|I feel like most of this stuff doesn't play out in Countdown|
Better buy every DC Comic to make sure
There are a lot of characters in Countdown and we follow a lot of plot lines, much like in 52. While looking at every single character that is important in this book would not only be hard to write and hard to read but it would also spoil important plots that I’m not willing to do. (“Yet”, I should say. Trust me; I’ll be spoiling the hell out of this series once we get to the reviews).
However there are certain key characters that I think would be helpful for someone reading my review to have passing knowledge of and know what they were up too leading up to the series. For example, the average person reading this may not know who Kyle Rayner is, that Donna Troy is one of DC’s most complicated characters or that Superman was once Jimmy Olsen’s abusive father.
|Superman: "Your love and admiration disgusts me, Jimmy."|
Important character notes after the jump.
|He's a 90s antihero who missed out on the 90s|
At this point the Red Hood had not been back that long and DC was still trying to figure out what to do with him and whether he should be a hero or villain. And then Countdown happened and began the long road to making Jason one of DC’s worst characters.
|In the "Before Time" her origin was pretty straight forward|
The main thing to remember is that, like Jason Todd, she has recently come back to life, though she hadn’t been dead all that long.
|R.I.P. Kyle's sweet 90's costume|
Back in the day Kyle and Donna Troy used to date.
|Do you have a Joker fetish but aren't attracted to dudes?|
Well, good news!
Shortly after her introduction she changed her identity to Harlequin (again, no relation to Harley Quinn) but has since returned to calling herself Joker’s Daughter.
|Um...sometimes Ray Palmer is a tiny sword fighter|
|This is a pretty typical day for Jimmy Olsen in the Silver Age|
|Pictured: A young, scrawny and awkward redhead?|
Speaking of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen…
The New Gods
|"There came a time when the old gods died!"|
After leaving Marvel for DC in the early 70s Kirby was put on the company’s lowest selling book, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, where he introduced these new characters gradually until they gained enough popularity to be spun off into their own books. These stories are collectively referred to as Jack Kirby’s Fourth World. The Fourth World is pretty vast so to summarize: the New Gods feature two factions of god-like beings at war; the gods of New Genesis and the evil gods of Apokolips. The most well-known of these characters is Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips, who is one of DC Comics most iconic and endearing villains. Although Darkseid is often front and center in the DCU the vast majority of the New Gods do not tend to get a lot of panel time (some exceptions include characters like Mister Miracle, Big Barda and Orion, who have all been members of the Justice League), but it’s a good idea to know that these guys exist and they are pretty powerful beings.
|Another gay superhero, vanished from the comic pages|
Legion of Super-Heroes
|If you want to know more about the LoS check elsewhere|
Better folk than me have gone mad trying explain them
The Legion of Super-Heroes are a very complex group of characters, mostly due to the continuity problems that arises with them whenever DC does a reboot or otherwise major retcon. Their basic premise is that they’re a huge roster of teenage superheroes from the 31st Century (give or take), made up mostly of aliens. There is a storyline that occurs around the time as the early issues of Countdown over in Justice League of America wherein the Legion of Super-Heroes have arrived in present times for reasons not immediately clear (it involved the return of Wally West, the greatest Flash of all time). Two of the team will get hooked into the void that is Countdown; Karate Kid, who is a next level martial artist who can easily outfight Batman, and Triplicate Girl, who normally can split into three versions of herself.
|The amount of sexually charged images on the net of Mary is depressing|
|Prime, in a rare instance of not punching the walls of reality|
Basically, Superboy-Prime is young man with god-like powers with a severe case of arrested development. At his worst he can seem like a whiny dork and if this sounds like DC is trying to make a commentary please hold that thought; we’ll get into that later.
So there are a ton of other characters but they’re either not that important or not important early enough to risk spoilers. Maybe take the following in mind: 1) Monarch was a villain from the 90s but is now a new villain traversing the multiverse and is also a now an evil Captain Atom. 2) The Trickster and the Pied Piper are Flash villains who previously rehabilitated but have recently seemingly become criminals again. 3) Harley Quinn is in this comic but this was before she achieved the huge popularity and wasn’t doing a lot at this point.
Regardless next time we should be ready to start this review. Next time (whenever that may be) we’ll be looking at the first few issues of Countdown proper.