Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Philip Tan, Jeff de los Santos and Jonathan Glapion
This issue took the train off the tracks for me. It just has far too many references to obscure stories I didn't read. I feel like I'm missing half the story here and I don't like that. There's referencing past stories, which is a nice addition, and then there's overly relying on past stories to the point of alienating new readers. I'm falling into that latter category on this one.
What is it I'm talking about? Well, just about everything with the Question is news to me, including her being the leader of some cult, a cult I have no clue about, talk of prophecies (Crime Bible maybe?) and most of her relationship with the Spectre's host, Crispus Allen.
For instance, I have no clue what's going on with this Spear of Destiny, the cult, why the Question is after them, where they came from, what they're after or who any of them are nor why I should care about them in the slightest. Are they new to this story? I ask because I've never heard of them, but I'm being treated like I should know all about them and feel like I'm out of the loop for not.
On the Spectre side of things, I still have no clue why he wants to kill Montoya. God, obviously, doesn't want him to kill her, as the Spirit of Mercy (who?) shows up and stops him from going through with it and Crispus doesn't want to kill Montoya, who he knew in his former life and made it known as such, and the only reason she's going to be killed is because she's the leader of some cult, which she's been fighting for a while and doesn't want any part of. So, I ask, what the hell is going on here? Why was he trying to kill her again? And is the Spirit of Mercy new? Should I know her?
Finally, the issue ties into Final Crisis by having the Anti-Life Equation induced people trying to assimilate Montoya, Spectre unable to do anything against them (protected the same as Libra according to Mercy), Vandall Savage being pierced by the Spear of Destiny and turning into Cain (yeahbuwha-?) and Montoya being teleported to where Batwoman was, who now has fangs and is controlled by the Anti-Life Equation.
Verdict - Avoid It. I'm tempted to say Check It, as this might make some sense to people that have read several obscure mini-series, but as one of the few tie-ins to a major event at DC and at a higher cover price than normal, this issue just does not cut it for me. There is some promise here, but I'm not sure if I want to stick it out to see it through to the end. The art, however, was excellent. Best part of the issue, by far.