I am so glad Dan Abnett took over the writing of this series. I had all but given up on it when he took the helm, and as the introductory story arc approaches its climax, Abnett and Will Conrad deliver a chapter that explains everything going on quite clearly, and even reaches back into some of the puzzling elements from the first few issues, making that pay off as well.
Darkseid lays out his plans for Sepulkore, creating a realm that will be outside of the universe, which is about to undergo some reality changing events. Sepulkore will ensure the safe survival of everyone within it, but as only Darkseid can process the vast energies, this will also re-power him, making him a deadly threat to the new universe to come.
Darkseid is quite open and aboveboard about all of this, which is sort of disarmingly bizarre. Azrael, Starfire, Green Lantern, and Cyborg know they cannot trust him, and he knows that they will betray him and try to defeat him as soon as they safely can.
The open acknowledgment of all these plots and counter plots means that the quandary from the previous issue, the fear that one or more of the heroes may switch sides to help Darkseid, becomes all the more critical.
I am happy to say the thread of a team member betraying the other does get resolved in this issue. It doesn’t happen in the way I was expecting, which is also a definite plus.
So from being about to give up on this book entirely, I find myself once again fully engaged, and eager to see what will happen next. And geez, the book hasn’t even been around one full year yet. That’s quite the ride!