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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Countdown 20

Countdown to Final Crisis 20

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 12, 2007

Cover date: December 12, 2007

"Loneliest Number"

Writer: Paul Dini (head writer) and Keith Giffen (story consultant) with Adam Beechen
Penciller: Howard Porter
Inker: Art Thimbert

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Mr Mind"
Write: Scott Beatty
Penciller: Joe Bennett
Inker: Jack Jadson

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

REVIEWER NOTE: Some of this issue will not make any sense unless you read COUNTDOWN ARENA CASH INS: #1 & #2 before this issue.


Brother Eye is very pleased with himself.

He is reforming himself and his Omac army and not one person on Earth knows the evil supercomputer is now superpowerful.

(No Superman, Mike - [the last Omac, without whom Brother Eye could never reform or rebuild himself], his girlfriend and baby are not aware of it. See Omac #1-6)


Val and Una are trying to open a hatch but sadly, due to the strange virus Karate Kid somehow contracted he is now no longer skilled enough to be able to smash his target. Evidently the virus not only weakens its host but it steals skills - next week Val will lose his voice hopefully and finally go away. In the meantime Una tries a ploy with duel flight rings to flip open the lid - it ends in failure again. The depressed duo console one another and Buddy Blank's grandson grins that though one of them is near death and the other has proven useless at every turn they have gained the schmaltzy skill of finishing each other's thoughts - making them a perfect couple. Awww.

While romance blossoms Brother Eye lauches his Omac army on Bludhaven and takes it over. Setting up a base and his army fantastically still doesn't alert Batman, the mystics, the JLA, the JSA or Superman but if you've followed the recommendation above you'll know how Eye was able to do this so quickly and easily.


A quick scene with our travellers re-establishes a fact that if you were too vacant last issue you really would know by now. The leader of the Monitor revolt knew all along where New Earth's Ray Palmer was and that it was his fault we've endured this storyline.


Jimmy crawls out of the firepit on Apokolips clad in Turtle Boy armor where Mr. Miracle had hurled him two weeks ago. By another storytelling miracle Jimmy knows he is right next to Forager's prison, stops to unmask her, fall in love and then free her.

Forager as we hoped then repays her would be romantic interest by trying to kill the buffoon.


In the Quantum universe we see glimpses of Monarch's ploy. He has gathered three multiverse triplet heroes and pits them against one another, evidently the losers are erased and the winner is forced into servitude.

We see an infected Batman being encased in a cryotube and suddenly a blast of emerald energy blips across Monarch's viewscreens....


Piper is still a little bananas talking to the corpse of his homophobic co-prisoner.

Using his pipe he's able to jam the countdown temporarily and 'they' sneak off the train and into the desert.


Becoming the new Eclipso two weeks ago?

That's negated as the gem is stolen back.

Blam, crash, yawn.

Eclipso, now re-powered leaves Mary and reminds her she has now lost the only person that ever cared about her.

Mary cries and redeposits herself on the piece of shrapnel she was crying on two weeks ago...

To be continued...

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Mr Mind"
Write: Scott Beatty
Penciller: Joe Bennett
Inker: Jack Jadson

Mr. Mind is a Venusian mindworm who was first introduced to Earth in the second World War. When he had amassed a large enough army of his brethren he attacked with the aid of Dr. Sivana. This attack was thwarted by the efforts of Captain Marvel who was able to dispatch the army into deep space with no hope of return.

Lone survivor Mind spearheaded the supervillian group the Monster Society of Evil to combat the Batsons and Freeman boy. Thwarted at every turn Mind eventually found himself imprisoned in Dr. Sivana's laboratory,

Dr. Sivana experimented on his former colleague unknown to him that Mind was a worm in name only he was a maggot able to change form. Of course the bald fool discovered this when he tested Suspendium on his partner.

Mind then became Hyperfly, his super evolved form. He hid inside the casing of Booster Gold's robot Skeets and began to amass strength and form until he was a fully formed beast with the ability to cross space and time.

With every choice we make a divergent Earth appear, but when Hyperfly came across them he fed on the core of each altering them into a multiverse of fifty two different worlds! Hyperfly's domination of the multiverse didn't last, Rick Hunter, Booster Gold and his time displaced Supernova persona were able to devolve him.

Though the fifty two earths remained Mr. Mind was returned to worm form in Sivana's lab to be torturously experimented on again and again.

2Story - 2: I can't even think of what to say - this issue was ALMOST as bad as the train wreck that was Supergirl #24.

Did OMAC ever happen? WHY do we HAVE to read the spin-offs to know what's happening here? Where is Buddy Blank?

Lots of questions but the real one is why are we still reading?

5Art - 5: The one redeeming feature this week was the interior artwork. The non story-serving splash of Superman, as I'm sure you'll all agree, was very cool. I've always liked this team's art in the past and hope they'll do a few more chapters - at least they make things interesting.

Aside from the poor writing, the artwork flipping around from artist to artist weekly (and sometimes in the same issue) is the one other thing that is somewhat of an irritant.

Please can we have the same artist for at least 2 or 3 issues?

1Back-Up Story - 1: Are these back-ups being played for comedic effect?

Somehow this story completely erased the seriousness of 52. I'm aware Mr. Mind was never ever the most serious of villains but maybe if the story was told in a more serious tone it wouldn't have belittled the climax or actions of 52.

1Back-Up Art - 1: Again cartoon artwork seems to have leeched me from the story, the art does match the story but that isn't actually a good thing.

2Cover Art - 2: As a cover in its own right it is very nice. However we've seen a few of the Mary versus Eclipso fights on the covers and in the books already that unfortunately just makes this take feel tiresome, especially as it isn't that action packed a scene.

Cast your mind back to the covers we received in 52, what I'd like to see is the creativity exhibited there to breathe a little life here.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2008

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