And the countdown continues…
This story arc is so massive that it’s really difficult to find any one plot point to focus on, and I don’t feel that there’s enough to write another lengthy blog post about the comic so far. I summed up much of the beginning story in my post on Volume One, explaining which characters are main players and what the major conflicts are so far. The issues collected in Volume Two don’t add too many new elements to the story, but rather build off of the existing storylines to help create richer scenes and more fully realized characters. Rather than attempt to sum up the events of this trade, I’m choosing to instead focus on a few key moments that stood out to me. That’s not to say that I didn’t like this continuation of the series; on the contrary, this Countdown continues to impress me with its over-arching storylines, leaving me guessing how they’ll all tie into one another. The series definitely has much attention, and these are just a few of many moments that caught my attention.
First, Mary Marvel. It was clear after she got powers from Black Adam that she was headed down the wrong path. Now though, she’s truly gone off the deep end. Aided by Eclipso (formerly Jean Loring), Mary is waging a path of destruction across the world. She is listening to Eclipso’s every word, hurting others on a whim and showing no remorse for what she’s done. Instead, she revels in her newfound power and seeks to use it more and more. While I still miss the classic, innocent Mary Marvel, I’m actually starting to enjoy seeing Mary in a new light, and am curious to see what this darker version will mean for the overall story. She hasn’t had much to do with many other players yet, but given her powers, I’m sure she’ll be playing an important role soon enough.
Yeah, so Jason shot Donna. Of course, it was all a ploy to get them out of danger, but still. It was a little too predictable for me to think Jason had really turned on the group, especially considering he so obviously has a thing for Donna, but if those events gave us this exchange, I’ll take it. I love little moments like this when unexpected characters are even somewhat snarky, and watching Donna dish it out to Jason made the predictability of the previous scene alright in my book. Also, the subtle flirting between Jason and Donna that’s sprung up in this series is unexpected, but not unwelcome. It’s important that it remain subtle for now though; there’s far too much going on for the story to focus on a budding romance. The way it’s been handled so far has been perfect, and I’m hoping it stays as such.
The Newsboy Legion!! I loved that these guys popped up again. They haven’t been in any recent stories I’ve read, but it seems fitting that they would come to Jimmy Olsen’s aid when he needs it most. Once again, all of those earlier comics have paid off, since I actually know who these guys are (yay Snapper!). Their appearance is pretty minor so far, but the fact that they were included at all is enough to make me geek out.
52 universes, presumably with 52 Batmans…and Kyle meets one who is virtually identical to his own Earth’s. I don’t even fully know why, but I laughed out loud when he wondered if “we’ll ever meet happy fun-time Batman”. It’s a fair question, to be honest, and quite frankly something I wouldn’t mind reading about in a future comic. Can they travel to an alternate Earth where Batman is as obnoxious as Guy Gardner? Better yet, can obnoxious Batman travel to our Earth and confuse the hell out of the JLA when he’s acting all un-Batman like? Why is this not already a thing? Please tell me it is. I need to read that storyline RIGHT NOW.
So that’s basically Volume Two in a nutshell. Okay, not really, because a lot of other much more pertinent plot points occur in this trade, but those are a few of the moments that stood out to me. I always appreciate the overall story, but sometimes I like focusing in a bit and enjoying a single panel or two for their entertainment value. Some of the above panels may not directly play into the larger plot at hand, but they help to make the comic even more enjoyable than it already was, and who can really complain about that?