T-MINUS: "Countdown to Final Crisis" #2

By Justin Eger and Brian K. Eason

"This day will mark the end for you." -Orion

T-Minus 02

Fight! Fight!

In this corner, weighing in at as much as a skyscraper, it's Jimmy Olsen, Turtle Boy!

And in the opposite corner, weighing in at freakin' huge, Darkseid, former Lord of Apokolips!

The opening salvos of the battle tear a hole through Metropolis, fight fans, leaving the JLA to run interference and trying to save as many people as possible. No small feat, indeed, as the giant warriors use fists and flying buildings to bring the fight close to home. But skill overwhelms fury as Darkseid triumphs over Olsen, only to have Ray Palmer steal the Soul Battery right from inside Olsen's head.


The Atom shatters the battery, and Darkseid flies into a fit of rage, fully prepared to destroy the hero as the New God shrinks back to normal size and confronts Palmer. Certain death awaits, but the eardrum-shattering sound of a Boom Tube stays Darkseid's hand. Orion, son of Darkseid and sole survivor of the Fourth World, has arrived, and it is time for him to meet his destiny.

The fight begins anew, with Orion and Darkseid clashing so violently that not even the most powerful heroes of Earth dare get in the way. Though Darkseid is close to claiming victory, he underestimates his son's rage and power, and Orion strikes a fatal, final blow against the former Lord of Apokolips.


A heavy rain falls to quench the fires of battle, the JLA looks on as Orion wanders away into the city.

Closing our weekly journey is a trip to see the Origin of Darkseid, of course, with Scott Beatty and Ryan Sook.


BE: One left and then "DC Universe: Zero" and we can put this column to bed. But, we'll be back the week of June 4th with "Trinity" #1.

JE: It'll be nice to have a month's respite after two years of updates, but I'm really looking forward to "Trinity," especially after the talk with Fabian Nicieza here at CBR.

BE: And that didn't sound like a plug at all. All kidding aside, that was a great article and I am pumped for the series.


JE: Me, too. I wasn't sure how I'd deal with another year on the board, but I'm psyched for it now.

BE: Love the cover of this issue. As much as I enjoy Scott Kolins, I would have paid extra for Adam Kubert interiors on this issue.

JE: I can see your point, but Scott really, really channeled King Kirby here. I thought I was reading the Fourth World Omnibus during the later pages.

BE: And those were exactly the pages I was thinking about. Very dynamic stuff. Sean McKeever rejoins Paul Dini for the final fate of the New Gods as Darkseid grows to Godzilla size and manhandles Jimmy Olsen in downtown Metropolis.

JE: Jimmy sure did look the part of Godzilla, but would that make Darkseid King Kong?

BE: I'm going to avoid making comparisons, but Darkseid is wearing a skirt and was really tall. I feel the pain of the Metropolis pedestrians.

JE: Oh, yeah, that's something I'd rather not think about.

BE: And as we mentioned previously, Scott Kolins does his best to invoke Kirby on the art.

JE: Exactly. See above.

BE: The JLA, Donna and Kyle try and save the citizenry while Giant Turtle Jimmy and Darkseid tango all over the city.

JE: What a mess. I don't want to be the one to have to clean that up.

BE: Contractors in Metropolis must make a mint.

JE: Eh, they're all run by Intergang. No room for the little guy.

BE: And Ray Palmer roots around in Jimmy's noggin. At Jimmy's size I think anyone could have fit in there.

JE: Never thought I'd consider Ray palmer a life-size Q-Tip, but you're not wrong.

BE: Ray sabotages Darkseid's plan by destroying the Soul Battery.

JE: The first thing I thought of was "What's that mean for the New Gods?"

BE: You mean: "Where did all that power go?" Since we don't know how the battle with Darkseid went, as "Death of the New Gods" #8 is late, we can't assume that it went to the Source entity. The alternative answer is that the power disseminates to the Gods of the Fifth World.

JE: Seems plausible, maybe along the lines of a visit to the Source Wall in “Final Crisis.”

BE: Remember when we said that the absence of Orion's body in "Death of the New Gods" was fishy. Yeah, hello Orion, welcome back.

JE: That was pretty awesome. Not unexpected, but, being so locked into the moment of the battles, it was an amazing scene.

BE: I actually cheered.

JE: I hate to say it, but so did I. Are we nerds or what?

BE: Twelve page fight scene. You don't see that very often anymore. This was like a 1970s Thor/Hulk crossover.

JE: An artist friend and I were discussing how dangerous this can be in the wrong hands. Thankfully, these weren't the wrong hands. Nothing quite like an old-fashioned beat-down issue.

BE: Well, it was intended to be epic. This was the final throw down between Orion and Darkseid, one time only, and they delivered. I love how Orion, sans helmet, grows to look more and more like Darkseid and Kalibak with each passing moment.

JE: I thought so, too, and it made me wonder if we're getting a taste of "Kingdom Come" with that.

BE: Great minds. My first thought was that scene from the "Kingdom Come" hardback with Orion and Superman and Orion's profile is exactly like his father's. But with no survivors on Apokolips, that doesn't leave much for Orion to rule, and Orion fulfills the prophecy and ends the reign (and life) of Darkseid. So, does this mean that Orion survives the end of the Fourth World?

JE: That might be interesting to see. As the sole survivor, he could go in a number of directions. Wandering hero, damned prophet, or, oddly enough, all-powerful, like another favorite Kirby creation, Galactus.

BE: Who's up for a series entitled "Orion: Last God" from DC? Give me a show of hands.

JE: Oh, I'll totally take two, please.

BE: Scott Beatty and Ryan Sook bring us the beautifully complete origin of Darkseid. Very appropriate, but you will note that the Legion's "The Great Darkness Saga" is included. Very interesting.

JE: Well, despite our considerations about the link to the Great Darkness Saga all these months, it really is a key Darkseid story, and any list would be remiss without it.

BE: But in a world where we just killed Darkseid, is it still relevant? No doubt the series was flawless, but does it matter after this?

JE: I doubt Darkseid is gone for good, though the “Legion of Three Worlds” tie-in might clear some things up.

Panel of the Week

Battered, bruised, but still badass. Way to make an entrance.

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