Finished the reading a few days back.
The main Starfire arc has an interesting hook, though I feel like the idea of making Roy tell most of it through flashbacks got a little grating at times.
At first the addition of the Blight was a really cool addition – for those who don’t know, they were a race from the Abnett/Lanning run of Legion of Superheroes – but I feel like Lobdell kind of Flanderized them again and they end up feeling generic. It has been a while since i read those stories, though, so they could be clouded by time and a little nostalgia.
I did like the twist they did with Blackfire – while she was a fun baddie as she was back in the NTT days, she was kind of a basic one, and didn’t have a lot of leg to her. So seeing a more nuanced take on her was far more interesting – plus they provided a way for Blackfire to become an antagonist via the whole “Thirteen” stuff, though more of a “I have to do something bad for the betterment of others” sort, which I think tends to be more interesting. YMMV.
By the way – what was even the point of the Essence story? Other than bloating out what was already a kind of stretched story.
The issue #0 story was possibly the highlight of the reading, up to a certain point. Exploring Jason’s horrible family life was very compelling, though what Joker says and implies at the end…I’m not sure how I feel about that. Well, other than most likely no one will bring it up again, perhaps not even Lobdell himself.
The issue with Superman was also pretty good. Jason’s initial unease was interesting (also liked the semi-reference to the famous “For the Man Who Has Everything” story they were both part of), though in the end it leads up to a plot point involving the Daemonites that went almost absolutely nowhere.