If there's one saving grace that this issue has, it's that it's the final signpost that things are going to get better very soon. Although that doesn't make it a good comic in itself.
When this was first published I actually felt a lot more positive about this issue, but again that's mostly because it was promising a change, and hinting that the series was actually going to be working towards something much more interesting and maybe conclusive. Which is as exactly as damning of the ongoing itself as it sounds to be, but I don't think anyone's going to argue against that.
In retrospect, of course, the departure of Prime's team from Earth is as exactly as damning of Costa's run as it should be. What about all of his ongoing plots? What about Skywatch? What about the political fallout of their exploits in "China"? What about "China"? And why should we even care, if the series itself can't bring itself to care. This may have been a result of editorial decisions, but it really highlights the fact that there was never an end goal planned for this series, and that it was never meant to actually about anything. We'd obviously had plenty of hints already, but to have that confirmed at this point is definitely something. And not a good thing, since the cancellation of Furman's -Ations plans, whilst a while away by now, is still certainly not forgotten.
And as I say, the issue itself is not great. It doesn't actually do anything in and of itself, except to set up upcoming stories. Which, coming on the heals of Heart of Darkness #4, which also existed only for those reasons, is particularly disappointing.
The cod portentousness of the narration also does exactly the opposite of what Costa himself presumably intended - instead of making the events here feel meaningful and weighty, it does the exact opposite - giving the (correct) impression that the writer had no idea how to actually impart weight and meaning into his stories.
In all, not a great issue. The only good thing about it is the promise that it's all going to be over soon. Which... is not what you should be aiming for when you're writing a story.
Stuart Webb. Who knows everything about nothing and not a lot about that.
Action Force/G.I. Joe