Countdown: Arena

I can sum up my reaction to hearing that this mini-series was going to be made with one word: enthusiasm. I can also sum up my reaction to the mini-series after reading the fourth and final issue: disappointment. Now, disappointment does not necessarily mean that this was a bad mini-series. I have read much worse. But for me, the actual story did not live up to the concept.

Having heroes from different Earths fight each other sounded like a great idea. Monarch is going to use the winners in his army? Still a good concept. Have the captives team up to fight Monarch, thus taking away from the battles? Starting to lose me. Have the the captives fight, and a calvary come in, only to get demolished? Now you’ve lost me.

Monarch has already been established as a serious force. A mini-series was not needed to drive this point home. All it did was take away from the selling point of the mini-series. I bought the book to see three different versions of the same character fight it out for supremacy, not Monarch plow through everyone. After finishing this, it seems like they could have just put this into Countdown. Or maybe an 80-page special one-shot.

Keith Champagne’s writing was not bad. The actual script was an easy read, and flowed smoothly. I know it is odd to not like a story and be okay with a script. It is possible for a bad story to be executed well, and a good story to be executed poorly. Here, Champagne does the best with the story he’s been given. I am not a fan of Scott McDaniel’s art. If you are, that’s fine. It’s just not my thing.

If at the end of Countdown, I am proven wrong, and this was necessary, I will come back and write a correction.


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