The colorfully explosive final chapter of DC: Mech brings the story to a close. With all five mechs upgraded, the Justice Squadron heads out to destroy Darkseid and the Anti-Life Engine once and for all! Or at least just indulge in some giant robot battles. What did you expect?
Much of the actual plot comes down to technical maneuvers. Shiera Hall and her team join the Squadron as they split up to shut down the fleet. For the first time in the series, the team works as smooth as possible. Now that every member of the team has someone to mourn, they bond over their sufficient motivation to fight evil. In particular, Batman and Superman back each other up as they try to upload a virus into the Engine’s shields. That virus ending up being an excuse to include a Bat-Mite Easter egg. Unobstructed, the squad looks pretty cool zipping around blasting enemies, at least until the massive Bizarro attacks them in his confusion.
The strongest element of the series thus far has been it’s style. This issue immediately begins with a Power Rangers action scene. It is easy to imagine Ron Wasserman’s iconic Power Ranger’s theme from the 90’s blaring as they charge in. The only thing missing now is a mech combining sequence. Speaking of mechs, Rivas upholds his theme of introducing new designs. Now Darkseid himself transforms the Anti-Life Engine into a “Conqueror’s Mode,” which is basically a Unicron/Cybertron style robot. Rivas elongates and exaggerates a lot of the characters and effects to give the battles an animated feel. Much of which Tom Napolitano’s enigmatic onomatopoeias and lettering supports. Subsequently, Bizarro’s big heart to heart embraces the anime trope of metaphorically standing in “watery heaven” to connect with someone.
The weakest link in the finale are the antagonists. Throughout the series, we have seen many mechs and generals loyal to Darkseid. Unfortunately, few of them actually come into action outside of Kalibak. For all intents and purposes, Darkseid is strangely all by himself. Darkseid only exists to menace and monologue to the heroes and not much else. Also despite the intimidating Conqueror mech, they easily defeat it with Star Wars logic. After Luthor’s failure, he flees without much resolution for his actions either. However, it is disturbing to see that the Government was overlooking how evil he was for their advantage the entire time. It shows that there are more systemic issues to address when the aliens leave.
As Kenny Porter brought the series to a close, I have a few remaining thoughts. Firstly, I think the xenophobia angle teased in the storyline felt like a superficial side plot. Although it doesn’t have a meaningful resolution, it was worth addressing. Secondly, Darkseid makes unnecessary implications about Kal-El’s parents as being traitors. As far as the flashbacks have shown, they were a key force uniting planets against Darkseid. Furthermore, Darkseid’s plan seemed conveniently paced to the heroes advantage, despite the darker Attack On Titan style ambush that started the series. Without Bizarro’s interference or the shield plot, there isn’t enough resistance in the final act. Also, it wasn’t a big deal, but Diana using a digital lasso on Bizarro made me raise an eyebrow. Is it a recreation of her magic lasso, or is her magic lasso digital as well?
- The words, “Darkseid pilots a Megazord” grabs your attention.
- You have been reading DC: Mech and wish to finish.
- You would love seeing anime/manga inspired DC Universe media.
The series is not deep or complex, but sometimes that’s okay. It is so confident in it’s brevity and simplicity that all you need to do is sit back and enjoy it. It is an inoffensive read with fun and imaginative panels. I think readers looking for darker and challenging material may not like Kenny Porter’s light touch with this. It ranks closer to episodes of Megas XLR than something along the lines of Gundam. However, for readers into Shonen anime and manga, this may still scratch a pleasant itch. They certainly left enough room to revisit one day if the response is good enough.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.