T-MINUS: "Countdown" #41

By Justin Eger and Brian K. Eason

"Then I'm gonna call you Bob."- Jason Todd

T-Minus 41 With a handful of gear and gadgets in hand, Pied Piper and Trickster made their escape into freefall last issue, and Trickster uses his flying shoes to slow their fall, passing one to Piper and wearing one himself. The plan works, to a point, and the handcuffed pair land in Gotham harbor. As they crawl to the docks, they begin a trek through the city. Their destination? The Iceberg Lounge.

Elsewhere in Gotham, Mary Marvel considers her plight, as well as Eddie Nygma's advice to find a tutor. As the saying goes, when the student is ready, a teacher will appear, and we get our first real hint of that as Eclipso watches Mary through the power of the Black Diamond.

In Metropolis, Jimmy Olsen has finally found his secret identity, the mysterious "Mr. Action." However, Jimmy needs a lesson in superheroics, as, to cover up the costume he's designed, he has to wear a full suit, much to his own dismay in the summer heat. The new duds also draw more than a little attention, as Clark and Lois look at Jimmy's self-imposed discomfort with curiosity.

Jump to Holly and Harley, who, inside the Amazonian Women's Shelter, see how the world is reacting to the attack of the Amazons against America, including their attack on the President's plane. The result is not a good one, as a lynch mob arrives at the gates of the shelter. Harley attempts to give the crowd a piece of her mind, and is saved only by Holly's interference, as the two barely escape the reach of the crowd.

Jason, Donna and the Monitor, now known as Bob, join the All-New Atom in an adventure to the Palmerverse as they quest to find ray Palmer, who supposedly holds the secret to all this madness. Unfortunately, the denizens of the Palmerverse are none to happy to see our heroes.

And, finally, in a summary of events from "Justice League of America," Karate Kid's fate begins to be determined, as he is joined by Una, the former Triplicate Girl. Their fates remain unknown, but, as Una says, the journey is just beginning.

FYI For those that have been following the aftermath of the Death of Bart Allen, be sure and pick up a copy of "All-Flash" #1 this week. I imagine they will be in short supply are it was originally solicited as "Flash: the fastest man alive" #14. "Amazons Attack" continues this week with issue #4 and over in "Action Comics" #852, the "secrets" of Jimmy Olsen are revealed!

Comments BE: You nailed it on the flying boots rescue for Trickster and Piper, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the "arresting officers" stripped them of their gear for a change.

JE: My only wish was that it had been made more clear last issue. It felt a little forced for it to be said in freefall at 30,000 feet.

BE: What's a comic book without a little expository dialog?

JE: That's fair. Can't argue with that one much.

BE: I want to say that I really liked the art this issue. Dennis Calero has a talent for expressions. I loved his work on "X-Factor," though the inking in this issue seemed a bit heavy.

JE: Agreed. It was solid art all around, and it helped to have someone good at expressions, since the issue relied heavily on talk, not action.

BE: Also, the dialog in the Piper/Trickster saga continues to be top notch. Jimmy Olsen gives us another silver age moment with his new super identity. In the '70s, when Jimmy was becoming a more serious character, his reporter nickname was "Mr. Action."

JE: Oh, man, I need business cards that say that for my day job. But, really, a suit in 80+ degree weather? Both comical and sad.

BE: Indeed, but it's a nice "everyman" view of the world of Superheroes. I'm still pretty sure that Superman in the only one who still wears his costume under his clothes.

JE: Yeah, Bruce usually goes the briefcase route. Tim Drake occasionally does the long underwear route, though not too much lately, if memory serves. And it does make a nice point. We've all wondered how it works. Now we know.

BE: We have a nice (if somewhat predictable) set up for Eclipso's corruption of Mary - at least we see her contemplating her actions. I think having her at odds with her powers and behaviors is the right way to go with this.

JE: I agree, but there's still a part of me that wanted to see Mary revel in it for a bit longer. So many stories go the "I'm cursed by my powers" route. Doesn't anyone just enjoy being able to fly or lift trucks anymore? I know I would and if it gave me a snappy black costume to boot? Hey, I'm there.

BE: I am trying not to picture you in a black mini-dress.

JE: That's a dead sexy image right there.

BE: I continue to be thrilled by the "Challengers of the Beyond" subplot. Jason Todd is written so well here, he is definitely coming into his own as a character. It's a shame that the new Atom isn't permanently being added to the mix. This is a good team and I am happy to see Bob the Monitor get a name.

JE: Honestly, I'm going to disagree with you on this one. I'm feeling like Jason is kind of a third wheel here. At the start of the book, he was so strong, and now he's just been relegated to the role of hanger-on, at least in my opinion. Let's see him doing stuff, rather than just being the outlet for one-liners.

BE: Here's hoping that we see some solid growth going forward for Jason.

JE: We can hope. However, I do agree that someone should pick up the all new Atom and get him on a team somewhere so we can see him more regularly elsewhere in the DCU.

BE: I was very wary about the new Atom, but the title is solid and brilliantly written. This guy needs a slot in the JLA.

JE: I've heard nothing but good about the series, and I don't deny it one bit. However, in the spirit of the season, I'd love to see the man on the Outsiders with the new Aquaman, should he get a slot.

BE: I was initially skeptical of the whole "Amazons Attack" storyline, but I am now intrigued to see where we are headed with this. Since it is unlikely that the Amazons will occupy the US for any length of time, I foresee Harley and Holly ending up on Paradise Island.

JE: And our most recent solicitations lead up in that very same direction, as they get sent to Paradise Island for some indoctrination, it seems. Time will tell, though would you ever have thought that Harley Quinn and Catwoman would have made such a cool team?

BE: They would, but now with Selena Kyle in two books a month, we may indeed see a Harley/Holly team. Holly just needs a new long-underwear identity.

JE: Time to put the thinking caps back on.

BE: Triplicate... er... Una and Karate Kid are both running around the 21st century. I'm interested in finding out the reason they can't return home yet. By all reports the next mainstream appearance of Karate Kid is in upcoming "Supergirl" issues.

JE: Bah. I'd rather have him show up in his own book, as we discussed last week, or in "Outsiders," also discussed. Hell, I'd have preferred him to be the latest JLA recruit rather than showing up in "Supergirl," because, really, everyone goes to Supergirl lately.

BE: You send your rising stars where the fans are. "Supergirl" is doing well enough in the sales department and she has a tie to the Legion. Although I'm interested to see if this is the same Supergirl as the one that appears in "Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes," because I'm betting it's not. And speaking of the Legion, in this week's "Brave and the Bold," the Batman teamed up with the most recent incarnation of the Legionnaires. So, that beggars the question: What world or alternate future is this Legion coming from?

JE: Or is there an alternate earth among The 52 that is solely home to the Legion?

BE: A fast time world, where it's the 31st century? I'd buy that. In the History of the Multiverse feature we get a nice shot of nine worlds of the 52. We see many of those that appeared at the end of 52 and, interestingly enough, the Tangent universe snuggled away in the center.

JE: Thank you for that. I couldn't remember "Tangent" for the life of me. I could pick out the characters, but the name of the universe was slipping on me.

BE: If DC could give me a Tangent quarterly anthology book, I would be a very happy man or give the Tangent Joker her own title.

JE: I'd like to see a Green Lantern book from that world. I loved that design. And we can now add that to the list of known Earths that we've already worked out (a list we wrote at the end of THE 52 STEPS and, incidentally, was boosted by Wizard last month without any credit to our amazing work), as well as the solicited trips to "Batman: Red Rain" and "Superman: Red Son" realities.

BE: No way. Wizard snagged our stuff? You'd think they'd have higher standards.

Panel of the Week

Perfect indeed, but perfect for what?


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