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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Countdown 24

Countdown to Final Crisis 24

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 14, 2007

Cover date: November 14, 2007

"Prime Example"

Writer: Paul Dini (head writer) with Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Penciller: Tom Derenick
Inker: Wayne Faucher

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Desaad"
Write: Scott Beatty
Penciller: Walter Simonson
Inker: Walter Simonson

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge


Prime and Lex arrive on an Earth where Zod and his wife are living in contentment awaiting the birth of their child. Prime is tired of alternate earths and promptly kills Zod, his wife and their unborn child. This Lex is from the previous earth Prime had visited where, Lex was not a villain and what he sees horrifies him. With the murder complete Prime leaves for the JLA satellite to do the same there.


Desaad basks in his new nuclear powers now that he's merged with Firestorm and his split personalities. He laughs maniacally firing nuclear energy at Garth. He is perplexed that Karate Kid is determined to fight on despite the fact he's dying by the second.


Darkseid is watching Desaad's rampage. Eclipso and Mary watch tired of the display. Mary mocks the rock faced dictator at his choice of foot soldiers. Darkseid reveals his line up of followers is missing one thing - a sorcerer. Bizarrely Mary shows some modicum of humanity. She rejects Darkseids offer to join him on the grounds that he uses people and brushes off omega beams unleashing black magic of her own much to Eclipso's regret.


Donna and Kyle are taking time out of their universe threatening quest to kick back and relax for a while. Kyle reveals he doesn't trust Jason or Bob after their scam to throw Monarch off their scent, he doesn't even trust himself in fact. Donna is taken aback - she trusts him and doesn't want him to develop a Batman complex as a brooder.

Kyle shrugs off her attempts to massage his ego and reveals he's relinquished his title as Ion but won't reveal anything more about his current life choices.

Donna is far from perturbed by Kyle and his current mood, instead she offers her support.


The JLA of Earth-15 watch as Prime zooms towards them, using Lex as a battering ram. Lex explodes into flame and with Prime's momentum explodes the satellite...

Prime then quickly kills, Aquaman, Cyborg, Green Arrow and J'onn.


As Desaad is about to strike with a killing blow, the Atomic Knights arrive and attack. Distracted Desaad is hit by a weapon that splits Firestorm apart into his separate donors. Desaad applauds their victory before a speedy Boom Tube escape.

His arrival in Darkseid's kingdom interrupts Mary and Darkseid's fight. Before Darkseid can react Mary has fled. Eclipso calms the dictator, promising her corruption will allow her to bring Mary back to his employ.


Superman boils Atlantis, as the people of the city cook in the sea Prime daydreams he and Arthur might team up for adventures! Genocide aside of course! Diana arrives and Prime kills her. Hurling Wonder Woman into Bruce and his Batwing, Prime daydreams his dead girlfriend will marry him someday.

Bruce leaps into action but Prime counters his attack and, like Luthor before, he uses his speed to burn alive his victim. With the Justice League gone Prime proceeds to destroy the cities far below and rampages on until the planet explodes in a ball of fire.

Prime growls that with the multiverse now restored, one Earth out there is the one he had come from, and he'll rip every Earth apart until he finds his home...

To Be Continued...

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Desaad"
Write: Scott Beatty
Penciller: Walter Simonson
Inker: Walter Simonson

Desaad, from youth had a deep rooted integral part of him that was obsessed with pain, cruelty as told - he grew to be a sadist of the highest order. His story truly begins when he becomes second in command to Darkseid - like a moth to a flame however he is drawn to power and when Queen Hegra, mother to Darkseid demanded that Suli, the Apokoliptian sorceress and lover of Darkseid, should die.

Darkseid was never to enjoy happiness with Suli, he was forced to face a future marrying a bride prearranged by Hegra. Discovering Suli dead the Dark Dictator knew immediately that Desaad was the murderer but instead of a death sentence, an alliance occured, with Desaad's loyatly and very soul in the balance. The price? Hegra's elimination.

Through the years the strange 'friendship' between the two has grown with a strange cycle of treachery always rearing its head to tempt Desaad. Though his very nature preordains such behavior Darkseid appears to have an affection for his wretched vizier and for that reason Desaad still lives today.

4Story - 4: OK, gotta say it, since the halfway marker the book is actually going somewhere. Mary is sort of back in character after the murders, violence and excessive force - she seems to have a conscience deep in there somewhere.

The Ray Palmer story was kicked back to elaborate on goings on in Sinestro Corps and Ion, a scene which although nice to link to was a waste really as it accomplished nothing.

Firestorm merging with Desaad last issue was a cool development and it would have been nice if he didn't waste time with Garth and Una, instead taking on his boss which would have been more logical - however the change is sadly reneged.

The Prime story is actually a great new spanner in the works, I think it was fantastic to watch Lex burn up, we've all read books where we've wished he'd bite it - heck our friends always ask "If Superman is so hot a hero why doesn't he just do...etc etc"

Superman even when he 'cuts lose' very rarely does the kind of damage he inflicts here. As an icing to the cake we saw him sever the "Worlds Finest" partnership by finally killing the man who steals the limelight on a pagely basis - bye bye Batman!

Quite how Prime can travel across the multiverse to do damage isn't revealed but his quest is a great one that I'd like to see progress (A shout out to MOTA who must be enjoying Prime crush the multiverse and also his correct assumption that this new 'Super' villain was actually the teenage boy seen two weeks ago in Sinestro Corps).

4Art - 4: Beautiful artwork which in Countdown so far has been up and down regularly. Each of the pages has a panel that screams out to please the eye. I love all the large scale panels and hope for many more as weeks continue!

A drop of a point for Prime looking suddenly older than our Superman... he's meant to be sixteen but suddenly looks in his early fourties... did something happen or is the artist interpretation at error here? I'll restore the point if this can be clarified more clearly.

5Back-Up Story - 5: A neat and tidy look back at DC's most bizarre and wretched character. I've always wondered with his continued manipulations quite how he's still alive and kicking and considering Darkseid's family life it is interesting to see he has a friend, bizarre as their bond may be. I never knew about Hegra or her manipulations so to have the duplicitous plot come to light adds more to Desaad but also throws some light on what made Darkseid so void of love and emotion. Desaad has always been a weirdly interesting character to read about and this has helped overview him, many thanks Scott!

4Back-Up Art - 4: The Fourth World, Apokolips, The New Gods, all concepts I've always associated with Jack Kirby, Walter Simonson and Jon Bogdanove. Nice to see one of the archetypal concept artists coming in and giving us a rendition that exudes evil and cruelty while looking beautifully pencilled, such artwork fits perfectly like the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle.

Some artists become definitive with the characters they illustrate. I love to see those artists present us with character profiles that garnered them that following!

5Cover Art - 5: POSTER PLEASE!!

This cover is by far THE best of the series so far! Shame it isn't our Lex (as he needs to be repaired soon) or our Superman but still the most wanted result from a Superman versus Lex fight. I love how Prime uses his speed to rid us of Lex. It would have been nicer if week 24 was the start of the series actually as it is by far the best chapter and the cover slaps you across the face to advertise that fact.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

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