Countdown #49


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Countdown #49


  • Words: Paul Dini & Tony Bedard
  • Art: Carlos Magno
  • Inks: Jay Leisten
  • Colors: Rod Reis
  • Story Title: Stretching the Truth
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: May 23, 2007

With a shocking beginning, a disturbing ending, and a set of rogues out there scheming, Countdown #49 will, if anything, get your attention.

The third issue of DC’s second yearlong project is filled with exposition galore and a few startling revelations that I would not feel comfortable revealing here. Jimmy Olsen is on the trail of the man responsible for killing Joker’s Daughter. But waittaminute, Joker doesn’t have a daughter. Those Monitors have picked three anomalies they need to deal with. Methinks they plan on dealing with those three the same way they dealt with Joker’s Daughter . . . uh-oh. Oh, lest we forget this is a BIG story, Flash’s rogues scheme, placing the Trickster and the Piper in some dangerous situations and Mary Marvel looks for her power. Whew! I know. That’s a lot for one issue.

I have two questions. A. How much does Paul Dini get paid for this gig? B. Where do I sign up to write the next one? I know other writers are doing most of the scripting and whatnot, but nevertheless, it must be overwhelming. On the other hand, Dini gets to play in the DC Universe in current time, not the between year that the Four were dealing with on 52. Exciting. Perhaps because it is such an exciting project some of that feeling bleeds over into the actual story. With appearances by everyone from Killer Croc to Superman, Countdown’s pace is nonstop. Focusing on Jimmy Olsen also makes the reader feel what it must be like to live on Superman’s Earth, having no powers, being just a regular guy. We all know we are regular guys and hope that if we were at least in a comic we would be friends with a superhero, right?

Unfortunately, not everything is perfect. Perhaps one of the biggest downsides to Countdown when compared to 52 is the spastic art lineup. With 52 one guy did all the breakdowns so the look was similar throughout. With Countdown, sadly, that is not true. Though this week’s artist, Carlos Magno, is a fine artist who really does have something I have decided is the DC Look, I am worried about the constant changes we are in store for. Magno’s style tends to hearken back to the Kubert brothers in their younger days. No, he isn’t up to par with either brother yet, but who knows, maybe someday he will be. But that look is very distinct. It is a style that isn’t often emulated well. If next week’s artist has a different look for the same story, then the next week’s is different again, and again, and again, throughout, it could get old fast. So, though Magno’s work is solid and strong, will next week’s be?

Following one ambitious project with another is risking and I applaud DC for it. If they can keep a rotating group of artists that have at least similar styles and Dini’s frenetic pace leads somewhere, this could be just as good as 52.

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