Writer: Greg Rucka
Artists: Jesus Saiz, Cliff Richards, and Bob Wiacek
Publisher: DC Comics
The Checkmate organization is back to halt the OMAC threat it helped to create. Though with only a few royal pieces remaining and the rest of the board in tatters, the vast governmental conspiracy is less a checkmate than a scattering of pieces buggering about with the pawns. The OMACs are looking to rid the Earth of metahumans, and with one point three million of them the odds seem to be in their favor. Luckily, Batman’s on call with his own Rolodex of expendable heroes. Putting the call in to his favorite ex-teammate, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, the Caped Crusader sends Hal and fellow Lantern John Stewart to gather every superhuman they can find to bait the OMACs. It will take a coordinated effort on two fronts to bring victory to the good guys, but sentient space satellite Brother Eye isn’t going down without a fight.
The final issue of The OMAC Project sets up a few events that will be important during Infinite Crisis and following, such as the reorganization of Checkmate and the assemblage of certain teams. It also serves to kill off the Supermen of America, which, while not strictly necessary, cannot be counted as a bad thing. What the issue lacked, however, was the tension and suspense the series held before the death of Max Lord. The Sasha Bordeaux storyline is too technical to engage. The concepts behind one cybernetic entity infecting another are not difficult to follow, but there is simply nothing visceral for the reader to get excited about. Batman’s story, by contrast, contains plenty of action but is without consequence. As far as the reader can tell, the heroes come away from their last stand against the OMACs without any casualties at all. Since the OMACs assessed Batman’s trap as having a “00.01%” probability of success, one would think they could at least take down Wildebeest before packing it in for the day.
What saves this issue, though, is the last page. It pulls off a complete surprise but is at the same time the only way this miniseries could end. With such an important scene, though, it is curious that the art chores should fall on fill-in artists Cliff Richards and Bob Wiacek rather than series regular Jesus Saiz. With Infinite Crisis fast approaching, it is understandable that DC would take measures to maintain their publishing deadlines, but it seems that this scene should have taken precedence over some that remained in Mr. Saiz’s control. As things stand, there is something to be desired in the execution of the conclusion, though the power of the scene itself is not diminished.
Much like Day of Vengeance, The OMAC Project ends on a question rather than an answer. This has the effect of heightening excitement for Infinite Crisis (being, as it will, the “next issue”), but there is something less than satisfying about a miniseries ending without its own distinct conclusion. OMAC does better than Vengeance did: here each side wins a battle and old allies are reunited, whereas in DoV, not much of anything was resolved. As these miniseries were always meant to lead up to Infinite Crisis, all might be forgiven if that series is the incredible epic it’s shaping up to be. But if the central event does not have some serious, definite, concrete endings, even the most enthusiastic fans may throw their hands up in frustration.
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