JSA Classified 31
A decent end to the Mr. Terrific arc, but I think it's time to showcase some of the less visible JSAers. And the art was annoying: very nice except when depicting the main characters. That's just not right.
Trials of Shazam! 9
Methinks this has been going on a bit long. I like Freddy enough, and the art's been nice, but this has been a grind. At least there's some intriguing conflict being set up for what I hope is a big finish, but Apollo sure hasn't been god-like. Humanity has changed him, that's for sure.
Justice Society of America 10
Can it get better than this? A lot of real emotion is mixed in with some bang-up action as the Superman from an another Earth is truly an alien being. Nice mix of Alex Ross painted art with the regular art to give the book a real, multiverse feel. And the cover was emotionally powerful, as well.
Now with the longer title: Countdown to Final Crisis. hmmmmmm.... The end of the multiverse once more, which I would hate to see? Or another reboot of the multiverse? We are getting to the point of almost too much big event comics. In the recent Wizard, which despite the alternate cover of contention, was a good issue, with a nice article on The Death of Superman. I'd never read those books -- they came out during my boycott -- so I was interested in how this storyline had come to be. I was impressed by how well it was planned and how far ahead, but what struck me was the danger of success. Do one big event like that, with all the followup, including Lois and Clark's marriage, and the marketing folks want more, more, more, and bigger, bigger, bigger. One can see how even the editors and maybe the creative folks can get carried away with their success.
I like having a weekly comic, and I'm enjoying Countdown, but it hasn't had the pace, freshness, or thrill and awe of 52. What made 52 special for me was that along with the story and bringing back the multiverse, it focused on lesser known characters in a world without Supes, Bats, and WW. It gave characters like Renee, the Question, Ralph, Adam Strange, Kory, and Animal Man, along with Booster Gold (leading to his own book) a chance to shine. It introduced a cool, new character in the current version of Batwoman and it brought in intriguing new concepts like the Crime Bible, now a comic, too. All Countdown has brought us is yet more books in the search for Ray Palmer. And a book I am enjoying more than Countdown itself: Countdown to Adventure, because it features Adam Strange, Kory, and Animal Man! Countdown to Mystery, with the new Dr. Fate, seems promising.
No surprise that Donna isn't dead, and the way she wasn't killed was nicely done. But despite meting out justice in a way Batman and Nightwing don't approve of, Jason is not evil. He's just extreme in his vigilantism and he's got an attitude, which given his previous status of being killed by the Joker, is kinda understandable. And he always was an obnoxious guy, even when he was Robin. At least, halfway through, the plot threads seem to be coming together, so I'm looking forward to improved pacing and more excitement as the story moves toward its climax and resolution.