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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Countdown 36

Countdown 36

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 22, 2007

Cover date: August 22, 2007

"Magical Mystery Tour"

Writer: Paul Dini with Tony Bedard
Penciller: Jim Calafiore
Inker: Jack Purcell

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Deathstroke"
Write: Scott Beatty
Penciller: Tony Daniel
Inker: Tony Daniel

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Donna, Jason, and the Monitor are attacked by giant bugs.

Poison Ivy, having trapped Piper and Trickster, chats with them while they try and barter their way free.

Mary Marvel looks over artifacts in Zatanna's mansion, eager to use them. When Zatanna tells her not to, she opens up with one anyway and attacks Zatanna.

Superman brings Jimmy Olsen to try out for the JLA. They dismiss him out of hand.

Una and Karate Kid go to see Orr. Equus attacks them. Karate Kid easily defeats Equus, and takes Una hostage.

Zatanna and Mary Marvel keep fighting, while Eclipso cackles in the meta-ether.

The insects beat Donna, Jason, and company, and a mysterious hand threatens them.

Poison Ivy continues her talk with the villains, and Deathstroke appears to collect them.

1Main Story - 1: Still garbage.

In the last few reviews I've gone point by point and emphasized how this story lacks direction, character, and even internal continuity. I won't go so in-depth this time, because it's now gone beyond the point of where I can even work up a passion to condemn it and gone on beyond Zebra into something I can't actually believe is being published. Here's a few things, though:

Jimmy tries out for the JLA, and Superman thinks this is a good idea, even after the Teen Titans turn him down, for a comedy beat.

Poison Ivy appears, and merely chats with Piper and Trickster. For five long pages. Witty banter does your thing? Too bad it ain't.

Humanoid bugs without real definition, motivation, or anything resembling neatness attack our "heroes" and subdue them with magic. Yawn.

Mary Marvel goes from Zatanna's ally to beating her senseless because she won't indulge her lust for power which has yet to be fully motivated or defined. Cat fight. Reowr. So hot. In nowhere.

More ethereal fourth wall nyah-work from Eclipso. GET THERE, already.

Oh, and hey, let's dig up those repressed memories of the Azzarello run of Superman and bring back one-note Orr and his henchman Equus who has nothing to do with a horse. And let's make Superman look like a putz by having the guy who fought him to a standstill get his butt handed to him by Karate Kid.

I find it unfathomably hard to believe that this company has sunk this low less than two years after the wonderful work that was the lead up to and culmination of Infinite Crisis. This series, being the backbone of the DCU, is making me seriously question why I am still reading the DCU.

I think the answer is Checkmate, All-Star Superman, Green Lantern, and Booster Gold. How many of those are even slightly related to this project?

Honestly, I feel like I did when I was reading the post-OWAW Superman slump where, had I not been a reviewer, I would have stopped reading comics.

That's just sad, and needs to be corrected immediately. I'm not the only one who feels this way. I don't personally know a single person (beyond my comic book shop owner, who has a financial interest in the book's success) who has said they are enjoying and want to see more of this series. Well, okay, there's Gary. But beyond that, I'm just miserably tired of the excuse of "Wait until issue 26! It goes to hyperdrive!"

Bite my wallet and go to hell.

3Main Art - 3: It tells the story, and there were a few good moments. There were also some really, really hideously ugly moments, like when Mary grabs the scepter. Is that even a human face?

Equus is also god-awful.

Deathstroke was well done. Some of the action is well-done. It balances out. But a high-profile piece like this deserves art that goes to 11.

Oh, and good writing. But hey.

5Back-up Story - 5: A good retelling of Deathstroke's recent history, with a lot of his relations with the Titans thrown in. It lacked Identity Crisis and his Batman stuff, but still well done. I mean, it's two pages.

5Back-up Art - 5: Superb rendition of all scenes, particularly the first panel. Not much to go on, but I dig what I see.

3Cover Art - 3: Kinda fetishy, in a hot way, I do like the image, but it rubs the subject matter, which I hate, in my face. Oh, great. Mary Marvel, an innocent character, is suddenly, arbitrarily homicidal and beating on people looking out for her best interests. Not what sells a comic. So I guess you could say image 5, context 1, thus it balances out.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2007

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