Wednesday, January 2, 2019

026. The penultimate power-play! (Adventure Comics 459)

The story from Return of the New Gods immediately picks up with the beginning of Adventure Comics 459, with Gerry Conway and Don Newton back in place as writer and penciler with Augie Scotto now on inks.

Don Newton still isn't taking short cuts with his amazing art as can be seen in this double page spread. 

The story opens with Orion attacking Apokolips and the very machine which imprisoned the humans that held the Anti-Life Equation. He frees them. None are too happy about their imprisonment and they all threaten Desaad. The sniveling coward quickly gives the characters (and conveniently, the readers) the lowdown on Infinity Man's death and passing the Anti-Life Equation to the humans.

Orion sends the humans back to Earth, but continues on his own path. We briefly check in with Highfather who feels guilt about Orion's course towards Darkseid.

On Earth, Lightray, Jezebelle, Forager and Metron consider their next move against the Antagonist, but before they can come up with a plan, they are attacked by a horde of humans driven to frenzy by the Anti-Life creature.

The Antagonist takes his assault to the White House where the heroes rush in to rescue a caricature of Jimmy Carter. Though they stop the assault on the President, they cannot beat the Antagonist.

I get the distinct impression Newton wasn't a huge fan of our 39th President.
Metron admits to himself that they may have no chance at all of stopping a creature so powerful, only its creator could do so. And almost as if in answer, the humans return to Earth amidst the battle...

Orion flies out into the abyss of space where he finds Darkseid standing atop a single meteor in space. His father offers Orion a simple deal: join him and they can rule the universe together. This isn't an offer Orion is now or ever willing to accept.

Darkseid tells Orion that the device threatening Earth should he die is now gone. "You realize then we must have an ending to this struggle," he says. "A death, either yours or mine."

Darkseid delivers the first strike, one powerful to send Orion reeling. he flies off into space as our issue ends, an epic battle in our future!

With two pages less than a normal issue of Return of the New Gods, this is effectively another full issue of the series. Though the conflict grows deeper, little changes between this issue and the last however as the creative team seeks to let the new readers in on what they missed in the cancelled series. Still, Conway never insults the readers' intelligence and Newton provides more of the amazing visuals he's shown off in previous stories.

Next up, we reach the conclusion of this epic, so be here next time for as the next issue plug here simply says: "THE END!"

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