Countdown to Final Crisis #21- The up and down ride that is Countdown is up this week. Most of the reason is due to the follow-up to the Trickster/Pied Piper cliffhanger last issue, it's a twist that the writers finally get right. I never got the animated Batman Beyond series, so I don't care about seeing them back in action (as Earth-12). The good points in this issue override the bad ones. The bad points is of course the Holly Robinson story. Yes, she's back and the issue died the moment she appears. The Karate Kid story make no sense but hey, we get to see OMAC back due to him, so I will forgive that. Less Karate Kid, much less Holly Robinson, no Jimmy Olsen and Countdown might, just might, get somewhere.
Countdown Arena #1- Yes, I know. This mini-series is nothing but a gimmick. But as far as gimmicks go, its a good one. Round up a number of the DC Multiverse's different versions of famous superheroes, and have them duke it out. Credit to writer Keith Champage for trying to put a story to this slugfest, he did much much better than I expected. I not that sure about the manga-inspired art but it's passable.The first issue has Monarch kidnapping several versions of DC superheroes and then dumping them in the Bleed. First battle is between the three different Nightshades (one of which I believe comes from DC proper, another is the Vertigo version) and then with a brawl between the three Batmen (Red Rain, Gotham by Gaslight and some other guy). The issue works, it was a hoot watching 2 Batmans analyzing each other fighting style but I had 2 main problems with this series. One; why did DC let fans vote on the winners? Is there any question that Red Rain Batman will win the fan's vote? To me, this is a big problem as letting fans pick the winners makes this gimmick comic even more gimmickry than it has to be. And that lowered the excitement factor in the series. Also I dislike the fact that DC is willing to let the different versions die. I'm not someone who care too much about characters dying, IF there's a good reason or good story for it. I mean I'm unhappy they let Earth 15 get destroyed by Superman Prime, and now this! What's the use of having all these interesting parallel earths if you are going to wipe them out left, right and centre. If DC are going to do that, why not let these Elseworlds stay in cold storage. It's better than letting them be destroyed right?
Annihilation: Conquest #2- Annihilation's sequel continue the high octane action as war engulf the whole of Kree space. I'm still not happy with Nova's absence or Ultron being the Phalanx's main man. Why do so many people like this idiot robot? But onwards to the story. The High Evolutionary makes a welcome addition to Conquest's cast as lines are drawn and alliance made. Adam Warlock new costume is...let say interesting. The Star-Lord crew make their appearance as Peter Quill and his band try their best to make a dent in the Phalanx machine and Ronan try a deal with his, and the Kree's, main enemy. Quasar, Moondragon, and Warlock are still looking for the Kree Empire's only hope, whatever that is. Everything is fast moving and the action is hard, fast and brutal. Saying that, I can't help but think of the original Annihilation and how this series is matching up to the original. The story was better then, the artwork was better then and the original also feel more important. Having said all that, Annihilation Conquest is still a damm good series. Easily one of the better series in the market now.