There comes a moment in the process of death when the journey becomes irreversible. It’s usually hard to pinpoint exactly where that is until it’s already past, but usually there is little mistaking it once it arrives. And, of course, in the world of comics, nothing is ever truly irreversible, perhaps especially death. But, still, if Earth 2 were a dying patient, the sound of its breathing would not augur well for surviving through the night.
Helena Wayne, it has to be said, is looking much better these days. her grandfather’s use of venom to revive her following her ordeal with Desaad has resulted in a kind of life, at any rate. Unfortunately, the spawn of Darkseid and death also thrives, and is in the process of burrowing deep into the planet, headed for a direct attack on the Parliament of Earth from which the Avatars draw their powers.
Meanwhile, Mr. Miracle, Jimmy Olsen, and Mr. Terrific plan the evacuation of the planet, or at least as much of it as they can save. Here we see the ongoing thread of dimensional science that one suspects will carry through the upcoming Convergence event. Particularly, the would-be saviors are wondering how they can fit so many people into the available space. The answer seems to be in the manipulation of dimensions, a variant of the technique the New Gods use to summon bits of other universes to their service.
The plans come not a moment too soon. Barda and the forces of Apokalips are closing in on the underground redoubt of the Earth 2 population. However, Barda has a surprise of her own to come, as Kalibak arrives to take control of the Apokaliptan forces.
The title of this issue is “Rebirth,” and indeed it is not poorly named. Helena’s return alone merits that label. The hope embodied in the plans of Miracle and the others likewise speak to a rebirth of Earth 2. But there is a darker rebirth at hand as well, with the arrival of Darkseid’s children to renew the assault on the doomed world. Kalibak has come to exterminate the last remaining humans, the child of death to destroy the life of the planet itself. Is this indeed rebirth, or stuttering death? Unfortunately, for the planet of Earth 2, one suspects the latter. As for the citizens, perhaps something better will come. Although The New 52: Futures End speaks of a somber fate for these sad refugees, this is, after all comics. Nothing is ever certain, and not even death, or exile, is permanent.
Death and Life rest in the balance on Earth 2. Rebirth wars with encroaching doom. The children of Darkseid strike as the children of Earth prepare to flee. The end will likely combine death and life, hope and despair. But for once, it is clear that the climax is indeed at hand.