“They’d just be getting in my way.” – Superman
|“Countdown To Final Crisis” #3 on sale now|
DC Comics’ "Countdown To Infinite Crisis" #3 begins this week at the Hall of Justice, as the Challengers work to convince Roy Harper, the Red Arrow, of the danger posed by Darkseid’s recent capture of Jimmy Olsen. Suffice to say, Roy has a hard time keeping all the players straight, especially now that Ray Palmer has vanished once again. And can you blame him? We’ve been here for 49 weeks, and poor Roy gets one short conversation? Definitely hard to process, which gives Darkseid time to hang out with his newest playthings.
Jimmy and Darkseid confront each other, with Mary Marvel standing on the sidelines, but it isn’t very long before Jimmy’s classic nickname of “Superman’s Pal” comes into play, with Big Blue arriving to lay a serious smackdown on Darkseid. With Supes comes Forager and the remaining Challengers, who try to take the fight to Mary Marvel, leaving the rest of the playing field for Superman and Darkseid’s confrontation.
Ah, but what’s this? Darkseid has a failsafe built into Jimmy Olsen. Charging the young man with his Omega Beams, Darkseid triggers the failsafe, turning Jimmy into a living vessel of Kryptonite. The radiation immediately takes hold of Superman, driving him to near-death, while Mary Marvel trounces the heroes assembled against her.
Inside Jimmy’s body, Ray Palmer (so that’s where he went!) awakes to find himself facing the microtechnology that Darkseid used to mutate Jimmy. Noticing the familiar tang of Kryptonite in the air, Ray works quickly to disable the device, only to be swamped almost immediately by some sort of defense system made of bug-like creatures. Jimmy breaks free of Darkseid’s control long enough for his natural defensive powers to kick in, mutating him into a giant reptilian juggernaut. Fully powered, Jimmy demands a showdown with the Lord of Apokolips.
For our closer, the Origin of Amazo as presented by Scott Beatty and Doug Mahnke.
BE: Three. Somehow the fact that only two weeks are left before “Final Crisis” really hit me this week. I feel like I’ve been freaking married to you for a year. Thank God this is — what? “Trinity?” Oh yeah. Guess I’m stuck with you.
JE: Stuck? Stuck?!
BE: Paul Dini and Sean McKeever continue scripting the endgame. We’ve seen the advertisements, and is this the battle that evil wins?
JE: It starts off seeming that way, yes, but then, well, I guess we’ll get to that down the line.
BE: Freddie Williams II and Pete Pantazis are our artists this week. Good stuff, I’ve enjoyed Freddie’s “The Flash” work and I like what we see here.
JE: I enjoyed his turn on “Robin” back during One Year Later, and he’s got an appropriate style for the script.
BE: While the Challengers play 20 Questions with Red Arrow, Jimmy Olsen has to face Darkseid and his sidekick, Mary Marvel, alone. Backtrack one year and ask yourself if you ever thought you’d see that sentence.
JE: I can honestly say that I did not, though it has been quite the rollercoaster.
BE: A very surreal rollercoaster.
JE: And trippy. Can’t forget trippy.
BE: But Jimmy isn’t called Superman’s Pal for nothing, the big blue boy scout is here and he’s manhandling the last of the lord of Apokolips.
JE: I always love to see Superman/Darkseid throwdowns. After all, how often does Superman get to cut loose on anyone or anything that can actually take the kind of punishment he can dish out? Screw hanging out at the Daily Planet, this is the Superman I like to see.
BE: Why is it that Darkseid always says, "You dare lay your hands on mighty Darkseid?" when he knows that Superman has and happily will pimp-slap him?
JE: I could never figure that one out, either. Though, to follow your train of thought, if Superman ever asks Darkseid what the five fingers said to the face, we’ll have hit a new peak in comics entertainment.
BE: Where is the Keith Giffen dialog when you need it?
JE: Hey, the poor man has been run ragged these past two years, so let’s leave him to his Ambush Bug vacation, shall we?
BE: Apparently Superman’s recent visit with the New Gods has damaged his memory, since he’s blaming Darkseid for the death of the New Gods.
JE: Maybe he knows something we don’t. Isn’t there still one issue left in "Death of the New Gods?"
BE: There is, but I will be highly surprised if Darkseid is behind the Source’s attempt to kill the New Gods. I do, however, have the feeling that all of this is going to lead to the street-people New Gods from Grant Morrison’s “Seven Soldiers Of Victory: Mister Miracle" series.
JE: Seems logical enough to me. But hey, I’ll take anything to get back the New Gods, whatever form they have to take.
BE: Darkseid as a mobster could be very cool. Move him into Gotham and “Batman” would write itself.
JE: I can’t disagree. In fact, I think I can already see the story taking shape.
BE: And while Supes and Darkseid go at it, Mary fights Forager. My money is on Mary.
JE: Sucker bet! I hate to sound biased against a species, but Forager really is just about a gnat compared to the charge Mary’s running on.
BE: Speciest! Admit it, you hate bug people.
JE: It’s the antennae. They just creep me out.
BE: Fortunately for Bug-Girl, the Challengers are here to even the odds against the powered-up Mary Marvel.
JE: If you can call it "even." She completely tears the group apart. Maybe they’re wishing they hadn’t driven Jason off now, hm?
BE: As much as I like Jason, he wouldn’t make a dent, unless he pulls out some Batman mojo.
JE: Which is what I was thinking. There’s no way he could throw down with Mary one-on-one, but having a highly intelligent distraction is always helpful.
BE: Kryptonite Jimmy?
JE: That was weird. No other word for it. Just freakin’ weird. I thought someone slipped me something.
BE: Ray Palmer flips a switch in Jimmy’s brain and it’s time for one last transformation, the one we’ve all been waiting for: Turtle Boy.
JE: "We," kemosabe?
BE: Indeed. Hasn’t everyone been waiting on Turtle Boy?
JE: Well, people, have you?
BE: Origin this week is Amazo. Once again Scott Beatty brings it home in remarkable fashion, but we also get Doug Manke on the art. Gorgeous stuff.
JE: Very excellent, and Amazo has always just been cool.
BE: Next week it’s the big showdown between — I almost can’t say it — Darkseid versus Jimmy Olsen.
JE: Allow me to turn the tables: Backtrack one year and ask yourself if you ever thought you’d see that sentence.
BE: Yeah. No.
Panel of the Week
Now that’s what I call powerful. Ouch.
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