Critical Velocity Decay
Ohhhh man, this cover comes SO CLOSE to a win... The massive almost blob of Ashra Kahns flood the upper half of the cover, closing around our heroes alone. The positioning is absolutely genius..... and yet, the lack of background just kills it. It might have even worked if they used a different color.... but that red non-background is what kills this cover, and it's such a shame because it came SO close.
I'm not 100% certain when the artists switch off, but it's pretty noticeable that there were two artists. But at least it doesn't make the art feel completely disjointed, just a little inconsistent. Overall the art in this issue isn't as strong as usual. There's a lot more blown up close ups eating up space, and very static combat.
Perhaps the fight scenes were rushed to accommodate all the story that needed to be crammed into this issue, what with Dan Jurgens taking over after the Zero Month. Or maybe Joe Harris couldn't hold things together as well without either starting writer? Or perhaps it might be both, because while this issue does lead things into what seems to have been the intention from the start, because things are brought full circle. Zither is collapsing, and she's taking as much of Firestorm with her as she can. Unfortunately we've also got the menace of Scorn still in the mix, as well as the MacGuffin brought in under insanely mysterious circumstance by Professor Stein. What results is a veritable cornucopia of convenient resolutions, and yet a fairly smart new beginning.
In Conclusion: 3/5
I read this issue in a bit of a daze, it was pretty hard to really follow everything because it was all essentially crammed right together with tons of overlap, and there was too much nonsensical mumbo jumbo to properly piece half of it together. But Harris set things to conclude his run to use the Zero Issue for a 'New Beginning' origin, which actually surprises me since I kind of figured we'd have the Professor Stein origin or something. But with the dismantling of this very unique and interesting direction this series has had, I'm worried about the future, yet intrigued by what will have to be a completely new story. Oh and why did the cover have the army of Ashra Kahn on the cover? They didn't appear in this issue AT ALL.