Countdown is the name of a multi-day series of inter-related events, culminating in something referred to as Final Crisis. It involves the confluence of dissent among the Monitors' ranks, Jimmy Olsen developing super-powers, Mary Marvel being tempted by Eclipso, and Darkseid manipulating events behind the scenes.
Darkseid orchestrated events to his liking, observing what was happening across the universe as the death of the Fourth World drew near, plotting to remake the universe in his own image. As New Gods were killed across the galaxy, Darkseid marshaled his forces on Apokolips, even resurrecting Virman Vundabar despite his earlier attempt to assassinate Darkseid--notably putting his forces in defensive deployments. In conversation with Metron, he then indicated that he knew more than his fellow New Gods about what was transpiring with the mysterious God-killer, which he refused to share, content in knowing more than Metron for once. It has since been revealed that Darkseid appears to be manipulating almost all the key characters in Countdown to Final Crisis on a giant cosmic chess board. He has given his protection to Jimmy Olsen, vaporizing a parademon for attacking him, and he has ensured that Karate Kid, carrier of the Morticoccus virus, survives. His reasons for both these are unknown. Later he attempts to recruit Mary Marvel as his sorceress using his pawn Eclipso, but she turns on him and escapes. He has also assigned Desaad to ensure the "Great Disaster" comes about, and assigned Granny Goodness to recruit new Female Furies from Earth in the guise of Athena. It has been indicated Darkseid seeks the rise of the "Fifth World", possibly on Earth, and is harnessing the Great Disaster and the Death of the New Gods to bring this about. Additionally, Darkseid has been manipulating the monitor Solomon to bring about a war between the Monitors and Monarch for the fate of the Multiverse.
It is later revealed that Darkseid had turned Jimmy Olsen into a container for the powers of the New Gods. He sends Mary Marvel, whom he had coerced into taking back her dark powers, to capture him. Superman comes to Jimmy's aid, only for Darkseid to take control of Jimmy's powers, making him radiate Kryptonite. Ray Palmer manages to shut off Darkseid's control, and the villain is confronted by a gigantic turtle-like Jimmy. After battling Jimmy across the Metropolis landscape, Darkseid moves in for the kill only to witness The Atom emerge from Jimmy's head. Palmer quickly destroys the vessel of the New Gods' powers freeing them into the void. Enraged, Darkseid is taken by surprise when a Boom Tube opens above the skies of Metropolis. His scion and son Orion emerges from the tube, having managed to escape being murdered by the Infinity Man. Orion and Darkseid battle, and after a furious exchange, at the end of it all, Darkseid realizes it was not meant to be and his heart is ripped from his chest by his own son.
It is revealed that a group of Monitors are responsible for safeguarding the Multiverse when one of them kills Duela Dent in front of Jason Todd. Mary Marvel discovers she is alone and without her powers. The Flash's Rogues assemble. The Source Wall reveals that Ray Palmer is the solution to the "Great Disaster".
Jimmy Olsen begins investigating the death of Duela Dent by interviewing Jason Todd and the Joker. Mary Marvel consults Madame Xanadu, who says she will soon be tested. The Rogues require a test of loyalty from Pied Piper and Trickster.
Attacked by Killer Croc while in Arkham, Jimmy manifests the ability to stretch. The Monitors consider Dent's killer a rogue. Pied Piper and Trickster fake their loyalty to the Rogues. Wandering into an old building, Mary encounters Black Adam (and a pile of dead bodies).
Mary speaks with Black Adam. Jason Todd attends Duela Dent's funeral. Starman mentions a female Dr. Impossible to the imprisoned Karate Kid. Jimmy witnesses the apparent death of New God, Lightray in Metropolis -- his last word "Infinite".
Jimmy Olsen wakes up from a dream where he is trapped in The Source Wall, along with Lightray. Holly Robinson arrives in Metropolis, attempting to find a fresh start for herself. Mary Marvel and Black Adam finish their conversation, with Black Adam giving Mary his powers (his magic word once more is "Shazam"). The Monitors vote to continue to hunt down those that are universe jumpers. The Trickster and The Pied Piper bond as they reveal their intentions behind rejoining the Flash's Rogues Gallery. The issue ends as Amazons Attack.
Jimmy investigates a tenement in Suicide Slum, finding Apokoliptian refugee, Sleez who tells Jimmy he wants revenge on Darkseid - just before being struck down by a blast from above. Mary battles and defeats a demon - Pharyngula, Harvester of Stillborn Souls. The Rogues bicker. The Red Hood and Donna Troy are attacked by Forerunner, an agent of the Monitors.
Donna Troy and Jason Todd fight Forerunner at the National Mall. A monitor intervenes and takes Donna and Jason out of the fight. He brings them away with him for a special mission. Jimmy continues to work on his story in Suicide Slum - a story that has become even stranger with the apparent death of the Apokoliptian refugee Sleez. Holly Robinson meets a mysterious stranger on the streets of Metropolis, and Doctor Mid-Nite interviews the time-lost Legion of Super-Heroes on board the Justice League satellite.
Mary Marvel goes to the Rock of Eterntiy and finds that Billy Batson is now the resevoir for the Power of Shazam. Forerunner meets Monarch who offers her a chance for redemption. Jimmy Olsen is assaulted by a group of street thugs and manages to repel them when he spontaneously generates sharpened projectiles. Holly Robinson meets Athena who invites her to stay at a halfway house patterned after an ancient Greek temple.
Funeral services are held for Bart Allen, the Flash, who had been murdered by the Rogues Gallery. Wonder Girl vows to hunt down his killers. Pied Piper and the Trickster are captured by Deadshot and Multiplex and taken away. Holly Robinson makes herself comfortable at Athena's shelter and meets Harleen Quinzel. Monarch makes Forerunner the commander of his armies.
Mary Marvel patrols Gotham City and enters into a temporary alliance with the Riddler. Together they face and defeat Clayface. Donna Troy, Jason Todd and a Monitor go to Ivy Town on their quest to find Ray Palmer. They meet Palmer's successor Ryan Choi who uses the Bio-Belt to transport them to the Palmerverse. The Trickster and the Pied Piper manage to escape from Deadshot. Meanwhile, Holly Robinson bonds with Harley Quinn.
The Pied Piper and Trickster escape from Deadshot and fall into Gotham Harbor. Jimmy Olsen becomes the costumed adventurer known as Mr. Action. Jason Todd, Donna Troy, the Atom and a Monitor explore the Nanoverse in search of Ray Palmer. Eclipso keeps his eye on Mary Marvel. Harleen Quinzel tries to break up a group of protestors in front of the Athenian Women's shelter. Karate Kid is reunited with Triplicate Girl.
The Atom, Donna Troy, Jason Todd and the Monitor arrive in the Palmerverse and begin fighting up against a tribe of ape-men. The ape-men know of Ray Palmer and reveal that he has been seen recently. Mr. Action debuts as Metropolis' newest hero. Jimmy Olsen struggles to maintain his secret identity. Mary Marvel, seeking a mentor, turns to Zatanna. Darkseid creates a new legion of Parademons. The Trickster and the Pied Piper seek shelter in the Penguin's Iceberg Lounge.
Karate Kid and Una break into Dalten Towers to find Oracle. The Challengers from Beyond continue to explore the Multiverse. Jimmy Olsen saves a young woman from a mugger as Mr. Action. Holly Robinson questions Athena about how she runs the shelter. The Penguin offers Trickster and Piper shelter at the Iceberg Lounge, then calls the Suicide Squad on them. While fleeing, they run into Batwoman and the Question.
Mary Marvel and Zatanna battle Deep Six at sea, while Eclipso watches Mary with interest. Karate Kid finds Oracle. The Question and Batwoman decide not to arrest the Trickster and Pied Piper. Jimmy is rejected as a Teen Titan. Darkseid schemes to create his own Multiversal destiny.
Oracle is unable to determine the source of Karate Kid's illness and refers him to a specialist. Zatanna invites Mary Marvel to her home at Shadowcrest and offers to teach her the ways of magic. Donna Troy, the Atom, Jason Todd and Bob the Monitor continue to travel the Nanoverse in the search for Ray Palmer. They encounter a mystic coven called the Sacred Wizards of the Arionite Temple. Pied Piper and Trickster try to hide out in a greenhouse, but run afoul of Poison Ivy. Holly Robinson and Harleen Quinzel continue to bond. Jimmy Olsen discovers that Clark Kent is Superman.
The Atom, Donna, Bob and Jason continue their tour of the Palmerverse and run afoul of a colony of aggressive insectoid aliens. Mary Marvel begins training under the tutelage of Zatanna, but loses her temper and rebels against her teacher. Mr. Action applies for membership in the Justice League of America. Karate Kid and Una try to find Elias Orr, but end up encountering a monster named Equus instead. Poison Ivy interrogates the Trickster and Pied Piper and Deathstroke arrives in Gotham City.
The Atom, Donna, Bob and Jason continue their tour of the Palmerverse and are captured by Queen Belthera. Belthera mind controls Bob the Monitor and captures the others. Zatanna kicks Mary Marvel out of her home, and Mary falls deeper under Eclipso's influence. Jimmy Olsen's membership application to the JLA is turned down. Harley Quinn and Holly Robinson partake in a purification ceremony that involves gladiatorial combat. Karate Kid and Una fight Equus and meet Elias Orr.
Deathstroke hangs the Trickster and Piper out to dry, but the Flash finds them and interogates them as to the death of Bart Allen. Jimmy Olsen goes to the Steelworks to have John Henry Irons run him through a series of tests. Jimmy's body reacts unpredictably to the examinations. Donna and Jason Todd break free of their shackles and fight against Queen Belthera and the mind-controlled Bob the Monitor. Mary Marvel goes to China where she meets Klarion the Witch Boy. After defeating Equus, Karate Kid and Una finally get an audience with Elias Orr. He tells them that the Karate Kid's illness is somehow related to the OMAC project. Orr is secretly working for DeSaad.
Pied Piper and Trickster make a deal with the Flash, and Flash agrees to protect them. Donna and Jason free the Atom and Bob the Monitor and defeat Belthera. Kyle Rayner arrives in the Palmerverse to give them a hand. They continue to track the missing Ray Palmer. Mary Marvel barters with Klarion the Witch Boy. Klarion wants a portion of Mary's power. Jimmy Olsen meets with agents of Cadmus Labs and agrees to go with them. Piper and Trickster encounter a mummy.
Klarion tries to steal Mary Marvel's power and the two fight. Zatanna's pet mummy keeps Piper and Trickster under safe protection. The staff of Project Cadmus run Jimmy Olsen through a battery of tests. Piper and Trickster sneak away and crash Black Canary's bachelorette party. Donna, Jason, Bob and Kyle make pit-stops at Earth-30 and Earth-3. Mary Marvel goes to Turkey where she finds Eclipso.
On Earth-3, Donna, Jason and Kyle team-up with the Jokester to fight the Crime Society. Harley Quinn and Holly Robinson embark upon a pilgrimage to Paradise Island for special training. Mister Mxyzptlk disappears from the 5th dimension. Mary Marvel falls deeper under Eclipso's influence and murders some soldiers. Karate Kid and Una meet Buddy Blank and ask him about Brother Eye. Jimmy Olsen continues his tests at Cadmus Labs and his body begins transforming into a hideous monster. Monarch comes to Earth-3 and recruits the Crime Society to his cause.
Buddy Blank brings the Karate Kid to see Brother Eye. A massive group of villains crash the wedding of Green Arrow and Black Canary. The Challengers from Beyond go to Earth-15 where they meet that world's version of the Justice League. Athena brings Holly and Harley on a cruise to Themyscira, but first they must fight through an ocean of sea monsters.
The Earth-hopping team of Donna Troy, Kyle Rayner, Jason Todd and "Bob" continue to explore the new Multiverse finding out who they really are and what it is that they want to do. Back on New Earth, Jimmy Olsen with the help of the New Newsboy Legion, finds out what it is that he can do, as Mary Marvel with the help of Eclipso finds out what it is that she can do.
Forager comes to Earth to see Jimmy Olsen. The Suicide Squad track Piper and Trickster to Rhode Island, but they manage to elude capture. Mary Marvel becomes even more malevolent and begins exacting justice across the globe. The Challengers from Beyond fight Lord Havok's Extremists as well as the Crime Society of Earth-3.
On Earth-8, the Challengers from Beyond fight the Crime Society as well as Lord Havok's Extremists. Jason Todd kills Barracuda. He decides to join Monarch and betrays the Challengers by shooting Donna Troy. Jimmy Olsen agrees to help Forager find the lost souls of the deceased New Gods. Mary Marvel and Eclipso fight the Shadowpact at the Oblivion Bar. On Themyscira, Holly and Harley are attacked by packs of wild dogs. Piper and Trickster sneak into a Checkmate facility and enlist the aid of Two-Face.
Monitor Solomon addresses a council of his fellow Monitors and indicates all of the bullet points of things that threaten to destabilize the Multiverse. On Earth-8, the Challengers from Beyond bicker amongst themselves and Jason Todd reveals that he is not actually a traitor. On Earth-15, Superboy-Prime accosts Lex Luthor.
Trickster and Piper narrowly escape from Deadshot. On Apokolips Jimmy is captured and made a slave, and Eclipso offers Mary Marvel up to Darkseid. On Earth, Karate Kid et al break into an underground bunker in Bludhaven after defeating the Atomic Knights. After Karate Kid's group broke through a portal, they discover Desaad torturing Professor Stein.
Superboy Prime continued his psychotic search for his "perfect Earth" after killing many of Earth-15's heroes and subsequently the planet itself. Underneath Bludhaven, Desaad possessed and control Firestorm in attacking Karate Kid and his companions before being stopped by the Atomic Knights. On Apokolips, Mary Marvel declined Darkseid's offer and leaves.
Superboy Prime traveled back to the Source and tortures Mister Mxyztplk and Annataz Arataz in finding/creating his "perfect Earth". Eclipso finds Mary Marvel and again to convince her into trusting only to Eclipso.
After surviving a conflict between an alien fleet and Monarch's minions, Mary Marvel realized that she has been manipulated by Eclipso and fights her. Jimmy Olsen is freed by Mister Miracle who later helps him in searching for Forager. Mxyztplk arrives back to the fifth dimension and seals it off from the coming "end". Piper and Trickster travels by train and are founded by Deadshot. After escaping from Deadshot, Trickster is fatally killed.
Brother Eye sends an OMAC army down to Bludhaven. The Challengers from Beyond continue their search for Ray Palmer. Jimmy Olsen escapes from a Fire Pit on Apokolips and finds Forager who attempts to kill him. The Pied Piper escapes to the Mexican border carrying the dead body of the Trickster along with him. Mary Marvel has an inconclusive battle against Eclipso.
The Pied Piper continues to trek across the Mexican desert with Trickster's corpse as he starts to hallucinate that he is alive. Meanwhile, the Challengers are in the peaceful and idealistic world of Earth-51 in which the team believe that Ray Palmer is on this world. In the New Earth reality, Harley Quinn and Holly Robinson discovers Amazon queen, Hippolyta, who has been hiding from fellow Amazons and they learns that Athena is an impostor. On Apokolips, Jimmy Olsen snaps Forager from her survival instinct, and both of them escape from Apokolips and travels back to New Earth in Metropolis via Boomtube.
In outer space, Eclipso attempts to forcefully usurp Mary Marvel's power but is overwhelmed by her, forcing Eclipso to retreat. On Earth-51, Ray Palmer has been living the life of his counterpart and have married that reality's Jean Loring. Ray's perfect life is discovered by the Challengers, but in a twist of fate Monitor Bob reveals his plans of murdering Ray.
In the New Earth reality, Mary Marvel and Eclipso furiously battle. Mary succeeds in defeating Elcipso, sending all her powers into her and changing both of them back into their normal forms. Mary is washed up to the shores of Paradise Island. The Challengers from Beyond attempt to stop Bob, who succeeds in killing the alternate versions of Barry Allen, Ralph Dibny and Jean Loring, but Ray and the Challengers escape. Bob is discovered by the Monitors and is killed by Solomon, which he himself alienates his brethren and are then confronted by Monarch and his inter-dimensional army, who wages total war on the Monitors and Earth-51.
Monarch's army wages total war on the Monitors and the world of Earth-51. Solomon is saddened and blamed by his brethren for the cause of the growing crisis. Solomon is then confronted by Superboy Prime. The Challengers along with Ray Palmer are caught in the crossfire on Earth-51. Jason Todd is saved and imprisoned by that reality's Batman as he demands him of who is at gunpoint, as his Jason Todd was already dead. On New Earth, Jimmy Olsen is fully informed by Forager that the reason he have his powers is that he is a "soulcatcher".
On Paradise Island, Mary is brought to Queen Hippolyta by Harley Quinn and Holly Robinson, and joins their cause in overthrowing the impostor Athena. Monitor Solomon is beaten up by Superboy Prime who demands him in finding his "perfect Earth". Ray Palmer and Kyle Rayner escapes members of the Injustice Society. Ray then explains to Kyle on the reason he is involved in the Great Crisis is that he possess knowledge of a cure to the deadly Morticoccus virus. Jason Todd explains and resolve with Earth-51 Batman of his identity and the situations that is happening. In Blüdhaven, Brother Eye assimilates the remains of the city along with Firestorm and the Atomic Knights by incorporating their technologies and as it's power source.
Solomon managed to trick Superboy Prime into stopping Monarch in which that Earth-51 was his perfect universe and it is being destroyed by Monarch. Donna Troy defeats Belthera again and takes controls of her myrmidon swarm. Jason, who dons the identity of Red Robin, joins in the war with Earth-51 Batman, and are then saved by Donna Troy and her myrmidons. Monarch is then confronted by an enraged Superboy Prime.
Monarch and Supberboy Prime furiously battle. The Challengers are reunited and are stunned by writing from the Source, which states in directing their destination to Apokolips. The Challengers are then sent to Apokolips by Earth-51's Monitor Nix Uotan before Superboy Prime cause the destruction of Earth-51's reality by tearing open Monarch's armor, releasing his anti-matter energy.
The Challengers find themselves on Apokolips, but are confused as to what they are supposed to do. In Paradise Island Holly, Harley and Mary Marvel exposed Athena as Granny Goodness and chased her back to Apokolips. Meanwhile Pied Piper is then transported to Apokolips via Boom Tube. And in Blüdhaven Brother Eye travels to Apokolips along with Una and Karate Kid via Boom Tube, leaving Buddy Blank and his grandson behind.
On Apokolips Monitor Solomon addresses to Darseid that his time as a New God is come to a close as they observe Brother Eye begins his invasion of the planet. Elsewhere Piper is approached by a lone figure. Jason Todd has had enough of what he been through and leaves the Challengers to find a way back to Earth. Holly, Harley and Mary fights the Granny Goodness' Female Furies and Mary hears voices of the Olympian Gods. Karate Kid and Una are escaping Brother Eye's assimilation but Una is then transform into a OMAC. On Earth, Jimmy Olsen and Forager enlist the Hairies in their return to Apokolips.
Items: None known.
Vehicles: None known.
Weapons: None known.
- Countdown is a fifty-two issue limited series published by DC Comics from May of 2007 to May of 2008. The series is shipped on a weekly publishing schedule and is numbered in reverse order, beginning with issue #51, and counting backwards to issue #0.
- In early 2007, DC Comics began promoting the Countdown event with this double-page teaser spread that ran through many DC Comics.
The spread revealed a gathering of heroes standing amidst the ruins of New York City. The severed head of the Statue of Liberty is displayed prominently in the foreground. At the feet of the heroes lie the bodies of noteworthy characters who had died in the previous year (included are Maxwell Lord, Blue Beetle, Jade and the Question). An analysis of the teaser by Dan Didio is presented here.
- DC also promoted the title with a series of one-page ads, spotlighting different characters wearing pins. The pins read, "Jimmy Olsen Must Die!", "Darkseid Rules!", "WWMMD?" (What Would Mary Marvel Do?) and "I Found Ray Palmer".
- A second teaser image for the series was also released, showing Luthor on the ground in front of large head of a Darkseid statue.
- Countdown is the fifth DC Comics series published on a weekly shipping schedule. The first was Action Comics, which changed to a weekly format from issues #601-647 before resuming it's regular publishing schedule. The second was Millennium, an eight-issue limited series. The third was Final Night, a four-issue limited series, and the fourth was 52.
- Countdown Crossovers
- Countdown: Arena
- Countdown: Lord Havok and the Extremists
- Countdown: The Search for Ray Palmer
- Countdown to Adventure
- Countdown to Mystery
- Salvation Run
- Death of the New Gods
- Countdown Specials
Links and References
- Countdown article at Wikipedia
- Countdown series index at Comicbookdb.com
- Countdown series index at the Grand Comics Database
- Countdown article at Newsarama
- Silverbullet Comics's Countdown Counselling
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