Monday, November 17, 2014

The Final Night #4

The Final Knight

Karl Kesel .. Writer
Stuart Immonen .. Penciller
Jose Marzan Jr. .. Inker
Trish Mulvihill .. Colorist
Gaspar .. Letterer
Ali Morales .. Assistant Ed.
Dan Thorsland .. Editor

The cover by Immonen and Marzan actually shows Impulse for once! Unfortunately, Impulse is nowhere to be found inside this issue, not even lurking in the background. But he's not alone. Half the characters on this cover only appear on the cover, including Aquaman, Superboy, Martian Manhunter, and Mr. Miracle, who presented the first (failed) plan to take down the Sun-Eater. I wonder if this was a late editorial decision. It's almost as if DC realized at the last second that a bunch of popular characters played no role in this conclusion, so they hastily threw them on the cover.

Our story picks right up where Legion of Super-heroes #86 left off, with Lex Luthor and Brainiac 5 presenting their latest plan. Unable to prevent the sun from going hyper-nova, they have decided to try to contain the blast by placing a massive force field around the sun. Luthor designed a force-field generator, and Flash assembled half a million of them in twelve hours, while other speedsters made continuous supply runs. I guess that includes Impulse, but nobody specifically said his name.

Luthor plans to have Green Lantern pilot Dusk's ship to put the devices in place, but Lantern suddenly disappears right there and then. So Superman volunteers to take his place, but first he stops to write a goodbye note to Lois Lane. He takes so long writing this note, that Ferro has enough time to sneak into Dusk's ship and take off before anybody can stop him.

Suddenly, Green Lantern returns with Parallax, the former Green Lantern Hal Jordan, who destroyed all existence in Zero Hour. But this time, Parallax wants to save the earth. He explains that he can get rid of the Sun-Eater, heal the sun, and moderate the energy so Earth warms up safely. Batman protests, but Superman accepts, and Parallax takes off to save the day. First, he rescues the idiot Ferro right before he dies. Then Parallax dispels the Sun-Eater and restores the sun to its former glory by reciting the Green Lantern's oath. And in an intentionally ambiguous ending, it almost appears as if Parallax died while doing this. Almost.

Well, that was a pretty convenient ending. At the end of the day, it didn't matter what any of the heroes did, because the most powerful being in the universe came in at the last second to do everything himself. At least Zero Hour required a handful of heroes to stop Parallax. But here, all the heroes spent most of the time sitting around in a dark laboratory, throwing out suggestions that never went anywhere. And if this was supposed to be a sweet redemption tale about Hal Jordan, then why wasn't he even mentioned in the first three issues of this miniseries? All in all, I consider Final Night and underwhelming crossover event.

Next time, we get back to basics with Impulse #19.

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