You know, I was thinking about Countdown earlier today, and I ended up discussing it with the good people at Upstate Comics today when picking up the weekly buy pile.
When Countdown was launched there were three definitive things that DanDi and DC had to tell us about it. 1) Like 52, it would feature B and C list characters. 2) Unlike 52, it would not be allowed to evolve into lots of tiny self-contained stories, it had to Countdown to an event. 3) it would serve as the "Spine of the DCU."
Well, what are the flaws we've all found with Countdown? 1) Nobody cares too much about the characters. 2) Not enough is happening, the stories are just chugging along. 3) It ties in too closely with other books in the DCU.
Now, I'm not loving this book. But, weren't we all warned of these flaws in advance? Don't those three flaws match up with what we were described? Now, granted, if the writers were doing a better job of skewing the balance of some issues so we could flesh out some characters like 52 did, we would all probably have more interest in the individual stories -- but can there really be that many 52-esque revelation moments along the way in those stories if we are definitively going somewhere with this? Isn't the very nature of this series that it will be slow and then gradually pick up steam once we get close to the "Great Disaster?"
Don't get me wrong, again, I'm not loving this book, I think the writers could be handling these stories better, and I think the story is being stretched to go a full 52 issues. But, in hindsight, I think Countdown is exactly what we were told it would be, we just didn't want to listen in the afterglow of 52's glory.