Out for the Count: 8

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As we approach the culmination of Countdown to Final Crisis it’s becoming abundantly clear that some of the recurring continuity points we’ve been highlighting in Out for the Count may not play directly into the events of the weekly series. However, there are a number of ongoing subplots and themes this last year that may yet prove to have far greater significance for the broader DCU. Why all the contradictions in Superman and Supergirl’s continuities? Is there something more telling to the sudden plethora of alternate futures on New Earth and why so much manipulation in the timestream? How do Ra’s Al Ghul and Talia fit into the Bigger Picture? Are the changes in the mythos of the Green Lantern Corps tied into Final Crisis? Is anyone ever going to clarify what the Tenth Age of Magic is really all about...?

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 #8: Ray Palmer faces up to the threat of the Morticoccus virus as Karate Kid lies close to death. The assembled heroes on Apokolips bicker about their next step while Jimmy Olsen tries to take the initiative. Darkseid wins his chess game at last and Solomon’s temper tantrum leads to more revelations about the events of the last year...

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

The recent history of Earth-8 and the arrival of Monarch is seen from the perspective of its inhabitants in Countdown Presents: Lord Havok and the Extremists #5.

And you can also see events from recent issues of Countdown to Final Crisis from another viewpoint in Countdown to Adventure #7 as we learn how Forerunner got to Earth-51's universe.

A major element of DC Crises past shows its ugly face in DC Special: Raven #1 when the Psycho-Pirate’s Medusa Mask reappears.

More follow-ups to The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul in both Detective Comics #842 and Nightwing #142.

Major developments on the cosmic side of the DCU continue in Green Lantern #28.

Take a trip (kind of) to Earth-21 in Justice League: The New Frontier Special #1.

And there are yet more time-travel twists and turns in Supergirl #27. Can you say "alternate future timeline"?

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

The Coming Crisis – Sinestro speaks of the prophecy of The Blackest Night and the unknown shadows that threaten to end the universe. Does this have any tie-in to Final Crisis? (Green Lantern #28)

The Death of the New Gods – The reason Jimmy Olsen was under Darkseid’s protection is that the ruler of Apokolips has been using Olsen as a repository for the powers of the dead New Gods, for his use at a later date. Darkseid had concluded that, as Jimmy is Superman’s best friend, other factions would be unlikely to threaten him. How this ties into what the Source has been doing with the souls of the New Gods in The Death of the New Gods and the second Source Wall remains unclear. Solomon transports Jimmy and the other heroes to an unidentified Earth to keep Olsen from Darkseid’s clutches. (Countdown to Final Crisis #8)

The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul – Batman learns the history of the Suit of Sorrows, the strange armor Talia recently gave him. The suit can accentuate the violent part of its wearer and played a part in an atrocity committed by a Twelfth Century Knight that was subsequently covered up by a splinter group of the Order of St. Dumas. (Detective Comics #842)

Dick Grayson discovers that Talia is behind the conspiracy of stolen superhuman corpses and genetic experiments that he has recently been investigating. (Nightwing #142)

The Sinestro Corps War – The repercussions of the war are felt as the Guardians of the Universe rewrite the Book of Oa again, bringing in their second new law allowing lethal force against all enemies of the Corps. The Ysmault-influenced Red Lantern Corps is founded when expelled GL Laira becomes the first Red Lantern. And those old rivals of the Guardians, the Controllers (creators of the Darkstars) seek to tap into the Orange light. (Green Lantern #28)

Monarch’s Manipulations – Or, perhaps, the manipulations of Monarch... We learn that Solomon the Monitor was responsible for causing the rupture in Captain Atom’s quantum shell in The Battle for Bludhaven miniseries. This was in order to push him to the dark side as Monarch. He would then become Solomon’s "king" on the chessboard and help him achieve his aim of becoming the "Omni-Monitor". (Countdown to Final Crisis #8)

Monarch’s former ally Forerunner discovers an abandoned Space Shuttle at the Source Wall that contains a mysterious cryogenically-frozen body. But from what Earth has the shuttle come and who is the inhabitant? (Countdown to Adventure #7)

A Crisis in Time? – Supergirl finds herself on New Earth 400 years in the future after a time-travelling assassin tries to kill her with a kryptonite bullet. In our near future, Kara’s attempts to save a young cancer patient will lead her down a path where she will attempt to cure all of the planet’s ills. In hastening mankind’s evolution Kara effectively took our humanity and a small pocket of future activists are determined to see that the past is changed by either killing her or trapping her in the future. Eventually she is rescued and returned to the present by the future police force known as the Batmen. But the ominous possibility remains that Supergirl’s good intentions may have dire consequences in bringing this alternate future about... (Supergirl #27)

The Great Disaster – Darkseid is quite happy for Solomon to unleash the Morticoccus virus as he has no place for superhumans in his new Fifth World. Solomon’s transportation of the heroes from Apokolips to Earth may also be about spreading the virus further. (Countdown to Final Crisis #8)

Join us next week for a whole load of Salvation Run, lots of Suicide Squad, yet more Gotham Underground and a host of OMACs. See you then.

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