Countdown: Thirty-One

countdown 31I’m at a loss as to how this series can tread more water, mark more time, and accomplish so little. This is supposed to be a story about superheroes battling supervillains and unseen forces, yet the only long-term threat they’ve established is that Monarch is gathering some sort of army to fight the Monitors, who, in turn, are trying to stop people from disrupting the order of the Multiverse, whatever that means. There has yet to be established a reason for either of these two build-ups, though, so both ring hollow. I mean, the Monitors have been complaining about death cheaters and universe jumpers and anomalies and the like since the first issue, but they still haven’t explained WHY any of these things could possibly threaten the order of the Multiverse, so there’s no clear threat coming from them, and, therefore, no reason to give one good goddamn shit about any of it. The only thing that I don’t understand about this particular issue, though, is why us Americans are spending $2.99 on it and, yet, the Canadians are forking over $3.65. I mean, look at the cover of the New York Times about a week and a half ago. Thanks to our illegal, pointless, fruitless war in Iraq, our dollar is now equivalent to the Canadian dollar. Maybe DC hasn’t realized that yet. Either way, thanks for the price break, guys. If I had to spend $3.65 per nonsensical issue, I’d be right out the door.

Anyway, we should, if for no other reason than formalities, cover the stuff that happens in this issue. First off, the Challengers have found their way to Earth-3, where the Crime Society thrives (the Crime Society is the equivalent of the Justice League if the Justice League committed crimes). Each opposing character matches up against their equivalent character that is most similar to them, and a fight ensues, until Kyle Rayner and Jason Todd thwack their dicks on the table a few too many times, in an effort to impress Donna Troy, and they find themselves in a spot of bother. The Jokester (a good-guy equivalent of the, surprise, surprise, Joker) shows up, saves the day, and escapes with our “heroes” as they teleport off of this Earth for someplace else, where Ray Palmer may or may not be or have been in the past. Why the hell are Jason Todd, Kyle Rayner, and Donna Troy still putting up with this Bob the Monitor idiot? He obviously doesn’t have a clue. Stop and ask for directions or something! Not a one of them seems to be in this for heroic reasons, but more out of a sense of obligation (to what??), so why are they still in this stupid nonsense? I just don’t get it. Anyway, the other Monitors notice that the Jokester has left with the Challengers, and they decide that “Bob” needs to be stopped, no matter the cost. And we still don’t know why or how it matters. With that many complaints about this crap, I’ll leave out my nitpicks with the atrocious dialogue and horrible characterization of our “Challenger” characters.

Meanwhile, Holly Robinson writes Selina Kyle a note, but it gets ripped up. AWESOME!

Elsewhere, in the Fifth Dimension, the writers forgot how to spell the name of that little weird Superman villain, so they refer to him as Mxy, which is nice. But he gets taken out of the fifth dimension, and some bitch is all confused. Oh well.

Meanwhile, Mary Marvel is seduced by Eclipso and the Dark Side, kills some guys, and that’s that.

Elsewheres (notice a pattern?), Karate Kid and Una meet with Billy Blanks, the Taebo guy, and he’s apparently afflicted with Michael Jackson’s pigmentation disease, as he is now white. And stupid. And none of this fucking matters.

As a footnote, Jimmy Olsen is experimented on by Cadmus, just like he was experimented on by Steel, and the results are the same. He’s messed up.

Seriously, this series is stomping on my last nerve.