[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing
Artist: Brian Ching
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
The time has come…the sisters of the Gotham City Garage go toe-to-toe with Lex Luthor and his crew. But will they win? Or is this the end for all who call The Freescape home?
The final issue of this fantastic series really brought the action in with the fight with Luthor. For those who have been following this series over the past year, it was a very satisfying finish, and that ending scene was awesome, and makes me want to see a sequel series.
Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing have done such a spectacular job over the entire run of this book, and this issue is no different. The story flows wells, the dialogue is smart and snappy, yet easy to follow. I hope to see these two team-up for a new book soon, because if it’s anything like this, I will definitely be checking it out.
I want to touch on some of the specific points in this story, and I’ll start with the narration. It was obvious that it was Kara talking to someone, but the writers did a great job of not giving away who she was talking to until the very end. You really feel for her. She has lost so much – her father, her home, her identity – but she also found so much out in The Freescape. She reconnected with her sister, Barbara, discovered the truth about who she is and where she came from, met her hero, Wonder Woman, and found a whole new family at the Garage. This arc is one of the main things that has made this story truly worthwhile.
Another thing I loved was seeing all of these different characters converge in this epic battle. You got the ladies of the Garage, the League of Shadows, the Red Hoods, Lex Luthor, Batman…so many great characters just battling it out. And speaking of Batman, seeing Barbara go after The Bat was awesome. This version of the Dark Knight is a much more cocky individual, one who thinks he’s always got the upper hand, and it’s that very arrogance that gets him killed. And I have to say, I never thought I would be so happy to see Batman die, but Kelly and Lanzing did such a fantastic job at making him a despicable character.
Lois broadcasting The Frequency out to world was a perfect example of what this character has always stood for, no matter what universe we are in. Even in the face of mortal danger, her priority is to make sure the truth gets out there. This is probably her best character trait, and is something I was so thrilled to see be brought over into this world.
One thing that almost made the negatives list as I was reading it was the fact that they let Luthor live. He isn’t just some low level thug, he is the man who made this world into what it is. He’s the reason so many have died. Yet they chose to let him live? But the reason it didn’t end up in the negatives list is because once Luthor makes it back to The Garden, he (presumably) gets what’s coming to him, because when he opens the gates to The Garden, he is met by Harley and the angry, vengeful residents that he once controlled. This was a great shot to see and a very fitting end for Luthor.
And finally, I want to talk about that ending. In the last couple pages, we finally learn who Supergirl was talking to all throughout this issue. She hears a message in Kryptonian, which says “THREAT MATRIX CLEARED. ANTI-LIFE PROTECTION SYSTEMS DISENGAGED,” and as she digs through the wreckage of the Garage, she finds the Kryptonian ship. It opens to reveal a baby boy, and that baby boy is none other than Kal-El. And that is who she has been talking to. Telling him the story of the Gotham City Garage and the women who fought and died to protect all it stood for.
There were very few negatives in this issue. The only story-based problem I found was the fact that Kara managed to punch a hole in Luthor’s mech suit, exposing him, and she didn’t incinerate his head with her heat vision. She had the perfect opportunity to do it, but seemed to hesitate too much, giving him the upper hand, at least for that moment. I understand that Kara probably wouldn’t have done that no matter what, but I was yelling at the page for her to do it. It just seemed right.
The other thing, which is something I have talked about in previous issues, is the artwork. I am not a fan of Brian Ching’s art style. The lack of defining details is something that really bugs me, and I really wish one of the other artists had been on for the finale.
Overall, this was a fantastic ending to one of the best out-of-continuity stories I have ever read. The message of female empowerment was much needed in this very male dominated realm of storytelling, and the Mad Max-style universe that was built gave these writers a chance to take characters we all know and love, and turn their backstories on their heads. This is a definite must read for all DC fans.