I have had many kind words to say about this crossover from the very beginning, and most of that stayed true for a long time during this event. I enjoyed seeing Doomsday again, I thought the 'Infected' arc was particularly great and I liked that other heroes were involved throughout the course of this story, particularly those few that were left at the end. The issue I'm having here in the final stretch is that once the true threat was divulged (Braniac) the story shifted gears a bit too abruptly, and the exposure of Braniac's involvement with Doomsday became a bit too much of a weight on the story that had come before it.
Doomsday is probably the last great Superman villain created (thanks Dan Jurgens!), and for him to be brought back as a pawn (albeit by a great villain in his own right, Braniac) is a little off-putting. While the early arcs in Doomed focused on Doomsday quite effectively, the secondary nature of that plot thread in the final arc of this story was to quick of a shift change for my liking. It took what was a well-paced narrative and thrust it into overdrive at the end, effectively destroying the pacing that the team worked so hard to achieve and maintain over the previous two months.
Here at the end we find Superman in space facing off with Braniac, while Martian Manhunter, Supergirl, Batman, Lois Lane, Steel and Lana Lang are working other angles to help Supes from the Fortress of Solitude. Each of the heroes plays a pivotal role in helping Superman and battling the threat of Cyborg Superman when he arrives at the Fortress of Solitude, attacking the group while under Braniac's control, but the role of the other heroes is secondary, even that of Wonder Woman who is in the Phantom Zone forcing Mongul to direct Warworld to attack Braniac's mother ship in space.
The story is interwoven between what is happening on earth and what is going on between Superman and Braniac on the mother ship. The tricky part is that the story that takes place on the mother ship is also a mixture of reality and what is happening in Superman's head. Braniac delivers multiple different fantasy scenarios to Superman in an attempt to get him to stop fighting and let Braniac do as he pleases with Earth. These sequences are visually differentiated by using a team of 10 different artists throughout the book, and this actually works very well here, which isn't always the case when multiple artists work on a comic book. The issue here is that so much is crammed into this final issue, and there are so many fantasy scenarios in play that the main narrative becomes kind of lost here, especially since the focus from Doomsday to Braniac really only heavily shifted a couple of issues ago, after months of a story line that was seemingly moving in another direction.
The problems that exist in this issue aren't necessarily a result of poor storytelling or bad writing in this individual issue, but from a severe break in pacing and an overly-ambitious final issue. While the issue is oversized, it still isn't enough to allow for this much cramming in such a small space. I know the aftermath issue of Action Comics will expand on this story and help flesh out some of the plot points that need it, but it doesn't save this issue from being kind of a jarring read after such a solid two months of build up.
Overall, I've enjoyed the Doomed story line, but I was hoping for more here in the final issue of the event.