Death of a New God

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Last week readers got a few clues into the mystery of Jimmy Olsen, Mary Batson stumbled upon a repowered Black Adam, Stinky made the other Monitors angry, and Karate Kid continued to hang out in a JLA cell. So what becomes of our key characters this week?

Last issue, Mary Batson was about to get her clock cleaned by an enraged Black Adam. This week, Mary quickly brings Adam down from his rage by telling him, she feels she was brought to him for a reason.

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Yeah. I wish the “powers” would bring hot women to me too.

While Adam tells her his powers have brought nothing but misery, Mary still pines for hers, causing Adam to warn her to be careful for what she wishes for. Knowing next week’s cover features Mary dressed in black, I have a feeling the Black Marvel family is going to grow by one real soon.

This issue also finds Donna Troy and the rest of the Teen Titans at the grave site of Duela Dent. Countdown doesn’t happen in weekly chunks like 52; instead time compression and decompression are the order of the day. From what I can tell, only three days have passed since Stinky shot Duela in Countdown #51, and it is time to bury a fallen hero – once a Titan, always a Titan. After everyone leaves, Jason Todd pops out of the shadows to talk over an idea with Donna.

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Well it looks like someone is putting two and two together.

What is the best part about this sequence? Reading Teen Titans #47, which features the lead in to the funeral, Robin and Nightwing interrogating Red Hood (Jason Todd), the reappearance of Duela’s intended kidnap victim Tracey, and the bigger mystery of who is trying to cover up the crime scene. Plus, where else will you find this shot?

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“Teen Titans #47? You mean I have to spend ANOTHER $2.99 to get the big picture?”

I’ve seen a lot of readers on the various message boards across the Internet complaining about having to buy a bunch of other issues to understand what is going on. While I agree it is going to cause a lot of headaches, DC did warn readers months ago this was not a self-contained title. In order to enjoy the full experience, readers will need to buy tie-in issues to fully appreciate the series. That being said, it would be really nice if there was a logo on each issue that would say “A Countdown Tie-In” so readers know what other issues to pick up during the weekly visit to the local comic shop.

What was the worst tie-in to Countdown this week? Amazons Attack #2, which features a mystery helper with an editors note to “See Countdown #46 NEXT WEEK to learn who Donna’s hanging with!”. While it’s a sure bet the mystery date is Jason Todd, the fact that issue #46 is actually two weeks away, further proves there are a lot of errors popping up in the series that are going to further cause headaches in trying to understand what is going on.

For example, Karate Kid continues to cool his jets in the JLA cell this week, which doesn’t make any sense for those reading the JSA/JLA crossover. As I told Matthew the other day, this sequence more than likely takes place between Justice League of America #8 and Justice Society of America #5. This week, instead of chatting it up with Red Arrow, Daniel-san Val Armorr spends some time talking with Starman. What puzzles Val more than anything is how he ended up with a Starro attached to his neck and wearing a Trident suit.

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Doctor Impossible huh? For those just joining the Justice League franchise, take a jump back to the beginning of the Metzler run of Justice League of America to find out.

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Either Doctor Impossible is using some magic tape to keep certain things hidden, or Starman needs to attend Sex Ed more often, because this Doctor Impossible isn’t a woman.

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Me too Val, but one thing we do know is Doctor Impossible is from Apokolips, part of the Fourth World series home of the New Gods.

And speaking of New Gods…

Jimmy spent this issue getting his butt chewed out by Perry White for screwing up the Duela Dent story he was assigned to. Before Perry gets the chance to can Olsen, “stuff” starts falling from the sky, crashing throughout the city. Before Perry can say “Great Caesar’s Ghost!” Jimmy is on street level snapping pics to save his job. What concerns Jimmy is high above the clouds the sounds of screams can be heard.

As debris continues to rain down on the street, Jimmy spots a family about to be turned into street pizza, and springs into action. Not with his incredible stretching ability, but rather super speed.

Looks like we are seeing another manifestation of Silver Age Jimmy Olsen. Before anyone can ask Jimmy if he’s related to Wally West, something else falls from the sky, making a huge crater in the street.

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Ouch – look at that arm. Good thing we are spared any bones poking through the skin.

Superman arrives on the scene and immediately heads to the skies to find out what could have done this to Lightray, but before he gets an answer, the mysterious figure disappears – perhaps with the aid of a Boom Tube or Hush Tube, which would point to another of the New Gods. What if this pummeling wasn’t the result of two New Gods fighting, but rather Stinky keeping Lightray from investigating Duela’s death?

Superman flies back to the scene, only to find Lightray has died.

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Whoa! What a cool ending to the week! Of course it would have been better, had the ending not been spoiled by the cover.

The Good

  • Mary Marvel may get her wish
  • Donna and Jason
  • Death of a New God

The Bad

  • Too many tie-ins

What you should probably read:

  • 52
  • Justice League of America #1-#9
  • Justice Society of America #5 and #6
  • Teen Titans #47
  • Amazons Attack #1 and #2
  • Wonder Woman #9
  • Black Adam: The Dark Age mini-series (coming in August 2007)

I like Adam Beechen’s writing a lot, and this week he steps up as part of the regular writing rotation and does an excellent job in working with Paul Dini to keep all of the tie-ins in order. After reading all of the other related issues, I really appreciate what the writers are doing to tell a really complex story that will eventually touch every title in the DC pantheon. I also loved the art this week by David Lopez (pencils), Don Hillsman, and Alvaro Lopez (inks). It flows very well, and gets away from the standard “everyone looks alike” problem that other artists fall into. Overall I was pleased with the issue, giving it a 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

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Parting Shot

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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5 Comments

  1. Brent F.
    June 3, 2007 at 8:05 pm — Reply

    The tie-ins aren’t a problem with me since I read most of the titles that Countdown ties into. My problem with this series is that aside from some of Jimmy Olsen’s temporary powers returning and Lightray dying, nothing interesting has happened. Another problem I have is that DC keeps spoiling every event that should surprise us.

    – Lightray’s dead on the cover.
    – Mary is given Black Adam’s powers.
    – Eclipso returns.

    And I’m really confused as to how the extensions of the Lightning Saga and the Rogues story are suppose to tie in with Countdown. So far they just seem like filler.

  2. Matthew Peterson
    June 3, 2007 at 11:12 pm — Reply

    I agree about the tie-ins. It’s really awkward to me that they can’t just give us an editorial box that SAYS “In between this issue and that one.” There didn’t seem to be any time for Karate Kid to rot in the JLA brig the way the story was plotted in JLA/JSA, to my memory.

  3. June 4, 2007 at 3:11 am — Reply

    What does it mean for a Universe…when SUPERMAN STATES THE OBVIOUS IN VERY LARGE LETTERS? AS HE HAS DONE FOR THE PAST FOUR DECADES?

  4. Brent F.
    June 4, 2007 at 1:08 pm — Reply

    That’s not funny, Jimmy has hearing problems and Superman was just speaking up so that he could hear him.

  5. June 5, 2007 at 1:49 am — Reply

    He could try elasticating those earlobes…

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