It’s the epic conclusion to Action Lab’s daring attempt to create a comic book universe featuring various independent comic book characters. Actionverse #1: The End of all Things, written by Vito Delsante, provides a satisfying conclusion to the six part comic series yet to a degree is also somewhat unsatisfying.
Continuing where the last issue left off, the group enters a final battle with Cascade. Molly Danger and Virtue take on Cascade head on while Stray, Midnight Tiger, and Austin attempt to shut down his machine. The battle between Molly Danger, Virtue, and Cascade begins to look grim until Jake Roth enters with the help of Medula. It’s a final showdown between Jake and Cascade as the entire planet dies around them.
This final issue may leave some readers torn. On one hand, Actionverse #1: The End of all Things follows the example of the previous issues, giving enough panel time and balanced character development for all the heroes. There’s a good balance between serious moments as well as comedic banter between characters. The pacing is fine as always and even the ending is bittersweet, which is a pleasant surprise.
However, despite all of this, the ending lacks the pizazz that we’ve seen in previous issues. Since this is the final issue of this story arc, the fact that it is lacking the vigor of previous issues is kind of a let down. While it’s good every character has a clear role to play in this final battle, by splitting the group up where half take on Cascade and half take on the machine, Cascade doesn’t feel nearly as threatening as he looks. Even though Cascade manages to defeat Molly and Virtue rather quickly, the victory doesn’t feel earned.
Similarly, the destruction of the machine doesn’t feel earned either. Largely because it feels as though it was just a way to get Stray, Midnight Tiger, and Austin away from the main fight. While it makes sense for Austin to try to take down the machine, Midnight Tiger and Stray should have been part of the battle against Cascade. Then again, perhaps this feeling is due to the fact that Midnight Tiger and Stray are my personal favorites, so I want to see them be part of the main battle. Even if they face a similar fate to Molly Danger and Virtue.
Granted, some of these issues could be do the art style chosen for the final issue. While Steve Walker‘s art is great quality, it doesn’t match the last two issues’ darker tones and harsh shadows, instead giving us very bright colors. And, again, since this is the final issue and the final showdown, it feels as though it should be darker to match the last two issues’ styles.
Without giving too much away, the very end of the comic delivers. It feels satisfying and, as mentioned before, is bittersweet. Not every character is necessarily safe by the end of the issue. Although it isn’t specific, Actionverse #1: The End of all Things does leave the doors open for an endless possibility of future stories. And while the last issue may be a bit more on the unsatisfying side, this series as a whole is well done for a first run. It’s entertaining, it balances its characters nicely, the setup is great, the characters are entertaining, and so on. I certainly hope Actionverse gets another shot of a longer story arc because there is definitely plenty of potential.
You can purchase your copy of Actionverse #1: The End of all Things through Atomic Empire’s website. Get your copy today! Once you’ve read your copy, let us know what you thought of it on Twitter or in the comments section below!