Writer: Greg Rucka
Pencils: Philip Tan
Inks: Jonathan Glapion
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The story opens to a narrator discussing God’s gift of free will. The scenes being shown are a city in flames, hypnotized workers in office cubicles, a group of people carrying clubs and walking in the streets. The absence of choice is the antithesis of life.
Now we find that the narrator is Radiant(who used to be called Clare Coeur). The mob is trying to get to Radiant and the Spectre. The Spectre yells that he cannot stop them. His power is having no effect. She is stunned to find that her power has no effect on the mob. Spectre says that this is God’s idea of a joke. She responds that God does not mock life.
The Question is being thrown into the front windshield of a car. Batwoman is the one who has thrown her. The Question asks Kate to stop. She picks the Question up by the throat and says that Darkseid is her will. The Question swings to hit her. Batwoman blocks her swing, twists the Question’s arm behind her back, and breaks her arm. All the while she demands that the Question submit.
The Spectre and Radiant appear. The Spectre blasts Batwoman. The Spectre wants to kill her. The Question asks him to stop. Batwoman is under the control of the Anti-Life. Spectre says that killing her would be showing mercy. Radiant responds that it would not be mercy while hope remains. They teleport away as the mob tries to get to them.
Vandal Savage, now burning with the mark of Cain and carrying the Spear of Destiny, is leading his followers as they quote from the book of Lilith. It is time to begin the celebration. Savage looks on as carnage reigns. Savage will get revenge on God.
Meanwhile, our heroes appear in a church. Spectre decides that God wants this to happen. Radiant can feel his pain. Radiant is carrying the Question. Renee(the Question) thinks that she really is hurt badly. She is struggling to breath. She takes her mask off. Spectre looks at her and can see that her ribs are shattered, her liver is lacerated, and she is bleeding into her chest cavity. Radiant glows and Renee is healed.
Renee asks if she just healed her. Radiant says no, God did it. Spectre does not understand why God did that when he is withholding his power. Radiant disagrees. She thinks that Spectre is denying his power. Spectre says that he has done everything that God has ordered. He killed his son on God’s orders.
Spectre changes back to Crispus Allen. He doesn’t understand why Renee was spared when his son was not. A crowd appears at the door trying to escape the Darkseid controlled mob. They let the crowd in.
Radiant looks out at the mob. She says Lord have mercy upon us. God’s gift to mankind was free will. The mob is chanting Darkseid is my will. Among the mob is villains from Arkham Asylum. Where there is no free will…is anti-life.
Crispus asks if the holy ground is what is protecting them. Renee says no. The mob is waiting for someone or something. Renee wants to go upstairs to see if he is coming. Crispus wants to know who is coming. She knows from the prophecies in the Crime Bible. That is why she was after the Spear of Destiny. She planned on stopping this from happening. She thinks the Order of the Stone have already used the Spear to raise Cain.
Crispus wants to know if it is the Cain of “and Abel”. Renee says that is who the mob is waiting for. Cain has the Spear and is coming here. Radiant says he needs it to kill the Spectre. The Spectre was the one who marked Cain for God. Cain cannot get revenge directly on God so he will kill the Spectre instead.
Radiant thinks to herself that faith is certainty without reason or proof. Crispus Allen’s faith has been broken. She is looking at 3 men when Crispus asks if she is just content to pray. She asks if Crispus feels God pointing him at the men. He answers no. She was hoping he was led to punish them. They are the ones who murdered her.
Radiant starts glowing and orders the men to look at her. For one brief moment, she understands the Spectre. They ask for forgiveness. Radiant does not know how she can forgive them. Renee interrupts. He is coming.
The mob falls silent. They hear a sound like a shepherd’s crook striking a stone. It is growing louder and angrier. When Cain speaks, his voice is all things foul and unnatural. He yells “hate everything. God most of all.” He wants the Spectre to come out. Cain wants to mark him. The old gods’ world will finally die.
The Spectre appears and takes him by the throat. He pulls back his fist to strike Cain. Cain pokes him in the eye. He says that he created murder. Spectre is on the ground. Cain raises the Spear above his head. Renee screams no. The issue ends with Cain impaling the Spectre with the Spear.
The Good: The first time I read this issue, I didn’t think it was as good as the earlier chapters. Upon a second reading, I see the contribution this issue made to the overall storyline.
The first two issues showed Renee and Crispus reaching a crisis of faith. The strongest person going into this issue was Radiant. Now in the issue Rucka does a great job of showing how in trying times, even people(or in this case, a spirit) can experience doubts.
Radiant grew as a character in this story. Her understanding of what the Spectre feels is driven home when she sees the men who murdered her. And she can’t forgive them. Radiant is the embodiment of mercy. For her to not forgive someone is bad for the DC universe. Even though Darkseid does not appear in the book, his guiding hand can be seen behind the scenes here.
Rucka knows how to slowly build the tension without unnecesarily padding a story. The tension continues to build up from the first page to the last. The Spectre is in very dire straits by the end of the story.
DC should keep Philip Tan and Jonathan Glapion together on future projects. The amount of variety in background character design is rarely seen. They nail everything they are asked to draw. It does not matter if Rucka calls for special effect laden fights showcasing god like powers or street level people trying to find a way to survive. I hope that we seen future comics produced by Rucka/Tan/Glapion.
The Bad: We have to wait another month for the next part of the story. The other bad thing is we are down to the last two parts of this series.
Overall: The bar keeps getting raised with this series. This is the way a companion story should be done. It is connected to the main series but has it’s own storyline. I can not wait to see where this story goes in the final 2 parts.
1 thought on “Final Crisis: Revelations #3 Review”
I’m surprised that this book is being so upfront about presenting Jehovah/God as existing in, or over, the DCU. Will it be important that Renee seemed to hedge that bet a little? It is even stranger that they appear to present God as being conquerable by this “war in Heaven” that evil won. Losing, or having His power blocked in some way, would make Him not really be God after all, wouldn’t it?
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