I think the most remarkable thing about this week's Final Crisis #5 is that it will thrill fans of the series like no issue before it, and yet it will do nothing to silence the naysayers.
By far, this is the best issue Morrison has produced yet, with progress on several different fronts, like Hal Jordan's trial, Nix Uotoan's exile, Mister Miracle's plan and, oh yeah, Darkseid's rebirth, all of which is being stated in a much clearer manner than Morrison has employed in the past (a product of the delays and possible editorial influence?). And with all those story points, Morrison still managed to fit a good deal of action into the pages, just as much if not more than any issue yet.
The best part is — and it's the answer to the prayers of many of us readers — despite the fact that Morrison is a little more transparent than in the past, he still was able to hold his cards close to the vest when it comes to major story beats. Sure, we may have had a few New-Gods-in-humans identities hit us square in the face this issue, but we still don't know what Mister Miracle's plan is and we even don't really know what is next in Darkseid's plan.
By the way, 17! You'll get it when you read it.
The problem, though, and this is the reason why this issue will not change readers' opinions of the series too much, is this felt a lot more like a fourth issue of seven or maybe even a third issue of seven. It still took Morrison entirely too long to reach this point, and it still feels like there is no way he will be able to adequately pull all his strings together in just the two issues he has left. (and all those delays certainly turned a good deal of readers off, I am sure).
In fact, I spent the entire morning re-reading ALL of the "Final Crisis" books and the tie-in series, just because I had felt like I forgot so much in the interim of the delays. And the fact is, it did read MUCH MUCH better as a complete work... or at least half of a complete work. I think part of the reason for that is "Countdown" is very far away in the rear view mirror. But, that doesn't really matter because if I wasn't such a hardcore DC fan, I'm pretty sure I would have dropped this series pretty quickly, or at least wouldn't have come back after this long break.
Anyway, I do encourage any of you naysayers to give Final Crisis #5 a look, since it was as strong as we all hoped each issue would be. I just fear this is too little, too late.