OK, this is a kickass cover. Flash has obviously been through a hell of a lot and he's not the kind of guy to just kill someone even if that someone is a douche like Psycho Pirate.
So, we know what's about to happen at some point in this issue. The fact that it starts off with Flash imprisoned in some kind of goo while Psycho Pirate stands below him and prattles on. Oh, this isn't gonna end well. Psycho Pirate is primarily concerned about the apparent death of the Anti-Monitor. Psycho Pirate has obviously read his share of comic books because he focuses on the word "apparent". He's scared to death and the irony hasn't escaped him.
Sure enough, Anti-Monitor shows up a couple of panels later and says, "Dude! What did you think? I was just gonna go away after a little thing like being disintegrated." He then puts on a shirt that says, "100% Badass" and he struts around the room. I'm paraphrasing a little.
Page 2 is all about Darkseid. He's used the awesome power of the planet Apokolips to hide the entire, freakin' world from the Anti-Monitor so he can strike from the shadows if necessary. Darkseid is one of my favorite villains and this is why. He's got godlike power but he knows when and where to use it most effectively.
One weird thing: Every word balloon of Darkseid's contains at least one misplaced set of quotation marks. Examples:
"I have diverted all our energy to "cloak" our presence."
"Remember that "lesson" Desaad."
Um, just Cloak and Lesson would have worked fine. What sort of euphemism is Darkseid using, here. Wait. No, I don't want to know. The number of weird quotes makes me wonder if Wolfman isn't making some sort of dig at Kirby, here. Anyone have an idea what gives?
Anyway, next up is a page devoted to The Guardians of the Universe. I love these guys. Even when they walk around bickering amongst themselves it's cool.
Following the Guardians in the One-Page-Per-Group Parade is the Legion of Super-Heroes, another of my favorites. This brings up a question though: How, exactly, is the Crisis affecting Earth-1 in the 30th Century as well as in the 20th? I know, I know: Multiversal shifts and powers beyond the ken of mortals, etc. etc. but it still freaks me out a little.
Speaking of Earth-1 in the 20th Century, we find Firestorm brooding atop a water tower as Firehawk searches for him. When she finds him she doesn't greet the news that Killer Frost is "hot" for him as a good thing. Firestorm smoothes that over by saying, "Hey, she was mind-controlled, Baby!". However he nearly blows it with his next comment. Safety tip: When you've just talked someone down from being jealous at you, informing her that you're "getting a message from The Vixen" is not the best course of action.
Cut to what's left of the Justice League Sattellite. Vixen has called Firestorm in along with a seriously weird collection of people including The Atom and T. O. Morrow to figure out what's wrong with the Red Tornado. Well, it turns out that the Red Tornado has been turned into a Red Thermonuclear Device by the Anti-Monitor and it blows the crap out of the JLA Sattelite. Everybody aboard escapes relatively unharmed although Blue Devil (I told you it was a weird bunch of people) ends up chasing Morrow who is whisked away by Brainiac. Blue Devil stumbles into another random space warp and falls into Omega Men #31. I suppose it could have been worse. He could have landed in X-Men #141.
Now the real action starts. Anti-Monitor in his new stylin' armor is overseeing the construction of an antimatter cannon that will destroy the remaining five universes. Oh, noes!
I have a bit of a problem with the opening sentence, however:
The Antimatter Universe stretches on for thirty-two zillion light years.
Yeah, that's not a real number, guys.
The gun is being assembled on Qward where the Flash is imprisoned and where Psycho Pirate is, well, not doing much at this point. Flash frees himself by slowly increasing his inner vibrations (badass!) and he leaps down and punches out everyone else in the room in three nanoseconds. He would have done it in one but he had to get lunch.
Psycho Pirate pees his pants and asks Flash not to kill him. Flash says, "OK". I guess we don't quite get the scene from the cover but it's close. Instead, Flash comes up with a wacko plan to mess up Anti-Monitor and his little cannon, too! He grabs Psycho Pirate and runs around the room at super speed so he can use his emotion-control powers to make the Thunderers of Qward really pissed off at Anti-Monitor. It works! They all zap A-M and Flash runs off to destroy the cannon. He does so by doing the thing he always does: Run fast as hell. Here's the aftermath:
Anti-Monitor would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling Earthlings!
The last two pages consist of the Challengers of the Unknown (recently used to great effect in The Brave and the Bold) picking up on something weird which turns out to be The Spectre screaming. When that dude screams, it's kinda hard to ignore.
This was a good issue without a lot of filler. This series really shines when it focuses on a single, big action per issue. Flash's destruction of the cannon was well done and, just like Supergirl's, his sacrifice had meaning.
Next Issue: Best. Cover. Ever.
Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7