Jokester we hardly knew ye
Bounding from universe to universe is bound to wear you out and make you vulnerable to attack. So might swimming in waters infested by mythical beasts, being on the run, and going crazy with power. One might also say reading Countdown week in and week out, complete with jumbled tie-in attempts, is enough to weaken your defenses and make you vulnerable to being brainwashed to believe everything is okay.
Challengers: What’s a Major Havok? That’s the question that popped into my head when Havok and his zoo crew quickly took down Jason, Donna, Bob, and the Jokester and decided to torture them for information. As excited as I got during 52 when B, C, and D-list characters made cameos, having characters that only appeared in a scant few issues might be pushing it just a bit. Especially when these characters are supposed to carry their own six issue mini-series in the coming months.
I’m also disappointed that we didn’t get to see the arrival and major smack down handed to the Challengers by the Extremists, as the issue kicks off with the final blows of the battle. Perhaps this is a page issue thing to keep the meat of the story from being pushed to yet another issue.
As I suspected last issue, there must be some Monitors that don’t want to follow in step with Stinky’s plans to eradicate world jumpers. Having located the Challengers, Stinky gets locked and loaded and jumps to Earth-8. Once again, I have to give kudos to DC for using the multiple Earth symbol with the Earth being visited, and I still believe we are being prepped for a butt load of stories taking place on those Earths sometime in 2009 or 2010.
I don’t know what powers the Extremists have, but one of them must be super smell, because he’s alerted the moment Stinky poits in.
Thinking they are under attack, Lord Havok and the Extremists take the fight to Stinky, and in the confusion the Challengers are freed from the torture device. Both Kyle’s power ring and Bob’s transportation powers are greatly depleted so making a quick exit isn’t possible at the moment. This gives Stinky plenty of time to tell everyone here’s there to put an end to the festivities.
Why the hell did DC even introduce Jokester if they were just going to kill him a couple issues later? To sell a tie-in issue and nothing more? That just sucks balls and is the one thing that had me most irate at this entire issue. Of course getting angry is probably just what DC wants us to be to make sure our hatred of Stinky continues.
Bob builds up just enough juice to teleport the team away to another part of Lord Havok’s castle where they can spy on the Extremists and Monarch’s conversation while they continue to recharge.
Monarch’s plan is just as simple as the one he offered to the Crime Syndicate – join his army and help with his master plan. What that plan is we don’t really know, but it probably has to do with the reboot of the DCU with Monarch as the ruler. Hank Hall may have been rewritten as a good guy, but I have a feeling Extant is slowly reclaiming the once glorious hero.
The whole episode on Earth-8 ends up as one of those Mexican stand-offs where no one wins, yet the tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife and serve it up with a side of ice cream.
Karate Kid and Una: Brother Eye is not too happy to find Val and Una in his presence looking to get a quick cure. My bet is it isn’t too happy to see Buddy and his grandson bringing the “Great Disaster” to it.
Contrary to what the cover might lead you to believe, there is not Brother Eye/Karate Kid fight this issue.
Jimmy Olsen: Having solidified, Jimmy Olsen is wandering around the sewers of Metropolis when he stumbles upon the Newsboy Legion. It’s hard to tell which version of the Newsboy Legion this is – with the references to the New Gods it seems to hint that these are the cloned versions of the originals that were rebooted by Jack Kirby in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen. But with two of the boys looking significantly older than the other two (and the absence of Flipper Dipper), it makes me wonder if they are something else. With their eagerness to have Jimmy join them, I’m wondering if they are part of Cadmus or are free agents looking to tap into Jimmy’s powers.
Holly Robinson (not that Holly Robinson): When Holly and the rest of the potential Amazonian warriors jumped into the waters last issue, readers were under the assumption that only sharks infested the waters, but here there be dragons also occupying the space around Themyscira, and it is only through quick thinking only Holly’s part to get the dragons and sharks to turn on each other so everyone can swim to safety.
Trickster and Piper: Having been forced to take on Double Down as part of their fleeing team, the trio find themselves at a restaurant discussing their situation. Double Down is scared because he’s been hearing some disturbing rumors.
Those voices in the van can only be the Suicide Squad sent out to round up criminals to have them banished to another planet. Don’t forget to look for Salvation Run coming soon!
Mary Marvel: Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the worst panel of the week.
God that is some awful art. Mary looks like a transgender who has yet to complete the final operation. I just hate the art in this panel with a passion.
Mary and Eclipso have arrived in a village in Turkey, where the villagers begged her to bring some rain. Mary is definitely on the dark path as she floods the lands with a downpour. When the farmers beg her to stop because the rain is killing their livestock, Mary turns the animals to fish, thus turning the farmers into fishermen.
Her lack of compassion for man is enough to convince Eclipso that Mary is ready for her next lesson. My guess is Eclipso will be taking Mary to meet Granny Goodness real soon and the three will continue the plot to bring down Darkseid and the rest of the New Gods.
I’m throwing out one of my Wild Predictions here, but I believe we’re going to see Granny Goodness as the person behind all the evils befalling the DCU lately, and not Darkseid or another New God.
- Lots of fighting on Earth-8
- The Penguin origin story
- The Lord Havok you thought you knew isn’t the same Lord Havok seen here
- Jokester’s death
- Most of the other story lines are just too short
Your Reading List
- Justice League Quarterly #3
- Justice League Europe #15
- Justice League Europe #18
- Star Spangled Comics #7 – #64
- Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #133
- Superman Annual #2
- All-Flash #1
- Checkmate #18
If anything I am most upset about the death of the Jokester. That incident brought down the entire issue for me. The art is just so-so, with some of the characters looking more like sideshow freaks than normal people. There are certainly some good story points, like Monarch making another appearance, but answers to questions that only lead to more questions tend to make the story linger longer than it should. At the end of the day, I can only give Countdown #29 2 out of 5 Stars.
IMAGE REMOVED BY DC LEGAL DEPARTMENT