"Do you trust me, Jimmy?" – Mr. Miracle
|"Countdown To Final Crisis" #22|
Opening our tale this week is a quick interstellar stop with Mary Marvel and Eclipso, who narrowly escaped the wrath of Monarch's forces by teleporting away unseen at the last instant. Though they should be thankful to have escaped, the story turns ugly quickly, as Eclipso immediately goes on the offense, trying to seduce Mary with tales of power as … Darkseid's concubine?
Mary, good girl that she still is, says no, taking the fight back to Eclipso with a hard strike, claiming the Black Diamond for herself, using it's power to put the smack down on her (apparently former) mentor. And speaking of Mary's potential love interest, his homeworld is the site of our next stop, as we visit Jimmy Olsen on Apokalips.
The torturers know that Jimmy's powers can only be activated by imminent, life-or-death danger, but you don't have to kill someone to hurt them. Leaving Jimmy with that fun thought, he contemplates his impending doom and steps off into the dreary night, only to run headlong into the master of escape himself, Mister Miracle. Seeking the soul of his lost love, Miracle finds Jimmy and learns about the powers that brought the Metropolis native to the fire pits. Reasoning out how jimmy's power's work for himself, Miracle kidnaps the kid and takes him high into the sky, only to toss him headlong right into one of those aforementioned fire pits.
Back on Earth, Trickster and Pied Piper make like midnight runners and hop a train, but they aren't alone. Joining them, as always, is Deadshot, and though the duo puts a few moves over on the master assassin, Deadshot isn't without resources and skills of his own. Though our motley pair disembarks the gunman, he leaves Piper with a lot of dead weight, so to speak, putting a bullet into Trickster as the train rolls away.
This week we get the answer to why Forerunner is no longer with Monarch in the pages of "Countdown to Adventure" #4. Forerunner and the Mages of Earth-33 battle Dark Angel, and the Mages pick a side in the war that is coming, because there is another side that's recruiting and we find out who it is. Over in "CountdownPresents: Lord Havok and the Extremists" #2 we get a look at the villainous Gorgon and Lord Havok makes a stand and answers Monarch's recruitment question. This story is far from over and continues to make references to what could become of the Marvel Universe if "Civil War" were taken to its logical conclusion.
JE: Carlos Magno puts in an all right, but not stellar issue over the Keith Giffen layouts.
BE: Yeah and we start with an upskirt of Mary Marvel. Somewhere Jerry Ordway is crying out with the power of 1,000 exploding suns.
JE: So wrong, yet not, in a really creepy way. After that lovely image, though, we see the fallout from Mary and Eclipso's losing fight with an interstellar cannon.
BE: To hear Jeanclipso tell it, she cunningly avoided that fate. But it looked like they got their butts kicked to me.
JE: Mary with the Black Diamond, and using it so effortlessly?
BE: For the moment? Yes, but look for Mary to fall prey to another corrupting influence.
JE: Our issue title also hints at what we'll see when we finally get to the heart of the story on Apokolips. I've always liked Mr. Miracle and who better to help Jimmy out.
BE: They have history and Scott is the master of escapes, especially escaping Apokolips.
JE: Thoughts on Mr. Miracle's stunt with Jimmy?
BE: It place's Jimmy's life in major danger, so, could we be triggering all of Jimmy's powers at once?
JE: I like it. Lots of kick there should it work. It could also draw the wrath of Darkseid, furthering Mister Miracle's own ends. Back on Earth, we've got a hell of a story progression for Trickster and Pied Piper as Deadshot continues the hunt from previous issues.
BE: Pretty rough stuff here. It adds intensity to the storyline and helps to bond the characters, but tell me, how do you smoke through a mask on a moving train?
JE: I doubt Deadshot is a man to smoke filtered cigarettes, so maybe the mask helps. Clever use of the shocking chain, not so clever use of the homophobic jokes once more.
BE: Yes, but at least they seem to recognize that it's not funny.
JE: And how about that ending?
BE: Tough stuff. If Trickster is dead, then Piper is in major trouble. If he's not, he's just in trouble.
Panel of the Week
Yeah, I'll say it again. Talk about dead weight.