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Reviews and commentary by Tony Isabella
"America's Most Beloved Comic-Book Writer & Columnist"

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TONY'S ONLINE TIPS
for Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Countdown 41

It's time to catch up on DC's weekly COUNTDOWN series [$2.99 per issue], which I last reviewed here:

www.worldfamouscomics.com/tony/back20070814.shtml

Then, I looked at issues #52-42 and gave them a disappointing two out of five Tonys. Now, I'm looking at issues #41-33, ongoing story by ongoing story.

Pied Piper and Trickster.

I like these characters, though I'm getting a little tired of various super-heroes not turning them over to the authorities and letting the legal system determine their culpability in the killing of Bart Allen by the Flash Rogues Gallery. In the real world, of course, the one in which criminals can be charged with murders that occur during one's commission of a felony, they could and certainly would be charged with that murder.

In these issues, the Piper and Trickster escape from custody, hold up in the Penguin's nightclub, and manage to escape from the Suicide Squad despite being their being shackled together. Which means I can laugh at the Squad and never take them seriously again. Because the writers can't expect readers to take heroes or villains seriously after they get played this badly for the sake of a story. Expediency is not only not heroism, it plays heck on the illusion of competency.

The Piper and Trickster get captured and released by Batwoman and the Question on the grounds they're too stupid to have killed Bart Allen. That might be a workable defense in court...if anybody had bothered to put these guys on trial. Am I suddenly channeling Bob Ingersoll?

Their adventures continue. They seek shelter in Poison Ivy's headquarters and she almost kills them. Deathstroke hangs them out as bait for the super-heroes while he and others plan to attack the wedding of Black Canary and Green Arrow, probably because that slut Oliver has slept with all of them. The Batman releases them into the less-than-tender custody of the Flash because DCU super-heroes don't need no stinkin' courts. The Flash painfully defuses bombs placed in their necks by Deathstroke, decides he believes that they didn't kill Bart Allen but that he doesn't really trust them. He has Zatanna transport them to a hotel room at the wedding until he can think on it. Fearing Zatanna will mind-wipe them, the boys try to escape...only to face a mummy with a big sword.

I like the Pied Piper and the Trickster. I said so just a few paragraphs earlier. I'm all in favor of a redemption arc for them. But, if they get another chance, they shouldn't get it because the Flash or some other super-hero makes that decision. Let the boys have their day in court.

One closing thought for the day. Someone should expand on the Pied Piper's fear of being mind-wiped. After all, he's a gay man and, in our world, we have bigots who think gays can and should be "reconditioned" to be not gay. More than even the other villains, the Piper might well fear that such magical mental tampering might rob him of an essential part of who he is. I think that's a story worth the telling.

Short TOTs are the rule this month, but I'll continue my look at Countdown #41-33 throughout the week.

Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back soon with more stuff.

Tony Isabella

<< 10/01/2007 | 10/02/2007 | 10/03/2007 >>

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THE "TONY" SCALE

Zero Tonys
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.

Tony
ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.

TonyTony
TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?

TonyTonyTony
THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.

TonyTonyTonyTony
FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?

TonyTonyTonyTonyTony
FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.



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