The Magical Mystery Tour is Coming to Take You Away…


Each week I tell myself I’m going to contribute more reviews in addition to all the news content I deliver, but each week something comes up. This week was the double whammy of a new football season that requires I produce/direct the game for our local television station (and streaming on the Internet worldwide), and my parents paying us a visit to see their grandson. On top of that, I woke up Sunday morning with a severe allergic reaction to something I encountered over the weekend. Yeah… no fun all around. So why don’t we skip the chit-chat and get to the Major Spoilers Late Edition Review of Countdown #36.

Challengers From Beyond:
When last we saw the Challengers, they were about to be ambushed by a bunch of not so friendly looking bugs in the Palmerverse. As much as the team would like to get the hell out of there, something is jamming Bob’s transporter technology. This can only mean one thing – BUGFIGHT!

But these bugs mean business, and their magical powers give them the advantage over the Challengers, who are quickly overcome. When Ryan tries to use his Boom Bang Stick, it is quickly taken away by this issue’s mystery date.


duhn-Duhn-DUHN! Too bad we have to wait to find out who Ryan will be taking to the prom. Guesses anyone? I’m going to guess we’ve seen this person/being before.

Mary Marvel and Zatanna: Remember how last issue I said it was probably not very smart on Zee’s part to give Mary access to her magiks? Turns out I was right. When Mary complains about the “basic” magic books she has been studying, Zee tells her giving her access to more powerful items would be like giving a loaded gun to a child.

Whoops, wrong answer Zee.


All of the magic power is going to Mary’s head, and it’s clear she is getting a wicked high off the power. Everything Zatanna throws at Mary is quickly torn to shreds, whether it be a magical mace, or a full blown Djinn, nothing can bring Mary down. As powerful as Zatanna is, she’s no match for Mary.


Jimmy Olsen: After the events of Countdown #37 and Action Comics #854, Jimmy has convinced Superman to let him try out for the Justice League of America. This doesn’t sit well with anyone at the table.


Nice Last Supper shot there Jim Calafiore. Are you trying to drop a hint about the fate of Batman in the Final Crisis? Does Batman die for our sins, only to be resurrected later? And with the da Vinci Code tossed in to boot, is Wonder Woman carrying your child? And who is the betrayer in the scene? Bring on the conspiracies!

Again, we’re going to have to wait until next issue to see what fate befalls Mr. Action (I’m betting hijinx ensue)

Karate Kid and Una: The duo followed Oracle’s directions and have found the hidden lair of Elias Orr. Even though the place looks abandoned, Mr. Orr has his own security system in the form of a bio-enhanced Equus.


Yikes! Wouldn’t want to meet that guy on a well trafficked corner in the middle of the afternoon. Even with all his enhancements, Equus is no match for a Class 15 fighter, and this seems to be the calling card that will get them in the door.

Piper and Trickster: I’m pretty impressed with Trickster this week. While Ivy thinks the two were sent to spy, Trickster convinces Ivy that they were invited by Mr. Big to a super secret meeting. There is a lot of “I know you know that I know” dialogue flying back and forth, and it actually works. I think it would have worked better had the scene not been chopped up. I can forgive the drawn out story for Piper and Trickster, because the payoff is so good.


“Well here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into Ollie!”

When not busy with his Titans East, Mr. Big Deathstroke finds time to socialize with the flora of Gotham City.

The Good

  • Piper and Trickster pulling the con on Ivy
  • Magic bugs are the worst
  • Last Supper JLA

The Bad

  • For some reason Mary Marvel is drawn rather freaky this issue
  • Equus v. Karate Kid – come on, like you really think that big galoot could stand up to the Crane Technique?

Your Reading List

  • Give your library card a break this week!

countdown36_01.jpgOne of the things I never really talked about in these reviews was the back up stories that accompanied each issue. Prior to Countdown #37, the back up was essentially a retelling of every major DC story arc that went on before. But there were couple of really good bits with the Monitors, and I wouldn’t mind seeing the Monitors story as the back up in Countdown, as it gives a different perspective on what is going on. While I like the two page Origin stories (this issue features Deathstroke, last issue was Poison Ivy), I, and many other readers, already own the DC Encyclopedia. And when in doubt, there is always Wikipedia or Major Spoilers’ own Hero History.

There were a lot of cliffhanger moments in Countdown this week. Certainly each scene played out to get us interested in what is around the next bend. Since we’ve clearly moved on to the Second Act, I expect more cliffhanger moments before the heroes reach their final destination. That being said, I really wish at least one of the storylines had more reveal. Not a bad issue overall, it certainly sets readers up for the next issue, and there weren’t any must read tie-in issues that had to be purchased. Was it really a Magical Mystery Tour? If Harry Houdini is the tops, this issue fell somewhere between David Blaine and Harry Blackstone, which translates to a Major Spoiler rating of 3.5 Stars out of 5.


Parting Shot

Let the sexual innuendos fly.


About Author

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...


  1. That last panel with MM is creepy.

    If there’s a Judas in there, it’s Black Lightning:

    1: DC doesn’t fully own the character…ask Tom Welling how that worked out.
    2: Legacy hero…those types will s’posedly figure heavily in Final Crisis.
    3: He’s been throwing Lex Luthor’s name around…Lex won’t let that slide.
    4: Plus, isn’t that just where Jude the Rude Dude was sitting?

    It wouldn’t be so much a willing betrayal, of course. Still would suck. ESPECIALLY if he dies…

    “I knew Batman…before he was a super starrrrrr.”

  2. Paperghost predicted said that before Countdown was over we’d see Mary Marvel with a ball-gag in her mouth. Considering that half-way there she’s found a magical dildo, I’d say he’s right on the money.

    Which is too bad.

  3. Hero Histories are great! So will we ever get some Villain Histories? … Miscreant Memoirs?

    Once we’ve cleared the Legionnaires (lawd he’p me) we’ll see where we go. I wouldn’t have a problem with Villainous Visions or perhaps a nice Lawbreaker’s Lament.

  4. The traitor is either Red Arrow or Vixen; Luthor will offer Mari her powers back at a price, While Roy will relapse at the promise of heroin…

  5. Man, what’s everyone got to be down on Batman for?
    I don’t think that he’s being a dick, but just being the mature one in the group. This is the JUSTICE LEAGUE, not the Inferior Five! How is stroking the ego of Superman’s little buddy anything BUT a waste of time!
    If it had been anyone elses “pal” who wanted to get a try out for the big leagues, they not have even taken the time to laugh them out of the room.

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