WHAT. THE. H'EL.
Lobdell... you totally blew it. I was on board with this whole event, Superboy and even Supergirl were improving, as was Superman but it wouldn't take much to improve this series, but the ending of this massive event was a complete and utter mess of a ridiculous magnitude. Aside from the art. Kenneth Rocafort made this finale gorgeous and quite epic in combat.
First off, there's the significantly hyped Oracle, with ties all the way back to Superman and Stormwatch #1, constantly built up across this event, destroying ships with mere thoughts; and it just...... watches. And leaves. The cover for this issue, as well as the rest of the crossover, implied he would be a grand cosmic threat that would potentially create a temporary truce with H'el himself. And yet The Oracle did NOTHING. It would've been ok, had the thing not been set up with such grandiose efforts.
Then there's the even bigger elephant in the room, H'el backstory wasn't explained one bit. This arc has raised massive questions about this character. What EXACTLY are his powers? Why does he have such ridiculous over-the-top powers? What's his relation to the House of El? Why does he have an El-Crest scar, and why did he hide it from Kara? How much of what he said was the truth? It's clear that in the end he truly believed in his own words, and his love for Kara which is a powerful touch of emotion and uniqueness to his character, but he's still such an excessive enigma. Furthermore, he succeeded! We clearly see that at the end, he's managed to go back in time without destroying the Earth. HOW THE HELL DID THAT WORK? He had all this time and he never once considered that? Just... overall this makes no sense and undermines the entire massive arc. And there's no way he could've laid plans years back that used Superboy to his advantage, Superboy is barely a few moths old if that.
And if all that wasn't enough, the whole issue is just weakly written. The writing's not outright bad, but it's practically chocking itself with all the excessive exposition. Everyone over explains EVERYTHING, and the narration is deeply insightful at times, but other times just feels like more unnecessary words bogging things down.
Ok, it wasn't ALL bad. I loved Supergirl's part in this arc, and her role in the finale here was intense, touching, and absolutely perfect. She's really come far as a character, and I'm super happy to see her given such a vital role in H'el's defeat. Not only that, but this entire event has definitely changed the status quo of the Superman Family, brining these loosely tied heroes into a closer group.
In Conclusion: 2/5
It looked good, the action was awesome, the impact was sufficient to merit the crossover, and Supergirl was amazing. But this final has more holes than a chunk of swiss cheese that's been used for target practice on a shotgun range. After all this mystery and intrigue, H'el isn't explained in any way whatsoever, the much hyped Oracle adds such a minimal effect to the story when all the information suggested he'd basically hijack the storyline from H'el, and there's the massive gaping plot hole of H'el technically succeeding without the need for massive destruction, but also apparently his time travel efforts didn't prevent the destruction of Krypton because everyone's still here on Earth. It's extremely unfortunate, but this seemingly smooth arc that had thus far been raising the quality of all the Super-Titles crashed, burned, flopped around, and hung itself in it's big finale. I had high hopes but was severely disappointed.