After the incredible success of 52, DC had another weekly series set to debut immediately after entitled “Countdown.” Like 52 before it, Countdown was set to highlight lessor known characters. While this seemed like an interesting premise, the biggest question was, countdown to what? Ultimately, it didn’t matter. This quickly fell of the rails and was promptly retconned out of existence.
Following the shtick set by the title, after issue #52 of 52 released, the following week saw issue #51 of Countdown. The series continued to decrement with each release. Duela Dent is murder by a Monitor. I could spend the next 700 words of this post explaining that sentence, so I won’t. Jason Todd discovered her dead body and went about telling the other Titans which send them on a quest to find Ray Palmer. Meanwhile Darkseid is plotting stuff while Trickster and Pied Piper are on the lamb after murdering current Flash Bart Allen.
Honestly, I didn’t finish this series. I jumped ship somewhere in the mid 40’s (about 10 issues in). This was hot street trash. Apparently, I wasn’t alone in this opinion. Sales plummeted. I typically resell my comics on ebay for multiple reasons (no point in collecting, better than throwing away, recoup some money). I couldn’t give these issues away, eventually throwing them out. The only other comic I recall trashing was Sentry: Fallen Sun. Let’s not bring that up.
I really don’t understand what went wrong. Paul Dini, Justin Gray, and Jimmy Palmiotti are just a few of the writers involved. The pedigree of these three alone is incredibly impressive. The art was decent with Keith Giffen and Jesus Saiz being the only notable ones worth mentioning. Maybe there were too many chefs in the kitchen. That’s a weak argument considering there’s 6 writers compared to 52’s 5. While I can’t say exactly what was the failure with Countdown, it can indeed be called that, a failure.
Somewhere around issue #26, the series was retitled to “Countdown to Final Crisis”, the new event book from resident crazy person Grant Morrison. Honestly, I’m not looking forward to doing a retrospective on that mind bender. Countdown’s biggest problem was it’s lack of continuity. Somewhere along the line things had derailed to the point where Countdown no longer could possibly sync up with the already written first issue of Final Crisis. Countdown continued unabated. At some point Jimmy Olsen became a giant and fought Darkseid. Yep. Mild mannered Daily Planet photographer vs. lord of Apokalypse. You might be surprised to learn Darkseid won.
At the series conclusion it was quickly forgotten and never talked about again, in the books or reality. I call this method of retcon the “U.S. Government Financial Plan” (ignore it till it goes away).
Waste of money.