DC’s follow-up to 52 continues with crossovers and angst.

I’m giving this another month or two.

Title: Countdown #47-44

Writers:Paul Dini with Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Tony Bedard, Adam Beechen.

Artists: Jesus Saiz, Jimmy Palmiotti, J. Calfiore, Mark McKenna, Carlos Magno, David Lopez, Tom Chu et al.

Special features by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund.

Premise:

  • Jimmy Olsen begins to test his seemingly random, newfound powers. He also experiences troubling dreams of the Source Wall, and witnesses the death of another New God.
  • Mary Batson gains Black Adam’s powers, and that most-innocent of DC’s super-females now has a dark outfit, a contrived attitude, and an additional cup size. In her new guise, she fights a demon made of human babies and then meets Captain Marvel, who has also taken on a new form. He has news about the still-missing Freddie Freeman.
  • The Amazons Attack!… But that’s being covered in a spin-off series of its own.
  • Holly (Catwoman’s friend and protégé) arrives in Metropolis and encounters a group of Amazons.
  • The Flash’s Rogues’ Gallery find things turning ugly.
  • The Justice League gathers and quarantines several time-warped Legionnaires.
  • The Monitors review the history of the multiverse while debating how best to keep the universes separated and unaware of each other. One faction of Monitors stalks those who do not belong in a particular universe, and have no qualms about killing. Those alternate-reality-trespassers singled out as the source of potential destruction are Donna Troy, Kyle Rayner, and Jason Todd—- who has some idea why they have become targets. One of the Monitors’ weapons is a super-powered alien “Forerunner,” but she breaks from them. A being named “Monarch” takes an interest in Forerunner and her powers. People in comics continue to bear names that are even more ridiculous than the ones used by people online.

High Point

Jimmy Olsen tests his powers in Suicide Slum. His attitude plays well here in a series that has been weak in its handling of character

Low Point

Mary Marvel might make an interesting “dark and gritty” character if (1) this angle hadn’t been played to death with other characters in the last twenty-five years and (2) she hadn’t been the only significant female in the DC pantheon with neither unrealistic proportions nor a stripper outfit. It feels cheap, though I suspect she’ll revert by the end of the series.

The Scores

Originality: 2/6. The universe has changed and this will have dire repercussions for the inhabitants of the DCU.

Artwork: 4/6. The artists have been uneven and at times, sloppy. Holly’s hair color and length changes for no apparent reason between #47 and #44, so that she suddenly looks like the Cassie Sandsmark Wonder Girl.

Story: 4/6 The Jimmy Olsen plot has potential, but the stories lack the momentum of 52‘s plots. The possibility also exists that Countdown as a series will suffer Death by a Thousand Crossovers.

Characterization: 3/6.

Emotional response: 3/6.

Flow 4/6.

Overall: 4/6.

In total, Countdown #47-44 receive a score of 24/42.