Countdown to Final Crisis: Nineteen and Eighteen

countdown 19Well, it’s the holiday season, so cut me some slack with the joint and partially late reviews, here. I’ve been pretty busy with all that. That aside, though, let me just say, “HEAVENS TO BETSY, WE’RE IN THE TEENS AND NOTHING HAS HAPPENED YET.” To piss in everybody’s egg nog, I’m back once again for the (semi) weekly review of the shittiest (weekly) comic I’ve ever read. Actually, you can take out the second parentheses “weekly,” because this is really just the worst comic book I’ve ever read. And I read “One More Day.” Love it or hate it, at least something happened in that one (even if it is the stupidest ending to a story I’ve read in quite a long time). Nothing has really happened in this, other than the Monitors declaring war on the Multiverse anomalies (eight weeks ago) and then never doing anything about it. Oh, yeah, plus this series kind of ruined a lot of suspense from the Sinestro Corps War and tainted Bart Allen’s death by its stupidity. Plus, let’s not forget flushing Black Adam down the toilet and turning Superboy-Prime into a forty year-old man. Oh, and I guess it’s also killed the charm of the 52 Universes by plodding through a whole bunch of them and showing us how lame they are. I digress. What happened in issue Nineteen?

Fuck, let’s take it from the top. Piper drags Trickster’s dead body around. Then he decides to cut his arm off, but doesn’t do it.

The Challengers hang out in a bar on Earth 51, the happy ending earth. No, I don’t mean everybody gets a handy. The heroes won, is what I mean.

Harley and Holly meet Hippolyta, who tells them that they’re being duped by Athena. They take her word for it, even though they’ve been lied to since the first issue of this stupid series. I mean, I guess it’s convenient for the reader, since we all KNOW they’re being duped by Athena, but these bitches are willing to swallow anything. Wow, these innuendos are just falling into my lap over here!

Over on Apokolips, Jimmy Olsen smooths things over with Forager, kind of, and she realizes he has a Mother Box inside of him. I wouldn’t mind being inside his mother’s box. God, I’m on a roll! Anyway, they escape through a Boom Tube that Jimmy somehow creates, and then make out. For real.

That was a waste of paper.

countdown 18On to issue Eighteen! This issue surely must be an improvement over that bullshit from the week prior, right? Well, it is and it isn’t. On the plus side, this issue, the Challengers finally come face to face with Ray Palmer. On the negative side, well, the rest of it. Oh, and those off-shoot issues about the Search for Ray Palmer? If you were dumb enough to buy them or pirate them off the Internet, I’ve got sour news for you, jack. They were completely 100% pointless, because the resolution is entirely within the pages of this issue, and there won’t be any further issues of that pointless and redundant series. What was the point of those, really? To flesh out Earth 3 and relive one of the better scenes of “Superman: Red Son,” only with the Challengers there to make everything stupid and cluttered? I guess it’s up to us to decide. I say, there was no point, other than to milk money out of completist fucktards.

This issue opens with Ray Palmer having a nightmare where he’s reliving the ending of Identity Crisis (a slightly above average miniseries that had way too many out-of-character moments to be compelling). Only, when he wakes up, he is sleeping next to his ex-wife, Jean Loring. We’re all confused as he goes to the bathroom and dwells on these nightmares, as we know that Jean’s in the other room. He then returns to the bedroom as we’re collectively scratching our heads, leans in to kiss Jean, and a box of text pops in that says, “Earth-51.” Very cool storytelling technique. I loved that scene. Adored it. Can’t say enough about how great it was, how much it implied, how much wonder and awe I was given. It’s a chilling, emotional scene, and it perfectly fits with the character of Ray Palmer that we last saw in Identity Crisis.

He then goes and meets with Zatanna, a fat psychiatrist who used to be a hot magician. On this earth, the heroes won, and everything is peaceful. Later, Ray goes to a dinner party with the Dibny’s and the Allen’s (Barry and Isis), and they are having fun until Ray takes the trash out and sees Bob the Monitor. Again, well done, chilling, all that. Newsarama was smart to make all of these pages their preview pages last week.

He then comes in, sits down, and monologues to his guests about exactly what happened after Identity Crisis. This scene couldn’t have come at a worse time, really. It’s boring and stupid and removes all of the tension from the entire thing. Apparently, he went subatomic, discovered that he could travel through the Multiverse, came to Earth-51, found his equivalent, watched him blow up in a science experiment gone bad, and assumed his life. That night that he decided to be the Ray Palmer of that universe, he had his first blind date with Jean, and they eventually fell in love, blah blah blah. His experiments, though, were focused on what we all know as “The Great Disaster.” The whole shit ends with Bob the Monitor saying something to the effect of, “Ray Palmer, who is not of this earth, consider yourself eliminated,” and gets ready to blow him up with Monitorial energy.

Why not just say, “Hey, Ray, you don’t belong here, so come back to New Earth with us?” Or, “Yo, Ray Ray, I’m a giant hypocritical d-bag. We’ve been traveling through the Multiverse willy-nilly for the past few months, but we have to kill you since you did it also?” What the hell is Bob the Monitor’s point? He’s an illogical dumbass. And why’d he even recruit the Challengers, anyway? Was too lonely to do it alone? Too afraid of bad guys that would attack him before he retreated? Wanted some guys around who would eventually object to his entire purpose of his mission?

God, this shit’s weak.