Countdown: Arena #2 (DC – Champagne / McDaniel / Owens) – DC’s blurb – Get ready for COUNTDOWN: ARENA — a 4-issue weekly event written by Keith Champagne (JSA) with art by Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens (GREEN ARROW) that pits the DCU’s greatest heroes against themselves! 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. Carefully selected from worlds throughout all 52 universes, including characters from SUPERMAN: RED SON, DC: THE NEW FRONTIER, BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT, JSA: LIBERTY FILES, JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NAIL, and TANGENT, among many others, three versions of each hero will walk into the Arena, and only one will walk away. Welcome to THE ARENA, where Monarch’s only rule is to survive at all costs. Issue #2 stepped up Arena’s game a bit. Right off the bat, a one page summary gave the reader stepping in background… I was very worried about the first half of every issue being a recap. Scott McDaniel’s penciling style stays dominant throughout the issue. His heavy lines and dark shadows helps give and keep the darker atmosphere of the book. Andy Owens’ inks and Guy Major’s colors certainly are a part of the great artistic feel of Arena. What we get alot of in Issue #2 is showing off the 52 worlds… giving background and showing individuals… if there are fanboys out there who want to be able to recall all 52 universes at a moment’s notice, this is an issue for you. Keith Champagne entertains us with a showdown of The Rays and Blue Beetles and eventually Green Lanterns, and we get to watch the good guys all start to form an alliance, trying to plan Monarch’s fall. Overall, very fun!