling. Sure, some lines were a bit trite, but we expect our heroes to say all the right things. When there's nothing to back that up, it's a cheat. When there's so much emotion behind it, when you can believe the characters mean every word, that makes a book worth reading. This was worth reading.
- Cassie and Bart when he comes back, older.
- Dick taking the hit while warning Batman and Bruce's reaction. The whole scene, with Alex and Robin and Bruce was heartfelt. The white eyes in Batman's mask when he says, "Nightwing," showed emotion even without showing Bruce's eyes. Just the shape and shading are enough to convey the feeling.
- The GL rings announcing the deaths of their Lanterns and seeking replacements.
- Diana and Bruce when he has Alex under the gun.
- The 2 Supermen battling Superboy, Power Girl's grief at her cousin's death, his rejoining his Lois.
- Bart telling Jay he's again the Fastest Man Alive (a hint for the new Flash book -- and more of that in Outsiders).
- A quick fill-in re: some changes in the new Earth's history vs the old one; they were worked in well, without being too jarring
- Joker's revenge on Alex.
- Diana, Clark, and Bruce saying their goodbyes; Bruce saying things will be different this time because he won't be alone.
- Psycho Superboy still scheming, still psychotic.
The Disappointment: Where the f is Roy Harper? After his role in the Villians United Special leading up to this issue, which led me (and some others) to think he'd have a real role to play in IC7, all he got next to nothing to do and it was nothing to brag about. Lots of female characters have been treated poorly in comics over many years. Jade was one of them, but at least she got a noteworthy death. She got... panels! Roy got to look like a total wimp, yet again.
I'm all for hurt/comfort/angst writing. Roy got shot 5 times, then had trouble dealing with it. It was a strong storyline for him. He had something, an inner demon to deal with, and he did, with some help from his friends. But this, this is pure neglect.
I thought he was going to die. I thought they were building up to his death, not revealing anything about his fate OYL so they could shock or surprise us with his death. Maybe he'd get a few panels. Maybe Ollie would've spared a moment to shed a tear.
What we got was a panel with Roy sprawled on the ground, Doomsday swooping down, and Roy saying: "Ollie, it's... What do we do?" Did he get killed? Did I miss it? Nor did I see him on the chart of missing heroes. Donna was there, alive, flying in over the screen. But no sign or word of Roy. He's just... gone. And he deserved so much more, so much better than that. Especially when minor characters, ones with less time served in the DCU, got more.
Spoiler Alert: The mysterious speedster seems to be a de-aged Jay Garrick. That's it. That's all that really happened in this and the big revelation came on the last page. The art was nice, though.
More nice art, and an intriguing setup for Kara and Karen as the new Nightwing and Flamebird of Kandor. And Kara is convinced Argo is still around. Will we find her parents alive in this version of the DCU as in the Silver Age? There was nothing really exciting here, but a hint of promise to keep me interested.