It has been a long arduous road, but we are finally mercifully arriving near the end of Countdown to Final Crisis. I will be shocked if DC can actually pull of an ending to this unremarkable title that I will consider interesting and enjoyable. I dread seeing how Dini and company write Superman-Prime, I mean, Mary Marvel’s character in Countdown to Final Crisis #2. Let’s just go ahead and do this review.
Writers: Paul Dini, Sean McKeever & Keith Giffen
Artist: Scott Kollins
Art Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with a Kaiju battle as a giant sized reptilian Jimmy Olsen slugs it out with a giant sized Darkseid. They proceed to destroy more buildings and bridges than Gojira in a rage. We cut to inside of Jimmy’s brain where the Atom is searching for whatever device that Darkseid had implanted in Jimmy to gather and store the powers of the dead New Gods. Sure enough, Atom finds the soul battery that stores all of the powers.
We shift back to Darkseid taking out Jimmy. Darkseid is about to kill Jimmy so that the powers will leave Jimmy’s corpse and enter into Darkseid’s body. Then Darkseid can bring about the Fifth World and rule it as its complete master.
Suddenly, the Atom flies out of Jimmy’s ear and Jimmy shrinks back to normal size. Ray holds up the soul battery that has all of the New Gods’ powers. The Atom then crushes the soul battery in front of Darkseid. Darkseid is enraged that the Atom destroyed the soul battery and that all of the powers are now lost to Darkseid.
Darkseid is about to retaliate by blasting the Atom when suddenly a boom tube activates behind Darkseid. Orion arrives on the scene and rages that he is here to kill Darkseid. The father and son engage in a truly titanic battle. Orion tells Superman, Flash, Donna and Kyle to back off. That this is Orion’s fight alone.
Darkseid gets the upper hand and begins blasting away at Orion. Just when you thought Orion was done and Darkseid had won, Orion does his best Hulk Hogan impersonation and comes back with a furious attack. Orion yells that he is willing to die if it means killing Darkseid. Darkseid comments that Orion finally sounds like a son that Darkseid would be proud of. Orion yells that he is nothing like Darkseid.
Orion stumbles off from the fight and is clearly about to die himself. The issue ends with the words “There came a time when the New Gods died…” End of issue.
We then get a two page back-up story about the origin of Darkseid. End of issue.
The Good: I can’t believe it, but I actually enjoyed Countdown to Final Crisis #2. Dini gave us a fast paced issue that was crammed full of action. The story had a pleasant flow to it and even though it was an adrenaline pumping issue, the story never felt rushed or hurried.
I loved the Kaiju battle. I always enjoy it when I get to see two giant monsters slug it out and cause massive collateral damage to a city. The only downside is that no fleshies got squished during this Kaiju battle. I have to admit that for a while there I had a bad feeling that DC was going to let Dini kill off Jimmy Olsen. Since I dig Jimmy I’m glad to see that it appears that he will make it out of Countdown to Final Crisis alive.
I was thrilled to see my boy Ray once again getting to play the big hero as he finds the soul battery and saved Jimmy as well as denies Darskeid the powers of all the dead New Gods. I particularly enjoyed the cocky attitude in which Ray destroys the soul battery right in front of Darkseid’s face. After having to put up with a sobbing, useless and totally ineffective Atom, it was nice to see Ray displaying some attitude and balls.
I’m also glad that in the last issue and in this issue that Ray has played a large role in saving Jimmy and thwarting Darskeid. Ray has been abused for the vast majority of Countdown to Final Crisis. It is nice to see him grab the spotlight in the last two issues and get the glory that he so richly deserves.
I enjoyed the surprising twist of having Orion still alive and appearing just in time to take on his father. Dini delivers an absolutely fantastic brawl between the two New Gods. The fight was well choreographed and had great psychology and drama. The part of the fight where Orion rips out Darkseid’s heart was a powerful scene. It was definitely pretty damn cool to see someone actually kill Darkseid even if it is only temporary since we know that Darkseid is the main bad guy in Final Crisis.
Dini ends Countdown to Final Crisis #2 with a solid ending as all of the New Gods are officially dead. Now that the death of the New Gods plotline is officially over, I’m curious to see what Dini has in store for us with the final issue of Countdown to Final Crisis.
The Bad: Once again, the dialogue was less than impressive. We get plenty more generic dialogue in this issue. Also, I just don’t enjoy Scott Kollins’ artwork. It looks rough, sketchy, rushed and a bit sloppy. This simply wasn’t a pretty looking issue.
Overall: I was pleasantly surprised that I actually enjoyed Countdown to Final Crisis #2. Of course, after reading this issue, I remain convinced that Dini could have delivered a highly entertaining story with Countdown to Final Crisis if he had trimmed off the fat consisting of many of the useless plotlines that bogged down this story. Countdown to Final Crisis would have made a great 12 issue series.