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Countdown 11

Countdown to Final Crisis 11

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 13, 2008

Cover date: February 13, 2008

"Eye of the Beholder"

Writer: Paul Dini (head writer) and Keith Giffen (story consultant) with Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Penciller: Mike Norton
Inker: Mark McKenna

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Solomon Grundy"
Write: Scott Beatty
Penciller: Tom Mandrake
Inker: Tom Mandrake

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

OMAC invades Apokolips.

Red Robin argues with the challengers, then sneaks off.

Karate Kid tries to beat directions out of someone on Apokolips.

Piper considers suicide, then stops when a mysterious figure appears.

The "Amazon" trio fight Granny Goodness until she escapes.

Jimmy and Forager go to the Habitat.

Brother Eye assimilates Una with the intention of assimilating Karate Kid's virus.

1Story - 1: I lose my patience.

The above... that's it. Really. That's the whole plot.

Oh, there are two scenes left out. The one with Solomon and Darkseid, and the first with Karate Kid and Una. I left those out because NOTHING HAPPENS. It's just several pages of talking, reiterating what we already know.

For that matter, so are the rest of the beats, with the minor exception of Red Robin leaving arbitrarily and Karate Kid potentially being assimilated. But that's surrounded with about sixteen pages of nothing. I'll get to that.

Jimmy and Forager goes to the Habitat, which is, I suppose, another plot point. But given that we have no idea why, no clue as to what Jimmy's motivation is or has been, or where he fits in the overall plot, it just serves to frustrate even more.

This is, quite simply, the most awful comic book series I have ever read.


And it's 52 issues in length. Even if the next 10 issues were written by my favorite writers of all time and knocked it out of the park, this will remain the worst series I have ever read.

Why is the OMAC project going for Apokolips? How did it return, and why does it not simply assimilate the Parademons if it has evolved to assimilating the super-human? (Una)

Where is the rest of the DCU while Brother Eye decimates Bludhaven and then Apokolips?

Dialogue with names, as ever, but with more clunkers, including FOCUSSING on the fact that a big gaping hole has been written between point A and B in the Val and Una plot in favor of, what, Jason monologuing this issue?

"Val, where are we? What happened to Buddy and the child?" Read: We just skipped ahead in the narrative arbitrarily.

"I know as much as you do, Una."

No kidding.

Even so, pointless scene. Val and Una are on Apokolips. We knew this. What does this scene add to the book? Outside of "cool" factor, what did the Darkseid scene add, either? Check? They're playing chess with plots we can't even fathom, and that's supposed to be deep?

The Red Robin scene was incredibly annoying. From the dialogue, where people who know each other well in an anonymous situation take pains to use code names with clichés: "Back it down, will you, Red Robin?" KLUNK, to the two, three pages of Red Robin interior monologue: "Dear diary! Apokolips sucks, as does the multiverse! We've been working so hard for so long without a bite to eat, it's all I can do to stand here and talk about it! There's a GREAT DISASTER looming that could lead to a FINAL CRISIS, any day now... all I can do is wait and talk and hope for the best!"

And that's what they do. Donna: "Let's talk about what we do know!"

And they do.

BUT WE ALREADY KNOW WHAT WE KNOW, WE ARE READING THIS, MORONS! Reiterating things to the character between each other for four pages with the sole goal of ensuring that Ray doesn't know how Darkseid is connected is... gah.

So what do they do to break this up and make it seem normal? Same thing Smallville does. Arbitrary drama. Jason, a HUMAN on Apokolips, goes swinging around as a giant event happens, looking to punch something. Can I hate Jason Todd any more? I doubt it. Can they make him more annoying? I believe it.

He calls Brother Eye "Batman's greatest creation."

What about, I dunno, THE BATMAN? That'd be Batman's greatest creation if I were in Jason's shoes. And Brother Eye would fall somewhere between "greatest #%@$up Batman had ever" and "Device Most Likely to Be Rehashed By A Hack After A Good Storyline That Had Finality."

Piper talking to himself in cliché, still alive somehow after months despite the 24 hour timer (yeah, I know, the flute, but still, they're pushing it). Why is he on Apokolips? How can he have any relevance to what's going on? I have no tension as to who's talking to him. At all.

Awful dialogue and a cliché, name-in-dialogue fight with Granny Goodness I quite honestly had trouble not leafing through.

Habitat? How does Jimmy going to Apokolips lead to Habitat, and why is Forager obsessed with Jimmy when they hardly know each other? For that matter, why is Forager now a girl?

This book just... I want to get a torch and a pitchfork. I really do. I rarely do. Usually I can take something or leave it. This book evokes an evil passion to smite in me. It's undoing things I love (Brother Eye, the cohesive universe of Infinite Crisis and its lead-ins, the DCU) and it's such a commercial, sell-all-we-can piece of crap, I just, I resent it personally, as a fan who's invested twenty years into the medium.


2Art - 2: I couldn't tell who was who half the time, Red Robin looked clunky as hell, the Granny scene was chaotic, and everything looked extraordinarily rushed. I usually don't 1 art unless it has some kind of graphic continuity flaw, but this comes close. There's a scene where someone tries to bite the nose of another gal, and the teeth aren't even making contact.

Jimmy doesn't look like Jimmy, and many of the characters are fairly cartoonish.

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Solomon Grundy"
Write: Scott Beatty
Penciller: Tom Mandrake
Inker: Tom Mandrake

5Back-Up Story - 5: It's a bit reversed because of the rhyme, but I'm a big sucker for Solomon Grundy, and this shows some of his best bits (I missed Long Halloween in there.) Creative.

5Back-Up Art - 5: Fine, stark, vivid, and depicting a rather awesome timeline for Grundy. Radness.

1Cover Art - 1: The light at the end for Pied Piper. Except it isn't. And hey, what's more inspiring than a scrawny dude looking miserable on a cover of an issue that features OMAC invading an entire planet?

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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