The Satisfying Conclusion I Didn't Believe Existed
Sigh. Look, it's better than the Green Lantern banner because I get the point of this one. It's not hyping a movie that didn't need extra hype, and its for a good cause. But it doesn't change the fact that the "We Can Be Heroes" banner is a huge detriment to the covers its on. Although this cover's already kind of odd. I mean, I should like the idea, but everything looks sort of.... chalky. And Nightwing's face is a little odd, and something's off about the balance.
Well DAMN. Color me IMPRESSED. I spent the past two issues or so terrified about Saiko's motivation. I could not see a single pathway that lead to a satisfying revelation. All the signs for a cliche stereotypical motivation were there. But GOD DAMMIT HIGGINS AVOIDED IT. I didn't think it was possible, but he gave me an answer that was every bit as satisfying as he teased. It was absolutely horrible, in a good way. It just... it gave me chills at the horror. And then little bits of extra depth were sprinkled on at the end, as it surprisingly ties into the Night of the Owls crossover.
The art is easily the best its been on this series. The panel layouts are all insane, and the backgrounds get a little murky, but in a good way for once. It all evokes the perfect sense of a completely acrobatic battle. The flow is easy to follow, but the actual movements of the fight are all over the place. The emotions drive the tie between the movements and the flow. It's all incredibly disorienting, and really makes you feel like you're there, in the battle amongst the trapezes.
Raya's obvious turncoating was a bit cliche, but it was well handled. It was prompted much better than usual, when the whole circus sees how mad Saiko's become. There were some fantastic emotions that hit hard, and hit harder when you see how great Barrows captured the facial expressions.
I'm a little annoyed that, and this is an assumption because I haven't gotten to Batman yet, this issue seems to spoil and/or retread ground that happens in this week's Batman. Just a little obnoxious. Not really a deal breaker.
In Conclusion: 5/5
Great finale. I was EXTREMELY doubtful this could come to a completely satisfying conclusion, BUT IT DID. And THEN some. And that's the bottom line.