This will be for me the final Countdown. I lost interest some issues ago, and cannot recommend this to anyone but DC completists.

Title: Countdown #35-32

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

Artists: J. Calfiore, Keith Giffen, Jay Leisten, Jimmy Palmiotti et al.

Premise:

  • The Justice League can find no evidence of Jimmy Olsen’s newfound superpowers, but Steel and Project Cadmus both express interest in “Mr. Action.”
  • The Piper and Trickster continue their picaresque adventures. They eventually stumble onto a noble quest: warning the heroes of a danger that threatens the forthcoming wedding of Green Arrow and Black Canary.
  • Those displaced heroes seeking Ray Palmer find themselves in Earth 30, a variation of DC’s old Earth 3.
  • Holly inches closer to learning the truth behind the renegade Amazons.
  • Mary Marvel’s continued slide into darkness and bad wardrobe leads her to Eclipso.
  • Karate Kid’s situation is being manipulated from afar by agents of Darkseid. The series continues to drop a hint every two or three issues that he will play a key role in either this story or the next epic mini-series.
  • Origins include Parallax (that GL storyline still occurred in the revised universe), Lex Luthor (a blend of various incarnations, with teenage years spent in Smallville), The Riddler (also presented with nods to various versions of the character) and Eclipso (one of a handful of references to Identify Crisis).

High Point

The crashing of Black Canary’s bachelorette actually plays as fairly funny, though it overdoes its own comic-book silliness by having Wonder Girl and Supergirl sneak drinks and react like ten-year-olds sipping stolen liquor.1

Low Point

The Darkseid plot at present plays like an Elf with a Gun, but without the bizarre humor. It shows up sporadically and then disappears, leaving us with little to connect it to the main story. After so many issues, it turns from tease to annoyance. In fact, quite a few of the plots are starting to play this way. I realize we’re counting down to something, but this feels too entirely like a prolonged introduction.

The Scores

Originality: 2/6.

Artwork: 4/6. The artwork continues the inconsistency of recent issues, though there are some good moments. The origins reference DC’s long history.

Story: 3/6. The story crosses over into too many others and moves too slowly.

Characterization: 3/6. This lacks the simplified but engaging characterization of 52.

Emotional response: 3/6.

Flow 4/6.

Overall: 3/6.

In total, Countdown #35-32 receive a score of 22/42.

1. Lois Lane’s presence at a costumed-heroine party should raise a few questions….