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10/9 – Declarative Rabbit Says…

The alternate universe in Countdown 30 was the dumbest alternate universe I have ever read (not counting alternate universes that were designed solely as jokes).



It’s weird how they create alternate universes for such specific distinctions.

Yeah, and the one in 30 was the worst one in that regard.

“This is the Earth where…um…Donna Troy is Wonder Woman, Jason Todd is Batman and Kyle Rayner is…well, he’s still the Green Lantern, but he’s a DIFFERENT Green Lantern!”

“Oh, and General Zod is Superman.”

Yeah, that was stupid. It would have made much more sense for that to be an alternate future rather than an alternate Earth.

Countdown is stupid.

Maybe this is all leading up to the revelation in Final Crisis, that the DCU is completely literal. A fictional reality designed to service anal-retentive, continuity obsessed nerds. Who else would care enough about those particular characters to bother directing an alternate earth to progress that way?

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 9, 2007 at 3:57 pm

Since I haven’t read the series to date, I could care less whether it’s dumb or not.

There’s just simply too much continuity everywhere to keep a handle on anything.

So why bother?

So, what’s the dumbest JOKE alternate universe?

Stephane Savoie

October 9, 2007 at 4:06 pm

It really doesn’t give you a sense that they’ve carefully thought out each earth, and that each one is precious (since they only have 52, and all), does it?

I think even if you included alternate universes designed to be jokes on purpose, the one in Countdown 30 would still win as the dumbest.

Wait, Brian, you still read Countdown?

I don’t read Countdown, but out of curiosity, what were the major changes on this earth aside from Donna, Jason and Kyle’s identities? Or were there no other major changes?

Ummm… supposedly it’s happier or something.

Oh, and Jessica Palmer is the Atom. She’s 18.


October 9, 2007 at 5:33 pm

So, what’s the dumbest JOKE alternate universe?

The one from the original Crisis that was meant to be ‘our’ Earth, except it still had a Superman.

Oh, and Jessica Palmer is the Atom. She’s 18.

Oh right! I forgot about her!

It was just hilariously dumb. “Everything’s basically the same, except Jason is Batman, Donna is Wonder Woman, Kyle is more like Hal Jordan, General Zod is Superman and some new character named Jessica Palmer is Atom.”

It was clearly designed for one specific purpose – to show Jason and Donna (and to a lesser extent, Kyle) what they could become if they got their heart’s desire. Which is just a ridiculously silly concept, no?

There’s (apparently) 52 Earths, and one of 52 just happens to be “The World Where Jason Todd and Donna Troy get their heart’s desire…oh, and General Zod is Superman”?!?!

It’s actually beyond ridiculous.

Wait, Brian, you still read Countdown?

What don’t I read? :)

Is it all in the execution, because the idea seems… lame, but not that bad. Actually, during Infinite Crisis, I was kind of interested in what would happen if they had actually made an Earth-8, where the 90s heroes were the only incarnations of Superman, Batman, etc. Slightly different idea I suppose.

What made this concept so terrible? Anyone got a particular quotation or image that they can provide to help me get my fan-rage on?


Still, Earth Prime led to Kurt Busiek’s very excellent Secret Identity, so I will ever be greatful.

stealthwise – It’s not that it was laughably bad or anything like that. It was just . . . nothing. It was like “Hey, the three main characters meet themselves as their mentors (except Kyle, who just has Hal’s uniform on for some reason), and General Zod is Superman, and the Atom is a teenage girl” and then bye-bye, off to the next world.

It didn’t have a neat hook and nothing even potentially interesting happened. Why waste an Earth on that when you only have 52?

Instead of looking at this as the Universe where Donna and Jason (And Kyle, I guess) get their hearts’ desires, I was looking at it as the Universe where something awful happened that killed Bruce, Diana & Hal. And the rest of the world all lived happily ever after.

They clearly stated that Bruce had died and I inferred that the others did, too. Did I read that wrong? I admit I only skimmed it. Maybe there never was a Diana or Hal Jordan on that world.

Also, the Jason Todd version of Bats just looked like regular Old Batman to me. Somehow they manage to make the alternate future Tim Drake Batman look a bit different from the regular Batman.

Jason’s heart’s desire IS to look just like Bruce.

If there are only 52 alternate Earths, there’s no excuse for any of them to be that lame.

It didn’t have a neat hook and nothing even potentially interesting happened. Why waste an Earth on that when you only have 52?

If there are only 52 alternate Earths, there’s no excuse for any of them to be that lame.


Earth-15 is dumb? “Beyond ridiculous”?

But “Countdown: Arena” author Keith Champagne said that Earth-15 is “a world where the heroes have all evolved to near perfection”.

Surely a world of near-perfect heroes can’t be the dumbest alternate universe ever.

Do they still have the Pre-Crisis sex-change universe with Superwoman, Wonder Man, Green Lantern Chick, and Louis Lane? (I can’t remember how but Earth-1 Superman somehow got transported there only to have Superwoman declare war on him.)

You’d have to think that Power Man of that universe would have really big pecs.

I thought the same thing as you Brian: Why are they wasting an Earth on this uninteresting concept?

But maybe it’s a metacommentary on the entire notion of alternate earths. Why do we expect them all to be cool? Wouldn’t some of them be just as likely to be lame?

Maybe it’s a way to say, “ha! You wanted multiple Earths! We’ll give your Multiple Earths! And they will suck! Too bad for you, you bunch of whiners.”

Or else, yeah, as KC said, Earth 15 is just the “near perfection” world, because obviously Superman with a receeding hairline and a goatee is as close to perfect as we can hope.

HOWEVER, even with lame Earth-15, I do think Countdown has been a lot more fun lately, don’t you?

Wait, so Earth-15 Superman is General Zod in Countdown and Chris Kent in Arena? How can Chris Kent be “finally meet other Kryptonians” as Champagne says in the link when General Zod is on the same Earth?

Are they even attempting to claim that their editors work with each other at all anymore?

“But maybe it’s a metacommentary on the entire notion of alternate earths. Why do we expect them all to be cool? Wouldn’t some of them be just as likely to be lame?”
Somehow, I doubt that was the writer’s intention. It’d be kind of awesome if it was, though.

I disagree.
Karl Kesel wrote an issue of Fantastic Four where events since FF#1 proceeded in real time, with original members retiring and legacy characters taking their place.
This seems like a similar deal.

I don’t think it was dumb conceptually, but it was certainly subject to some godawful execution.

The Zod thing seemed a bit daft.

Upon meeting Keith Champagne at a recent con, he confirmed that somebody got it’s an editor’s mistake and that one of those Earths isn’t supposed to be Earth-15.

On that note, Mark, not the Pre-crisis version, but what is lovingly called the “Loeb-verse” does exist, as there is an earth where genders are swapped from an issue of Superman/Batman.

Can I just say that pic of Bunnicula is awesome..

I think it’s funny that the heart’s desire of Jason Todd, Donna Troy and Kyle Rayner is for Bruce Wayne, Diana and Hal Jordan to be dead.

Loeb-verse my fanny. That gender swapping parallel earth with Superwoman and Batwoman was created by Martin Pasko in a story where Mr. Mxyzptlk took Superman there.


See, there really isn’t anything that’s new or remarkable in comics anymore…

Yeah, I had this exact thought when I read Countdown 30: “They give us character who are going to explore the multiverse, and we get this stupid shit?” It would be fine if the characters were dealing with an infinite multiverse, but it’s kind of frustrating to know that because of that shitty Countdown issue, we are forever stuck with an Earth-15 that’s stupid unless someone writes a story specifically for the purpose of making Earth-15 not stupid (and that’s not a story I can see myself wanting to read). I mean, 52 was promising us Earth-2 and Atomic Knights and the ridiculously baroque Kingdom Come and Red Rain settings and, you know, things someone somewhere might actually want to read about. Instead, the Challengers of the Beyond have thus far left me with the impression that both the Microverse and the Multiverse are silly, boring places.

(And don’t even get me started on what a terrible use of the multiverse Arena is…)

It’s so weird to think that Paul Dini came up with this.


“Hey, you guys are different than us. Well, Ray’s not here, bye!”


“Hey, you guys are different than us. Well, Ray’s not here, bye!”

Etc etc…

“Instead, the Challengers of the Beyond have thus far left me with the impression that both the Microverse and the Multiverse are silly, boring places.”

I could totally see King Arthur and Sir Bedevere clapping their coconuts as the Challengers fought the CSA and repeating that very line.

The interesting thing is, we don’t know ANYTHING about that Earth, but there’s definitely a story here: there’s NO apparent crime, but we don’t know whether the E15 heroes are good guys or super-nazis. Why they appear to be happy letting Zod slack off isn’t explained either.

I liked the new Zod origin in the back though; his crime was now believing Jor-El!

That’s not Bunnicula, Trevor.

Something completely fuck-stupid coming out of Countdown?

Well, that’s almost hard to believe.

This is the book with the 700 Monitors running around killing nobodies, right?

Bunnicula had a black patch on the top of his head, simulating the Dracula style widow’s peak.

That’s Pirate.

Since we’re complaining about countdown…
After Crisis, the Monitors were looking at Kyle, Donna, some other folk, and Dick Grayson. Now they’re interested in Jason Todd. Why?

I heard Marvel made a ton of money off of the ‘Heart’s Desire’ universe.


October 10, 2007 at 5:29 pm

Now they’re interested in Jason Todd. Why?

Because even monitors know it was a shit awful idea to bring him back, and now they want him dead?

Ahhh! I forgot the rabbit’s name was pirate!

Does this mean I can still hate him?

Stupid rabbit. Now I’m all confused.

You know what bugs me about the Monitors in Countdown? It’s one of many examples of DC continuity porn misfiring so badly that I, one of the prime candidates for enjoying DC continuity porn, cannot enjoy it. Not just because it’s poorly written, but because the continuity is bad, and there is no failure more pure than continuity porn that is actually both incorrect and not self-consistent.

The deal with the Monitors in Countdown is clearly supposed to be that there are 52 of them. Certain key pages from the back-up stories imply that every Monitor is supposed to be a variation of the “original” Monitor in terms of appearance, reflecting what their universe is like (ie, Tangent’s is female, Red Rain’s is an emaciated-looking elf-dude, etc). This said, no one seems to have told the Countdown artists about this, because in crowd shots we not only don’t see 52 Monitors, but all of the Monitors are physically identical. It’s as if they went into Countdown without bothering to sit down and design 52 unique Monitors, or even enough unique Monitors to make sure there’s variety in crowd shots of ‘em (and c’mon, some of them should be easy: Earth-26 gets an anthropomorphic Monitor, Earth-3 gets a sinister-looking one, Earth-15 gets an overblown Alex Ross-y type design, etc).

This is especially bad given that the “bad guy” Monitor who wants to kill off all characters that are continuity errors (no, seriously) and the “good guy” Monitor who wants to let them not die (no, seriously) are for the most part physically identical to each other. It is really not exactly a good idea in any visual medium to have two major characters, who have a closely antagonistic relationship with each other, look more or less exactly the same. Especially if, like comics, there’s no voicework to help you tell them apart. This is utterly mind-blowing, 90’s Image, written-by-Rob-Liefeld caliber sloppiness.

[…] Remember that Earth that 1 complained about awhile back in Declarative Rabbit? Well, as it turns out, I guess there was a reason that they created an Earth that lame (it was an Earth where all the sidekicks have taken over their mentor’s roles – oh, and General Zod is Superman!) – it was so they could later have them all killed!!! […]

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