- Writer: Grant Morrison
- Artist: J.G. Jones
- Penciller: Carlos Pacheco
- Inker: Jesus Merino
- Colorist: Alex Sinclair
- Letterer: Rob Leigh
- Cover Artist: J.G. Jones
- Editors: Eddie Berganza & Adam Schlagman
The events of this issue follow on directly from SUBMIT.
Page 1 – Panel 1: The narrator of these first few pages will make himself known in a moment.
Page 1 – Panel 3: The announcement is from Carol Ferris, the long time on again, off again girlfriend of Green Lantern Hal Jordan. A lot of Jordan’s early adventures took place in and around Ferris Aircraft, often involving Carol – sometimes rescuing her, sometimes battling her when she became Star Sapphire. The narrator refers to the end of the events of the previous issue.
Page 2 – Panels 1 to 3: The London Underground showing the Anti-Life Equation is getting around.
Page 2 – Panels 4 to 5: And here it is showing up in New York at the same time.
Page 3 – Panel 4: The narrator is Ray Terrill, The Ray, son of the original as opposed to the latest version that was shown in UNCLE SAM AND THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS; he’s also the one shown appearing with two large sacks. Also shown are Green Arrow standing on the Tattooed Man.
Page 4 – Panel 1: As shown in SUBMIT, the vast majority of people have succumbed to the Anti-Life Equation and many of them have become Justifiers. The happy band shown here are trying to get into the Justice League’s Hall of Justice which is where Ray has just arrived.
Page 4 – Panels 2 to 5: Ever the suspicious one, Green Arrow wants to know why the Tattooed Man was rescued by Ray. Again, as shown in SUBMIT, he and his family were rescued by Black Lightning before Ray picked him up.
Page 5 – Panel 1: Leaning on the table is current head of the Justice League and Green Arrow’s wife, Black Canary; “Pretty bird” has long been his nickname for her. Seated in the wheelchair is Oracle who was previously Batgirl. She’s Barbara Gordon, daughter of Gotham’s Commissioner Gordon.
Page 5 – Panel 2: Green Arrow kindly does the introductions for us. From the top down the young girl in the costume is Iris West; the older lady in blue is Joan Garrick, wife of Jay Garrick, the first Flash; the woman seated next to her is Linda Park-West, wife of Wally West, the current Flash and mother of both Iris and Jai who is stood taking one of the sacks from The Ray.
Page 5 – Panel 4: The Daily Planet is being produced from Superman’s Fortress of Solitude and has Ray as the paperboy. Only in comics, my friends. The front page shows a force ready to attack Bludhaven.
Pages 6 and 7: A force which, by the looks of it, didn’t succeed. From left to right are Mr Bones, the director of the DEO; an Atomic Knight; Negative Woman; Count Vertigo; spaced amongst them in the black and gold costumes are the foot soldiers of Checkmate. There’s no way of knowing whether any of them are dead or merely injured at the moment.
Page 8 – Panel 1: As seen in previous issues, Dan Turpin is being held captive by several of the Apokoliptian New Gods and is destined to become the host of Darkseid himself. Reverend G. Godfrey Goode mentions that Turpin is putting up a struggle against the Anti-Life infection that has targeted the rest of the world.
Page 8 – Panel 2: Reverend Goode mentions the 4th World – this was the previous state of the New Gods when they lived on Apokolips and New Genesis and, to all intents and purposes, dressed and acted like superheroes and villains.
Page 8 – Panel 3: Mr. Simyan and Mokkari who, as the latter says, are building new bodies for the re-emerging New Gods.
Page 8 – Panels 4 and 5: As ever there is infighting between the servants of Darkseid all of whom seek his favour. Mokkari mentions that the Power Battery of the Guardians of the Universe (which feeds power to the Green Lanterns) is within the grasp of Granny Goodness. This obviously refers to Granny’s possession of Alpha-Lantern shown in issue #2. In Panel 5, Kalibak is introduced in his new body.
Page 9 – Panel 1: His new body is obviously the tiger that was being worked on in issue #2. He’s also killed a Green Lantern who is probably Opto309v who appeared with John Stewart in issue #2 though I’m not entirely sure due to the slight difference in skin colour. Oh, and I know I’m being picky here but the Lantern’s arm in Panel 1 is definitely his right arm; in Panels 3 and 4 it’s his left.
Page 10 – Panel 3: Back at the Hall of Justice, Tattooed Man fills in the heroes as to what’s happening. He mentions the Dark Side club and it’s owner, both of whom appeared in issue #1.
Page 11 – Panel 7: The Ray mentions the heroes have a “highly placed informer in Libra’s secret society” which is the first time this has been mentioned. Using the villains’ secret internet, Ray is able to link up with other heroes scattered around the world.
Page 11 – Panel 8: The first of whom is Mr. Terrific who is at the Checkmate castle in Switzerland, under siege from the Justifiers.
Pages 12 and 13 – Panel 1: In the skies above the castle, Hawkgirl battles Silver Swan though I’m unsure as to who the flaming, flying character on the left is.
Pages 12 and 13 – Panel 3: Green Lantern Alan Scott stands in front of a large screen depicting the status of various heroes. Left to right and top to bottom they are: Ravager; Starman; Blue Devil (listed as MIA probably because of REIGN IN HELL); Huntress; The Atom; Enchantress (not sure when she was injured – possibly in REIGN IN HELL); Robotman; Uncle Sam; Wildcat; Wonder Woman (who should be listed as MIA as shown later in this issue); Superman (MIA because of SUPERMAN BEYOND 3D); Batman (MIA as he was captured by Alpha-Lantern Kraken); Cyborg (not sure when he went missing); J’onn J’onnz (deceased as he was killed in issue #1); Green Lantern Guy Gardner; Hawkgirl; Hourman; Green Lantern Hal Jordan; Dr. Fate (MIA due to REIGN IN HELL?); Power Girl; The Flash (MIA as he went time traveling in the previous issue); Green Lantern John Stewart; Sandman; Black Canary; Superman of Earth-22 (MIA because of the current storyline in JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA?); Robin; Red Tornado; Phantom Lady; Starfire (when did she get captured?); Liberty Belle; Green Arrow; Black Lightning (MIA following the events of SUBMIT); Aquaman; Firestorm; Green Lantern Kyle Rayner.
Pages 12 and 13 – Panel 5: The speaker is Taleb Beni Khalid, the Black King of Checkmate; beside him are Amanda Waller and The Question, Rene Montoya.
Page 14 – Panel 2: At the Fortress of Solitude several heroes and civilians are hiding out. From top to bottom are Mercury; then Lead, Iron and Gold in a row with Copper in front of them (thanks to Michael for pointing that out); Hourman, Liberty Bell, Mr. Tawky Tawny and Damage; Blue Beetle knelt consoling someone; Supergirl in front. Bearing in mind that the Daily Planet is being produced here, it’s possible some of the civilians are staff members – just below Mercury’s right arm is someone holding a camera which could be Jimmy Olsen but they’re too indistinct to say for certain.
Page 14 – Panel 3: This is Warmaker of the International Ultramarine Corps; in the background the flying city of Superbia is falling . . . again.
Page 14 – Panel 6: Freedom Beast battles a Justified Gorilla Grodd in Gorilla City; below them are Kid Impala and Bushmaster who, the last time I looked, was dead.
Page 15 – Panel 1: A resigned Black Adam sits on his throne while Shazam attempts to persuade him to help.
Page 15 – Panel 2: Scott urges everyone to attack Bludhaven in a last stand.
Page 15 – Panel 4: Some of the members of the Great Ten: Accomplished Perfect Physician; August-General-In-Iron; Thundermind; and Ghost Fox Killer.
Page 16 – Panel 1: Following the events of SUBMIT, we can see here the arrival of the Justified Black Lightning.
Page 16 – Panels 2 and 4: Again in SUBMIT, Black Lightning gave the Tattooed Man a “circuit” which he manifests here which ends with him looking more than a little like Metron.
Page 16 – Panes 5-7: With Black Lightning breaching the force field around the hall, rapid evacuation plans are devised.
Page 17 – Panel 1: Following on from the end of the previous issue, in the background are the two Flashes, Barry Allen and Wally West; in front of them is the foot of Gigantrix. Note the red skies, indicative of a Crisis.
Page 17 – Panel 2: On the lead dog is Wunda who used to be Wonder Woman; behind her (near the top of the panel) is Batwoman and Catwoman; standing over them all is Gigantrix who used to be Giganta. As mentioned in the notes for the previous issue, these heroes and villains have become the new Female Furies with Batwoman in the role of Mad Harriet; Wonder Woman as Bernadeth; Giganta as Stompa; and Catwoman as Lashina.
Page 17 – Panel 3: Barry Allen has a very good idea of what’s wrong not just with the world but the entire Multiverse.
Page 17 – Panel 5: In amongst all the horror and craziness, it’s nice to have a genuine moment of happiness.
Page 18 – Panels 3 and 4: With a couple of steel cables, the Flashes manage to disable most of the Furies in one go.
Page 19 – Panels 2 and 4: Wunda, however, is not so easily confused and manages to launch a spear at them.
Page 19 – Panel 5: They’re fast enough to escape and plan to save everyone, starting with their families.
Page 20 – Panel 1: As the heroes and civilians rush through the Hall of Justice’s trophy room, they pass a bottle which has miniaturised versions of the Justice League trapped inside. I don’t know what specific story that this references but the bottle showed up in the Grant Morrison written EARTH-2 one-shot when the Anti-Matter Lex Luthor visited the League’s Watchtower.
Page 20 – Panel 2: Tattooed Man gives a succinct appraisal of what Ray and the other heroes are planning to do.
Page 20 – Panels 4 and 6: Green Arrow plans to stay behind and prevent the Justifiers following them. Black Canary, as his wife, is understandably not impressed with the idea.
Page 21 – Panel 1: “I’ll use the anti-Anti-Life arrow.” Green Arrow rocks.
Page 22 – Panel 4: As the Justifiers attack, Green Arrow notices the arrival of Jefferson Pierce – Black Lightning.
Page 23 – Panels 1 to 4: After Green Arrow tries to convince Black Lightning to fight the Anti-Life infection, Lightning alone decides the other heroes cannot be followed. Is it too much to hope that he’s really playing possum and that he’s gone undercover? Probably.
Page 23 – Panel 5: Despite his brave stance, Green Arrow joins the Justifiers.
Page 25 – Panel 1: Back in Command-D beneath Bludhaven, Mary Marvel – last seen in the previous issue and suffering a broken arm which appears to have healed – delivers Darkseid’s crown to the operating room.
Page 25 – Panel 2: Above the Checkmate castle from the top down are Killer Moth; an unknown Justifier; Hawkgirl; possibly Sun Girl; Green Lantern Alan Scott; Bolt; Man-Bat; and, in the whirlpool, Typhoon.
Page 25 – Panel 3: The Reverend Goode asks Turpin/Darkseid to give a thumbs up for humanity . . .
Page 25 – Panel 4: Meanwhile, Alan Scott mentions The Omega Offensive, presumably the last stand at Bludhaven.
Page 25 – Panel 5: . . . or a thumbs down for the end of the world.
Page 26 – Panels 1 to 5: Iris Allen walks through the world according to Darkseid having succumbed to the Anti-Life infection.
Page 27 – Panel 1: Barry Allen and Wally West appear in her apartment.
Page 27 – Panel 5: Having woken her with a kiss – true love conquers all, remember – Barry apologises for being late, a nod to the fact that despite being the fastest man alive, he could never arrive on time for his dates with Iris.
Page 28 – Panel 1: Hawkgirl mentions it’s raining blood; this is from the Bleed, the walls that separate the universes of the Multiverse.
Page 28 – Panel 3: Flying in from nowhere are the Super Young Team, last seen rescuing Mr. Miracle in the previous issue.
Page 29 – Panel 1: Mr. Miracle climbs from the car.
Page 29 – Panel 2: As he pleads for restraint, the members of Super Young Team climb out as well. To the left is Well-Spoken Sonic Lightning Flash and, with the green hair, Shiny Happy Aquazon.
Page 29 – Panel 3: Mr. Miracle, super escape artist, is shot in the chest. Flying behind him is Shy Crazy Lolita Canary, in the bottom right of the panel are Big Atomic Lantern Boy and Sonny Sumo. All of the characters here are wearing a Metron style circuit on their faces. Mention has been made over at Douglas Wolk’s Final Crisis Annotations blog that Mr. Miracle’s skin here is too light for it to be Shilo Norman; while I thought that might be a colouring snafu at first, I notice that the last member of the Super Young Team, Most Excellent Super Bat, isn’t visible in this shot. Could he have swapped places with Norman and taken the bullet for him?
Page 30: Despite his heroic struggle, Turpin gives in and becomes the new vessel for Darkseid who gives a thumbs down, signalling the end of the world.