Everything that has been building up over the course of the counting down of the past ten months finally comes to a head in this issue, as the Great Disaster finally hits, devastating the entire universe, leaving millions dead, cities burning, and human-animal hybrids destroying whatever’s in their paths. And, let me tell you, for all the build, all the escalation, all the anticipation, there’s really only one sentence I need to fully encapsulate my reaction to this issue:
Boy, does it ever suck.
First, let’s dispense a quick summation before we jump into the logic behind the reasons why this issue is completely worthless. The story is told by Buddy Blanks’ narration; there is absolutely no dialogue in this issue. He’s a scientist at Cadmus on this alternate earth. Martian Manhunter still looks the way he did prior to Brave New World, and he’s still a part of the JLA. The morticoccus virus escapes Karate Kid’s body, and it spreads. Quickly. It infects people and turns them into wild animals, at which point they kill everybody around them, burn stuff, just, y’know, fuck as much shit up as possible.
The virus eventually spreads overseas, and the entire world is clueless as to how to stop it. Buddy decides to leave Cadmus and go find his family before they’re infected, at which point Una decides to go with him. She explains (through Buddy’s narration) that, since the virus was hosted in Karate Kid, and since disease prevention and medicine is so much more advanced in the time period that Karate Kid comes from (the 31st Century), that there’s no way we’ll be able to cure it, even if we spend the next ten centuries trying to develop a way to do it. The virus has already countered every possible threat to it, far into the future. Get it? Good.
At issue’s close, Green Lantern Hal Jordan from this earth heads to space to find help, unwittingly taking the virus with him. So, the whole universe is doomed!
Only, it isn’t our universe. This isn’t New Earth, folks. It’s similar, but it’s not ours, so there’s no reason to give a damn about anything that happens to it. Why, might you ask? Shouldn’t we value every earth in the Multiverse and treat it with respect? Well, if you had asked me that question back in May, I probably would’ve said, “Yes.” But, thanks to Countdown’s complete disregard for Multiversal life, none of it matters anymore.
1. In Countdown #13, the big war between the Monarch’s army and the Monitors ends when Superman-Prime rips open Monarch’s chest plate, thus incinerating the entire universe that was home to Earth-51, in one fell swoop.
2. In Countdown #24, Superman-Prime finds himself frustrated that he can’t locate his home earth. In a huff, he decides to destroy Earth-15 by flying into its core and killing it. Killing it dead.
3. In Countdown Arena, the Monarch recruits the best superheroes from all across the Multiverse. He pits them against each other in battle, with the winner earning a place in his army. For the losers? Death. Well, guess what? The winners all died, too, when Universe-51 got blowed up. So, that’s, what, like, a couple hundred of the best superheroes from this super huge 52-universe-wide Multiverse that are all dead now? Awesome.
So, do you see what I’m saying? When the destruction of an entire alternate universe is given such flippant treatment within the very same series that now demands we give this climax some huge amount of regard and enthusiasm, there’s very little reason that anybody should give one hot damn about what happens here. It’s just one less universe to care about. One less Earth to maybe one day read some adventures about.
Oh, and for those of you who have been paying attention, the entire reason for the Monitors’ presence in this series, as revealed back in Countdown #26, to prevent universe-hoppers from destroying the Source Wall and thus starting a steady flow of Crisis waves, has been made moot within the pages of Death of the New Gods this week. The Source Wall’s been destroyed, and I don’t see any Crisis waves. Stupid Monitors.
They, like this series and everybody working on it, have got shit for brains.