Though this is a week late, and the review for the next episode will soon be following, I decided that I would uphold my end of the bargain and review Countdown to Final Crisis #3. Mainly, because I want to provide ~wyntermute~ with another review that isnâ€™t 5/5, but also because I said I would review the last 5 issues (assuming that there is a 0 issue).
This issue is pretty much Superman versus Darkseid, which is just as well considering that Jimmy Olsen has been one of the main characters throughout Countdown, yet big red-and-blue has been mysteriously absent from his life.
For a kid who has a watch/whistle/whatever that Superman can tune in on within a heartbeat, it has always been a bit confusing why Olsen never got the sort of help he was used too. Sure, he probably wants to be a man and independent, butâ€¦
My main issue with this comic is â€“ once again â€“ Mary Marvel. It seems like the writers â€“ Sean McKeever and Paul Dini headline this issue â€“ have simply forced Maryâ€™s hand to be evil, so that she can play whatever part in the Crisis they have set out for her. It makes no sense that Mary Marvel has gone dark, and that none of the others have come to help her â€“ no matter how busy they are.
Speaking of Superman and Mary Marvel, there is a similar discrepancy in the art between the two, as there is in their storylines in this issue.
Superman is drawn really well by Freddie Williams II, with some nice strong lines in the face, that donâ€™t overextend the character. Superman has always been a simple guy â€“ heâ€™s the corn fed boy scout of the superhero genre â€“ and heâ€™s drawn thusly in this comic. Detail has gone in to the costume that heâ€™s wearing â€“ though it is a little too reminiscent of the Batman & Robin bat-suit â€“ with suitable touches added, such as the belt loops.
Mary Marvel on the other hand looks like my cat humanized and cartoonized. I know that doesnâ€™t really make a lot of sense, but it is the best way I can describe the â€œFair enough!â€ panel.
One plus is that she uses Kyle Rainer like a mallet to take out Donna Troy. Now Iâ€™m as big a fan of Donna as the next person, but Kyle â€¦ letâ€™s just say itâ€™s nice to see him being useful for once.
The comic ends with â€“ as it should â€“ some fantastic Atom involvement. Iâ€™m a big fan of Ray Palmer, and it was nice to know that he hadnâ€™t just vamoosed again. He not only showed that he was a hero, but he also showed his smarts by realizing who would be targeted.
The comic ends on a suitably mediocre point to match the issues overall mediocrity, yet it still makes me want to read next weekâ€™s issue, which, yes, Iâ€™ll be reading and reviewing in moments.
Countdown is not something you will want to get in to right now, as it is far too late. And I have no doubt that before Final Crisis comes out there will be a book suitably summing up everything that has happened (otherwise, just check out Wikipedia). Still, for those of us reading week to week, it might get betterâ€¦ it has to, right?
Issue number 3 getâ€™s 3 out of 5 (or, to be really picky, 2 out of 5 for story and 3 out of 5 for art). In other wordsâ€¦ meh! (Editor’s Note: Averaging the art and story ratings would lead to a 2.5 rating)
Editor: And, as promised, here’s Countdown #2 in your Major Spoilers Review Double Feature.
In what was seemingly a cross between climactic-battle and overloaded â€œgotta fill you in on the last 50 issuesâ€ prose, Countdown #2 was pretty much exactly what we expected it would be. It had its good, which was thoroughly outweighed by the bad, yet still managed to keep me interested for Final Crisis.
That Grant Morrison has got the reigns for Final Crisis helps relieve the fear that itâ€™ll blow as much as Countdown has.
From the front cover I feared that this issue would be a variation on a Spider-man book, as that is exactly what Jimmy Olsen seemed to have turned in to. He appeared to have been transported directly from Spider-manâ€™s villains, made of a cross between The Hulk and The Lizard.
That being said, five pages in and Olsen was taken out of the picture, so I remained relatively happy.
I feel like I could nitpick something on every page of this book. Page three saw Kyle Rainer apparently carrying a ball of floating people â€“ which, from memory, is not something thatâ€™s entirely realistic. And sure, having a green magic ring that does whatever you imagine isnâ€™t the pinnacle of realism, but you understand what I mean; there are upside down people, justâ€¦ floating, up the top!
Page four Jimmy Olsen smashes Darkseid with part of a bridge â€“ seemingly in an entire turnaround of Olsenâ€™s feelings about the safety of others.
Thankfully, at this point, Ray Palmer steps in and saves the day. As I said a few moments ago, or last issue, whatever; I love Ray Palmer. Iâ€™m looking forward to the resolution of Final Crisis, simply so that heâ€™ll get a book for himself; of course, he could pull a Barry Allen, but weâ€™ll have to wait and see.
The ensuing cosmic battle between Darkseid and the newly arrived Orion once again fills me with confusion. Instead of trying to save the people around about, Donna Troy, Kyle Rainer, Superman and the Flash, are happy just watching. It seems in total contradiction to the first page of the book, where Wally West is â€œwaytoobusysavinglives.â€
Scott Kolins art frustrated me just as much as did the storyline. I refer back to the Spider-man comment above, because Jimmy Olsen on the second page looks like heâ€™s been drawn as a Marvel character. Iâ€™m not sure if I can quantify just what a Marvel character looks like compared to a DC character; but it just feelsâ€¦ wrong.
The big floating ball of people notwithstanding, everything seemed really â€¦ dirty. Orionâ€™s entry, Darkseid, the JLA; everything seemed very rushed, dirty and misshapen.
Weâ€™ve got one issue of Countdown left, to be followed by Issue #0, which is going to be retitled as DC Universe #0. Weâ€™ve also got teaser art for Final Crisis, showing Hal Jordan as drawn by J.G. Jones, who I love! Countdownâ€™s lackluster performance cannot diminish my excitement for Final Crisis, no matter how hard it tries.
Countdown #2 getâ€™s 2 out of 5 for the story â€“ I liked the death, it seemed appropriately massive â€“ and 3 out of 5 for the art. (Editor’s Note: Again, averaging the two leads to a 2.5 Star Rating.)