Countdown: Twenty-Seven

countdown 27Holy heel-turn, Batman! I mean, Great Caesar’s Ghost, are you telling me something interesting and unexpected actually happened within the pages of Countdown? Are you telling me that a character did something really cool and totally…oh, wait, no, they spoiled it on the front cover, and the entire incident was out of character and completely lame. My bad!

We’ll get to that, though. Let’s go through this issue blow-by-blow and see what was good and what was the same. Wait, was there really something good this issue? You’ll have to read on to see for yourself. Spoiler alert: Probably not. This series has been bad since the first issue, and, if nothing else, I admire its consistency. It has not gotten even a little bit better, yet, oddly, it hasn’t really gotten much worse. It’s been steadily slightly less-than mediocre. Oh well. We’ll talk more after the nitty-gritty.

We begin our look at Countdown: Twenty-Seven with the characters of Karate Kid, Una, Billy Blank, and Billy’s boy. They’re wearing containment suits to avoid the excessive amounts of radiation, driving a big four-wheeler with a mounted gun through the streets of Bludhaven. Ok, if you haven’t read “Crisis Aftermath: Battle for Bludhaven (and here’s hoping you haven’t, because it was horrible),” then let me spoil something for you. The entire series is about these various groups hunting down the body of Captain Atom (now Monarch). He’s been breached and is leaking radiation, so it’s dangerous. Not so dangerous that they need suits, though. The Titans run all over with nothing more than gas masks. When they find Captain Atom, he’s wearing the Monarch’s armor. He flies high above the city and gives a warning for everybody to evacuate. They do, and he goes nuke-u-lar in a two page splash explosion. On the next page, the aftermath is that the ENTIRE city has been reduced to a gigantic crater. No signs of life are remaining. Markedly different from actual city streets we see here. Still, no explanation as to what’s wrong with Karate Kid, and we’re off to…

…Jimmy Olsen for a page. Ok, sorry, I miss the Doomino Effect. I’m not as good at it as Jim Doom, I suppose. Jimmy’s in. With Forager. They’re off to find some lost souls.

Meanwhile, Mary Marvel is fighting with Shadowpact. Eclipso intervenes and they disappear, to someplace…far away.

Elsewhere, the new Amazonians in Training all share their tragic pasts. Then they talk about how tired they are. Then they’re sent out to train in the middle of the night. In bathrobes. Holly sees that they’re surrounded by prison walls. Whoops!

Pied Piper and Trickster, on the other hand, meet up with Two-Face, who’s been captured and is being taken someplace…far away. A place called Salvation. Checkmate’s behind it. It’s leading to that mini-series where all the top supervillains are put on a different planet to fight it out. At least now we know. Sigh.

The big story of the issue, though, concerns the new Challengers. Jason Todd sees that he’s on the losing team and pulls his knife on a fish king, at which point he proceeds to gut him…like a fish. He says he wants to be on Monarch’s team, and Monarch is skeptical. Jason takes the Monitor’s gun and blasts Donna Troy in the face. He then says, “How’s that trust coming along?” as he poses with Monarch (quite the serious chap, that one). The end.

What the hell? Remember how, when Jason Todd returned from the dead, he was an interesting character? He did everything Batman did, only he wasn’t afraid to kill. To kill BAD GUYS. Donna Troy didn’t do anything wrong. Sure, she’s probably not dead, but that’s just plain stupid. I wish Jason had his wavy knife, double pistols, and grenades with him. He was cool when he had a spine and a purpose. I don’t think any characters in this stupid series have a purpose, come to think of it.

Oh well. At least now we can see that everything is kind of leading someplace. Too bad that place doesn’t strike me as all that interesting or fun. See ya next week.