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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Countdown 6

Countdown to Final Crisis 6

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 19, 2008

Cover date: March 19, 2008


Writer: Paul Dini (head writer) and Keith Giffen (story consultant) with Adam Beechen
Penciller: Mike Norton
Inker: Jimmy Palmiotti
Cover Art: Scott Kolins

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Felix Faust"
Write: Scott Beatty
Penciller: Jesus Saiz
Inker: Jesus Saiz

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Karate Kid is dead.

Una is too devastated to speak.

Buddy Blank watches a news report about a police dog attacking a criminal then attacking his handlers before being killed... its corpse growing human hands.

The Morticoccus is avoiding attempts to extract it from Karate Kid's body.

While this is going on, Dubbilex runs tests on Jimmy Olsen to see if it's true his powers manifest when Jimmy is in strife. It is.

The contamination alarms ring as the virus is finally hatched and smashing its way through Cadmus. Kyle captures it in a bubble, it bursts sending particles everywhere infecting everyone, Kyle recaptures the particles and they test to see if the virus really can evolve, adapt and mutate to survive. It can.

Gotham is the first city to fall, Kyle however, on a mission for Ray captures Jason before he can act and returns all the Earth hopping challengers in one place. They, as super powered heroes, are our first line of defense and inoculated with Ray Palmer's blood. Buddy blank has been watching all the while and realizes the virus was already here before Kyle released it in the atmosphere. The dog was evidence of that - the morticoccus can evolve and transfer its DNA coding from host to host.

Una chooses now to speak.

She reveals that because Karate Kid was from the 31st century, where medicine and disease had far evolved or ever will evolve in the next ten centuries, he had helped the virus become omnipotent in our time. The inoculations from the Atom's 'invulnerable blood' would last only hours before the Morticoccus would evolve past it.

The heroes all fighting amongst themselves don't notice all Cadmus staff had left to join their families before Judgement Day. Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, argues they need help from intergalactic forces Ray warns him not to as he'll spread infection.

Buddy decides to sneak away to his loved ones, he's caught however by Una who begs him to let her join him and together they escape Cadmus.

Though the virus is contained solely to planet Earth, Hal Jordan soars off planet. (Naturally he decides despite him being highly infectious with a deadly incurable disease able to wipe out all life, it's for the best if he spreads it through the universe, killing all life as we know it....)

To be continued...

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Felix Faust"
Write: Scott Beatty
Penciller: Jesus Saiz
Inker: Jesus Saiz

Seven Millennia ago, in a battle for a mysterious artifact, The Flame of Life, Faust was banished to an other dimensional prison. There he would have stayed if not for an accidental release by Dekan Drache, an occult practitioner.

Faust now free, searched for hidden relics that could give him great power. In the meantime summoning Rath, Ghast and Abnegazar three demons. Should he release them he would be gifted with mystical omnipotence.

Using the enchanted bodies of the Justice League to gather mystical relics and talismans to release the three demons, he hadn't counted on Aquaman being telepathic and when flying fish aided Arthur the League were free.

For many years the plots were the same.

During 52, Faust manipulated Ralph Dibney, with promises of resurrecting his wife, Sue, until Elongated Man took matters into his own hands. Felix would spend an eternity trapped with Neron in Dr. Fate's Tower Sanctum.

Faust tried the trick again, this time on Black Adam.

However his intention was never to resurrect Isis, it was to take revenge, but now he has Black Adam hot on his trail, hungering for revenge of his own...

2Story - 2: Here's a game for you, I call it spot the plot:

Terminator 2,

X2: X-Men United,

Marvel UK Battle Tide,

War Games,

Superman 3,


Resident Evil,


Zero Hour,

Joe's Apartment,

The One,

John Carpenter's The Thing,



Quantum Leap...

See if you can find other comics, movies and TV series Countdown has plagiarized ideas from and post them in the comments!

As for the story, for an issue with a lot of things obviously rushed through to keep the story on track, to have a book entirely built on internal monologue... well its a poor way to speed through it. The reason being, actual interesting side plots were brushed aside, like the escape of the virus, the capturing of Red Robin, the cities ablaze etc etc...

3Art - 3: The art is pretty bland this week, no real effort to draw you into the story events. The artwork seems excessively flat throughout. I think it's more to do with the story itself being dulled down to a diary. Not much an artist can do to illustrate that, let alone breathe life into it. It's not bad art, and you can see, given something to actually illustrate Mike Norton could really shine.

5Back-Up Story - 5: My dealings with Faust, (not personally!) have always been limited to Justice League Unlimited. This streamlined version of his illustrious history is not unsimilar but gives the reader a clear and concise run down of his history. Because of my relative unfamiliarity with Faust I found this story enlightening. I now am very eager for this nasty piece of work to feature in a few stories so I can get to know him better (sort of)! Scott Beatty and Jesus Saiz have done a great job with this one, in my opinion, however on the flip side one of my reviewer colleagues more familiar with him might not agree!

4Back-Up Art - 4: Although the inking is very heavy throughout the story, which at first is off putting, once you read the story you realise it compliments it perfectly. As mentioned above my lack of contact with the character has actually made me very interested in following his story lines.(naturally DC's intention is to get me buying his 'essential storylines' and the consumer in me may just do it.) His costume is a little dumb but hey he's a vile bad guy he can dress how he likes!

What other projects has Jesus Saiz worked on? His artwork is very very emotive.

The grin in the last panel really stays with you! Very creepy and haunting!

3Cover Art - 3: Not sure who patient zero is on the cover and the excessive use of red seems to negate such a heavy issue of mass infection. It IS very well illustrated, but the artwork is drained by the heavy red ink.

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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