Villains of War
I like how the covers for the war are continuing the War Propaganda theme, but this one's not quite as effective as the previous one. The characters depicted have all sorts of strange body and face shapes, so it's really hard to properly make them out in an image of that style. I like how it's a spiritual reversal of the previous one though, it represents how the tone takes a nose-dive into despair compared to the heroic atmosphere of the previous issue.
Nicola Scott's artwork continues to be stunning. This is an EXTREMELY hectic battle with a lot of distinct players, and she just NAILS it at every turn, making sure each character keeps their distinct movements and decision in the midst of this chaos. The facial expressions are top notch, and the impacts pack serious force, you can really feel the battle as it unfolds.
At first I was annoyed with the in medias res for this issue, starting after the fact seemed really odd for this issue directly following the way the previous one ended, but I think it ended up being for the best. We didn't have time to wonder, we jumped right into filling the gap that picked up where it left off; but we have the benefit of someone's voice right in the middle of the battle who's already sorted things out. It really enhanced the harrowing feel of the Wonders' defeat.
I like that this issue also takes time to keep the other major subplots going, where Hawkgirl stumbles upon the next big break in her investigation, and Mr. Miracle with Barda finally enter the main story. Hawkgirl's is kind of minor though, and probably didn't need to be here. Mr. Miracle and Barda's scene was much more interesting considering how removed they've been from everything else. Their plot at least might enter into the main conclusion of the war.
But my worst fears are realized. There's FAR too much left hanging to be resolved in one more issue, even the war itself is too big to be won in just one more issue with all the mysteries left in the air. Why did Steppenwolf's Dogs leave the Wonders alive? Is Sloan up to something? What else does Steppenwolf have up his sleeve? Do Mr. Miracle and Barda know something that could turn the tide? And that's not even mentioning the rest of the loose ends. Who's the new Batman? Why was Sam killed and who are the new villains Hawkgirl's run into? Who is Red Arrow? What the hell is Red Lantern? What's up with Red Tornado? Just... SO MUCH WHY WOULD YOU TAKE ROBINSON OFF THE SERIES DC!??!!!!
In Conclusion: 4/5
Most of my qualms have to do with speculation, not the content of this actual issue. This issue was solid just like the previous one. Hawkgirl's scene was bit dull and extra detached, and that's really the only thing bringing the score down.
But if the war and Robinson's run are ending next issue, I think that points to one answer. They're going to lose. Tom Taylor's been writing a very devastated alternate universe for Injustice, so I think that's why he's being brought in here. To write Earth 2 after Steppenwolf basically wins, and out heroes are forced to fight back instead of going on the offensive. It could be a really interesting turn for this series, but right now we wait and see an extra month for the final Robinson issue of Earth 2.