Overview

Out for the Count: 21

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A brisker week’s worth of Countdown-related material this week as a couple of scheduled tie-ins I was expecting to cover didn’t appear to have shipped to the UK. Let’s jump straight into our Spoiler Warning: Read no further if you’ve not had your DC fix this fortnight and don’t want to read about key story elements.

Events this week…

In Countdown to Final Crisis #21: Insert predictable joke about The Trickster becoming a drag here, as Pied Piper finds himself chained to a corpse. Granny Goodness and Desaad’s scheming continues as Holly and Harley find themselves in the dark on Themyscira. The Challengers from Beyond get animated on Earth-12 and Karate Kid asks what the collective noun for a group of OMACs is...

The Players
(this week’s principal cast)

Once more, our regular cast’s adventures are largely continuing from the last few Countdown issues. A version of the Batman Beyond Dark Knight, though, made his first regular DCU appearance back in Superman/Batman #22 and our trip to Earth-12 this week gives us a look at a dimension with similarities to the world of the animated TV show’s future Batman.

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

The arena opens its doors to the baying mob in Countdown: Arena #1. Expect wholesale slaughter as Monarch bloods his potential recruits.

See how the Injustice League’s attack on the JLA fits into ongoing plotlines in Justice League of America #15.

The Kingdom Come Superman’s time with the JSA continues in Justice Society of America #11.

We’re up to the fifth part of The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul in Robin #169.

More on the past of Krypton, and the El families, revealed in Supergirl #24.

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

Amazons Attack - Granny Goodness is creating a new army of Female Furies from humans. Is there a specific reason for using humanity in her plans and does it tie into Darkseid’s long-standing interest in the Earth. (Countdown to Final Crisis #21)

Monarch’s manipulations – We see Monarch capturing heroes from Earths 12, 19, 21 and 31 to take part in his search for the ultimate army. We’ll take each week’s bouts in order rather than examining every character in one go this week. First up, Eve of Shadows is victorious against The Shade and what appears(?) to be New Earth’s Nightshade. But her victory comes at a price when her attempts to escape provoke Monarch into destroying the U.S.A. on her Earth.

In the second contest the vampire Batman of Earth-43 kills the Gotham By Gaslight Batman of Earth-19 and the Liberty Files Batman of Earth-40. (Countdown: Arena #1)

Superman’s Continuity Conflicts – More flashbacks to Krypton as we see Kara’s memories of her life on the planet. Kara’s past has apparently changed again. This is a more idyllic beginning for her but there’s no explanation as to why on New Earth Supergirl seems to have two origins. In one she was sent to Earth by her father to kill Superman and in the other to look after him. (Supergirl #24)

Salvation Run – The Justice League defeat the Injustice League but have no time to savour their victory when Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad collect the captured super-villains ready to transport them off-world. (Justice League of America #15)

The Monitors – Have started taking names. The belligerent Monitor of Earth-8 have reportedly called himself "Solomon". (Countdown to Final Crisis #21)

The Great Disaster – Karate Kid inadvertently activates a plague of OMACs who seem inextricably entwined with the Great Disaster. (Countdown to Final Crisis #21)

The Search for Ray Palmer – Bob the Monitor knows exactly where Ray Palmer is after the Monitor of Earth-12 reveals that Palmer is living "a life of no consequence". (Countdown to Final Crisis #21)

The Architects’ Plans? – More meta-textual stuff going on this week when Starman turns to the readership and asks if anyone out there has a map of the Multiverse. No coincidence I think that Dan Didio published one last week on the DC Nation page. With Grant Morrison writing Final Crisis I become more convinced each week that some major fourth wall-breaking fun and games could play a part in this latest crisis. (Justice Society of America #11)

Earthwatch

The denizens of more Earths than you can shake a Monitor’s fist at appear in Countdown: Arena #1 this week. There are also significant developments on...

Earth-2 – The Flashes of New Earth use the cosmic treadmill to investigate the Multiverse and get a very brief glimpse of Earth-2. (Justice Society of America #11)

Earth-12 – The Batman Beyond reality is shown in full for the first time and we meet Nix Uotan, the Monitor of this universe. Could there be some significance in that name? (Countdown to Final Crisis #21)

That’s it for seven days. Next week we have nearly 20 DCU books that could, potentially, be tied into that Countdown Bigger Picture. Until then I’ll leave you with another question - just what is going on with the Superman Family’s continuity... ? See you in a week.

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