Countdown: Arena #4 (DC – Champagne / McDaniels / Owens ) – The villainous Monarch begins the last chapter of his campaign against the Monitors, combing the entire Multiverse to enlist the most powerful — or deadly — heroes and villains from throughout existence to join his army. The abducted must battle one another in Monarch’s specially constructed Arena, where only the strongest will survive to join his battle against the Monitors. Blah, blah, blah. This series was such a tough book to get into my pullbox each week. It was sort of like Episode 3, I knew it wouldn’t be good… I knew what the outcome would be… but yet somehow my curiosity got the better of me and I paid out like twelve bucks for these four issues. Don’t get me wrong, there were positive things about this book. Keith Champange is a great writer (JSA) and he laid out some nice intricacies and introduced to some of very devious characters from the 52. His interactions between three very distinct Supermen has been in this series so far. The hard-lined art of Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens (Green Arrow) was well-done fun to look at. But all of the talent from the creators and all of the plans and schemes of the multitude of heroes wasn’t enough to defeat the knowledge that we knew Monarch would win at the end and form his army. Given what we have at the end of this series, this could have been done as a giant-sized one-shot and all would have been pleased. Hmmmmm, do I sense a special news report “The Countdown Fleecing of the Fanboys”? Ah Well, it will be a good trade to borrow from a friend or get from the local library.
Issue Grade: B
Series Grade: C