By: Mark Waid (writer), Marco Checchetto (art), Matt Hollingsworth (colors), and Joe Caramagna (letters)

The Story: Daredevil tries to recapture the Omega Drive from Cole (Alves?).

The Review: The Omega Effect has been a really nice little crossover.  It’s small, contained, and went across titles that worked well with each other.  If you enjoyed the previous two issues, you’ll enjoy most of what’s offered here.  Seeing Daredevil, Spider-Man, and Punisher kick Megacrime ass together is about as entertaining as you’d expect.

The real heart of the comic, however, is in Daredevil’s interactions with Rachel Alves (why does everyone, including Marvel, keep calling her Cole when the character explicitly calls herself Alves?).  There’s great chemistry between the two, highlighting the very high, very dangerous precipice that Alves finds herself at.  Naturally, this lets Matt really shine as well; in attempting to “save” her, we see all the personal characteristics that have defined Matt: his sense of responsibility, his heroism, his empathy, his passion, and, of course, his constant sense of guilt and his desire to atone for past wrongs.  In this case, in appealing to Rachel, he’s also trying to make up for what he sees as his failure in reforming Frank.  It makes for a strong, compelling read that says as much about Matt as it does Rachel.

Marco Checchetto is, as usual, on fire this month.  He’s forced to draw A LOT of characters what with the Megacrime throwdown, but never once does the quality or detail dip.  The action is sprawling and exciting and Checchetto still draws an awesome Daredevil.  There’s something particularly thrilling about Checchetto’s illustrations of Daredevil bounding through the streets.

Based on all this, you’d think this issue would be cruising to a good grade and, hey, Waid’s Daredevil is one of my favourite books.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.  Waid ends this issue, and hence the entire crossover, in a manner that comes damned close to insulting readers who paid good money to pick up these three comics.  The ending is so poor that I’m surprised it even cleared editorial, that someone didn’t stop Waid and say “this just isn’t good enough.”

I have no problem with an ending that leaves things open and I’m not one to complain when there’s a lack of complete resolution, but this is ridiculous.  Daredevil ends up in the exact same position he was in just before the Omega Effect kicked off.  Waid ends things in a way that left me scratching my head, wondering why this storyline even happened; if we just erased the Omega Effect altogether as never having happened, it would not change the contents of next month’s issue of Daredevil in any significant way.

Frankly, after reading the last page, I felt cheated.  This entire crossover achieved NOTHING and Matt is still in the same predicament he was in last month with respect to megacrime and the Omega Drive.  That’s unacceptable.

Honestly, the only character out of this crossover to see any lasting effects is the Punisher over in his comic, given that Daredevil’s words have clearly had an impact on Rachel and her current whereabouts are left unknown.  That’s well and great for Punisher readers (and if you aren’t reading that book, you really should be), but the Omega Drive is ultimately a Daredevil story and for Daredevil himself to have gained no plot or character progression from the Omega Effect crossover is shocking.

Conclusion: A fun crossover completely undercut and shot to bits by a terrible conclusion.  Seriously, the Omega Effect may as well have never even happened.  This entire crossover achieved nothing.  But hey, on the plus side, that Marcos Martin cover is totally wicked.

Grade: C-

– Alex Evans