The cover changed, the figure Kori was holding that most assumed was Blackfire is replaced with one of her crew members. I wonder why she was there in the first place since no character like that appears in the book.
Anyway-- SPOILERS AHEAD!
Main Story "Stars Fading, But I Linger on, Dear--Still Craving your death!"
We open to Roy Harper topless and wounded from the injuries due to his interrogation. Yes, this is another time skip but this one works better than the other shorter ones in past issues. While it doesn't explain how Roy got captured this issue does mark the first time Jason isn't in the spotlight. Kori is still focused on as her new origin is shown (more on that in a bit) but Roy acts as storyteller which further fleshes out his character. He's still a bit down on himself (although he now has two friends listed instead of one.) Choosing to tell the Blight what happened after Koris' offer from last issue.
The little touches with the aliens not saying or understanding humans names made me smile. Isabel has calmed down and after talking with Orn about how scary space is. I liked how she compared it to her job as a flight attendant and how she knows she can handle this.
Kori works so well as a commander of a ship I'm shocked it hasn't been explored like this before. I did worry that the bond the trio was forming would get pushed to the side once Kori got back into her role as captain since the humans are the fish out of water. She doesn't forget them, Kori asks the boys for their advise. Not on strategy but on a moral ground. She feels conflicted over returning to Tamaran. (It’s nice to see that Jason isn’t the only one that gets to have advise given by teammates.)
I have to say I don't mind the change to her origin so far. Nothing is mentioned about her parents or younger brother. Since their parents are absent a lot has changed as Komand'r is not only the ruler at a young age but a parent to her sister. She has no reason to hate Kori like she used to because her birthright as ruler was never denied. This changes her into a loving sister that's forced to give up Kori for the good of their people. That’s why Kori has such a hard time talking about her days as a slave in #4, she was betrayed by someone she loved. Tamaran looks more fairytale like making me mourn the lost of Rocoforts' art all the more.
One thing that never seemed right to me was how Kori forgave her parents and went along with their wishes despite not agreeing with them. Even Blackfire had to work to get Kori upset in the old DCU. Here she wants to kill her sister for her betrayal, at least until she sees how much she was missed. But despite being welcomed home with open arms and hailed as a hero there's a rift there that can't be mended no matter how hard they tried. Kori took command of her ship but no word on how she got to Earth. She asks the guys if she's wrong for not wanting to save a planet that never tried to recuse her. Jason says she's not since he understands what she's going through. As mad as he is with Batman not attempting to avenge him at least Bats had the excuse of Jason being dead. I laughed at Roy stopping him mid-rant to say he has this one.
Roy is the heart of this group that's not afraid to be honest and show how much he cares. He says the right things knowing just who the others two are. At their heart Kori and Jason are good people, Roy knows this. He's reminds them of this in his own way, his speech could easily be given to Jason. I truly enjoy his growing relationship with Kori and friendship with Jason. The panel with him kneeing in front of Kori with his hand on her face (she holds the hand) and a smiling Jason resting his hand on Roys' shoulder is very sweet.
Isabel shows up making Jason want to explain himself. Now that she's calmed down Isabel decides not to blame him as their still strangers. She admits she wasn't honest about their date as it bored her, the person Jason was pretending to be didn't interest her. (I'm pretty sure the job she lists here isn't the one she mentioned last issue.) Roy said he told Jason to just be himself. This is the part that made me laugh so hard. Back with the Blight one of them gets frustrated with the story because it wasn't what he asked. He doesn't want to know about Roys' friends' and their personal lives. That’s such a great nod to all the standard storyteller tales going off in directions that have nothing to do with the start. Blackfire appears to inform him that Roy (Harp'r as she calls him) is stalling. Kori is too selfish to save him. Despite her threatening him Roy smiles hinting that Kori will be there soon enough.
Back Up "Still Raging--After All These Years."
I liked this better than last issue although I'm still not 100% clear on what's going on. The Hammer of Life is said to be something the All Caste made although it looks alien designed. This really doesn’t give a clear look at Essence, just hints and details that could be read meaning various things. Why did she kill her mother? If she can kill other Untitled why did she need to lure Jason out? What is the extent of her power? Essence does seem like she could be another anti-hero or even an anti-villain but she’s not developed enough to get a clear picture.