Written by Greg Rucka and Eric Trautmann
Art by Ryan Sook
My biggest problem with this issue is that it shows just how far Checkmate has fallen since Rucka left the title. Otherwise, this is a great issue that I highly recommend to anyone following Final Crisis.
That is, however, assuming the OMAC army Mr Terrific just created and was leading out of his Antarctic Watch Tower. Because, if this is completely ignored in the next issue of Final Crisis, I will probably bash my head on the keyboard for that review and hope something intelligent comes out.
I don't think I'm being too harsh in this criticism either. Every tie-in issue so far has had little to nothing to do with Final Crisis. All save the most recent Submit tie-in and I hope this issue follows suit in that regard.
The premise of the issue is that Snapper Carr has been teleporting in and out of the Antarctic Checkmate base to deliver news and information to other members of the resistence. This all goes to hell when Darkseid's forces attack the base, effectively trapping Mr Terrific and his fellow Checkmate members.
Meanwhile, Snapper runs into Cheetah, whom he saves and, later, meets up with for some furry sex, which leads to Gorilla Grodd walking in on them with some new Justifier armour for the two of them. Snapper manages to teleport both of them back to the Antarctic base, but, and this is news to me, picks up an anti-super powers virus, which has been floating around since Darkseid took over. This robs him of his powers, thus cutting off all outside contact or the few remaining survivors at the southpole.
This is one of the few issues I had with this one-shot - the lack of communication / cohesion with the main Final Crisis tie-in. Here, there's a mysterious power removing super virus that requires people to wear gasmasks to prevent contamination. This is seen nowhere else (yet) and they all run out of the base at the end without the masks. Cheetah explained it earlier as her having mystical powers, but Mr Terrific should be at risk, shouldn't he?
Also, the Justifiers in this issue, Ice, Fire and several others, do not wear the Justifier helmets. Isn't that required for the Anti-Life to spread? Well, that or some form of electronic equipment, like television or internet? Ice simply walks up to Fire and Mr Terrific's Knight, spouts some Anti-Life justifies babble and we cut to the inside of the base, where the three are now killing everyone in the name of Darkseid. How did they get infected by Ice? Where's the helmets? Grodd wears one later and has them for use on Snapper and Cheetah, so they must still be required fashion statements.
It may seem like a minor thing to spend a couple paragraphs on, but it just annoyed me for some reason. It's similar to the way the Skrulls are portrayed so differently in the SI: X-Men special and other tie-ins. With so many SI tie-ins, it's easy to gloss over, but FC's relatively few tie-ins only accentuate the mistake.
In the end, Mr Terrific's solution to their problems comes in the form of OMACs. There are thousands of normal humans running around with dormant OMAC tech embedded in their systems. They decide to wake them up (sure, that's not gonna come back to bite them in the ass later or anything!) and use them as their army against Darkseid in what I can only assume will be the main form of resistence in the next few issues of Final Crisis.
Verdict - Must Read. Solid read with a few minor quibbles on my part. Nothing worth skipping or even docking this issue over, so feel free to grab another excellent Final Crisis tie-in. Bonus: this issue actually ties into Final Crisis!