Man, am I glad that we have Wikipedia around! I've been taking time the past few days trying to catch up on the DCU for the past three years. As I may have mentioned before, the last DC book I read was IDENTITY CRISIS and there appear to have been several 'events' between that series and COUNTDOWN.
(This might have some SPOILERS so keep that in mind and don't say I didn't warn you!)
Looks like all or most of the old Charlton Heroes have been killed off or gone MIA, now we have this new Blue Beetle and The Question is either dead or soon to be. Wikipedia has several dozen characters listed as being dead, including the Earth-Two SUPERMAN & WONDER WOMAN and the partial clone SUPERBOY (Connor Kent) among them.
I'm glad I'm taking my time with COUNTDOWN, reading only one issue a day, since there's so much to absorb. I have to stop every few pages to try and recall who this or that character is or was (in some cases). With the Multiverse back, that makes things even harder since a hero/villain from another Earth might have been very different from their Earth One counterpart.
So, Jimmy Olsen has his signal watch and is back to being Superman's best friend. Jimmy's 'guardian angel' is keeping tabs on him and apparently a number of heroes & villains know this. The coolest thing (in my book) is that Olsen appears to have super-powers and doesn't know it. When he's attacked by Killer Croc (still in his devolved lizardy appearance) and goes all rubbery I wanted to cheer. What a fanboy, huh? Can't wait for him to turn into Giant Turtle-boy Jimmy in a future issue!
Seriously, I like the fact that Olsen seems to be as clueless about this as the reader. It seems as if, at least initially, the story will focus on the mystery of Jimmy's new abilities and Mary Marvel trying to regain her own.
Finally, where did several members of the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES come from? I've seen Karate Kid (who really has to get a new name) and Star Boy so far, and assume there may be one or two others up there in the Satellite of Love...er, Justice League headquarters. The Wikipedia articles mentions that the LS-H come from Earth-247, if I remember correctly.
Do I have to say that I love this?