Countdown to Final Crisis: Thirteen

countdown 13What top secret message does a giant flaming hand have for the Challengers of Beyond? What would lead anybody to say the words, “I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you to death?” What happened off-panel between last week when Forerunner was challenging Monitor Solomon to a death match, and when they first show up this week, with her knocked unconscious? Wait no, that one doesn’t work. Where there is life, according to Monitor-51, what else is there? What sound effect is used when a fist punches through the back of a human head? For the absolutely thrilling answers to these burning questions, and many more, look no further than the pages of Countdown to Final Crisis #13, on newsstands now!

I can’t do that to you. The answers are, “To Apokolips,” no fucking clue, ditto, hope, and, apparently, “Sklutch!” Hit the jump, y’all.

In case you couldn’t tell by my biting tone (that’s one of many writerly tricks I have up my sleeves (another is using lots of cliches!)!), this issue of Countdown is terrible, just like all the others. The main difference is that, in this, I think that an entire universe was blown up, along with all life in that universe, along with a whole bunch of superheroes and supervillains, including several of the main characters of this series.

But, like, always, we’ll have to suffer the nitty-gritty before I can bitch and moan about it all. So let’s get this party a-poppin! The table’s set, the guests are here, the shit’s goin’ down, and, as you can tell from the cover, Superman-Prime has already started in on the bitter beer! Let’s rock!

To start with, Monitor-51 is back up in space (what happened to being on-planet and fighting like last week?), and he’s still got that single tear thing going on. Superman-Prime has arrived, and he wastes no time in taking the fight against Monarch and sensible dialogue. Monarch shows him that he’s nucular, and gives everybody a taste, leveling an entire city. That’s quite the power.

The Challengers are safe from the explosion, and they are given a message by the Source to head to Apokolips. Earth-51 Batman, along with Red Robin, continue fighting the bad guys, until Superman punches a hole through the back of Batman’s head. Red Robin gets mad, Joker makes fun of him, Red Robin smashes Joker’s head with a big rock, and the Challengers (with Ray Palmer) leave this universe for the Fourth World.

Somewhere else, not quite sure where (it’s called the Multiversal Nexus), Forerunner’s been beaten up by Solomon (when did that happen?) and Darkseid shows up to offer his hand to Solomon. Ok.

Back on Earth-51, the fight between Superman-Prime and Monarch comes to a dramatic end when Superman-Prime rips Monarch’s chest open and Monarch’s power blows up the entire universe. Monitor-51 surveys the damage as the last survivor, but then he sees a little leaf growing out of a little mound of dirt that appears to be floating in the sky (WHERE? THEY JUST BLEW UP THE UNIVERSE). Beats me. But he sheds one last tear for it, after saying some really terribly written stuff about fuck knows what.

So, let me get this straight. Thanks to this unlucky issue, Superman-Prime, Monarch, Monarch’s army, which includes every recruit from Countdown: Arena, most of the Crime Society from Earth-3, Lord Havok and the Extremists, plus six billion people living on Earth-51, not to mention the millions and millions of other beings living throughout the universe, were killed? Killed to death? I know that lots of people say Dan Didio has a hard-on for killing characters off, but goodness gracious, great balls of fire, that’s a lot of murder. That’s not even genocide; that’s omnicide.

I guess we’re down to 51 universes left. Oh well. One less thing.