The stage has been set very nicely for Odyssey‘s climax in Last Stand. Darkseid’s plans are well underway, but a revitalised Jessica Cruz gathered some formidable allies during Final Frontier. That ended with the introduction of Epoch, who wants to revise time, which seems like a good idea to anyone opposed to Darkseid, but the downside is that he’s completely addled, so can he actually live up to his intentions?

Well, with seven chapters at his disposal, Dan Abnett ensures it becomes worse before any improved circumstances. Jessica continues to act as human conscience among dispassionate beings able to ignore the occasional loss of life in service of a bigger picture, but her improved confident personality is a strength, and she stars in a neat interlude chapter. Abnett’s Darkseid is much as his and Andy Lanning’s Thanos was, a force of nature forever scheming and considering himself above the concerns of others. After all these years and so many Darkseid stories it’s pleasing to read one that differs slightly for him operating in relative anonymity with only obscure heroes there to deal with him.

The art is pretty well split between Will Conrad (sample left) and Cliff Richards (sample right), both solid storytellers who bring out the thrills, the action and the character moments. That’s not saying much about a few months effort on the part of each, but too many would-be epics are scuppered by too many artistic hands, yet here Conrad and Richards mesh well, and deliver.

A desperate situation is escalated by the final chapter, by which time only Orion’s allegiances remain beyond question. Abnett supplies a clever dual ending in which characters both die heroically, yet survive, and the only disappointment is the actual final page is just a lead-in to another crossover. Just don’t bother with it.

Odyssey survived a very shaky start to become a consistently surprising slab of space opera, and Last Stand is an ending that serves it well.