I'm a huge fan of Paul Dini, but I can't possibly imagine how he could be behind this horrible, horrible mess. I'm going to get a bit longwinded with a commparison here, but bear with me. I think it's relevant.
With whatever other qualms anybody might have had with Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, my biggest problem with the movie was the climax. George Lucas had us following four plot threads at once.
- Little Anakin flying a fighter
- Cool Jedi lightsaber fight
- Princess Amidala fighting for her throne
- Gungans vs. Robots
My problem was this was that you didn't follow any one part of the story long enough for it to make an impact. And the one part that everybody really wanted to see (Jedi on Sith lightsaber action) was over too quick, and then you were forced to watch something that, comparatively, sucked.
The reason for this comparison is that it describes the main problem with Countdown beautifully.
We're about 17 weeks into the Countdown (soon to be retitled to Countdown to Final Crisis) and what's actually happened in the book? This is a legitimate point to assess it... we're a third of the way there, more or less. Here are the plot threads in the book, as near as I can rattle them off my head:
- Jimmy Olsen has SUPER-POWERS!
- Mary Marvel's a witch!
- Piper & Trickster are living a buddy-movie
- Bob & Jason & Donna get lost (And Ryan's a bug)
- Holly Robinson gets her Amaz-on
- Karate Kid and Friend
- and very seldom, Death of the New Gods
Now there may be more that I've missed, but I'm only interested in reading two of those stories at the moment. (For the record, the search for Ray Palmer, and the Death of the New Gods) But how much schlock do I have to wade through each week to get perhaps two or three pages of what I'd actually LIKE to read? And of the stories I find interesting, when I get them, there's never enough space to live up to their potential.
I'm done with Countdown. I may not manage to dodge the next issue next week due to my work schedule, but I'm dropping a cancellation notice on my next trip to the Dragon.