Countdown to Final Crisis: Seventeen through Fifteen

countdown 17-15
Well, it was bound to happen again, so I’m not even going to apologize. The fact that I’ve kept up this much for this series so far speaks volumes, so sue me if I slip behind a few weeks every once in awhile. Just try to see things from my perspective: Not only am I buying and reading one of the stupidest, boringest comic books ever written, but then I have the duty of writing a recap/review for you blood-thirsty animals. This is Victorian freakshow, folks, so enjoy the spectacle of a tortured man’s ramblings. Sure, I could quit at any time, and nobody would fault me for it (hell, some of you would probably prefer it), but I told myself, back when this series started, that I would review it through to the end. I believe my words were, “I have money to burn.” Anyway, let’s get down to it; we’ve got three weeks worth of “stuff” to “cover,” and we’re running out of daylight.

First up, picking up where we left off, Bob the Monitor is about to kill Ray Palmer, but Barry Allen says, “Not so fast!” (get it?) and gets killed by Bob. Kyle Rayner and Jason Todd and Donna Troy all turn on Bob and fight him a bit, but to no effect. Bob (what a stupid name for a fuckin’ Monitor, by the way) then kills Jean Loring and Ralph Dibny for no good reason. Kyle grabs Ray, though, and they escape. All the Monitors then show up and talk to Bob, who reveals that he was in cahoots with Solomon (another Monitor who looks just like Bob, only he has a beard instead of huge sideburns), and Solomon kills Bob. His expectation was that Bob’s essence would fuse with his own after the murder, and then he’d continue to kill the Monitors until he’s the last Monitor, the Prime-Monitor. They’ve gotten so different, though, that it can’t work that way. I mean, look at that one, he’s got cornrows, and that other one, he’s got a ponytail. They’re so different! Monarch then shows up with his army and says, “Who monitors the Monitors?” and then says that this is the start of, “The war to end all wars.” Is somebody actually writing this? Are we to be led to believe there’s a writer of this dreck?

Elsewhere, Mary Marvel fights Eclipso some more, and then says, “Shazam!” and they both lose their powers and fall to Earth. Mary washes ashore on Paradise Island.

NEXT ISSUE! Solomon the Monitor feels bad that his plan didn’t work, and Monarch’s army is killing everybody and a whole bunch of Monitors on Earth-51. The Monitor of Earth-51 has a ponytail, and he’s willing to kill all of his “brethren” if they jeopardize what’s his. Solomon travels to the Multiversal Nexus (where the hell is that, anyway?) and is confronted by Superman-Prime, who looks menacing.

Down on Earth-51, Kyle defends Ray, Donna fights a different version of herself, and Jason gets attacked by a four-armed goo monster. He’s saved by Batman-51, who has guns in his Batcave.

Elsewhere, Forager takes a shower.

NEXT ISSUE! Mary Marvel (depowered) meets up with Holly and Harley, and they ask if she wants to help take down the fake Athena (Granny Goodness). Over in the Multiversal Nexus, Superman-Prime hits Solomon and says he’s gonna kill him unless he helps him find Earth-Prime. Then Forerunner shows up. Remember her? She’s got a ponytail and claws.

The main stuff happens on Earth-51, though. Donna Troy beats up Donna Troy (who is Wonder Woman, thanks to being tutored by Queen Belthara – – remember her? She’s that bug thing from way way back). Donna Troy then calls Donna Troy a bitch, and reminds her that her name is Donna Troy. Plus, the Monitors are getting beat by Monarch’s army. Oh, and Ray Palmer tells the story that nobody cares about (how Bob tracked him, and what he’d been working on). Turns out Ray-51 found a super virus, and discovered that his genes were the anti-super virus. After discovering the Multiverse, he figures that the super virus could show up on all the other Earths, so he goes to each Earth to plant his genetic code in somebody at each place, so they have the power to fight the super virus. Our Ray picked up the work, but he signed each person he put his genetic code on, so Bob tracked him. That’s so stupid. I guess Bob can see super small subatomic signatures now. Whatever. Well, he could. Not anymore. He’s dead now.

Over in the Batcave, Batman-51 reveals to Jason Todd (who is sitting near a Red Robin costume) that when everybody said, “Mission Accomplished,” the war wasn’t over, so Batman kept fighting (get it, like with Iraq?). When Earth-51’s Jason Todd was killed by the Joker, Batman killed the Joker. Then he killed everybody else. Kinda like what Jason wanted our Bats to do. But, Jason sees that this Batman is soulless, and Jason has a change of heart. What a character moment. Too bad he actually utters the phrase, “What are you, stoned?” in response to Batman-51 saying they’d ride out the war in the Batcave. That’s such dumbed down dialogue that it hurts.

Is that all that happened? Oh, yeah, we got back-up stories of the origins of Sinestro and Doomsday, since, y’know, they’ve been featured so prominently in Countdown. It just fits. What else? Oh, Brother Eye is gonna head to Apokolips.

As you can see, this series sucks. It’s just so empty. There’s a frickin’ war going on for the past two weeks, and there’s no drama to it. Why is that? Simple. None of the Monitors have any personalities (and they all talk like history professors), and having the fight take place on an Earth that isn’t New Earth makes all the fighting and death seem completely inconsequential. I mean, they killed the Flash and Elongated Man within two pages, with no dramatic build-up to it. Makes death seem completely hollow, if you ask me, and that’s supposed to be one of the number one ways of developing tension. Take that tension away, and all you’re left with is a poorly drawn book of meaningless, empty words.

And if you really wanna get worked up, go read the Countdown interviews on Newsarama. The “writers” and “editors” of this piece of shit are acting like it’s a rousing success, teasing the interviewer about how they can’t give anything away, while joking around and acting like clowns. They’re moronic cretins, laughable buffoons who have been given jobs they have neither earned nor respect enough to actually try to produce something meaningful, or, failing that, worth the cover price. Everyone involved in this product should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. I know I am. It’s dollars like the ones I spend on this garbage that give these guys the perception that this shit is halfway decent, when it’s anything but.