52 . . .51 . . .

In six short days, DC Comics will release its latest weekly series, Countdown. On the heels of the recently completed year-long weekly, 52, DC is looking to make even more of an impact with this next publishing adventure. With a team of writers this time working in the model used by television series, Countdown will have a group led by veteran TV writer Paul Dini. The writers team will feature a rotating cast of writers including frequent collaborators Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, Adam Beechem, Sean McKeever, and Tony Bedard. Dini has written the bible for the year-long series and will have final approval of each issue's script.

On the art side, like 52, the series will feature a rotating cast of artists, including Jesus Saiz, Jim Calafiore, and Al Barrionuevo. One holdover from 52 joining the Countdown team will be layout artist Keith Giffen. This will prove a huge advantage to the rotating artists, in not only keeping the book on time, but also keeping a consistent style to the art in each issue. While 52 rarely featured so-called top notch artists, the art was always dynamic, easy on the eyes and maintained a solid throughline over the entire year of the series. Giffen adds a unique dynamic to any project he is a part of and contributed much more than mere layouts to the 52 team.

DC promises the series will be leading to big changes and, as evidenced by the title, is counting down to a major, company-wide event. With lots of advertisements and teasers pointing to the inclusion of Jack Kirby's New Gods, Darkseid, and possibly, Kamandi in the series, fan anticipation is high.

With next week's release of Countdown #51 (the series is numbered backwards down to next May's #1), I will be kicking off my own weekly look at the series, the characters, the writers and artists, and the bigger picture of the DC Universe as revealed by the series. So, starting next Thursday, May 10th, come back for the first of 52 "Countdown Rundowns"!

In the meantime, stop back here over the next 6 days for looks at the teasers and advertisements that DC has released in anticipation of their biggest series to date.

Hope to see you back here next week and every week thereafter until May 2008!