Imagine standing inside a bank, and all of a sudden a guy with a bomb rushes in and takes everyone hostage, and his only demand is that you listen to his tale of woe. After about fifteen minutes in, your throw your hands in the air out of frustration and demand that he just blow you up, because anything is better than his lame ass story about people you don’t know or care about. I like DC, I have a lot of respect for the company and the tradition, but after reading Countdown so far, I’m this close to begging my editor to shoot me in the head! I promised to cover ‘Countdown’ from beginning to end (like a marriage of sorts), and right about now the end can’t come soon enough.
The story isn’t bad exactly, it’s just riddled with characters that I could honestly care less about, if DC planned to kill every single person to star in ‘Countdown’ by series end, I would glad to be rid of most of these losers. With the exception of (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) Jason Todd (I know, I know) and Donna (I died and came back more times than the Phoenix) Troy, watching the rest of the cast ramble about in this series is painful at best. It seems like the brunt of the plot follows Troy and Todd, which works well to keep the reader focused on what’s most important, namely the Monitors and the impending threat that faces the multi-verse. Everything else in the series is like a bizarre friendship test, DC wants to know if we’re still BFF’s by testing us to see how much crap we’ll put with before we take our G.I. Joe’s and go home.
The Rest of the Cast
Piper & Trickster
The best barometer for how great a hero is, can be based on how the greatness of his rogue. DC has been plagued with the lamest villains since the thirties. In books like Flash, and Captain Marvel the rogue’s gallery is simply embarrassing. The next some idiot fan boy asks how come they don’t make a Flash movie, just slap him the face with a picture of Captain Cold and say, “Do you really want to see that jack ass on the big screen?” The fact that these two clown college rejects can manage to evade capture from hero and villain alike isn’t cool or intriguing, it’s stupid. It’s tantamount to Tom Sizemore and Pee Wee Herman going on an unstoppable crime spree armed only with cocoa butter and smack.
F**k this guy!
(The actual sound that Dante makes when he reads the Jimmy Olsen section of Countdown is impossible to translate into any known language) What is this crap? Why must I suffer so? What did I ever do to Paul Dini? Talk about a character that we shouldn’t really have to care about. The fact that he’s been around since the forties notwithstanding, Jimmy is a supporting cast member none the less, which means we don’t care unless he dies, and we care that he dies because it will effect Superman, not the DCU.
Where’s Mark Curry? Huh, Holly.
If I don’t care about Jimmy Olsen, then I care about Holly Robinson even less somehow. I care about her character so little that I don’t want her dead, it just wouldn’t matter. They could make her the sole hero in all the DCU, and I would still manage to talk about something else. No matter how hard they try, I will not be reading Amazons Attack, so just leave us alone already.
History of the Multiverse:
A hairstyle a thousand years before its time.
This is the saving grace of ‘Countdown’ by far. Right now Dan (yeah, I killed Superman) Jurgens is carrying ‘Countdown’ on his back, and is the only consistent thing about the series. I plan on collecting every issue of ‘Countdown’ just to get Jurgens’ series in its entirety, and so should you.
All kidding aside, everyone who reads comics knows how hit or miss they can be. This time next week I could be singing a completely different tune, and I still feel like there is plenty going in this series and in the DCU worth getting excited about.
Come back next week and hopefully I can report that DC did something really great.