Wow, that was a close call. For the past couple of weeks, Countdown has shown promise. Here I was, thinking we had ourselves a genuine turn-around. Boy, was I ever wrong! This week, we’re back to the usual flawed piece of garbage we’ve grown to love to hate, and we’re (kind of) introduced to an all-new character (mostly) within the pages of Countdown. Can you guess who it is? He’s on the cover! Here’s a hint: He’s currently involved in the completely inconsequential Sinestro Corps War, but Countdown completely ignores that, gives him a costume change, ages him about ten-fifteen years, and changes just about everything about his character. Any guesses? Why, it’s none other than Superboy…er, SuperMAN-Prime! He’s wearing the same stupid suit that Superman, the real Superman, was wearing when he returned from the dead back in 1993, even though this promo image of the cover shows him in the traditional red and blue. Seriously, would it have been that big of a spoiler to make him wear black? I guess maybe at the end of the Sinestro Corps War, he gets a wardrobe change, so if that had come out before this, we’d know what we were in for. Who knows?
Anyway, let’s talk about what happens. First, the good: The story involving Superman-Prime, what little story there is to it, takes up the majority of the issue. But, let’s also get the bad out of the way: The story involving Superman-Prime takes up the majority of the issue.
To start with, we meet Superman-Prime on Earth 15, the earth from a few weeks ago that the Challengers visited that had Jason Todd as Batman, Donna Troy as Wonder Woman, Kyle Rayner as the greatest Green Lantern and General Zod as Superman. Remember how it was really convenient for the story, but didn’t really need to exist? Well, remember that point. Anyway, Superman-Prime is looking for the perfect earth, and he’s pissed at Lex Luthor, since Alex Luthor failed to deliver the perfect earth in the last Crisis. So Superman-Prime kills Earth-15’s Superman by tossing a crystal through his chest. He then murders the Justice League with ease, gets pissy, and flies into the center of the earth, thereby destroying it in its entirety. So, that earth was not needed, and now we’re down to 51 (ha!). They also show the cover image in mirrored form within the pages of the story. It’s seriously, like, identical.
Elsewhere, Desaad as Firestorm fights the Karate Kid and Una group. The Atomic Knights step in, and Desaad gets beat and loses the Firestorm powers. That was fucking dumb.
Elsewhere, Mary Marvel decides to fight Darkseid, but then she leaves. Escapes? She was the one who started the fight! That’s all.
Elsewhere, Kyle Rayner feels sad, and Donna Troy feels sad, too. Well, for a page, anyway.
There’s your issue for this week. My main problem with it is that they mention early on that Superman-Prime knows of the existence of the Multiverse because Sinestro told him about it. So, like, they spoil even more of the ending to the Sinestro Corps War, for one. But, then, let’s forget that. Superman-Prime knows of the existence of the Multiverse. Great. Now, HOW DOES HE TRAVEL BETWEEN UNIVERSES WITHIN THE MULTIVERSE? Isn’t the reason the Challengers are able to because they have a Monitor with them who has the technology to do so? Isn’t Monarch able to because he has access to the Bleed? I mean, seriously, how do you jump between universes? Do you just think, “I want to be on Earth 24! Shazam!” and then you’re there?
Secondly, how come nobody knows how to write Superman-Prime’s character? In Infinite Crisis, he was never a bad guy, really, until the ending. He wanted to get his earth back, so that he would be the only hero, so that he’d be special. Failing that, he wanted an earth that was good, at least. But when he saw how our earth’s heroes were kind of corrupt and dark and stuff, he fought them. He didn’t have total control over his powers, so he accidentally killed some of them. By the end of the story, he was just walking around killing everybody he could, because he was fed up with our world. He wasn’t walking around saying, “These guys are lame jerks! I will kill Superman because he’s so lame!” No, he was just an immature kid who was lashing out because he couldn’t have what he wanted. When an immature kid throws a temper tantrum, it’s usually no big deal, but when that kid has the powers of Superman, it can get a little messy. By the end of the Crisis, Superboy-Prime was a ruthless, calculating, evil person. Now he’s just a whiny little bitch that grew up overnight somehow.
Oh, and where did he get the power to destroy an entire planet by flying into the middle of it? Are all Supermen all-powerful and able to make up any powers as they see fit?
This series sucks, man. I’m so sick of it.