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Out for the Count: 23-22

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We’re back and there’s lots to cover this week so no time for idle chit-chat beyond a little memo to Dan Didio that he forgot Earth-33 in this week’s DC Nation page, and that Earth-43’s first appearance was actually in DCU Inifinite Halloween Special #1. Dan - you should be reading Out for the Count more often. You’d be keeping up with the minutiae if you were…

Hey look kids it’s 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 fortnight…

In Countdown #23: Mr. Mxyzptlk discovers the power of the Superman brand while Monarch’s forces take out the Dominion for target practice and Eclipso has a proposition for Mary Marvel…

In Countdown #22: Mary Marvel turns the tables on Eclipso as Jimmy Olsen finds an ally in Mister Miracle. Mxyzptlk goes into hiding and the Pied Piper realizes the Trickster is something of a dead weight…

The Players
(this fortnight’s principal cast)

Superman-Prime’s appearances here must take place sometime after the events of Green Lantern #25 and the end of the war with the Sinestro Corps. Mister Miracle’s timeline is confusing. It’s obviously some point after The Death of the New Gods #1 but that doesn’t explain why he’s not wearing his recolored costume. Deadshot’s participation here presumably occurs before the events of The Fall of the Wall in current Checkmate issues. Our other major players’ stories continue from previous issues of Countdown.

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

Superman’s involvement with the classic version of the Legion of Super-Heroes is spotlighted in Action Comics #859.

A leftover from the last Crisis rears its ugly head as OMAC returns in Batman and the Outsiders #2.

Big Barda’s death impacts on the team in Birds of Prey #112.

There’s more reality-warping madness for the Flash and the Doom Patrol in The Brave and the Bold #8.

Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad face the music in Checkmate #20.

More on Earth-8 in Countdown Presents: Lord Havok and the Extremists #2.

See the sights of Earth-19 in Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer: Gotham By Gaslight #1.

Forerunner’s story takes a dramatic twist on Earth-33 in Countdown to Adventure #4.

Eclipso resumes her mission for Darkseid in Countdown to Mystery #3.

Say goodbye to a few more Kirby creations in The Death of the New Gods #3.

Parts 3 and 4 of The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul can be found in Detective Comics #838 and Batman #671.

There’s another lesson from the unholy book in 52 Aftermath: Crime Bible: Five Lessons of Blood #2.

Apokoliptian links aplenty in 52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen #4.

The future of Earth-50 is in turmoil in Gen13: Armageddon #1.

Green Lantern Corps #18 pits Superman Prime against the new Ion as the Sinestro Corps war continues.

The Salvation Run’s after-effects can be felt in Gotham Underground #2.

World War III’s consequences rock the Legion 1000 years later in Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #36.

How many futures does New Earth have? More light is shed in Superman Annual #13.

And the chronal anomalies rack up in Teen Titans #53 as the Titans of Tomorrow’s future impacts on our present.

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

The Source Wall - Takion, the conduit of the Source, is abandoned and can no longer access it. We learn that the Source "above all else strives for the creation of a better universe". Or perhaps the recreation of a better universe? Does The Source = The Architects? Hmmm… (The Death of the New Gods #3)

The Death of the New Gods – Takion recognizes the New Gods Killer before he, too, is murdered. Kanto, Mantis’s guards and many Apokoliptian storm troopers are all killed by the entity this week. Metron starts putting the pieces together regarding the killer’s identity speaking of previously wrong assumptions and betrayal. (The Death of the New Gods #3)

A memorial service is held for Big Barda and Lady Blackhawk says goodbye in her own, inimitable way. (Birds of Prey #112)

Monarch’s manipulations – Monarch states he wants to reshape the universe to his vision. (Countdown Presents: Lord Havok and the Extremists #2)

Monarch attempts to persuade the mystical heroes of the "Conjurors" world to join his cause. After her confrontation with Dark Angel on Earth-33, Forerunner finds her value to Monarch has vanished when the despot tries to kill her. (Countdown to Adventure #4)

The Temptation of Mary Marvel – Eclipso wants Mary Marvel to become Darkseid’s concubine in a scheme to eventually depose him. (Countdown to Final Crisis #22)

Eclipso seeks to corrupt more heroes at Darkseid‘s behest. The Creeper remembers being murdered by Eclipso in Eclipso #13. Wasn’t Jack Ryder recently rebooted? (Countdown to Mystery #4)

Salvation Run – Amanda Waller makes her last stand in the Checkmate organization when the internal war for control of the agency reaches its conclusion. Blackmailed over her part in the Salvation Run, Waller is forced to resign. (Checkmate #20)

Deadshot, convinced the Rogues could leak the existence of Salvation Run, continues his pursuit of them and kills the Trickster, although Pied Piper survives the shooting. (Countdown to Final Crisis #22)

Batman’s investigations into Penguin’s underground railway and the Salvation Run continue behind bars. (Gotham Underground #2)

The Sinestro Corps War – Starro is working on behalf of the Sinestro Corps, sowing fear while the confrontation between present and future Titans continues. (Teen Titans #53)

The Mystery of the Legion – Tying together some Legion-related subplots, Supergirl finally returns to the present day as elements of Action Comics #850 and the Karate Kid team-up in recent Supergirl issues become clearer. Kara is stripped of her memories of her time with the Legion when she’s sent home but, as we know, this will prove to be only a temporary development. (Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #36)

Superman’s trip to an alternative LSH era continues as the classic Legion Earth’s descent into alien-hating dystopia continues. It’s revealed that the United Planets grows out of treaties Superman will negotiate in his future. In New Earth continuity this, rather than his time as Superboy, appears to be his inspiration to the Legion. (Action Comics #859)

The Phantom Stranger states that New Earth has many futures and the one with the classic Legion is just one of many potentials. (Superman Annual #13)

The Coming Crisis – Who is the mysterious Megistus manipulating the Book of Destiny and does he play any part in the Bigger Picture? (The Brave and the Bold #8)

On Earth-33 Lady Flash reveals she is willing to sacrifice herself as all speed mages do "in times of Crisis." (Countdown to Adventure #4)

Mister Miracle says the Fourth World has lived it life and that it’s counting down. He also subverts that old Fourth World opener with the line "There came a time when the New Gods died…" (Countdown to Final Crisis #22)

The Fifth Dimension exists outside the Multiverse. After escaping Superman-Prime Mr. Mxyzptlk seals it off from the rest of reality stating that "He’s out there.. He’s the end!" Will Superman-Prime be the catalyst for the end of the Fourth World and the rebooting of reality? (Countdown to Final Crisis #22)

The Search for Ray Palmer – Ray is revealed to be searching the Multiverse to learn more about the coming Crisis. The Blue Beetle of Earth-19 bears the Atom tattoo. (Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer: Gotham By Gaslight #1)

Lady Flash of the "Conjurors" Earth-33 bears the Atom tattoo meaning she has come into contact with Ray Palmer and, presumably, will meet the Challengers from Beyond in the future. (Countdown to Adventure #4)

Earthwatch

Earth-3 – Superman-Prime uses Annataz Arataz, the Zatanna of Earth-3, to keep Mr. Mxyzptlk in check. (Countdown to Final Crisis #23)

Earth-8 – More on the history of Angor this week. How Earth-8’s history ties into New Earth’s is problematic. Presumably these aren’t the same Extremists who fought the Justice League. However we can’t write the Extremists out of New Earth continuity either as Blue Jay was recently seen in Action Comics #s 841-843. More continuity-crunching confusion.

In a sidebar, who is the mysterious stranger who offers Gorgon comfort after revealing he is responsible for his wife’s death? Could it be the Tangent Universe’s Green Lantern? There’s a resemblance there and she also has the power to interact with the dead. (Countdown Presents: Lord Havok and the Extremists #2)

Earth-43 – The Red Rain world infected Kyle Rayner’s power ring, causing him to create a vampiric horde on Earth-19. (Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer: Gotham By Gaslight #1)

Wow. That was a busy fortnight's worth of Countdown fun and games to cover! Let me add R.I.P. the Trickster as well. I didn’t see the assassination of James Jesse by the coward Floyd Lawton coming and thought for sure that Piper was the doomed Rogue. About time that events in Countdown actually surprised me! Join us in seven, with your gladiatorial accessories at the ready, as we enter the Countdown: Arena…

 

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