That’s more like it


I think everyone has had their fare share of problems with Countdown, whether it be the convoluted introduction of New Earth, the character history that can cause many to easily get lost, or the fact you need to purchase other titles to get the full story. But with issue #46 the story finally calms down enough for readers to fully appreciate it.

Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray return this week to scribe the issue, along with head writer Paul Dini, and expand the stories we’ve been following, doing a pretty darn good job of it. The issue kicks off with Jimmy Olsen discussing some high strangeness with Lois Lane, who seems generally concerned about what has been happening. Before they can proceed too far into figuring out what is going on, Jimmy receives a mysterious note.


02.jpgProviding art this week is Jesus Saiz on pencils and Jimmy Palmiotti on inks. Maybe it is because every issue so far has had a different art team, or perhaps it is done intentionally, but every time we’ve seen Jimbo he looks really different ranging from young teen to this week’s old geezer look.

The note tells Jimmy to head down to the suicide slums to meet someone of interest. Hanging around outside the building with the rest of the riff-raff is Holly Robinson (not that Holly Robinson). I guess if you are going into hiding for allegedly killing a cop, suicide slums is the place to be. But it isn’t Holly Jimmy has come to meet.


WOOT! Sleez has been banished to Earth and has been using his empathic abilities to satisfy his own debauched desires, including the now infamous Big Barda/Superman porno. The slime ball tells Jimmy he’s changed his ways, no doubt in part to the New America, and is more than ready to give up the secret to destroy his former master Darkseid. But before that mystery can be revealed, someone or something arrives and begins tearing the building apart. It’s not Darkseid, but rather that same mysterious ray of light we saw back in Teen Titans #47 (see the reading list). Since Lightray is dead, that pretty much blows that theory out of the water. With a blast of light, Sleez is killed, and the mysterious light fades away.

If this is how the rest of the Jimmy Olsen Must Die storyline is going to play out, I’m on board for the entire ride. Nothing is better than a really good mystery, and if we are to discover how Jimmy (and seemingly everyone else on New Earth) knows the identity of Jason Todd and the reappearance of his Silver Age powers (still no Turtleboy yet) then this will be a really good tale.

The other story that is finally picking up speed is Mary Marvel. She’s been told to stay out of Gotham, and now with her powers she is beginning to find out why. When Day of Vengeance played out, the Rock of Eternity, which floats undetected above the city, was destroyed. It was believed all of the mystical and dangerous rocks were gathered up to reform the Rock of Eternity, but Mary detects a presence and soon finds five pregnant women performing a ritual around one of the fragments, which ends up summoning Pharyngula, the Harvester of Stillborn Souls.


Eeewww… gross. I mean really, a demon made out of dead babies might be cool to some, but is a really disturbing image. Of course demons should look pretty scary and not all blue, hunky, and friendly like a certain Blue Devil.

Pharyngula and Mary duke it out, and the battle ends when a bolt of lightning strikes Mary.


It is enough to take out the demon, and cause Mary to disappear. Mary didn’t call down a bolt of lightning by shouting the magic word, and knowing the Rock (no, not that Rock) is in Gotham, I suspect we’ll be seeing the Billy as the new Wizard Shazam real soon.

The party continues with the Rogues this week, as the quintet hang out in a bar that reminds me of the café from Back the Future II. Tempers flare between Piper and Mirror Master, and the two come to fisticuffs before Captain Cold and Inertia show up to put an end to the turmoil – by freezing the two in place. What I find really funny about the Rouges is they’ll go out in public dressed in their various getups and not worry that the owner of the establishment won’t call the police. With all the players in place, this sets us up for the huge Flash #13 and Countdown #45 reveal we’ll get this week.


Finally, with the Amazon’s attacking, Donna Troy and Jason Todd hook up once again in Washington, D.C. to discuss the killings of “those who do not belong”. Watching from high above, the Monitors know that Jason knows what they know, and know Jason has told Donna, who now knows, and that just ain’t right according to Stinky and his crew. Behind the scenes, Stinky has called forth the Forerunner, the weapon designed to take out all the anomalies so the Monitors don’t get their hands dirty, and it quickly goes to work on Donna and Jason.


Oh oh! But then again, it shouldn’t come as a huge shock, because once again the ending is given away on the cover.

The Good

  • Jimmy’s story
  • Mary’s story
  • The Rogues pulling a Quentin Tarantino moment

The Bad

  • Stop giving away the ending of the issue on the cover!

Your Reading List

  • Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134
  • Action Comics #592
  • Teen Titans #47
  • Superman #663
  • Day of Vengeance
  • Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1-#13

I read this issue twice, not to catch all the subtle references and hints, but because it was such a fun read. Now that we have settled into the actual meat of the story, everything is making more sense and I can kick back and enjoy the ride. And I applaud DC for making the attempt to align all the tie-in issues to arrive in stores at the same time to help eliminate the wait to discover the rest of the story. Countdown #46 earns a well deserved 4 out of 5 Stars.


Parting Shot

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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  1. June 17, 2007 at 12:15 pm — Reply

    I’m just waiting ’til this Happens:

    Two of Bruce Wayne’s biggest headaches…the anti-matter version of his never-actually-was Elder Brother, against his recently-resurrected, hard-hitting, leather-jacket-wearing, former walking child harrasment lawsuit in spandex.

  2. Adam
    June 17, 2007 at 12:55 pm — Reply

    I don’t want to spoil anything, but this is Major Spoilers, and I am a loyal Spoilerette, so here goes. I was rereading the Superman/Batman story arc Vengence (please don’t hate me). Anyway, for those of you who passed on read this ‘blah’ tale of other dimensions and alternate time lines, it basically comes down to this….The Joker had some of Mr Mxyzptlk’s 5th dimension powers and was messing with the universe. In the end the good guys win and all is as it should be.

    BUT!!!!! Darkseid was in involved with all this hulabaloo, much to his chagrin, and really wasn’t playing along. (BTW this story took place before the second Crisis) Mr. M mentioned the coming Crisis, Darksied asked what part he played in it, Mr. M said, “You don’t. We…have a future together that has yet to be revealed.”

    “Together….?” Darkseid asks.

    “From the fourth world into the fifth dimension!” Mr. M replies.

    So watch out! Mr. M is going to show somewhere down the road.

  3. Brent F.
    June 17, 2007 at 1:16 pm — Reply

    Those covers are very annoying.

  4. June 17, 2007 at 2:34 pm — Reply

    That is a great arc, I’m sure there will be a lot of things coming out of the Batman/Superman tales – just check out the latest Supergirl ish.


  5. June 18, 2007 at 8:44 am — Reply


    Yes! I was just thinking of that the other day. I dropped that title after that arc because I was totally sick of all the wild dimension jumping, but it is finally starting to tie together waaay to long after that confusing arc. Good call!

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