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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Countdown 10

Countdown to Final Crisis 10

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 20, 2008

Cover date: February 20, 2008

"The Gods Must Be Crazy!"

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

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Harley Quinn"
Write: Scott Beatty
Penciller: Bruce Timm
Inker: Bruce Timm

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge


The trio fight their way to a giant door, led by godly whispering channelled through Mary. The big door is too strong for them to break down but there is nothing to worry about; Mary realizes despite all the murders, lies, destruction and violence she has caused through the year all that needs be done is whisper 'shazam' to fix it.

As the magic courses through the skies to the steel door, the Challengers realize Mary Marvel is on Apokolips and race towards the target. The gods grant Mary absolution for opening the door knob. Thalia, the god of cunning and comedy makes Harley Quinn a vessel of her power and Diana, the Huntress imbues Holly with cat-like hunting skills.


Elsewhere on Apokolips, Una, now an OMAC tries to assimilate her friend.

It doesn't work. Termination fails too, Karate Kid is somehow immune to Brother Eye and that is something Eye needs to know the answers to.

Red Robin sticks his nose in and annoys both the OMAC and Karate Kid.

It takes him a while to realize he really isn't helping or wanted around before he high-tails it to parts unknown.

Jason's stupidity, arrogance and interference throws off Karate Kid and he is captured, knocked out and shipped off for autopsy.


The three former criminals, Holly, Harley and Mary chase after Granny.

They use all their new skills to fight Granny and her children but just as they are about to catch up with the Apokoliptian villain they watch as she is murdered by a strange glowing hand advertising the climax of 'The Death of the New Gods' spin off.

The girls then realize they lacked the foresight to know without Granny they have no way home. Enter the Challengers.


And so a redundant plot-line comes to an end.

Desaad is trying in vain to convince Piper to use his musical abilities to harness the Anti-Life Equation. Desaad unshackles the rotting hand of The Trickster and is just about to succeed in manipulating Piper when Apokolips itself begins to buckle explode and churn in flames. Desaad and Piper, Donna Troy, Kyle Rayner, Ray Palmer, Mary Batson, Holly Robinson and Harleen Quinzel disappear into the flames as Apokolips finishes its transformation.


Apokolips is now an eyeball!

(No seriously.)

To Be ContinuedŠ

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Harley Quinn"
Write: Scott Beatty
Penciller: Bruce Timm
Inker: Bruce Timm

Dr. Harleen Quinzel thought she was able to cure the madness of the Joker.

Her eagerness turned to lust and then a strange devotion. So much so, Harleen rescued the Joker and adopted the guise of Harley Quinn.

The Joker didn't take too kindly to a sidekick hogging his limelight and though they fought side by side for many years, their relationship came to a head with Harley being shot into space on a rocket.

Enter Poison Ivy.

Rescuing Harley from the wreckage she nursed the queen of comedy and helped her develop a solo career. The duo fought side by side until Harley was locked down in Arkham this time as a patient.

Batman then came to Harley's rescue.

When a new Ventriloquist threatened Gotham, Batman and Harley took him down, earning Quinn her freedom.

And a life on the straight and narrowŠ sort ofŠ

1Story - 1: Crap.

Honestly from start to finish it truly hurts to read it, especially when you've been following it from chapter one hoping something good might be happeningŠ

The whole trials of Mary Marvel story amounted toŠ a new costume and nothing more.

(Now can someone explain if this story is SIMULTANEOUS to Trials Of Shazam which the initial weeks of both books clearly statesŠ how are Freddy's trials even happening?)

Piper's story has flailed blindly from issue one and this is how it ends?

Holly and Harley are now demi gods? W.T.H?

Why is Karate Kid STILL ALIVE?


You know I tried to like it, the series did have a few ups but far more downs and inconsistencies to ignore - are there Razzies for comics? Because this is NO GOOD.

Countdown is clearly a brain fart by a writer who took on far more than should have been allowed. This should have been a four issue limited series, instead it's week after week of something that is lingering like a plate of liver, saltfish and garlic left to rot out in the sun.

2Art - 2: The artwork flips around from good to bad, some panels shine but none that I can really pick out as amazing and the other panels that are sub par bring the decent ones down. This is far too scribbly as a finished product to warrant a $3 price tag.

And yikes the designs for Harley and Holly as gods are awful. What happened there!?!

5Back-Up Story - 5: Now THIS is good.

Shame it doesn't really delve into the ins and outs of why Harley suddenly became a hero of sorts but it still made sense. Utter shame it's the back up story as it is far better than the rest of the book. Good enough to eatŠ kinda!

Sad but true, the back up pages are THE best part of the book.

5Back-Up Art - 5: Sweet Jesus Harley Quinn AND DCUA art!

Then again if anyone else did this back up it would have looked terrible, thank heaven Bruce Timm was able to fit this in his schedule! If only ALL the back ups were like this!

4Cover Art - 4: This is a really nice cover and actually does make you want to pick the book up.

It's beautifully colored and gently inked but odd that they chose restraining a fleeing Granny as the high point of the issue for this week's coverŠ

I would have thought that the redemption and reintroduction of Mary Marvel to the DCU as a hero once more would have made more sense and impact to the importance of story line.

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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