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The strongest episode of the season had two big things going for it. It was the most plot-dense episode of the season, and it was a loving homage to 40 years of New Gods lore that is a blast to see on screen.

“Beyond the Grip of the Gods” has three main plot strands. The most revelatory is the start of the payoff to Conner’s ghost journey. We’ve long suspected Phantom Girl phased him into whatever dimension she shifts to when she becomes intangible, but it didn’t become clear that dimension was the Phantom Zone until Weisman lampshaded the season title in the interview. Here it becomes explicit: Conner meets a stranger who tells him his hallucinations are Phantom Sickness and helps him get past it. 

The most sinister plot thread comes on Apokalips. Ma’alef’ak is rooting out peasants with disloyal tendencies and generally humiliating himself, when Darkseid calls him in for a special mission. This story twists around Conner’s as we find out the name of the person leading Darkseid’s mission: Lor Zod. Son of General Zod. Who just found Conner in the Phantom Zone.

And while the plot movement is a pretty big deal, the real joy of the episode happens on New Genesis. Rocket, Jay Garrick (on his first League mission) and Forager head to Supertown to get Highfather to sign a treaty with the League to help their battle with The Light. And from the second they make video contact with Orion on New Genesis, this story turns into a love letter for all things New God.

Supertown, capital city of New Genesis and home to the New Gods, looks amazing. It’s not a platform topped with some vaguely Kirby-esque buildings; it’s a Mobius strip city, twisting around on itself.

New Genesis’ premier himbo, Lightray, gets more dialogue and action here than he has anywhere but the comics, and while it’s not quite enough to verify his himbo credentials, he’s certainly close. Antinoos and Celestia, two throwaway characters from high points in the New Gods’ history (Antinoos from Walter Simonson’s slept on Orion and Celestia from a Lightray flashback in Jack Kirby’s New Gods #6) pop up in a warehouse together.

Source: Den of Geek

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