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Out for the Count: 19

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It’s been a quieter week on the Countdown-related front, but that hasn’t stopped there being significant developments in the Salvation Run, Search for Ray Palmer and Monarch storylines. And just what’s going on with Jimmy Olsen? I still have suspicions about the Source having a link to the Architects. Time will tell if I’m being remarkably prescient or if I’m horribly off-base. Here’s your festive 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 #19: The search for Ray Palmer draws near to its close on Earth-51. Holly and Harley find an ally against Granny Goodness when they run into Hippolyta on Themyscira. Jimmy and Forager get closer. Another New God bites the dust. And the Pied Piper prepares to make the cruellest cut...

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

More OMAC madness in the pages of Batman and the Outsiders #3.

Selina finds herself drawn into the cosmic Countdown bigger picture in Catwoman #74.

The fallout from Amanda Waller’s involvement in the Salvation Run conspiracy continues in Checkmate #21.

The slaughter continues as Monarch plots in Countdown: Arena #3.

Earth-11 is the destination of the Challengers from Beyond in Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer: Superwoman/Batwoman #1.

It’s the finale of the Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul in Detective Comics #839.

The Tangent Universe impacts on New Earth in Justice League of America #16.

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

The Death of the New Gods – Bernadeth of the Female Furies becomes the latest victim of the New God-Killer. (Countdown to Final Crisis #19)

Salvation Run – Following Amanda Waller’s removal from the Checkmate hierarchy, Val Vostok (once the Doom Patrol’s Negative Woman) takes her place in the agency as its new White Queen. (Checkmate #21)

Red Arrow shares a Yuletide adventure with former super-villain Mr. Twister. Twister is now homeless but is terrified of being rounded up by the conspiracy behind Salvation Run. (Justice League of America #16)

Catwoman is captured by the Suicide Squad ready for shipment to the prison planet. (Catwoman #74)

The Transformations of Jimmy Olsen – Jimmy appears to be a conduit to the Source from what Forager says this week. Has Jimmy become a human Mother Box? (Countdown to Final Crisis #19)

The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul – I’m still not sure how this is meant to play into the events of Countdown (apart from a population-reducing Great Disaster possibly playing into Ra’s Al Ghul’s long-term plans) but Batman is finally wearing that armor he was depicted sporting in one of the very first Countdown house ads. (Detective Comics #839)

The Search for Ray Palmer – On Earth-11 the female Atom of that reality is revealed to have an Atom tattoo. Ray Palmer told her when he gave it to her that she would "know what to do when the time came". (Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer: Superwoman/Batwoman #1)

Monarch’s Machinations – The Star-people/animals of Earths 7, 17 (Kamandi-Earth) and 48 (Forerunner-Earth) are the first to battle in the Arena this time around with only the Starwoman of Earth-7 surviving the carnage. The Flashes of Earths 2 ("Golden Age"), 3 (Crime Society) and 9 (Tangent) also fight it out with the Crime Society’s Johnny Quick emerging victorious. Finally the contest of the Wonder Women of Earths 18 (Justice Riders), 21 (DC: The New Frontier) and 34 (Amazonia) sees the Earth-34 WW declared the winner.

Elsewhere the heroes gather a force of alternate Captain Atoms to take down Monarch once and for all. (Countdown: Arena #3)

Earthwatch

Earth-9 – The Tangent Earth characters return to New Earth via the Green Lantern from that reality that fell to Earth in Infinite Crisis #7 and caused problems for Kyle Rayner in the recent Ion maxiseries. This leads into the upcoming Tangent: Superman’s Reign book. The Tangent Flash is stranded on New Earth at story’s end. Where this fits in with her appearances in Countdown: Arena remains unclear... (Justice League of America #16)

Earth-11 – An Earth with a gender-swapped theme. Events have played out similarly to New Earth before the Infinite Crisis, except Wonderman has recently killed Maxine Lord on national television. (Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer: Superwoman/Batwoman #1)

Earth-51 – This near-perfect Earth seems likely to be the one where the Challengers from Beyond’s search for the Atom will reach its conclusion. (Countdown to Final Crisis #19)

A very Merry Christmas to one and all! Peace on Multiversal Earths and goodwill to all men, women and alternate reality counterparts. See you next time around.

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