Towards the end of this final issue of “DV8: Gods and Monsters,” Gem asks, “What was the point of all of this?” It’s a legitimate question, and one that I’m not 100% sure we will get the answer to.
As the DV8 team concludes their stay on a distant planet, one that they learned last month had a planet-killer meteor heading towards it, we learn how the team try to find a way to save the primitive inhabitants, and which member of the team doesn’t make it out alive. And finally, although by now I suspect most readers have guessed at least part of it, we learn exactly who put the DV8 team on the planet and for what reason.
It’s a strange conclusion, in part because it feels like it’s a set-up for more “DV8” mini-series or even an ongoing series. In many ways, it’s all leading up to a moment that quite possibly we’ll never see, with the Wildstorm imprint being shut down at the end of the year. And that’s a shame, because Wood’s depiction of the “DV8” kids has been entertaining, even as it’s come to a grinding halt.
Because it feels so much like a set-up for what we’ll probably never see, though, the ending comes across on a slightly sour note. I suspect a lot of readers will get there and say, “That’s it?” I can’t blame them, especially since so much of the final issue avoids any real sort of climax, already moving into the epilogue portion of the story. As part of the greater whole, it fits and closes off a lot of what we’ve already seen from Wood. But as the conclusion to a mini-series, it does feel slightly flat in places.
Rebekah Isaacs definitely sells her part of the comic, though. As the meteor gets close and the sky suddenly fills with dark-feathered birds, it’s a moment that is both beautiful and eerie in its execution. As Threshold stares up in awe, there’s so much danger and foreboding in those three panels that it’ll probably take your breath away, too. Isaacs also brings a somber tone to the death of the member of the team, even as it’s a quiet, subdued moment. Having been all but point-blank told last issue whose death it would be, it’s an interesting choice; Wood has Gem note that in many way this character wasn’t as much of a member of the team as the others, but perhaps more importantly it was that character’s actions on the planet that proved that they didn’t belong. In a book populated with selfish characters, the one exception to the rule is ultimately the expendable one, and also the one whose departure stands the most to teach a lesson to the others.
“DV8: Gods and Monsters” began with a bang, but it ends with a muffled, muted moment. It’s a shame we probably won’t see a direct follow-up to this story, because as an introduction to something more Wood and Isaacs sold me on the idea of reading “DV8” comics. On its own, in a vacuum, though? It’s a comic that doesn’t quite hit its conclusion as perfectly as the lead-up promised.