August 1, 2021
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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Countdown 15

Countdown to Final Crisis 15

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 16, 2008

Cover date: January 16, 2008

"Splitting the Atom"

Writer: Paul Dini (head writer) and Keith Giffen (story consultant) with Tony Bedard
Penciller: Pete Woods, Tom Derenick and Wayne Faucher
Inker: Pete Woods, Tom Derenick and Wayne Faucher

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Doomsday"
Write: Scott Beatty
Penciller: Jon Bogdanove
Inker: Jon Bogdanove

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge



Mary Marvel meets with Hippolyta, who explains the situation with the Amazons to her.

Atom and Kyle flee from evil Booster before overcoming him.

Monarch brags about how nothing can stop his forces to his men.

Superman Prime smacks a monitor around (not sure if it's Solomon, it isn't mentioned). Forerunner shows up and is surprised.

Batman and Jason Todd debate over the use of lethal force to repel the Monitor/Monarch war.

Donna Troy battles the Wonder Girl of Earth-51 (I think) and Donna Troy very forcefully puts Wonder Girl down.

Atom explains that he's the key to stopping a virus to Kyle.

Brother Eye assimilates to the size of a city.

1Story - 1: 1-2:

Summary of information to Mary Marvel that could have been summarized "off camera" and the continued assertion that Mary didn't choose to be evil, or did choose to be evil, or nobody's really sure.

3-5:

Atom summating his experience that was just summated an issue back, over a fight/flee scene. The art is decent, how Atom can knock Booster out incoherent. Also includes such cliché gemmies as "Say hello to my little friend" and "You got some 'splainin' to do!"

6:

Monarch bragging about his great successes (instead of showing them, which might actually be interesting).

7-8: Superman Prime repeating the same scene he's repeated multiple times in this series: "Your concepts are stupid, so I'll kill you! Give me what I want!" (as opposed to Geoff Johns, who intersperses CHARACTER with the basis of the M. O.

9-12:

An extraordinarily odd characterization period in Countdown. It ignored the fact that Jason Todd has been exactly like this Batman for his entire renewed existence and gets him expressing arbitrary lightswitch remorse, but it is, for a change, written with surprisingly good dialogue and an intriguing motivation.

I am perplexed. Despite summation and somewhat cheesy dialogue, this scene really, really worked, and is among the first in Countdown I have enjoyed, if not THE first. It is, to wit, about 1/7 of the issue.

13:

Unnecessary splash that focuses on the back of Donna Troy over the massive battle below.

14-15:

Donna Troy fights another Donna Troy, and completely loses my respect and admiration with one line: "I'm Donna Troy, bitch. Donna Troy."

Everyone loves a good beatdown. I have no problem with someone calling someone else "bitch." There is a policy here on the site that I can't USE that word save in explicit reference, and this is the first time I've been able to. And it's for a comic about a girl that's a role model for others. She seems to take joy in causing extra harm to a girl who's just confused and manipulated because the girl pushed her buttons. Un-heroic, to me.

16-18:

Atom extrapolates plot, explaining that he was trying to stop a doomsday virus. Decent, but also destructive to Ray's character in almost every way. What kind of #@*%$^ would know about this, have the ability to go from universe to universe, and not tell anyone? Not any Ray Palmer I've ever enjoyed. Unheroic cowardice better suited to the Marvel Universe's hedonistic characters.

19-20:

Brother Eye becomes the Borg, which usurps its previous awesome purpose and concluded storyline.

In other words, one decent scene, the rest is kind of odd and jangly still. If this is Countdown pulling together, continue to count me out.

4Art - 4: At times brilliant, at times critically awful. Obviously a multiple artist book. The obvious Pete Woods stuff is pretty good, but not GREAT. I'm typically fonder of his work.

The Superman Prime scene, while detailed, also boasts one of the single most awful depictions of a Superman face I've seen. There's quite literally almost no continuity of character between this Superman Prime and Superboy Prime. He looks like a character from the Dick Tracy movie with a giant chin and obscene haircut.

But Pete Woods did the majority of the issue, and for that, it read well.

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Doomsday"
Write: Scott Beatty
Penciller: Jon Bogdanove
Inker: Jon Bogdanove

5Back-Up Story - 5: The Post-Byrne era Doomsday, in full. Very well done, very accurate. And no Austen run stuff. Awesome, as far as I'm concerned.

5Back-Up Art - 5: Bog, knocking it out of the park.

3Cover Art - 3: It's obviously a metaphorical cover, and an interesting one, but I don't get, at all, what the heck it's supposed to mean. These three aren't fighting Superman Prime, they're not even a troupe any more. A neat idea, just an odd execution.


Mild Mannered Reviews

2008

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

January 2008

February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008

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Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2008.