|Al Milgrom delivers a better cover than last time... but it's still got nothing on the interiors.|
On New Genesis, Highfather and young Esak watch Orion through a scrying pool. Esak is amazed at Orion's smile, a rare expression from the grim son of Darkseid. Conway uses the pair to sum up the events of the previous issue, just in case any new readers were joining the title.
|Don Newton was a master, as shown on this impressive splash page!|
In his secret headquarters somewhere on Earth, Darkseid is informed their agent approaches "objective one." We also meet the first new edition to the New Gods post-Kirby in the form of Gargon, Darkseid's new hooded subordinate. (He looks disturbingly like a Durlan, actually.)
The plan jumps into gear as an alien submarine rises from the waters in New Orleans. It's spotted by a drunk, but it quickly atomizes the man before he even realizes the danger he's in. Elsewhere in the city, singer Lorraine Hampton admits she believes Metron's revelations from the previous issue. She receives a new gig from her smarmy agent. Outside, a mysterious eavesdropping villain plans to take her at her first night on the job...
Under his new alter ego of Anthony Masters, Orion easily finds his way into the secure facility. Mother Box warns of an Apokoliptan threat, so he decides to wait it out. But before he can find the threat, the threat finds him! Jaffar of the Deep Six jumps him from behind. But Orion is far more powerful and despite taking some hits, easily takes down Jaffar in a matter of seconds. But not without making enough noise to alert the base security.
As Orion demands answers from the villain, the guards arrive. Jaffar has only time to reveal he's simply a decoy and the true attack is happening in New Orleans. He doesn't yield and is hit by a bullet that levels him. General Torch looms over him, happy to have caught his prey.
Metron follows Lorraine to her show. He quickly gains a love of her disco sound, and perhaps, a few feelings for her as well. It creates an interesting moment of humanization for the most enigmatic god of New Genesis. And it's quickly interrupted by an attack from the Deep Six's Slig! Metron is far weaker than his companions and the one strike is all it takes to lay him out!
|Newton draws a few human moments for Metron as well, proving his talents in slower moments as well.|
In New Orleans, Slig grabs Lorraine and moves to make his escape. As civilians scream in terror from the monster, his victory seems assured... until Orion makes his arrival!
Slig's punch is nearly as effective as it was on Metron. But the aquatic Apokoliptan takes time to gloat. Orion's grim fury rises and as Slig looms over him, he unleashes the full power of the Astro-Force against him. Within seconds, Slig is dead and only a pile of ash remains. Lorraine is left in shock at the death and her place in the greater story.
And Darkseid watches on. Orion has won this day, but Darkseid sees his own sort of silver lining. As he ponders his son, he says, "Each time you kill you become more and more the true son of Darkseid. And someday... who knows? The father may claim his own."
The issue clothes on that truly foreboding note.
Conway doubles down on two of his plot threads from last issue. The more human side of Metron is an interesting touch for the character as before and after this issue he rarely is presented as more than an enigma. Rarely does he even take an active role in the battle against Darkseid, let alone show emotion.
Don Newton and Dan Adkins' art really brings all of it home. The two men make a stupendous team, providing art leaps and bounds above much of DC's fare at the time. Yet the old regime still had its strange ways, as their work again doesn't make the cover in favor of (IMHO) far inferior work from Al Milgrom.
Next time around, we enter the second half of the New Gods' rebirth and bring back one of the greatest writer / artist pairs in comics history. Stay tuned for "It's all in the mine!"