Jan
6

Downcounting: A Guide for the Perplexed: OMNIBUS EDITION! (Part 3)

Posted by on Sunday, January 6th, 2008 at 10:16:39 PM

Jeez o Pete, just call me a Writer from Television and Film Writing a Funnybook, because I have been LATE. Work was hellish for a couple of months, and I prompted came down with some sort of ebola/OMAC virus the moment I had time off for the holidays. But that’s no excuse! Every day that I don’t post Downcounting is another day someone might be tempted to pick up the book for themselves. Thankfully, it seems like the message is coming through — no one seems to be bothering with the plethora of Countdown tie-ins — and that’s good! I’ll be doing a big summary of all those many books shortly, but trust me: you’re missing very little.

This post is going to wrap up our DC Omnibus recap of Countdown issues 27-22, and I’ve got issue-by-issue recaps of 21-18 in the pipeline for the next few days. After that, I hope to be able to adhere to my New Year’s Resolution: “Downcounting: Not Quite So Late in ’08”

Issues 27-22 featured…

10 Pages of Jimmy Olsen Needing to Die: After being dramatically abducted by Forager II a couple of issues ago, Jimmy finds out from her that there is a NEW GOD KILLER on the loose – and agrees to Boom Tube to Apokalips with her to stop this killer! Forager’s plan was apparently to just charge on the assembled hordes of Apokalips, which is predictably useless and thankfully left off-panel, though we do see Jimmy Olsen getting stripped naked in the melee as power blasts destroy his clothes. Luckily his powers not only protect his life, but his propriety, and by the next issue he’s dressed in the same green checkered shirt ensemble he was wearing previously.

Jimmy apparently mills around waiting to throw corpses on the pyre for a couple of issues and gets whipped and tortured because Darkseid wants to keep him alive. Then Mister Miracle shows up, in an appearance both utterly useless and at complete odds with the characterization, timeline and costuming he has in Death of the New Gods! Jimmy decides to lie in order to clumsily work his “new powers” into the conversation:

Countdown #27… Jimmy has to be told

Countdown #22… YOU AIN’T GOT TO LIE, JIMMY

Perhaps sensing that Jimmy is lying, Mister Miracle throws him into a firepit, to ‘test his powers’ and runs off. I wonder if Jimmy will survive, I hear he has some strange new powers that activat- hey wait didn’t we resolve this about six months ago?

12 Pages of Mary Marvel being CORRUPTED: Speaking of all roads leading to Darkseid, in this sextet of issues, Eclipso finally reveals her master plan! Issue 27 features a fight between Mary Marvel and the Shadowpact, because Mary is convinced they want to steal all her power. No one in the Shadowpact is named other than Enchantress, and none of their powers or characters are developed either, they just sort of throw energy bolts back and forth for a few pages before Mary and Eclipso teleport away. I suppose it’s just as well that no one involved with Countdown made it clear that the Shadowpact have their own ongoing series; I mean, it could really use a sales boost, but the book itself also failed to give a new reader any reason whatsoever to care about a bunch of ciphers who got beat up.

Come on… buy Countdown… how can that be evil?After that, Eclipso takes Mary to Apokalips, where she offers her up as a concubine to Darkseid. Our Poor Corrupted Youth Heroine actually seems to consider his offer to “know True Darkness” (the sleaziest pick-up line in recent memory), until she realizes that Darkseid is “using human beings like toys” in his plot against Karate Kid. She cannot cotton to such acts, because when she cavalierly destroyed people’s villages and turned their livestock into fish, transformed security guards into stone and then watched as their heads got knocked off, transformed loggers into trees and let them get cut down and all the other crazy cartoonishly evil shit she’s done thus far in Countdown, she wasn’t treating humans like toys AT ALL. Darkseid tries to Omega Beam Mary for her impudence, but she shrugs them off and zaps Darkseid, staggering him. I mean, sure. Why not? He’s just Darkseid, and it’s not like he’s the main bad guy for the whole series and—wait, I’m being told he IS the main bad guy for the whole series. Awesome.

Mary storms off, and Eclipso tries to explain that she wasn’t selling Mary out, the whole “concubine” thing was a clever ruse, she is helping Mary lull Darkseid into a false sense of security, so then she can murder Darkseid and take over as Dread Ruler of Apokalips! How is that evil? Amazingly, this line of reasoning seems to work on Mary, but then some of the Monarch’s army blows up the asteroid Mary Marvel is standing on for “target practice” (this is what we call synergy!) and the force of this explosion knocks Mary for a loop! I mean sure, Omega Beams, whatever. But a laser blast from a spaceship? DEADLY. Eclipso explains that she saved Mary’s life by teleporting her away from the explosion, even though they’re sitting in the exploded wreckage and Mary got knocked out somehow… unfortunately the KO also knocked out Mary’s memory of being convinced of the wisdom of the “Darkseid’s Concubine” plan, as she instantly leaps to attack Eclipso for selling her out. Eclipso warns Mary about crossing her, but it’s kind of a dumb warning as Mary effortlessly knocks her out and steals the Black Diamond. Traditionally, the entire MO of Eclipso has been that he goads people into fits of great anger and rage, and then when they come in contact with a black diamond, this allows him to take over their bodies. Apparently this is no longer the case, as Mary just grabs the diamond and makes a corny joke! CLIFFHANGER!

Sexist Apokaliptian Hiring Practices Keep Emmett Kelly out of Countdown!3 pages of Holly & Harley in Amazonian Bumfights: Yeah, for six issues we get a single vignette the Amazonian Bumfight Training Ground. Amazingly, we get some of the first dialogue from other members of the group. Turns out they all had rough lives growing up, but are excited to finally belong somewhere that makes them train relentlessly and get attacked by dogs and stuff. Amazingly, as of Countdown #22, it hasn’t been acknowledged that the whole endeavor is an evil plot by Granny Goodness masquerading as Athena to train new Female Furies. No, they decided to save that big reveal for the last page of Amazons Attack several months ago.

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