T-Minus: "Countdown" #49

Sun, May 27th, 2007 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
CBR News Team, Editor

By Justin Eger and Brian K. Eason.

"Now tell Captain Cold he's got two more Rogues." - Pied Piper

"Countdown" #49
Previously in the DCU
Clues began to lead our heroes to the most unexpected places, though answers are still long in the coming…

T-Minus 49
Jimmy Olsen. Karate Kid. Mary Marvel. The Rogues. All return for another bout this week with the Monitors to top it all off.

First off, Jimmy, looking like he was doomed at the end of last week, escapes mutilation at the hands of Killer Croc by way of…stretching? Wild. A confused Jimmy is ultimately rescued by Arkham guards, though none of them are quite sure how he survived, including Jimmy himself.

Karate Kid gets questioned by Red Arrow during another JLA-inspired interview session, though the Kid puts a verbal bashing on Roy by reminding him that "Red Arrow" doesn't ever make it into the history books.

Trickster and Pied Piper get their re-initiation mission, as they "convince" a millionaire to hand over all his money to Mirror Master and then jump off his moving yacht, all courtesy of Piper. Trickster, he just plans to blow up the yacht itself as its owner drowns. One hitch, though: Piper convinced the fat millionaire (via use of his flute) to swim the whole way back to shore in a trance, never feeling any fatigue. Trickster noticed, though, giving him one-up on his new partner.

Mary Marvel, against better advice from last week, travels to Gotham City, and we all know what happens to pretty, virginal young ladies alone on the streets of Gotham City. Mary, though, takes refuge in a church, though abandoned by her attackers, but it's actually the current home to a re-powered Black Adam, which crushes the thugs quickly before turning his attentions to Mary Marvel, who's interrupted his solitude one time too many.

Finally, in both the issue and it's back-up feature, the Monitors debate the 52 universes and whether or not they should be wiping out any "anomalies" like Joker's Daughter, Supergirl, Nightwing, Jason Tood, Donna Troy and Ion, just to name a few.

FYI
I got no FYI this week as it appears all we have is the Monitors and that's unfolding nicely without my two cents.

Comments
JE: Yeah, lessee here. Guess I'll start us off. First and formost, what the hell happened to Jimmy Olsen? Is he hitting the Gingold? Did he find Ralph's hip flask from the missing year?

BE: Ah. I wondered if everyone would come to that conclusion. It's possible, but he seemed kind of surprised it happened and Jimmy has his own stretchable history. Jimmy first appeared as Elastic Lad in "Jimmy Olsen" #37 (1959). Jimmy had a bizarre habit of turning into things (giant turtle-man, werewolf, a porcupine-man) during the Silver Age. He has used stretching powers during the Modern Age. The Eradicator gave Jimmy stretching powers in "Adventures of Superman" #458 (1989). The Silver Age Elastic Lad was even an honorary member of the Legion of Superheroes.

JE: You've got to be kidding!

BE: Would I kid about the Silver Age? To be fair, he's gained and regained the powers from everything from a serum to an alien virus, so there is no small amount of speculation as to the origins of these powers.

JE: Poor Jimmy. Poor, weird little Jimmy. I have more concerns, though, about the Monitors and, more specifically, their targets. Multiple Legions, I get, and Nightwing was supposed to have died, and Supergirl - maybe her Legion ties, maybe the fact that she just kind of "appeared." Jason and Donna are both people who should be dead. Why Kyle Rayner?

BE: During "Infinite Crisis," Alexander Luthor stated that Kyle would have been the Green Lantern of Earth 8. As a matter of fact, in "Wizard Magazine" #174 (2006), Geoff Johns stated that "all characters created after 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' are inhabitants of Earth-Eight." So, there's a good chance that they'll be visiting Huntress and Firestorm (as they were also specifically mentioned by Alexander).

JE: Oh, okay. That makes sense. I wonder who else would qualify. Kate Spencer / Manhunter? All of the characters created during "Bloodlines?" Would all the current incarnations of old characters also qualify? Tim Drake / Robin, Cassie Sandsmark / Wonder Girl?

BE: If we are to take Geoff at his literal word, then I would say yes. This sort of makes the new Earth One (New Earth) an amalgam of other Earths, though we have a rumor out there that states that there may be an Earth Two version of the Teen Titans getting a title of their own. Frankly, with the quality of writing and the out-of-the-box thinking we get these days, this could be very exciting. We could have a team-up by multiple Supermen, Batmen, JLAs and JSAs. We have 52 worlds to play with.

JE: Consider me cautiously optimistic. Anyway, I feel bad for Roy. "Wax off" was funny, if juvenile, but…

BE: Me, too. Since they've established that "Kingdom Come" has its own Earth, what will become of the Red Arrow is a big question mark. Frankly, I prefer him as Arsenal.

JE: Glad I wasn't the only one worried about Roy. I also preferred Arsenal, especially the last costume. Unfortunately, he's becoming the "Wasp" of the DCU.

BE: He hasn't half the fashion sense, but he did have an abusive "spouse."

JE: Ah, Cheshire. Though, off topic, I do like her replacement in the Secret Six, Harley Quinn. Hopefully, that'll mean an appearance in this book, since Paul and Harley are so close.

Speaking of fun rogues (See, right back on topic. I'm smooth) nice initiation rite for Piper and Trickster, though now we know who's on the side of the angels and who isn't (at least for now). Never thought I'd like Pied Piper this much, though.

BE: I was a big fan of the Wally West run of "Flash" and Piper was a favorite of mine. He's a likable character.

JE: It's interesting to me that a character that, really, just plays the flute could be such a bad-ass. Though the fact that Trickster took all the money back implies he's not exactly a nice guy anymore.

BE: Unless Trickster turned around and gave it to another charity. Trickster was once an FBI agent and the Trickster/Piper pairing has all the earmarks of the "Mission: Impossible" style sting. Even if they don't know they are both good guys.

JE: What about a powered Black Adam? Already? And in Gotham? Guess I was way wrong about The Spectre.

BE: It was quite a surprise. I wonder what Billy changed the magic word to? Someone suggested it was "forgiveness."

JE: "Forgiveness" is a nice choice. "Humility" might also work. But I have to wonder if it would be something that could so easily be said in conversation.

BE: Well, you did suggest "Hoppy."

JE: See, folks, not only is he the keeper of DC continuity, he's keeper of the column continuity as well!

BE: Though, of all the places I would go if I were Adam, Gotham would not have been my first guess. I have two theories. The first is that he was looking for the building he was in, which had the statues of the 7 Deadly Sins. The second is that he's looking for Montoya.

JE: Well, I had thought that Montoya was in Hub City (as per the early issues of Justice League, though that could have just been a trap for Vixen).Even so, though, Black Adam has been there, it seems, for a while. I wonder if the new mini-series starting in August will fill in the blanks.

BE: We can certainly hope so. Also, the cover for "Countdown" #47 shows Mary in a black costume. Could we be expanding the Black Marvels again?

JE: The Monitors are looking a lot like the Watchers (though I'm not the first to make that inference).

BE: They are indeed. A league of Monitors that hunt down inter-dimensional anomalies does have an appeal though.

JE: True. At least they're being active and enforcing some of the laws of the multiverse, rather than just watching it all go to hell in a handbasket. Thoughts on the backup feature?

BE: Well, we're certainly going to need insight into the new multiverse and this one is as good as any. It follows DC's history of "tales of" and "history of" backup features.

JE: It also seems a little more coherent than the ones we had during "52." It's got an actual plot to it, rather than just being information.

BE: And appears to be consistently relevant to the issue at hand.

JE: And we also have a new poster: Granny Goodness with a Darkseid pin.

BE: Obviously Granny is a big fan, and I must concur that Darkseid does indeed rule.

Panel of the Week

A picture is worth a thousand words, but which one got him back his powers?

Previously
Week 50
Week 51

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