Wednesday, September 19, 2007

DC Countdown #37-33: We're still reading it!


Things are not going smoothly in the DCU, at least for the characters featured in this series. I’ve got plenty of SPOILERS in this bit so if you haven’t read these issues you should know that I’m going to give lots away.

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Mary Marvel is acting like a real little B**** here, turning violently on Zatanna to whom she had gone to for help. We get plenty of up the skirt shots of MM thanks to the art teams in some of the books, but we should remember that when not powered up she is a young girl. Banished from Zatanna’s home, Mary turns to Klarion, the Witch Boy (an old Kirby creation recently revived by DC) for assistance. We see behind all of this the manipulation of MM by the new female Eclipso.

Sadly, we also see the return of Slade Wilson (Deathstroke), a killer and child molester for whom DC believes we should feel sympathy. At least that was the implication I got from the two-page ‘origin’ of the character in one of the issues. As of #37, the history of the DCU multiverse has ended and in its place are two page origins of various characters who appear major players in the series.

Anyway, Deathstroke plants mini-bombs in the throats of Trickster and the Pied Piper to keep them from giving his plans away, but the two rogues are helped by Wally West (back again as The Flash). Wally and others are seeking to bring the Rogues to justice for the murder of Bart West, so he is not a big fan of Trickster or Piper. Along with Jimmy Olsen, we are following the two former villains as they stumble from one bad situation to another.

Speaking of the Daily Planet’s cub reporter, Jimmy again gets his butt handed to him by some heroes as he tries to prove his worthiness. His powers only show up when he is being threatened by deadly force, which the heroes certainly don’t intend. In the most recent issue (#33) we see Jimmy first shadowed by and then confronted by agents from Project Cadmus (yet another Kirby creation from his Fourth World books) who offer to ‘help’ Olsen with his little problem.

The current Catwoman, Holly Robinson, along with the former Harley Quinn are still living in the ‘women’s shelter’ established by Amazons. Again, thanks to the art teams we get plenty of “A” but no “T”, if you know what I mean, with Holly and other ladies doing back flips and such in short togas. There is dialogue in those panels, but I don’t know who is paying attention. Personally, I get tossed out of the story by this fan-service stuff.

Finally, Donna Troy, Jason Todd, “Bob” the Monitor and the current Atom (Dr. Ryan Choi) are not having a good time of it in their search for the missing Ray Palmer. In fact, the good doctor gets literally snatched up and disappears from the series, his fate left in the hands of his regular writer/artist team in his book. Fan sites report that he will become one of the new Challengers of the Unknown, or will travel with them. As a fan of many of the incarnations of this old DC team I probably should be on the look out for their appearances. Anyway, Jason & Donna are joined by Crabface Guy…um..Kyle Rayner the imitation Green Latrine (if that doesn't prove my continued dislike of the character I don't know what will). It seems that Crabface will be showing his true colors (pardon the expression) and joining the Sinestro Corps as Parallax.

I have to admit that the last few issues haven’t done as much for me as the early issues. Maybe with so much going on, especially outside the Countdown series and in other books, that I’m still pretty confused by events. I’m still curious enough to keep buying the series, but hope that by the half way point some things are explained. And, yes I know that this series will only lead into another! That’s a spoiler I could have done without myself.
The headline will take you over to the official DC site with some more possible spoilers.
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