Countdown to Final Crisis: Twenty-Six

countdown 26WARNING: What you are about to read is a semi-positive review of an issue of Countdown.

This week, we finally get some explanation of this series. The explanation is nice, but, at the same time, the explanation is kind of a cop-out. We’ll get to that.

The bulk of the issue features the Monitor that killed Duela Dent giving another big rallying speech to the rest of the Monitors. You know how he’s always towed the line and said, “These universe hoppers are threatening the very existence of the multiverse,” but never actually told us how they were threatening it? Well, he explains it, at long last. Apparently, and correct me if I’m wrong, the Source Wall, “Separates each of our universes even as it contains them.” Okay, I didn’t know that. Further, “Every time the wall is breached it is degraded, its space-time integrity is eroded.” Okay, that sounds foreboding. What’s it mean, though? “Should the Source Wall erode to collapse, should the Source itself be compromised, universes will collide.” Oh, shit! What will happen if that happens? The Monitor says, “The resultant cataclysyms will generate Crisis Wave after Crisis Wave until the Multiverse itself consumes itself.”

Great googily moogily, that can’t be good. In case you don’t understand this verbose a-hole, let me dumb it down a notch. These guys who keep skipping from universe to universe are passing through the Source Wall each time they skip, which could destroy the Source Wall, which would make everything go straight to the shitter. Well, that makes…sense? Oh well. It’s something, at least! So the Monitors wage war. Against…everybody? I don’t know.

They also explain the illogical actions of Mary Marvel, Karate Kid, and Jimmy Olsen in this issue. Awesome! How do they do that, you might ask. They’re all being guided by an unseen hand. Like, Karate Kid knows he’s sick and knows where to go to find the cure, because something is subconsciously pushing him toward that. How does that work? I don’t know, but, hey, you want me to let you in on a little secret? I swear it’s awesome. Darkseid’s behind it all. Apparently, when he moves chess pieces around, shit gets done. Well, it’s not as good as Fin Fang Doom’s explanation of how Darkseid was behind the last Crisis, but at least it’s something.

Here’s my beef with it, though. You go through twenty-five issues of these stupid characters acting irrationally, and then you explain it all away by saying that they’re being pushed in these illogical directions by an unseen force? What the hell kind of cop-out is that?

Oh well. Hopefully things continue to improve. At least now I can only say that the art is bad and the writing is schlocky, rather than pointing out the massive logical gaps and out of character moments. I guess that must count for something.