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Out for the Count: 11

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Welcome to Broken Frontier's regular look across the DC line at the clues and hints pertaining to the future of the DC Universe. Next week the count reaches "10" and we enter the Final Countdown to the Final Crisis. For over forty weeks now we’ve been providing speculation and conjecture on the nature of the Countdown, the coming Crisis and its associated storylines. Sometimes we’ve been remarkably prescient in our predictions and sometimes waaaay off the mark... but we’ll be here for at least another couple of months trying to fit those Bigger Picture puzzle pieces into place.

Spoiler Warning: Read no further if you’ve not had your DC fix this week and don’t want to read about key story elements.

Events this week…

In Countdown to Final Crisis #11: Brother Eye and the OMACs take the war to Apokolips. Pied Piper meets a mysterious "benefactor". Red Robin takes his leave of the Challengers from Beyond while Jimmy Olsen and Forager enlist the Hairies of Habitat to the cause. And in the championship bout between Mary Marvel and Mad Harriet, Mary wins by a nose...

Elsewhere in the DCU
(stories this week that may, or may not, tie into the Bigger Picture)

Booster and the Beetle brigade crossover into the events of Zero Hour in Booster Gold #0.

The ramifications of Dinah and Ollie’s adventure on Themyscira continue to be felt in Green Arrow and Black Canary #5.

Lots of revelations in Gotham Underground #5 as storylines begin to come together.

The saga of the Alpha Lanterns, now confirmed as major players in Final Crisis , plays out in Green Lantern Corps #21.

Yet more deaths among the exiled super-villains as tensions rise on the Hell Planet in Salvation Run #4.

Suicide Squad #6 continues to detail the Squad’s activity just prior to the Salvation Run conspiracy.

Hippolyta’s rehabilitation after the events of the Amazon War comes to a close in Wonder Woman #17.

Continuity Corner
(interesting tidbits from this week’s issues! )

A Crisis in Time? – Booster Gold and the assembled Blue Beetles briefly find themselves involved in the events of a previous Crisis. Their journey through the timestream leads to an encounter with Parallax and Extant during Zero Hour. All this tampering with the past has dire consequences... when Booster and Ted return to the present they find a "great disaster" has fallen the Earth and it’s overrun with OMACs. (Booster Gold #0)

Salvation Run – A third faction emerges as Vandal Savage and a group of female super-villains make their way to a safe zone on the world of the exiles. Elsewhere Monsieur Mallah and The Brain fall afoul of the power plays on the Hell Planet. Beaten to a pulp by Gorilla Grodd they apparently die (again), professing their love for each other. This story retreads the events and themes of Doom Patrol #34 (Jul 90), the issue where Grant Morrison first revealed the characters’ love for one another. (Salvation Run #4)

The Penguin has been working with the Suicide Squad. It would appear he has been luring in the bad guys with the promise of spiriting them to safety before actually giving them up to the very agency he claims to be saving them from. This ties in to earlier events in Countdown when Pied Piper and the Trickster sought out the Penguin’s aid in hiding them from the Squad. Older fans may remember the Penguin was actually a member of the Suicide Squad way back in 1987’s Suicide Squad #s 5-7. In return, he has been supplied with super-villain paraphernalia to equip his own employees with in order to "reshape the Gotham underworld." He is also behind the new Spoiler. (Gotham Underground #5)

The Great Disaster – Are the OMACs the catalyst for this? Brother Eye invades Apokolips this week with the intention of absorbing the planet. More disturbingly Brother Eye wants to assimilate Karate Kid and the virus he has been carrying all these months. (Countdown to Final Crisis #11)

The Crime Bible – As we predicted here in previous OFTCs, an Apokoliptian influence is revealed as a player in the Gotham gang war. Crime Bible-worshipping bad guy, and long-time Intergang boss Bruno Mannheim, is in league with Desaad in his struggle against Tobias Whale. It was Desaad who saved Johnny Denetto in his laboratory on Apokolips after Whale had him skinned alive. There are now three main groups competing for Gotham’s underworld: the Penguin (backed by the Suicide Squad who are probably the ones responsible for taking the Great White Shark out of the picture), Denetto (backed up by Mannheim and Desaad) and the mask-hating Tobias Whale. (Gotham Underground #5)

The Tenth Age of Magic – Mary Marvel can "hear" the voices of the Gods whose magic empowers her. The same Gods that Granny Goodness captured when she was posing as Athena? (Countdown to Final Crisis #11)

Next week sees more of Selina Kyle and Salvation Run, the JLA vs. The Suicide Squad and the next chapter of The Death of the New Gods. See you then...

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