Countdown Update

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rave...@aol.com

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Oct 4, 2007, 5:56:22 PM10/4/07
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Grrrr, some of the Countdown stuff is starting to get me on its wavelength, like I'm starting to...like it

I sort of dig the subplot of Harley and Kittenwoman at the women's center, and the Trickster/Piper on the run plot (though the contrivance of them remaining chained together is ridiculous

I also liked the crime syndicate one-shot except for the worst dialog/text ever another guy who can plot sort of but can't write

Is Three-Face original to that or is that a Grant Morrison creation I missed the first appearance of  liked her

so some of it is working for me but I feel like the premise of it all is flawed and I am heading for disappointment

there's been a slight positive shift in quality




Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail!

sghoul

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Oct 5, 2007, 8:59:55 AM10/5/07
to The Unique Geek
I have been lucky in that I have been mostly enjoying countdown the
whole time. Mind you, it hasn't been a series I would recommend to
people, but I haven't gotten pissed at it like I have World War Hulk.

I have really been enjoying the Trickster/Piper story. And parts of
the ray palmer search have been good (loving the Jokester).

Michael Bailey

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Oct 5, 2007, 8:40:34 PM10/5/07
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You know, as much as I hate COUNTDOWN and everything it stands for I am glad there are people out there enjoying it.  Just because I don't like something doesn't mean the rest of the world has to drink the Kool-Aid too.
 
World War Hulk, btw, has been something of a disappointment.
 
Sigh.

 
--
This post/e-mail was written by Michael Bailey, Superman Apologist

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Shag Matthews

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Oct 21, 2007, 11:44:32 PM10/21/07
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Okay, I’ve gotten caught up on Countdown through this week’s issue - #28.  So it goes without saying that what follows contains SPOILERS.


First off, the best thing to come from Countdown (in my opinion) is the Crime Society.  Not because they are the greatest team of villains, but because of their Multiversal nature.  We’ve known about the “Crime Syndicate” for some time – parallel evil versions of the Justice League.  Now we have the “Crime Society” – parallel evil versions of the Justice Society.  That’s so cool!  Brilliant idea to have both!  It’s like evil versions of pre-Crisis Earth-1 and Earth-2.  Maybe they’ll crossover!

 

My biggest gripe with Countdown is that every storyline is following a poor version of what I call the “Classic Quest Plot”.  In my definition, the classic Quest Plot goes something like this:

- Heroes travel to Place A, told to travel to/find clue/led to Place B

- Heroes travel to Place B, told to travel to/find clue/led to Place C

- Heroes travel to Place C, told to travel to/find clue/led to Place D… and so on.

Unfortunately in Countdown, this is done very choppy and weakly.  Every storyline is following some person or group as they meander from one place to another.  Each time, the reasoning for going to the next place seems weak or forced.  It’s like a “story ram” in roleplaying.  Basically offer the characters one (and only one) direction which they must follow.  These characters have traveled all over the place, but haven’t really accomplished anything.  Example:

- Karate Kid fights Batman, gets knocked out and taken to the JLA headquarters

- Eventually Karate Kid is released, told that he must stay in the 21st century, and hooks up with Uno Damsel

- They break into Oracle’s HQ to ask if she can help since Karate Kid is apparently dying (where did that revelation come from?)

- After fighting Oracles defenses, Oracle sends them to Elias Orr for help with his virus

- After fighting Orr’s henchman, Elias Orr sends them to Buddy Blank and Brother Eye

- After fighting Brother Eye, Brother Eye sends them to Bludhaven… and so on…

Karate Kid has been all over, but nothing has really happened.  Over the course of 24 issues, I would have expected something other than delaying tactics to have occurred.  Similar poorly written “quest” plotlines have plagued each of the major storylines.

 

Trickster and Piper – I want to like this plot, but it’s just not doing it for me.  I realize this is just build up for “Salvation Run”, but it just seems to be rambling along with no purpose.  The handcuff plot is just stupid.  The fact that they can escape any ridiculous situation, but not a pair of handcuffs is just contrived.  This type of plot is typically used in “Buddy” movies.  The plot of those movies typically involve two people that hate each other that become stuck together or dependant upon one another.  By the end, the two people have formed a bond and become buddies.  I don’t see that happening here.  So why the “buddy” plot if that isn’t going to happen?  Also, the homosexual jokes about Piper are juvenile and getting tiresome.

 

Mary Marvel – Probably the storyline I’m enjoying most.  There are some cool magic possibilities here.  So far Magic has not equaled Love, so there is something to be said for that.  Also, she’s pretty hot.

 

Challengers from Beyond – Again, I want to like this plot, but it’s just so poorly scripted.  Why in the heck did they go with Bob the Monitor in the first place?  He kidnapped them (a.k.a. saved them from Forerunner) in issue #45.  The next time we see them in issue #43 they are getting ready to go searching the multiverse for Ray Palmer.  What the heck?  When did they decide to hang out with Bob?  Bob never even explains why Ray Palmer is important.  Bob also doesn’t really give them any proof they should trust him.  As far as the continuing plot goes, following Ray from world to world just seems cheesy.  It feels like some 80’s hard-traveling drama where the heroes are searching for someone, but always manage to just miss them by a couple minutes.  If you want to enjoy the “Search for Ray Palmer”, try reading “The All-New Atom” instead.

 

Jimmy Olsen – This plot just flat out isn’t interesting.  We get that his powers only manifest when he’s in true danger.  We also get that he’s somehow in possession of knowledge he shouldn’t have (a.k.a. Clark = Superman).  Is this going somewhere interesting?  I doubt it.  However, I gotta say it was cool to see Forager again.  He’s always been one of my favorite New Gods.  Wait a minute, isnt’ Forager a he?  I must have missed something there.

 

Monarch and his army – I guess the concept is interesting, but again the execution is poor. Captain Atom became Monarch why exactly?  And this former hero is now building an army of psychopathic killers to stop the Monitors?  Yeah…. okay, whatever.  My two cents, “Forerunner… the least interesting character find of 2007!”

 

Is it just me, or is the art pretty poor in Countdown? 

 

Now that the Wildstorm universe is officially one of the parallel Earths, does this mean they have to participate in the “Final Crisis“?  Those poor souls…

 

Shag

 

 

Michael Bailey

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Oct 22, 2007, 8:57:12 AM10/22/07
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See, I read things like this and think, "Yup, dodged that bullet."
 
I did enjoy the Crime Society, though, for the same basic reasons you did.  My adoration of the JSA knows no bounds, so to see the Crime Syndicate vesions of them was pretty cool.
 
The one thing I keep thinking about is this; just because you have 52 Earths to play does that mean that you should just go freaking nuts with the alternate realities?
 
I always thought the reasoning for DC, through Marv Wolfman and others to decide that the multiverse was too confusing and justify it's removal was suspect.  In recent years I realized that my main problem with it wasn't so much that they got rid of it (because I wasn't reading at the time and have only come to like Earths 1, 2 and Fred in hindsight) but that they got rid of it because the people who had a lot of pull at DC at the time didn't like it.  If you look at some of the more significant changes in comics over the past twenty to twenty-five years the root of it always seems to be the people in charge didn't like something so they did away with it.  Zero Hour is another good example of this.  Dan Jurgens and others, but mostly Dan it seems, didn't like how the revamps were going because they were mucking up stories published afte Crisis , so they changed things across the board.  Dan DiDio comes into DC, doesn't like how things are being done and cancels perfectly good books like Young Justice and Supergirl because he wanted to have the books from when he was younger and thought that Supergirl should be related somehow to Superman.
 
So now the multiverse concept is back, but is it back because it's a good idea or is it back because the current crop of creators wanted it back.  On the surface the concept of 52 earths where you can bring back the Earths from the past in some form as well as some of the better received Elseworlds stories from the past seventeen years is all about some keen, but something about this makes me nervous, or as nervous as you can get with these things. 
 
For one thing I don't think this is going to be permanent.  Actually, everything that is happening in DC smacks of temporary because the ideas are so freaking out there.  Jimmy Olsen as a super hero.  Oliver Queen going crazy and getting stabbed in the neck (and I bet you anything it wasn't Ollie, but a clone or some crap like that).  Mary Marvel going bad.  Two different versions of the Legion.  The Kingdom Come Superman showing up.  Some of it is exciting and interesting.  Others...aren't.  In either case I just get this feeling that at the end of Final Crisis they'e going to say, "Ok, some of that ever happened.  It was all some kind cosmic hiccup or God had a migraine or whatever.  Here's how things really are."   I personally feel that they are going to start everything over again in Zero Hour fashion, but that could just be me.
 
(And if you think a major comic company wouldn't go ahead and try to remove some major change they made to a character during a company wide crossover I point you over to Marvel and "One More Day".)
 
So I like the concept of the multiverse.  I just don't think they'll keep it around.  My feeling is they are using it for short terms sales with specials and such and if it works out maybe they will keep it around and if it doesn't (and all signs point to Countdown not being as successful as DC wanted) they'll scrap it.
 
Frankly I just don't believe anything Dan DiDio or DC says about their product anymore.

 
On 10/21/07, Shag Matthews <sh...@matthewsland.com> wrote:

Okay, I've gotten caught up on Countdown through this week's issue - #28.  So it goes without saying that what follows contains SPOILERS.


First off, the best thing to come from Countdown (in my opinion) is the Crime Society.  Not because they are the greatest team of villains, but because of their Multiversal nature.  We've known about the "Crime Syndicate" for some time – parallel evil versions of the Justice League.  Now we have the "Crime Society" – parallel evil versions of the Justice Society.  That's so cool!  Brilliant idea to have both!  It's like evil versions of pre-Crisis Earth-1 and Earth-2.  Maybe they'll crossover!

 

My biggest gripe with Countdown is that every storyline is following a poor version of what I call the "Classic Quest Plot".  In my definition, the classic Quest Plot goes something like this:

- Heroes travel to Place A, told to travel to/find clue/led to Place B

- Heroes travel to Place B, told to travel to/find clue/led to Place C

- Heroes travel to Place C, told to travel to/find clue/led to Place D… and so on.

Unfortunately in Countdown, this is done very choppy and weakly.  Every storyline is following some person or group as they meander from one place to another.  Each time, the reasoning for going to the next place seems weak or forced.  It's like a "story ram" in roleplaying.  Basically offer the characters one (and only one) direction which they must follow.  These characters have traveled all over the place, but haven't really accomplished anything.  Example:

- Karate Kid fights Batman, gets knocked out and taken to the JLA headquarters

- Eventually Karate Kid is released, told that he must stay in the 21st century, and hooks up with Uno Damsel

- They break into Oracle's HQ to ask if she can help since Karate Kid is apparently dying (where did that revelation come from?)

- After fighting Oracles defenses, Oracle sends them to Elias Orr for help with his virus

- After fighting Orr's henchman, Elias Orr sends them to Buddy Blank and Brother Eye

- After fighting Brother Eye, Brother Eye sends them to Bludhaven… and so on…

Karate Kid has been all over, but nothing has really happened.  Over the course of 24 issues, I would have expected something other than delaying tactics to have occurred.  Similar poorly written "quest" plotlines have plagued each of the major storylines.

 

Trickster and Piper – I want to like this plot, but it's just not doing it for me.  I realize this is just build up for "Salvation Run", but it just seems to be rambling along with no purpose.  The handcuff plot is just stupid.  The fact that they can escape any ridiculous situation, but not a pair of handcuffs is just contrived.  This type of plot is typically used in "Buddy" movies.  The plot of those movies typically involve two people that hate each other that become stuck together or dependant upon one another.  By the end, the two people have formed a bond and become buddies.  I don't see that happening here.  So why the "buddy" plot if that isn't going to happen?  Also, the homosexual jokes about Piper are juvenile and getting tiresome.

 

Mary Marvel – Probably the storyline I'm enjoying most.  There are some cool magic possibilities here.  So far Magic has not equaled Love, so there is something to be said for that.  Also, she's pretty hot.

 

Challengers from Beyond – Again, I want to like this plot, but it's just so poorly scripted.  Why in the heck did they go with Bob the Monitor in the first place?  He kidnapped them ( a.k.a. saved them from Forerunner) in issue #45.  The next time we see them in issue #43 they are getting ready to go searching the multiverse for Ray Palmer.  What the heck?  When did they decide to hang out with Bob?  Bob never even explains why Ray Palmer is important.  Bob also doesn't really give them any proof they should trust him.  As far as the continuing plot goes, following Ray from world to world just seems cheesy.  It feels like some 80's hard-traveling drama where the heroes are searching for someone, but always manage to just miss them by a couple minutes.  If you want to enjoy the "Search for Ray Palmer", try reading "The All-New Atom" instead.

 

Jimmy Olsen – This plot just flat out isn't interesting.  We get that his powers only manifest when he's in true danger.  We also get that he's somehow in possession of knowledge he shouldn't have ( a.k.a. Clark = Superman).  Is this going somewhere interesting?  I doubt it.  However, I gotta say it was cool to see Forager again.  He's always been one of my favorite New Gods.  Wait a minute, isnt' Forager a he?  I must have missed something there.

 

Monarch and his army – I guess the concept is interesting, but again the execution is poor. Captain Atom became Monarch why exactly?  And this former hero is now building an army of psychopathic killers to stop the Monitors?  Yeah…. okay, whatever.  My two cents, "Forerunner… the least interesting character find of 2007!"

 

Is it just me, or is the art pretty poor in Countdown? 

 

Now that the Wildstorm universe is officially one of the parallel Earths, does this mean they have to participate in the "Final Crisis"?  Those poor souls…

 

Shag

 

 

Terry Morton

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Oct 22, 2007, 8:59:29 AM10/22/07
to theuni...@googlegroups.com
That was a very accurate analysis.
 
I don't agree with you about the Mary Marvel plot, but I'm pretty sure that I can build a bridge.

 
On 10/21/07, Shag Matthews <sh...@matthewsland.com> wrote:

Okay, I've gotten caught up on Countdown through this week's issue - #28.  So it goes without saying that what follows contains SPOILERS.


First off, the best thing to come from Countdown (in my opinion) is the Crime Society.  Not because they are the greatest team of villains, but because of their Multiversal nature.  We've known about the "Crime Syndicate" for some time – parallel evil versions of the Justice League.  Now we have the "Crime Society" – parallel evil versions of the Justice Society.  That's so cool!  Brilliant idea to have both!  It's like evil versions of pre-Crisis Earth-1 and Earth-2.  Maybe they'll crossover!

 

My biggest gripe with Countdown is that every storyline is following a poor version of what I call the "Classic Quest Plot".  In my definition, the classic Quest Plot goes something like this:

- Heroes travel to Place A, told to travel to/find clue/led to Place B

- Heroes travel to Place B, told to travel to/find clue/led to Place C

- Heroes travel to Place C, told to travel to/find clue/led to Place D… and so on.

Unfortunately in Countdown, this is done very choppy and weakly.  Every storyline is following some person or group as they meander from one place to another.  Each time, the reasoning for going to the next place seems weak or forced.  It's like a "story ram" in roleplaying.  Basically offer the characters one (and only one) direction which they must follow.  These characters have traveled all over the place, but haven't really accomplished anything.  Example:

- Karate Kid fights Batman, gets knocked out and taken to the JLA headquarters

- Eventually Karate Kid is released, told that he must stay in the 21st century, and hooks up with Uno Damsel

- They break into Oracle's HQ to ask if she can help since Karate Kid is apparently dying (where did that revelation come from?)

- After fighting Oracles defenses, Oracle sends them to Elias Orr for help with his virus

- After fighting Orr's henchman, Elias Orr sends them to Buddy Blank and Brother Eye

- After fighting Brother Eye, Brother Eye sends them to Bludhaven… and so on…

Karate Kid has been all over, but nothing has really happened.  Over the course of 24 issues, I would have expected something other than delaying tactics to have occurred.  Similar poorly written "quest" plotlines have plagued each of the major storylines.

 

Trickster and Piper – I want to like this plot, but it's just not doing it for me.  I realize this is just build up for "Salvation Run", but it just seems to be rambling along with no purpose.  The handcuff plot is just stupid.  The fact that they can escape any ridiculous situation, but not a pair of handcuffs is just contrived.  This type of plot is typically used in "Buddy" movies.  The plot of those movies typically involve two people that hate each other that become stuck together or dependant upon one another.  By the end, the two people have formed a bond and become buddies.  I don't see that happening here.  So why the "buddy" plot if that isn't going to happen?  Also, the homosexual jokes about Piper are juvenile and getting tiresome.

 

Mary Marvel – Probably the storyline I'm enjoying most.  There are some cool magic possibilities here.  So far Magic has not equaled Love, so there is something to be said for that.  Also, she's pretty hot.

 

Challengers from Beyond – Again, I want to like this plot, but it's just so poorly scripted.  Why in the heck did they go with Bob the Monitor in the first place?  He kidnapped them ( a.k.a. saved them from Forerunner) in issue #45.  The next time we see them in issue #43 they are getting ready to go searching the multiverse for Ray Palmer.  What the heck?  When did they decide to hang out with Bob?  Bob never even explains why Ray Palmer is important.  Bob also doesn't really give them any proof they should trust him.  As far as the continuing plot goes, following Ray from world to world just seems cheesy.  It feels like some 80's hard-traveling drama where the heroes are searching for someone, but always manage to just miss them by a couple minutes.  If you want to enjoy the "Search for Ray Palmer", try reading "The All-New Atom" instead.

 

Jimmy Olsen – This plot just flat out isn't interesting.  We get that his powers only manifest when he's in true danger.  We also get that he's somehow in possession of knowledge he shouldn't have ( a.k.a. Clark = Superman).  Is this going somewhere interesting?  I doubt it.  However, I gotta say it was cool to see Forager again.  He's always been one of my favorite New Gods.  Wait a minute, isnt' Forager a he?  I must have missed something there.

sghoul

unread,
Oct 22, 2007, 9:33:14 AM10/22/07
to The Unique Geek
I only slightly disagree. I actually like the Piper and Trickster
plot. I would buy a book with them as a duo. It's like a buddy
comedy with super heroes...and I likes it. But I hate the Mary Marvel
plot. I mean...from so innocent to total evil bitch? And Zatanna
just let her lose on the world?

I wanna know where they are going with the amazon plot...mostly
because Harley is with them, and I love Harley.

Shag Matthews

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Oct 22, 2007, 8:36:30 PM10/22/07
to theuni...@googlegroups.com

I think one of the reasons I like the Mary Marvel plot is because she’s the only character that has grown in the series.  Look at all the various storylines (except hers).  These characters really haven’t changed at all since the first couple issues.  After 24 issues, I would hope there would be some growth.  In all the other storylines they have changed locations and learned a handful of things, but basically they are still exactly the same (and in the same situation) as they were in the first couple issues.

- Jimmy Olsen has powers he doesn’t understand

- Trickster and Piper are still aimlessly on the run

- Karate Kid still doesn’t know anything

- Challengers from Beyond still don’t know where Ray Palmer is

 

However, Mary Marvel has gained new powers, trained how to use them, learned further on her own, and they studied under Eclipso.  She started the series as a regular human, now she’s one of the more powerful magic-users in the DC Universe.  And now she’s on the path to the Dark-Side.  Whether you like her storyline or not, at least her plot is changing and growing the character.

 

Oh yeah, did I mention she’s hot?  Even with crappy art, she’s still hot.  I’m just sayin’…

 

 

Shag

 


From: theuni...@googlegroups.com [mailto:theuni...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Terry Morton
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2007 8:59 AM
To: theuni...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [The Unique Geek] Re: Countdown Update

Shag Matthews

unread,
Oct 22, 2007, 8:39:34 PM10/22/07
to theuni...@googlegroups.com

I agree with your assessment that major aspects of the current storylines are temporary.  I’m not sure what will be washed away in Final Crisis, but I’m sure it will be major.  I gotta imagine some portion of the multiverse will remain, primarily because they are taking so much time defining it.

 

 

Shag

 

PS: You were right about Green Arrow.  Check out #1 of the Green Arrow/Black Canary series.  I didn’t buy it, but I did “John-Byrne-steal-it” in the store.  Glad I didn’t waste my money on that U.C. crap.

 


From: theuni...@googlegroups.com [mailto:theuni...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Bailey
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2007 8:57 AM
To: theuni...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [The Unique Geek] Re: Countdown Update

 

See, I read things like this and think, "Yup, dodged that bullet."

Michael Bailey

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Oct 23, 2007, 7:21:49 AM10/23/07
to theuni...@googlegroups.com
Sometimes it's ok to Bryne a book.  I don't do it myself much because all of the comics are bagged on the shelf in my area's comic shops but I think the practice is fine. 
 
And you do have a point that they are spending a lot of time defining the multiverse.  My main fear is that it will turn into what happened to the Elseworlds line back in 2000/2001 when so much crap was coming down the pike at once and barely any of it was good.
 

Terry Morton

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Oct 23, 2007, 9:26:19 AM10/23/07
to theuni...@googlegroups.com
It depends on what you mean by "growth."  Sure, she's changed during the series, but she's little more than a parody of an eeeeevil bad guy.  Every now and then, I expect her to twirl her mustache at the end of her Countdown appearances.

On 10/22/07, Shag Matthews <sh...@matthewsland.com> wrote:

Jason Service

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Oct 23, 2007, 4:03:15 PM10/23/07
to theuni...@googlegroups.com
excuse me, only i can twirl my mustache...

sghoul

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Oct 23, 2007, 5:24:37 PM10/23/07
to The Unique Geek
And only I can ride backwards on my horse.

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