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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Countdown 26

Countdown to Final Crisis 26

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 31, 2007

Cover date: October 31, 2007

"Halfway to Hell!"

Writer: Paul Dini (head writer) with Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Penciller: Keith Giffen and Scott Kolins
Inker: Scott Kolins

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

The "Head Monitor" addresses the rest of the Monitors and summarizes what has happened over the last twenty-five issues. He says this is a reason to go to war, and urges his fellow monitors to take up arms.

In his summation, he reveals that Karate Kid is finding a hidden spot below Bludhaven, and that Jimmy Olsen is fighting on Apokolips before being kidnapped and spirited away naked.

For three pages, it is revealed that Jason was just faking when he switched allegiances last issue, they have escaped the Havok situation, and Bob laments that the other Monitors are chasing them, and that they must find Ray Palmer quickly.

The Black Suit Superman from the "...and evil shall rule the Earth" promo takes Lex Luthor and dangles him from the stratosphere, berating him for not making the universe perfect.

The "Head Monitor" talks about his mobilization with another Monitor, wondering who has the most to gain, and the scene cuts to Darkseid.

1Story - 1: Summation, summation, reversal of the dilemmas from the last issue without catalyst or rationale, and more summation. Shock ending that isn't a shock ending (we knew that Darkseid was the man behind the men in the second page of the first issue).

Repeated plotline, the Monitor mobilizing the other Monitors.

The only thing even remotely interesting is the Black Suit Superman, who has my interest as a concept, but not with his atrocious dialogue. And beyond that, why do I get the feeling that this is ANOTHER Superman powered character with little rationale coming down the sewer pipe?

Countdown is still an utter failure, for most of the reasons that I have laid out in previous reviews, but now adding in another: This is supposed to be the turning point, where everything picks up and is laid out and prepared for the awesomeness which is the rest of the series, from what I read in interviews.

Instead, it's just summation of what's already happened, which is awful, and an indication that Darkseid is involved. No, really? Boring. Still not paying for this.

There's also the numeric problem, read on...

4Art - 4: Generally, pretty good, despite having a subpar story to work with. Most of the characters are vivid, well done, and strong. The only thing that really knocks it down a bit is that nothing really stands out as overly incredible, but you do notice it, so it's not average, either.

But the biggest laugh I had in the whole issue (and there were many derisive snorts, it seems the only worthwhile reason to read this series is to note its many holes and failures as an exercise in humor) is the opening page, where the head Monitor tries to mobilize the other Monitors.

Look at it.

Count the Monitors.

There are 72.


5Cover Art - 5: And five of five not for the image or what it suggests, but because of the enjoyment I've gotten from it since I first saw it.

I read the Newsarama interview for this issue, and in the message boards, folks noticed that if you squint at this cover, it looks like, "COUNTDOWN TO ANAL CRISIS!"

And it does. Hilarious!

A poster on the site, OM, actually manipped it to read as such, and instead of "The Turning Point!" put, "In this issue, the #%$@ hits the fans!"

It's on my desktop right now, so I have to say, great cover for entertainment value.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2007

February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007

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Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2007.