The Players:
James "Jimmy" Olson/Superman's Pal
The Monitors
Roy Harper/Red Arrow
Val Armorr/Karate Kid
Flash's Rogues/The Rogues
Mary Batson/Mary Marvel
Teth Adam/Black Adam
(*those not linked have been linked in previous columns)


In deference to the Star Wars 30th Anniversary Celebration this weekend, we here at Countdown Rundown HQ held off on posting, hence the late column.

Moving on, Issue 50 left us with a cliffhanger ending of Jimmy Olsen about to be made into a tasty treat for Gotham's Killer Croc a/k/a Waylon Jones. This issue opens fresh from that spot, and amazingly, Jimmy saves himself through the use of one of his latent metahuman abilities not seen since the Silver Age of comics - Elastic Lad!

Throughout the Silver Age, Jimmy had multiple transformations in his many adventures as Superman's Pal. These incarnations of his powers/mutations haven't been seen in years and the recent appearance of his stretching powers have led to much speculation as to Countdown's location - in this new 52 universe Multiverse, are we following stories on the traditional DCUniverse New Earth or one of its many variations? An answer yet to be revealed!

While this week's issue again touched upon the various story-lines following Karate Kid, The Monitors, and the Rogues' Piper and Trickster, the other major development (besides Jimmy's amazing escape!) was part of Mary Marvel's continuing journey to locate the other Marvel's (her brother Billy Batson and friend Freddy Freeman) and her missing powers.

Despite Madame Xanadu's warnings to Mary for her to stay out of Gotham - where magic is completely whack! - Mary was in that urban nightmare landscape, running through its back alleys from a trio of muggers. She finds refuge in an abandoned building, only to find that it's not so abandoned.

Among the many mangled corpses Mary finds there, are the statues of the Seven Sins - the very evils that the Wizard Shazam chose Captain Marvel to be his champion against! And among this sprawl of evil incarnate, Mary runs into none other than . . . Black Adam!

Missing since the end of World War III, and the finale of 52, the leader of the now-deceased Black Marvel family is the most wanted man in the world. Is it possible that he could simple be preying on those he deems evil in Gotham? Without the Batman knowing? Or again, is this some alternate Earth?

Again, the conclusion of this week's issue ends with a cliffhanger - Mary at Adam's mercy - something that DC's 52 couldn't do throughout its year-long run do to the nature of its "real time" story. As episodic as any primetime TV show, Countdown is proving just as addicting.

The final section of Issue 49 also followed suit with 52 in that it began a multi-part back-up story written and drawn by Dan Jurgens (artist of the upcoming Booster Gold series) that promises to tell the History of the Multiverse. Where 52 told the tale of the History of the DCU, from Superman's first appearance through the Crisis on Infinite Earths and beyond, up to the Infinite Crisis that resulted in New Earth,
so too will the back-up in Countdown tell the history of the Multiverse. From its discovery by Barry Allen and Jay Garrick - the Flashes of Earths 1 and 2 respectively - up to the dawn of the new Multiverse that was birthed at the end of 52.

Universe building at its finest! Next week - Countdown Issue 48: Enter Lightray! (or is that "Exit"?!)