Daily Archives: June 14, 2007

Quick Critiques – June 14, 2007

Countdown #46 (DC Comics)
by Paul Dini, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray & Jesus Saiz/by Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund

You’d be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of DC Universe characters than me, and I love to see lesser known characters put to use in adventure stories and cosmic crossovers. So Countdown should be firing on all cylinders as far as I’m concerned, right? Wrong. This sixth issue of DC’s current weekly series disappoints in a number of ways. The more traditional tone to the super-hero story is lost when we see Mary marvel against a demon made up with the souls of stillborn babies. Stillborn babies? Who thought that was a good idea for a mainstream DC super-hero book? To be fair, it’s an interesting concept and definitely evokes an emotional response from the reader, but it would be more at home in a Swamp Thing or Hellblazer comic from DC’s Vertigo imprint. The new character introduced in this issue, Forerunner, doesn’t stand out in any way. All we know of her is that she’s a speedster, but the design looks generic inspired by the empty, Kewl mode of super-hero comics of the early 1990s. I remain interested in the Jimmy Olsen plotline, and Jason Todd’s detective skills help him stand out as an interesting character. I’m also a fan of the Flash’s Rogues Gallery, but the writers prove with this issue that including Piper among their number once again just doesn’t jibe with past continuity. Saiz’s art is pretty solid here, especially the Mary Marvel scenes (and his design for the unsettling demon is quite powerful). The “History of the Multiverse” backup story just doesn’t work in this format. The cosmic recap of DC’s past just doesn’t work in four-page spurts. Furthermore, Rapmund’s inks sometimes get in the way of Jurgens’s normally crisp, dynamic lines; the Monitor crowd scenes always look rushed, and the small distinctions among the Monitors are rarely clear. 3/10

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