Countdown to Final Crisis #19- Countdown is so much better when the writers decide to dump some stories and concentrate on the remaining ones. Even this week when the stories are on Jimmy Olsen and Holly Robinson, they still managed to put together a good issue. Cause the fact that the main story was on Piper dragging around the corpse of Trickster might have something to do with it, but the point is this. Why can't they do this at the start of the series instead of the end?
Countdown Arena #2 & #3- I have never heard of Keith Champage before, but I can see why DC hired him. Whereas most writers would have put together a story consisting of nothing but slugfests after slugfests (see World War Hulk for example), Champage had tried to put together a good story on this gimmick series. He is mostly successful. I'm especially impressed with how he had Monarch making the mistake of concentrating on the Supermans and not keeping an eye on the defeated heroes. Nothing in the interaction between the various heroes feel forced and there is a flow to the story which is very impressive. The artwork is so-so at best but the story by Champage is excellent. One more issue of this and DC got a success here.