Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Was The Payoff In Countdown #2 Worth It?

If you've read it, you know what I'm talking about.

Massive spoilers everywhere. It would be gauche to spoil it so early on my blog.

But, let me know what you think...

And if you think this is really "it" for this particular apparently dead character. And your thoughts on his demise in general.

(goodbye, funny man...)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. ... I don't know. We're talking about something that was set up in a whole other mini. I have noticed, though, that people are higher on this particular issue than most others.

  3. Well, he's still apparently the main villian of Final Crisis (from the Morrison interview at CBR):

    We wanted to do a primal superhero myth that would pit absolute evil against pure good in a way you don't see much of in comics these days so it's the story of the DC universe facing its apocalypse and only Darkseid could cut it as the main villain.

  4. um, countdown is still being published???

  5. I don't think this is the last time Darkseid will be seen. The recent interview with Grant Morrison at CBR suggests that he will have a presence in Final Crisis (you should read that interview for an interesting preview of Final Crisis).

    After reading that Grant Morrison interview, my prediction is that by the end of Final Crisis, everyone will die and every single DC book will be rebooted with a new number 1. So I think that Bruce Wayne/Batman will die in R.I.P., but then a new Bruce Wayne/Batman will be reborn from Final Crisis and the whole DC Universe will just restart. All continuity will go away and nothing that happened prior to Final Crisis will "count."

  6. The "payoff" involves a character that wasn't even mentioned in the previous fifty issues of the comic showing up from out of nowhere to kill the big bad guy. No matter how you look at it, that's absolutely dreadful storytelling. The fact that it possibly "makes sense" if you've been reading DONG (and we're still waiting on the final issue of that, so who knows how that will pan out) is no excuse; DC has never billed DONG as being a necessary read to understand Countdown, so they should be judged as seperate works. Aside from that, it plainly shoves the characters that we've been following for fifty issues to the sidelines (particularly ridiculous is Superman's claim that they shouldn't intervene, despite the fact that the fight is demolishing his city), meaning their contribution to the whole thing was entirely meaningless.

    Orion killing Darkseid was nothing more than pandering to Kirby aficionados. Yes, it fulfills the original prophecy (more or less; Darkseid's heart substituting for the fire pits of Armaghetto is just a bad excuse). But there was no actual story to hang it up on. This should have happened in Death Of The New Gods itself, leaving aside the fact that DONG isn't all that good itself. As the climax of Countdown itself, it fails on every conceivable level.

  7. Well its something I've been promised for many years. Most old heads remember the prophecy that Orion would kill Darkside. All I can say is that it was something I didn't expect now but it worked for me.

    I had read the DONG that showed Orion vanishing and it made "comic book" sense. Seen worse than this offered up as classic story telling.

    Honestly in my view this is not the best big story arc of the last two years.

    The Anhilation Conquest space drama with Nova and all has been better than the Crisis, Civil war and Skrull things. And best yet Warlock has popped up in the middle of it.

    self is happy

  8. You know the funny thing about this is (and I have no clue what you are talking about) is that the other day I was walking through my bedroom and I thought,
    huh... I had totally forgotten that Countdown was even going on. I stopped reading so very long ago.
    This Too Will Pass

  9. Pretty damn cool. Shit art. But it didn't need 50 issues to get here. There, I've said it. I feel better, really.

    Is this it for Darkseid? Probably. For now. Kinda? Orion becomes Darkseid seems more likely. Goofy. But likely. I'm hoping that the Crisis resolves this whole Kingdom Come plotline. Its neat but only if it has an ending.

  10. Was it worth it? Not really. I hate to be the kind of comics fan that spews negativity all over everything, but I just honestly don't see the point of everything Countdown was, apart from being an event series for the sake of an event series.

    As to the showdown between Darkseid and Orion. . .gah. Bad art, bad writing, baffling statements by people in the scene(Superman just letting a critically wounded comrade stagger off to die? No. I'm sorry, but no), and the fact that it happened in the main book rather than the entire mini-series--y'know--dedicated to the obliteration of all of Jack Kirby's Fourth World work for the sake of spectacle really burns. I can't imagine how hacked off I'd feel if I'd been buying DOTNG rather than skimming it at the local comics shop.

    In the words of a scribe far more talented than I it was 'full of sound and fury, signifying nothing'.

    A lot of that going around in superhero comics these days. . .


  11. I'm not going to complain about the idiocy of it, or the piss-poor storytelling involved, because -- hey, Countdown, and if you aren't expecting idiocy and piss-poor storytelling after 50 issues of it that's really your fault by now.

    All I'm gonna say is that Darkseid's face is on every single Final Crisis ad. So, y'know, maybe he ain't so dead.

  12. OH man, I HATE some Darkseid. I really have no idea, but I always loathed that character, so this would ROCK! But wouldn't last, what does...

  13. A lot of bemused fans of HBO's The Wire were lamenting that it didn't have a proper ending - no whizzes or bangs or big character deaths, but then that was never what the Wire was about, and the final episode was everything that the rest of the show had been: which is why I don't understand the negativity about this issue of Countdown. Taken in isolation, certainly this was a poor issue of anything, and a disappointing end for any character, but this is Countdown we're talking about, and 02 was pretty much on par.

    Not the worst comic I've ever read by a long chalk, just not good either.

  14. No, I'm pretty sure "freakin' Darkseid" will be back in less than a month as the main bad guy of 'Final Crisis'. Which renders the whole mess even more pointless than it already seemed, which I find to be quite impressive, honestly. I hadn't thought it was possible to be more pointless than the first fifty issues of 'Countdown', but this managed it.

    Really, all I'm hoping for at this point is that the final battle of 'Final Crisis' is Freakin' Darkseid vs. the Goddamn Batman.

    (And I will restate again, for the record, that I think the current crew of DC writers/editors is psychologically incapable of rebooting the entire DC universe. They've spent the last five years trying to undo 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' so that they can use all their best fanwank material from the Silver Age, they're not going to scrap 75 years of continuity and start over.)

  15. They're totally going to bring him back. Hell, the only people who know he died are the eight guys still reading Countdown.

  16. So is there any point to buying the finale of Death of the New Gods?

  17. Countdown got immensely more fun once I started following it by flipping through the store's copies. But is it true the Big O didn't show up earlier in the series? If so, that's kind of a cop-out.

  18. Orion becoming the "New Darkseid"...kind of works, but isn't that what happened with Mongul? Anyhow, I don't think making Kingdom Come into the gospel is the best way to go; mind you, I certainly encourage the liberal stealing from it that has been going on, since it is a pretty nice work. I just don't need EVERYTHING in it to be canon.

    & I still maintain my pet theory: The prophecy may have said Orion would kill Darkseid, but I think Scott Free was going to do it. Mister Miracle can escape anything...even fate.

  19. "So is there any point to buying the finale of Death of the New Gods?"

    That's what pisses me off even more about Countdown. I sort of liked DOTNG. But according to Starlin, he had to alter his ending... to fit with THIS crap. It doesn't work for Countdown. It either spoils or at least deeply confuses DOTNG (a HUGE Forth World event happens in another comic and not in a comic devoted to the end of the 4th world).

    Not that the idea that Orion killing Darksied wasn't a good one, or even the whole angle about Darkseid and Olson. But why here? Why in this story where it makes no sense and involves a character that hasn't even been seen here before?

  20. Darkseid will be back, so his death in Countdown is pretty pointless. But then Countdown in its entirety has been pretty pointless, so no change there then!

  21. Anonymous10:52 AM

    Well, Orion has killed Darkseid at least once before, so I can't say I'd take this as "final"--if anything these days could be final.

    I was bothered less by Orion turning up, though, than by the fact they had giant Turtle-Man Jimmy Olsen battle Darkseid and played it with a straight face.

    Plus the issue was generally dull and boring.