By Gail Simone (writer), J. Calafiore (artist), John Kalisz (colorist), Travis Lanham (letter)
The Story: Murder, mayhem, betrayal, friendship–and yes, even love–all come together in a grand series finale that will either make the Six gods among men, or utterly destroy them.
WARNING: possible spoilers ahead!
What’s Good: Gail Simone has spent many years building up the characters and relationships that make up this lovably demented team of misfits, and the care that she and Jim Calafiore have poured into this corner of the DCU shines through every image, word and page of this final issue. Every character gets at least one moment to shine, and the major players all get a chance to bring their personal story arcs to strong and satisfying conclusions. To write characters so clearly devoted to each other, but who are also just as clearly willing to stab each other in the back should the need arise–and to have such a dichotomy feel perfectly natural and organic–is a truly amazing feat of characterization.
Although it is tremendously sad to see one of DC’s greatest ongoing books come to a close, I am so thankful (and relieved) that this unique series and band of characters was given such a beautiful and fitting send off. I am not ashamed to admit that my heart was in my throat for the last five pages. While the Six are certainly far from innocent, their hopeless last stand was so beautifully executed that I don’t think it’s humanly possible not to root for them. That’s right: Gail Simone made me cheer against Batman and the Birds of Prey!
What’s Not So Good: Really, the only complaint I have is that the little ‘extra’ scene at the end with Bane was something of a mood-killer. It was absolutely necessary from a continuity standpoint (and it IS a great Bane moment), but I really wish the book had just ended on Huntress’ final line. Really, that’s the only issue that denies this book the extra kick into ‘A+’ territory.
Conclusion: Oh, how I wish all wonderful and brilliant series’ were given a send off this good. Sad as the ending may be, I don’t think any fan of the series could argue that it was anything but inevitable, and it allowed this hardened and cynical characters to reveal sides of themselves that might otherwise never have surfaced. Brilliant.