Whereas 52 kept disparate plots pretty clean and interesting, Countdown was rather a mess. Many plot threads were left with nonsensical or incomplete resolutions, and the featured characters went on to little fanfair. The essence of Countdown was that two omnipotent beings — Darkseid and the Monitor called Solomon — embark on a grand game. Darkseid (who also senses his own demise) intends to usher in the destruction of the multiverse and survive to a new Fifth World while the Monitor hopes to avert the prophesied "Great Disaster." Ray Palmer has discovered the secret to saving everyone from a genocidal virus, but he doesn't realize that Karate Kid has brought another strain of the virus from the 31st century. Though Palmer manages to inoculate Earth-0's heroes, the virus is eventually unleashed by Brother Eye on Earth-51 where it destroys all life. So both Darkseid and the Monitor win—or do they both lose? In the end, Darkseid dies by his son's hand, and Solomon is branded an outcast by his fellow Monitors.

Countdown (to Final Crisis)

Darkseid places a device inside Jimmy Olsen that stores the souls of the New Gods. He steals these souls from the Source, which has decided the New Gods are imperfect and is gathering their souls in order to recreate them.

*

Darkseid sets in motion a plot to destroy all life and recreate existence. For violating the boundaries of the multiverse, Duela Dent is killed by the Monitor Solomon (of Earth-8). A second Monitor (of Earth-0, later dubbed "Bob") pursues him and stops Solomon from killing Jason Todd as well. Solomon consults the Source Wall for answers; it prophesies "Great Disaster," and the solution is Ray Palmer. Mary Marvel is released from the hospital and is given a note from Freddy asking her not to find him; her powers are gone. Heat Wave receives Trickster and Piper, who want to join the Rogues again. NOTE: Earth-0's Monitor begins going by "Bob" in Countdown #41. Solomon is named in #21, but is later named Rox Ogama in Final Crisis #7. The pre-Crisis timeline involving the apocalyptic "Great Disaster" first appeared in Kamandi: Last Boy on Earth #1 (Nov. 1972). Its first chronological appearance was in OMAC #1 (Sept. 1974). There, the planet is inhabited by animal-men following an atomic war in "1986." This timeline included Kamandi, Buddy Blank/OMAC (who was Kamandi's grandfather, Kamandi #50), the Atomic Knights, and Hercules Unbound. The coexisting in the same timeline as the Atomic Knights was revealed in Hercules Unbound #10-12 (Apr.–Sept. 1977). (However, the cause of the atomic war was different in Hercules Unbound than in the "Atomic Knights" stories.) Superman #295 (Jan. 1976) posited that Kamandi existed in a possible future timeline of Earth-One.

Countdown #51 (July 2007)

Jimmy Olsen begins manifesting strange powers while investigating the murder of Duela Dent. The Monitors begin to argue amongst themselves over their course of action. NOTE: This issue begins a backup story featuring the Monitors relating the history of the multiverse.

Countdown #49 (July 2007)

In Metropolis, the skies explode Lightray is left for dead in a crater. The Monitors begin to develop distinctly different appearances.

Countdown #48 (July 2007)

The Monitors claim that a virus is poised to infect the multiverse. Black Adam bestows his powers—and those of Isis—upon Mary Marvel. Amazons led by the resurrected Hippolyta attack in Washington.

Countdown #47 (Aug. 2007)

In revenge for Ares taking her daughter, Circe allies with the New Gods and resurrects Hippolyta and the Amazons and sends them to destroy Washington D.C. Wonder Woman is reunited with her mother. (#1) Donna encounters the Red Hood. Phillipus and Artemis begin questioning the queen's decisions. They go on to torch Kansas is torched. (#2; also in Countdown #43) They attack Superman and Air Force One. Wonder Girl agrees to bring the President in exchange for her mother's release from an anti-Amazon jailing spree. (#3) Batman deduces that some of the attacks are being brought by the rogue tribe of Amazons, the Bana. The Bana leader, Karna, approaches Grace, who is of Bana heritage. As Hippolyta wavers in her commitment to the Amazons' mission, Circe asserts herself and seals off D.C. Wonder Girl and Supergirl intercept Air Force one just as a missile hits it. (#4; also in Countdown #41) Batman, with spells from Zatanna, brings down Circe's shield. (#5) Wonder Woman is ultimately forced to battle her own mother. Diana points out that the Amazons have given into bloodlust yet Circe's magic is no longer in effect and Hippolyta relents. Athena (Granny Goodness in disguise) steps in and banishes Circe to hell. She raises a new Themyscira off the coast of Washington D.C. and the Amazons vanish. Hippolyta is banished to her own island, with no subjects to rule. (#6) NOTE: Events take place around Countdown #47-41.

Amazons Attack! #1-6 (June–Oct. 2007)

Donna Troy and Jason Todd form an alliance to investigate the Monitors (Jason saw Duela's murder). The Monitors take notice and dispatch the Forerunner (of Earth-48) to kill them.

Countdown #46 (Aug. 2007)

Bob stops Forerunner from killing Jason. Holly Robinson (Catwoman II) is approached by the Athenian Womens Shelter.

Countdown #45 (Aug. 2007)

Monarch recruits the Forerunner for his army. Mary Marvel finds her brother in the Rock of Eternity; he is now both Marvel and Shazam. The Suicide Squad begins hunting villains.

Countdown #44 (Aug. 2007)

Inertia steals Bart Allen's Speed Force power and goads the Rogues into killing him. Robin, Jay Garrick and Jesse Chambers are told the news.

Flash v.3 #13 (Aug. 2007)

The funeral of Bart Allen. Bob the Monitor recruits Donna and Jason for a mission, forming the "Challengers from Beyond." Holly meets Harley Quinn at the shelter. Monarch shows Forerunner and reports that her entire race on Earth-48 has been exterminated by her former masters, the Monitors. She joins his army, which is hidden from the Monitors inside the Bleed, between universes. NOTE: Donna Troy's band never actually refers to itself as "the Challengers." But beginning with Countdown #34, DC's solicitations for the series begin calling them the "Challengers from Beyond." Forerunner is seen simultaneous to this in the next entry.

Countdown #43 (Sept. 2007)

COUNTDOWN TO ADVENTURE

The Forerunner of Earth-48 learns that her race has been decimated by the Monitors.

Countdown to Adventure #1 (Oct. 2007)

Forerunner meets the Nazi Superman, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Hawkman and Flash of on Earth-10. The Monitors dispatch Dark Angel to Earth-34.

Countdown to Adventure #2 (Nov. 2007)

Forerunner is captured on Earth-33, where mystics rule. 1st app. of Bat Mage, Shade and Black Bird of one house; others include Lady Flash, Kal-El, Green Lantern. Terra, Weather Wizard and Starman. They bring her before their Oracle, who is actually Dark Angel, and kills Starman.

Countdown to Adventure #3 (Dec. 2007)

Forerunner fights Dark Angel with the help of Earth 33's heroes. These heroes warn Forerunner about Monarch and an argument with her master leads to him dismissing her from his army. NOTE: Forerunner's schism with Monarch also appears in Lord Havok and the Extremists #3. She does not appear in Countdown again until #15.

Countdown to Adventure #4 (Jan. 2008)

On Rann, Adam Strange finds the populace is being infected by Lady Styx. On Earth, Animal Man and Starfire discover the same thing in San Diego. Starfire regains her powers via Rann's triple sun. The recharged Starfire is then able to burns away Styx's infection on both planets. Strange is temporarily replaced as Rann's champion by Steven "Champ" Hazard, a Hollywood actor. (#1)

Countdown to Adventure #1-8 (Oct. 2007-May 2008)

The Atom (Ryan Choi) is recruited to help the Challengers find Ray Palmer. The Monitor says that Palmer is the key to saving the multiverse. Pied Piper and the Trickster begin a life on the run after Bart Allen's murder (in which they didn't take part, but they were present)

Countdown #42 (Sept. 2007)

The Trickster and Pied Piper escape the Suicide Squad and begin a life on the run. Jason Todd begins calling their Monitor "Bob." He says he has no other name. Amazons take down Air Force One. At the Fortress of Solitude, the Legion returns to the 31st century and but Una (one of Duo Damsel) emerges from a separate portal and tells Karate Kid that they are to begin a new mission.

Countdown #41 (Sept. 2007)

SALVATION RUN

Amanda Waller uses the Suicide Squad to capture and relocate villains to the so-called "Planet Hell." The Rogues become the first inhabitants; Abra Kadabra is injured. Another batch arrives with the Joker. Girder is lost below the surface. Waller doesn't realize that Desaad is secretly diverting all of her inmates from her relatively peaceful world, onto this Hell Planet instead. NOTE: Desaad's involvement is revealed in #5.

Salvation Run #1 (Jan. 2008)

Hellhound sustains mortal wounds. Psimon attempts to rally troops, but Joker kills him. Luthor arrives with another group, which includes the Suicide Squad's own criminals.

Salvation Run #2 (Feb. 2008)

Joker challenges Luthor for leadership; the villains divide into camps. Blockbuster is revealed as Martian Manhunter; he's an observer, reporting back to Batman. The Joker kills Iron Cross.

Salvation Run #3 (Mar. 2008)

Grodd kills Mallah and the Brain. Vandal Savage takes Phobia, Lady Flash, Cheetah and other women to an idyllic valley.

Salvation Run #4 (Apr. 2008)

To save her skin, Catwoman outs Martian Manhunter. Desaad and his minion Unkshuss review their handiwork; the villains are meant to provide a training ground for Parademons.

Salvation Run #5 (May 2008)

Luthor forbids killing J'onn; the Rogues know all too well about retaliation. Desaad transports Parademons by the thousands to the Hell Planet. Weasel is killed.

Salvation Run #6 (June 2008)

Luthor rigs a teleporter using the powers of the unwitting Thunder, Lightning, Meanstreak, Warp and Neutron. They and J'onn J'onzz are left behind.

Salvation Run #7 (July 2008)

A Forager (II) "bug" from New Genesis embarks on a mission to Earth, to investigate Lightray's death. The Monitors reveal that in the new multiverse a Source Wall and Anti-Life Equation exists between each universe. Control of the Equation, the Speed Force or quantum mechanics allows travel between universes. NOTE: Glimpses are shown of Earth-9 (Tangent), Earth-19 (Gotham by Gaslight), and Earth-30 (Red Son), and Earth-43 (Red Rain).

Countdown #40 (Sept. 2007)

The killer of the New Gods takes the Deep Six. Bob continues to stand apart from the other Monitors, opposed to killing individuals.

Countdown #38 (Oct. 2007)

Oracle investigates a virus in Karate Kid and concludes it is either alien or from the future. This makes Una think a "Great Disaster" is coming. They seek help from Elias Orr, a bio-engineer. In the nanoverse, Donna Troy's band meet a red witch. NOTE: The red witch resembles the White Witch.

Countdown #37 (Oct. 2007)

Jimmy Olsen persuades Superman to let him audition for the JLA as Mister Action. Karate Kid and Una battle Elias Orr's guard, Equus, in Nebraska.

Countdown #36 (Oct. 2007)

Jimmy Olsen fails his tryout for the Justice League. The Challengers meet Queen Belthera in the nanoverse.

Countdown #35 (Oct. 2007)

Harley and Holly win the right to travel to Paradise Island for full citizenship among the Amazons. Orr tells Karate Kid he's infected with a mutated strain of the OMAC virus. This virus was engineered from Brainiac 13 technology and introduced into public vaccine supplies by Max Lord. It laid dormant into the 31st century, which is how Karate Kid got it. He refers them to Buddy Blank, a scientist who works for Pseudo-People, Inc. and who has access to Brother Eye. NOTE: Beginning with this issue, DC's solicitations for the series begin calling Donna's band the "Challengers from Beyond."

Countdown #34 (Nov. 2007)

Kyle Rayner joins the Challengers as the Atom is plucked away back to Earth.

Countdown #33 (Nov. 2007)

Part 1, Earth-50: The Challengers from Beyond meets Gen13, Majestic, Grifter, Wetworks, Surge (who was marked by Ray Palmer) and the Authority. NOTE: The order of this series is determined by "next issue" blurbs at the end of each issue.

Countdown presents the Search for Ray Palmer: Wildstorm (Nov. 2007)

The Challengers pass through Earth-30 into Earth-3 where they meet the Crime Society and read graffiti left by the Jokester.

Countdown #32 (Nov. 2007)

The Jokester tags along when the Challengers leave Earth-3. Afterwards, Monarch arrives to recruit the Crime Society for his army. NOTE: Occurs simultaneously with the next entry.

Countdown #31 (Nov. 2007)

Part 2, Earth-3: The Jokester meets the Challengers and battle the Crime Society. 1st app. of the Jokester's allies, the Riddler and Three-Face (Duela's mother). NOTE: Duela was raised as the Riddler's daughter, but was biologically the Jokester's. Duela dated Owlman's sidekick, Talon and the two of them traveled to Earth-0 and joined the Teen Titans. In this flashback story, the Riddler was killed.

Countdown presents the Search for Ray Palmer: Crime Society (Dec. 2007)

At Norad base, Brother Eye greets Karate Kid and Una; it detects the virus in Val and states it is a terminal condition—infection incomplete. The JLA fights villains at the wedding of Black Canary and Green Arrow. The Challengers stop on Earth-15, where Wonder Woman is Donna, Batman is Jason and Superman is Zod.

Countdown #30 (Dec. 2007)

COUNTDOWN PRESENTS: LORD HAVOK AND THE EXTREMISTS

Six years ago, in response to an act requiring metahumans to register with the government, the Extremists assassinated Tin Man, President of the United States of Angor. The Americommando succeeds him (and Blue Jay as Vice President). In recent days, they have conquered the small nation of Slovekia. These Extremists consider themselves freedom fighters, not conquerors. Monarch arrives with his new multiversal army in tow to recruit the Extremists. The Challengers also arrive. NOTE: The bulk of the stories in this series deal with the origins of the Extremists, not current events.

Countdown Presents: Lord Havok and the Extremists #1 (Dec. 2007)

On Earth-8 (called Angor), the Challengers are captured by the Extremists: Lord Havok, Dr. Diehard, Gorgon, Barracuda, Dreamslayer, Tracer. Solomon arrives to kill the Challengers, leaving the Jokester for dead. His rampage is stopped by Monarch, who recruits the Extremists for his army. Brother Eye revolts and breaks free, taking Buddy Blank with it. NOTE: The original Extremists were from the world of Angor in the Earth-0 universe. They first appeared in Justice League Europe #15 (June 1990). Like their foes, the Justifiers, the Extremists were originally inspired by Marvel characters (villains).

Countdown #29 (Dec. 2007)

When the Extremists refuse Monarch's offer, he employs the Crime Society as enforcers. The Forager from New Genesis tracks down Jimmy Olsen for aid. Brother Eye reports that there is a similar trace of Val's virus in Blüdhaven. A sample of it might enable them to manufacture a cure.

Countdown #28 (Dec. 2007)

On Earth-8, Jason kills Barracuda. NOTE: Occurs simultaneously with events in the next entry.

Countdown #27 (Dec. 2007)

Barracuda, the head of the U.S. Meta Militia (and the Extremists' covert man on the inside) has been killed by Jason Todd. Monarch arrives with the Crime Society and his offer to make Havoc his Lieutenant. Havoc declines. NOTE: Features the origin of Gorgon, Dr. Mortimer, a government scientist who was jealous of Dr. Leonard Grant—the god Wandjina (Thor). Events of this issue take place after They have been visited by the Challengers.

Countdown Presents: Lord Havok and the Extremists #2 (Jan. 2008)

Monarch leaves Havok to a decision. Dr. Diehard disagrees about joining Monarch. the International Union denies Americommando's appeal to attack Slovekia. Monarch sends a weird JLA after Tracer: Green Sinestro, Linda Park the Flash, Bat-Soldier, Herr Superman, Bizarra, Robin Olsen and Zombie Gordon. They capture him, proclaiming him dead. NOTE: It is unclear if these JLAers are from Earth-8 or elsewhere. Features the origin of Tracer, Pvt. Vincent Cade.

Countdown Presents: Lord Havok and the Extremists #3 (Feb. 2008)

Americommando makes a deal with Monarch. The Angorians attack Slovekia and the sites of the Extremists' origins. (#4) The U.S. Meta-Human Militia, led by Monarch, brings war to Slovekia. (#5) Lord Havok lures Americommando's troops into a room that negates their powers. Once they're beaten, for Havok, the war is over and the Extremists decide leave Earth-8 with Monarch. (#6)

Countdown Presents: Lord Havok and the Extremists #4-6 (Feb.–Apr. 2008)

The Challengers depart Earth-8. 1st app. of the Monitor Zillo Valla, who champions Solomon's cause for war against all multiversal interlopers. NOTE: Valla is named later, in Final Crisis #1. The Challengers appear next in the Search for Ray Palmer mini-series.

Countdown #26 (Dec. 2007)

After parting ways with Monarch, Forerunner is captured by a ship in space that is in turn taken by pirates. She awakes and takes assumes control from its captain, Daldus Lazaar and the bounty hunter Gana. Crew members Toragg, Valda, Hierophant and Neex back her. Thanagarians approach their ship.

Countdown to Adventure #5 (Feb. 2008)

Forerunner runs afoul of the Thanagarians and their commander, Golden Eagle. They end up physically involved.

Countdown to Adventure #6 (Mar. 2008)

Forerunner discovers a "galaxy farm" where new planets are born. She escorts one to its new home, and seeds a new race with her own blood; it becomes her new home.

Countdown to Adventure #8 (May 2008)

Jimmy Olsen finds himself in the slave pits on Apokolips; oddly, Darkseid refuses to kill him. Eclipso delivers Mary Marvel to Darkseid.

Countdown #25 (Dec. 2007)

The Spectre once again battles his predecessor, Eclipso, who possesses an army of metas including Plastic Man, the Creeper, Dove, Huntress. Crispus Allen manages to finally solidify his form. (#3) Bruce Gordon ends up once again permanently bonded to Eclipso. (#8) The helmet of Fate comes down in Las Vegas, and finds the homeless, former psychiatrist Kent V. Nelson. He invokes the ire of the demon Negal and meets two aides, Inza and Maddy. NOTE: The final issue features four possible endings for the Dr. Fate tale. This was an homage to the story's original writer, Steven Gerber, who died before completing it.

Countdown to Mystery #1-8 (Nov. 2007-June 2008)

Superboy Prime destroys Earth-15.

Countdown #24 (Jan. 2008)

Prime visits the Source Wall, destroying it; he is once again searching for "his" Earth. Though he is 19, he has taken on more mass and looks older. Uses Annataz of Earth-3, Prime holds Mr. Mxyzptlk captive, wanting the imp to help him. Mxy and Annataz dupe Prime into sending Mxy home. Annataz repents before Prime kills her. Monarch's army (led by Lord Havoc and Ultraman) attacks a Dominion armada.

Countdown #23 (Jan. 2008)

Just as the Pied Piper and Trickster begin to realize they might actually be good friends, Deadshot finds them and kills Trickster.

Countdown #22 (Jan. 2008)

Part 3: Earth-43: Dick Grayson hunts vampires, slays Barbara Gordon (who bore the Atom's mark). Grayson is ultimately bitten by the Batman and becomes his partner again. NOTE: The remainder of this series takes place between Countdown #26-18. The Challengers are seen briefly in #24 and 21.

Countdown presents the Search for Ray Palmer: Red Rain (Jan. 2008)

Part 4, Earth-19: The Challengers are scattered across this Victorian Earth where they meet Batman and his apprentice, Blue Beetle (who bears the Atom mark). Jason feels a certain affinity for this Earth. They battle Kirk Langstrom's giant Man-Bat.

Countdown presents the Search for Ray Palmer: Gotham by Gaslight (Jan. 2008)

Part 5, Earth-30: The Challengers arrive in amidst Batman's epic final battle with Soviet Superman.They quickly locate that world's Ray Palmer, a spy for Luthor, woo works with Batman to oppose the Superman. Donna is captured and interrogated using Brainiac. Superman captures the Challengers, but Palmer threatens to blow up the shrunken Stalingrad unless he releases them. NOTE: This issue occurs simultaneously with events in Superman: Red Son.

Countdown presents the Search for Ray Palmer: Red Son (Feb. 2008)

Part 6, Earth-11: On a world dominated by feminine sensibilities, Wonderman leads the Amazon men to war (Wonderman is named Dane; he was punished for killing Maxine Lord). 1st app. of Aquawoman, Green Arrow (Olivia), Green Lantern (Kylie), Martian Manhunter, Beetle, Red Tornado, Atom, Zatara, Plastic Woman. The Freedom Fighters also appear: Columbia, the Ray, Phantom Man, Human Bomb, Black Condor, the Demon. The Challengers largely observe. NOTE: The Challengers appear in Countdown #21, then in their final destination, Earth-51, in #18. Superwoman and Batwoman were first seen in Superman/Batman #23 (Nov. 2005).

Countdown presents the Search for Ray Palmer: Superwoman / Batwoman (Feb. 2008)

Granny Goodness reveals that she's been posing as Athena and building a new army of Female Furies; she holds the Olympians captive. The Challengers stop briefly on Earth-12 (Batman Beyond) and are intercepted by the Monitor of Earth-51, Nix Uotan. The Monitors have begun taking names. Their leader is now called Solomon (of Earth-8). In Blüdhaven, Brother Eye detects Karate Kid, which triggers the activation of a new army of OMACs at Norad. NOTE: This is the issue where Monitors begin taking official names.

Countdown #21 (Jan. 2008)

The OMACs acquire Blüdhaven and Brother Eye becomes one with the city. Bob notes that the Monitors are changing subtly. Monarch oversees the battle of the Batmen in his arena, where different versions heroes from parallel Earths do battle for a place in his army. Una cryptically reveals that she and Val have "been together for centuries." NOTE: The Batman battle also appears in Arena #1.

Countdown #20 (Jan. 2008)

COUNTDOWN: ARENA

Monarch assembles his combatants, Batman of Earth-19, Wonder Woman of -21, Green Lantern of -12, Superman of -31 (slightly older). They all meet in the Bleed and cannot best Monarch's powers. The Nightshades battle first. That of Earth-3, the Shade is kills one Nightshade and is in turn killed by Eve of Shadows (Earth-13). Eve makes passage back to her home—against the rules—and Monarch destroys her entire country as an example. The Batmen are next. The vampire Batman of Earth-43 kills that of Earth-40. Superman 31 tries to rally forces. NOTE: To learn more about the Earths, read the Map of the Multiverse.

Countdown: Arena #1 (Feb. 2008)

Superman 31 tries to rally troops, Quantum-Storm (Ronny and Nathaniel Adam) of -37, Captain Atom of the Atomic Knights of -38, Ray Palmer, the Ray of -6, the G.L. of -32, Starwoman of -7, Breach, Tim Zanetti of -8, Two Hal Jordans of -12 (father and son); an alien Blue Beetle named Ted of -33; Apollo of -50; Christopher Kent of -16; Danny Garrett of -39; the Scarab of -26 (mistakenly labeled 21 at first); Ray of -10; Starman of the Black Planet (a Forerunner, Earth-48); Starman of -17 who brokers peace between Kamandi and Ben Boxer. Apollo, Ray Palmer and Ray do battle; Palmer wins. The Beetle of -26 wins, killing Dan of -39. In the Green Lantern battle, the elder Jordan is killed. Batman 40 reawakens as a vampire.

Countdown: Arena #2 (Feb. 2008)

In the Starman battle, Starman 17 is a gorilla; Starwoman of -7 wins. Batman 40 asks Breach to leave and recruit Captain Atoms from other Earths. Johnny Quick of Earth-3 wins the Flash battle. Wonder Woman 34 kills that of Earth-18 then wins. Breach continues his mission on Earth-13 where the Brigadier mourns his country's loss.

Countdown: Arena #3 (Feb. 2008)

Christopher Kent wins the Supermen battle but the Super-Son sacrifices himself to take a shot at Monarch, which is futile. Breach brings Monarch's counterparts (Quantum Mechanix, Quantum Boy, Captain Adamma, a Kid Quantum and more) but Monarch destroys them all. He takes the Superman 30 for his army. NOTE: Monarch's new army is seen next in Countdown #.

Countdown: Arena #4 (Feb. 2008)

The Challengers reach their final destination: Earth-51, where Liberty Belle is president. On Themyscira, Harley and Holly ally with Hippolyta, who has been hiding in a cave. Jimmy discovers he can summon a Boom Tube and returns to Earth.

Countdown #19 (Feb. 2008)

The Challengers find Ray Palmer. He reveals that he he retreated into the microverse, hoping to escape his pain. He witnessed the Ray of Earth-51 (who was the JLA's "Snapper," not the Atom) inventing a portal through the multiverse, but he was killed while activating it. The Atom took this Ray's place, resuming a happy marriage with Jean Loring. Bob makes a move to kill Ray.

Countdown #18 (Feb. 2008)

Bob reveals that his true mission has been to kill Palmer; he has been working with Solomon all along. He kills Barry Allen, Jean Loring and Ralph Dibny. The other Monitors converge, and Solomon kills Bob in an attempt to absorb his being. It fails, they monitors have grown too dissimilar. Unification of the Monitors was meant to balance out the Anti-Monitor. They are exposed to Monarch, who arrives with his army.

Countdown #17 (Mar. 2008)

Monarch takes Earth-51. Queen Belthera has joined him. Batman 51 saves Jason's life. Forager tells Jimmy he's a 'soul catcher."

Countdown #16 (Mar. 2008)

Forerunner returns to the Universal Nexus to find Superboy Prime smashing Solomon. The Challengers learn the Ray Palmer of Earth-51 was super-immune. His JLA quarantined a sentient virus, called Morticoccus and Ray began a campaign to seed the multiverse with his own immunity. Brother Eye grows to consume Blüdhaven.

Countdown #15 (Mar. 2008)

Solomon convinces Superboy Prime that Earth-51 was his perfect Earth—but it's now in danger. Earth-51's Batman gives Jason a Red Robin uniform.

Countdown #14 (Mar. 2008)

Superboy Prime breaks Monarch's shell, setting off a nuke that destroys a city. A second blast destroys the entire planet. Only the Monitor Nix Uotan remains. The Source beckons the Challengers to Apokolips. Solomon and Darkseid reveal that they have been playing some sort of game.

Countdown #13 (Mar. 2008)

The Source beckons Jimmy Olsen back to Apokolips. A Boom Tube opens for Pied Piper as well. Granny Goodness is chased away from Themyscira. Brother Eye deduces that Apokolips is a better home world. It produces a Boom Tube and disappears, leaving the Blanks behind.

Countdown #12 (Apr. 2008)

An army of Earth's heroes assembles as Brother Eye begins to assimilate Apokolips. Piper is approached by Desaad.

Countdown #11 (Apr. 2008)

The new Amazons free the Olympians from their Apokoliptian prison. Desaad tells Piper that he possesses power over the Anti-Life. Brother Eye infects all of Apokolips.

Countdown #10 (Apr. 2008)

Brother Eye finds the Morticoccus virus in Karate Kid and notes that Val is superhumanly immune. Piper kills Desaad. Brother Eye heads back to Earth to end his conflict with humanity. NOTE: Solomon reveals in #4 that he diverted Brother Eye to Earth-51 instead of New Earth.

Countdown #9 (Apr. 2008)

Solomon tells the heroes that Darkseid is storing certain energies inside Jimmy. Solomon teleports all the heroes to Earth-51 after Brother Eye.

Countdown #8 (May 2008)

The heroes from Apokolips arrive on the restored Earth-51, at the Hall of Justice and are confused that no one knows who they are. Ray plans to inoculate them all using his own blood. At Cadmus, Karate Kid is declared dead.

Countdown #7 (May 2008)

Morticoccus is unleashed when Buddy Blank attempts to extract it from Karate Kid. The virus begins jumping, taking DNA from every host into the next host. It's invincible because it contains elements of 31st century DNA, an era when medicine is far advanced. Buddy decides to try to save his daughter and grandson and Una accompanies him. Green Lantern leaves the devastated Earth, not knowing he will spread the virus to the galaxy.

Countdown #6 (May 2008)

Buddy find his daughter is infected but grandson is all right. Una is killed by rats and gives Buddy her flight ring to save his grandson. Earth-0's heroes are forced to give up and return home. Earth-51 goes into nuclear hibernation; Blank's grandson becomes the "last boy on earth."

Countdown #5 (May 2008)

The heroes return to Earth-0. In the Monitors' nexus, Solomon becomes an outcast. He engineered the Morticoccus taking the newly remade Earth-51 instead of Earth-0. Darkseid gives Mary Marvel back her former dark powers; she kidnaps Jimmy Olsen.

Countdown #4 (June 2008)

Leaders on New Genesis tally their dead—which now includes the Black Racer and Big Barda. (#1) Superman accompanies Mister Miracle to New Genesis for her funeral. Himon and Takion consult the Source and discover a second Source wall that displays the killer's victims. (#3) Takion is killed. (#3) Scott Free fails in an attempt to use the Anti-Life to make the deceased Forever People reveal their killer. Himon begins to suspect Orion. Metron travels back in time in search of the truth and finds the Source, in its earliest form. (#4) "The Source" explains its origins and how it now seeks to recombine with the Anti-Life to create a new Fifth World. It needs the souls of the New Gods for raw material. (#5) Its agent of destruction is the Infinity Man who is now disguised as Himon. It succeeds in coaxing Mr. Miracle into producing the Anti-Life fully and reunifies with it. Once accomplished, it kills Scott and Metron. The entity heads for Apokolips and finds that Darkseid has prepared by consuming something called "soul-fire." (#7) The Source learns that Darkseid has stolen the souls it was keeping in the Wall. The Source reveals it's own backup plan by returning Orion to life. Darkseid retreats to Earth to collect his hidden power from Jimmy Olsen. The Source remakes New Genesis and Apokolips into one planet—ending the Fourth World. Orion kills Darkseid then remains behind. (#8) NOTE: The end battle happens on Apokolips, not on Earth, as depicted in Countdown #2. After their "deaths," the New Gods are send back in time and take on new human incarnations, or avatars, on Earth, as first seen in Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle #1, et al (2005–06).

Death of the New Gods #1-8 (Dec. 2007-June 2008)

Darkseid prepares to reclaim his power from Jimmy but Superman and the JLA intervene. The Atom ventures inside Jimmy and finds Apokoliptian technology and accidentally triggers Jimmy's powers into overdrive.

Countdown #3 (June 2008)

Atom finds Darkseid's hidden secret within Jimmy—a "soul battery." Atom crushes it as Orion appears. In battle with his father, Orion kills Darkseid.

Countdown #2 (June 2008)

Donna and Kyle convince Ray Palmer to help them "monitor the Monitors." Solomon gloats about his victory over Darkseid, but he is shunned by his fellows. Buddy Blank is transformed by his creation, Brother Eye, into a fully human OMAC. Nix Uotan backs the Challengers' mission. NOTE:

Countdown #1 (June 2008)

Barry Allen returns and reviews past Crises. As the Joker deals Batman a hand of death, Batman investigates the Black Glove organization. Wonder woman faces new forces of Apollo and his male Amazons. In Auschwitz, Ivo creates the Red Volcano. In space, Black Hand locates the Black Lantern. The other colored Lantern corps begin to assemble. Libra returns to recruit villains for Darkseid. In 31st century, Superboy Prime assembles forces a Legion of Super-Villains.

DC Universe #0 (June 2008)

Final Crisis

Libra awakes in the Fourth World and is approached by Metron. Desaad takes him and Libra agrees to serve Darkseid willingly. They want him for his ability to traverse worlds without a Boom Tube. He begins gathering villains to submit to the Anti-Life Equation. NOTE: Contains the text of the Anti-Life Equation, and many sketches, including: Mary Marvel; Justifiers; Captain Allen Atom of Earth-4; the Wonder Wagon; Doc Fate of Earth-20; Overman and his "daughter," Overgirl of Earth-10; Mandrakk/Dax Novu, the Dark Monitor; Superdemon of Earth-17 from Kamelot; Weeja Dell of Earth-6. Additional sketches and secrets were published in the Final Crisis Sketchbook #1 (July 2008).

Final Crisis Secret Files #1 (Feb. 2009)

Libra returns to rally villains' support. He demonstrates his power by killing the Martian Manhunter for the Human Flame. Metron visits Anthro, the first boy, in the ancient past and gives him secret knowledge. Later, he is approached by Kamandi, who asks for Metron's "weapon against the gods." Orion is found dead by Dan Turpin; it calls the attention of the JLA and the Green Lantern Corps. Turpin is captured by Darkseid; he is meant to become Darkseid's new host. The Monitors banish Nix Uotan to a normal life on Earth-0 for his failure to save Earth-51. His lover, Weeja Dell objects. Elder Monitors Tahoteh and Ogama preside over his banishment. NOTE: Anthro first appeared in Showcase #74. The "weapon" Metron gave to Anthro was a letter of the New Gods which, when drawn on the face, wards off the Anti-Life Equation. Empress, Sparx and Mas y Meno appear as the "the League of Titans." First appearance of the Orrery of Worlds, the spatial arrangement of the multiverse. Read the Final Crisis annotations by Douglas Wolk.

Final Crisis #1 (July 2008)

As the Martian Manhunter dies, his spirit reaches out to his closest friends (Superman, Canary, Batman, Hal Jordan and Gypsy) to pass on the history of Mars. Nightwing discovers his corpse hanging from a red globe in New York City. Superman lifts J'onn's pyramid home from the Gobi desert to serve as his tomb on Mars.

Final Crisis: Requiem #1 (Sept. 2008)

Flash's Rogues plot revenge against Inertia, who forced them to break their code and kill a speedster. They reject Libra's invitation. The Pied Piper approaches the police, leaving them with original Trickster's dossiers on the Rogues. Iris Allen senses her husband Barry's return. Zoom frees Inertia, to make him his portégé, a new Kid Flash. (#1) The Rogues find their costume maker, Gambi, roughed up by the Penguin's faux Rogues (Burn, Chill, Mirror-Man, Mr. Magic, Weather Witch), who now work for Libra. They hold Captain Cold's father hostage. The Rogues kill all the impostors and Cold's father. (#2) Inertia kills Weather Wizard's son then steals all of Zoom's power, reverting Zolomon to his normal crippled self. Piper rejoins the Rogues, and is an accomplice when they kill Inertia. The Rogues learn that Barry Allen is back. (#3) NOTE: The faux Rogues first appeared in Gotham Underground #3 (Feb. 2008).

Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge #1-3 (Sept.–Nov. 2008)

On Ysmault, Atrocitus is transformed by the Red Lantern. The Guardian called Scar sends Lantern Ash to sector 666 to find the remains of the Anti-Monitor. Sinestro is escorted back to Korugar for execution and his fellows attempt a rescue. 1st app. of Red Lanterns: Bleez, Arkillo, [cat]. The first Blue Lantern, Saint Walker, arrives and recharges Hal's ring beyond 100%. He claims Sinestro must be saved. The Controllers watch from sector 543. They plan to create an army of Orange Lanterns, with help from the Okaarans, on Vega.

Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns #1 (Dec. 2008)

In Tokyo, the Super Young Team (Atomic Lantern Boy, Sonic Lightning Flash, Aquazon, Superbat, Lolita Canary) encounter Super-Sumo of Earth-51 in a nightclub. Sumo is attacked by Megayakuza. Mister Miracle (Shilo Norman) approaches Sumo to propose an alliance. The Martian Manhunter is buried on Mars. Alpha Lantern Kraken arrives at the Watchtower to claim Orion's body. She arrests Hal Jordan for the murder. Batman acquires the bullet that killed Orion. Simyan and Mokkari craft a new tiger-body for Kalibak. Clayface plants a bomb that destroys the Daily Planet. The Flashes meet Barry Allen, who warns them to run from the Racer—and a bullet. NOTE: Rising Sun mentions his former team, the "Champions of Big Science Action." They included Ultimon, Hammersuit, Zero-X, Junior Waveman and others. The Japanese heroes are described in detail in the Final Crisis Sketchbook. The original Sonny Sumo was presumed dead in Forever People #4 (1972).

Final Crisis #2 (Aug. 2008)

Batman returns to his cave with the radion bullet that killed Orion. He is captured by Darkseid's minions, Mokkari and Simyan. NOTE: Also shown in Final Crisis #2.

Batman #683 (Jan. 2009)

S.H.A.D.E. and Checkmate ally to shut down the Dark Side Club. They recruit the Question. Overgirl of Earth-10 mysteriously falls to Earth-0. Iris Allen learns that her husband has returned. In the Hall of Doom, Libra asks Luthor to renounce science and embrace the Crime Bible. Superman tends to Lois, who is barely alive. He is approached by the Monitrix, Zillo Valla, with an offer to save Lois. Oracle mentions the new Aquaman. Mary Marvel kills the Atomic Knight, Marene Herald, and infects Wonder Woman with the Anti-Life. Wonder Woman and other women become avatars for the Female Furies. Mokkari sends an anti-life email to everyone on Earth.

Final Crisis #3 (Sept. 2008)

Zillo Valla recruits Supermen from across the multiverse. Superman meets Captain Marvel of Earth-5, Captain Allen Adam of Earth-4, Overman of Earth-10, and (the antimatter) Ultraman. Her ship, the Ultima Thule, is crashing through the multiverse across the Bleed and comes to rest on in Limbo, inside the Bleed. There Superman meets forgotten characters. Merryman leads him to the library of Limbo to download its infinite book into the Thule. They glimpse the Monitors' origins and end. NOTE: First app. of Earth-6 heroes, Lady Blackhawk and Dr. Fate of Earth-20 and Earth-17. Inhabitants of Limbo also include Nightblade, members of the Alliance, Ace the Bathound, Gunfire, Voiceover, Ballistic, Golem, Geist, Hardhat, Chronos and Private Eyes.

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond 3D #1 (Oct. 2008)

Super-fucking-man fucking-mania!!! Seriously. Captain Adam unlocks the secrets of the multiverse, and merges Ultraman and Superman. Their essences combine and broadcast to a higher dimension—that of the the Monitors. They activate a sentinel, the thought-robot of Dax Novu. There Rox Ogama has begun feasting on the Orrery. Mandrakk himself attacks Superman; in anger, Mandrakk kills Zillo Valla. Superman casts Mandrakk into the Overvoid and receives a vial of the Bleed to save Lois. After they descend from the mind of Monitor, Superman saves Lois and Ogama transforms Ultraman into a vampire servant.

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond 3D #2 (Mar. 2009)

Soon after saving Lois, Superman is beckoned by the Legion for help against Superboy Prime (who was sent to the 31st century by the Time Trapper). NOTE: A glimpse of this battle was shown in DC Universe #0 (June 2008).

Legion of Three Worlds #1-5 (Oct. 2008-Sept. 2009)

The new Tattooed Man (Mark Richards) tries to save his family (Laurel, Leon, and wife) and runs up against Black Lightning. They're saved up by Thunder and S.H.A.D.E. only after Black Lightning is captured and converted by Anti-Life.

Final Crisis: Submit #1 (Dec. 2008)

The Checkmate organization resists the Anti-Life and coordinates global forces. Sasha Bordeaux shuts down in order to avoid infection. Mr. Terrific gambles and revives Sasha, who must activate the latent OMAC virus in Earth's population. They succeed and now command an OMAC army. Their agent, Snapper Car is saved by the Cheetah; the two have sex. 1st app. of the new White Queen's Knight, Maks Chazov, Rocket Red One.

Final Crisis: Resist #1 (Dec. 2008)

The Ray joins Green Arrow, Black Canary, Oracle and the Tattooed Man's resistance. They coordinate with other Watchtowers around the globe. Superbia falls from the sky. Darkseid finally takes over Turpin's body. Barry cures Iris' Anti-Life infection with his Speed Force. Mister Miracle is shot.

Final Crisis #4 (Nov. 2008)

Hal Jordan goes on trial, but Kraken (a host for Granny Goodness) tips her hand by trying to take over the central battery. The Guardians initiate the Krona protocol to hide it. A Guardian is injured. Montoya goes to Checkmate, where Biomacs with 7-day lifespans are being deployed. The Young Heroes defend Mr. Miracle, who was shot but comes back to life. His Motherboxxx survived a cosmic war and heralds the Fifth World. Nix Uotan is shaken out of his amnesia. Batman's psycho-merge kills Darkseid's clone army. Darkseid assumes full control of Turpin's body and rises, one with all his slaves. NOTE: Tempest is shwon back to normal.

Final Crisis #5 (Dec. 2008)

Last Rites: Simyan and Mokkari use a being called the Lump, a telepathic parasitic, to force Batman to submit. Batman nearly detects the Lump. (#682) Batman lives out Mokkari's false memories and the Lump convulses with Batman's resistance. The psycho-feedback kills their soldiers. They choose to kill the Lump to stop the feedback. (#683)

Batman #682-683 (Jan. 2009)

Superman returns from returns from the 31st century after Brainiac 5 shows him the Miracle Machine. By simply looking at the Machine, Superman gains higher understanding. Superman next arrives in the 21st century to find Batman dead at the hands of Darkseid. Batman had retrieved the bullet that killed Orion and deduced that radion would kill Darkseid. As Batman fires the bullet and wounds Darkseid, the Omega Sanction strikes Batman. His friends believe that Batman is dead. Justifiers attack the Watchtower; Black Canary makes Tattooed Man an honorary member. Tawky Tawny kills Kalibak and his followers bow to Tawny. Shazam holds Mary while saying the magic word and they both revert to human. Shiloh reveals that a Fourth World letter, when applied to the face gives immunity from the Anti-Life. Two Atoms work with Checkmate to usher people to Earth-51. Checkmate has created Lord Eye to help, and they recruit the Question to lead the immigrants. Luthor and Sivana unveil a device to counter the Equation to Libra. The Flashes prepare to outrun the Black Racer again. Metron greets Nix Uotan, says the Fifth World has begun: man as gods. NOTE: Sonny Sumo is from Earth-51. The original went back in time, died in feudal Japan. Batman and Robin #9 (Apr. 2010) reveals that the Batman corpse was a clone made by Mokkari and reserved by Darkseid.

Final Crisis #6 (Jan. 2009)

After Batman shoots Darkseid with the radion bullet and is struck by the Omega Sanction, Darkseid sends him back in time, dispatching a "hyper-adapter" to pursue him. Darkseid then substitutes the body of one of the dead Batman clones for Batman's. Trapped 50,000 years in the past, Batman finds himself gradually losing his memory. He leaves a recording of what he still remembers in hopes that his friends will eventually find it and rescue him. NOTE: This story (begun in Batman #701) filled in the gaps between Batman #682–683, Final Crisis #6, and Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1.

Batman #702 (Oct. 2010)

The Spectre hunts and kills Dr. Light and Flicker to avenge J'onn J'onzz. The Spectre next goes for Libra but finds he is unable to touch him. The Question hunts Crime Bible cult members in England. Sister Wrack retrieves the Spear of Destiny from the sea; it can make or destroy a false god. The Spectre is drawn to Renee, for vengeance. A nun, named Clarice Coeur dies and becomes the host for God's spirit of Mercy, Radiant. (#1) Renee learns that her former partner is now the Spectre. The spirit of Mercy saves her the Spectre's wrath. Wrack stabs Vandal Savage with the Spear and he is transformed into the spirit of Cain. The police fall to the anti-life, as does Batwoman. (#2) Savage/Cain comes to kill the Spectre. (#3) Savage enslaves but cannot destroy the Spectre or Radiant. His powers also fail to affect Renee. The Huntress enters the fray. They learn that god's servants do not intervene with Darkseid's Anti-Life because it interfere's with God's gift to humanity: to allow it to choose its destiny. (#4) NOTE: Claire was named Radiant in #3.

Final Crisis: Revelations #1-4 (Oct. 2008-Jan. 2009)

The Superman and Nubia (Wonder Woman of Earth-23) are visited by the Ultima Thule, which breaks through the Bleed. The Question is collecting an army of Supermen. Lois, Jimmy, Supergirl and Marvel launch a capsule of mementos. The Metal Men from Earth-44 (its Justice League) and their leader Doc Tornado arrive, berserk, on Earth-0 and destroy much of the JLA's trophy room. The Flashes outrun the Black Racer, who stops to take Darkseid (now struck by his own Omega beams). As Earth-0 shears away from the Orrery, Hawkman and Hawkgirl prevent Lord Eye from shutting down the tunnel to Earth-51; many heroes make the journey there. The Ray forms the Life letter across the globe. Superman builds a makeshift Miracle Machine to calculate a "Life Equation." He sings to activate it and Darkseid is undone. Superman then takes Element X, the fire of the gods, from Metron's chair; this helps restore Earth and the Supermen and GLs "tow" Earth-0 back into place in the Orrery. Mandrakk and Ultraman attack but are destroyed. Nix Uotan arrives and summons the Forever people, saying "Taaru"; he restores the Zoo Crew. The New Gods are reborn and take up residence at Earth-51. Nix Uotan reveals the map he used to rebuild Earth-51 again. The Monitors cease to exist, their story done. Nix awakes again on Earth-0. In the distant past, an elderly Anthro has a visitor—Batman, and the rocket launched by Lois and the others. NOTE: Read Grant Morrison's "Exit Interview" at Newsarama, Part 1 and Part 2. The Supermen are based on heroes in other comics publishers: Savior is Samaritan from Astro City; Majestic is from Wildstorm; Supremo is Rob Liefeld's Supreme; Guardsman is Marvel's Sentry; Hyperius is Marvel's Hyperion; Icon is from Milestone; and Principal is Prime from Malibu Comics. Aquaman is described as "Arthur of Atlantis." Monitor Zillo Valla was the guardian of Earth-43, Rox Ogama of -31. Nix's map is Jack Kirby's, from Kamandi #1. The Wonder Woman at the beginning of Final Crisis #7 is from Earth-23, along with that world's presidential Superman. The pre-Crisis Earth-One Nubia was Diana's twin sister and appeared in first seen in Wonder Woman v.1 #204 ().

Final Crisis #7 (Mar. 2009)

An amnesiac Batman travels through time from the era of Anthro and Vandal Savage to Vanishing Point at the end of time. He is pursued by the hyper-adapter, an Apokoliptian weapon that can take on any form. Batman finally tricks the hyper-adapter into following him back to the 21st century, counting on the Justice League to destroy it, but the adapter takes control of him and sets him against his friends as the Omega radiation with which Darkseid has filled his body builds toward an apocalyptic release — Darkseid's final vengeance. To free their friend from the hyper-adapter and the Omega radiation, Superman and Wonder Woman use a cryogenic tank to bring Batman to the point of clinical death. In that state, Batman encounters Metron, who urges him to overcome the shade of Darkseid and free himself. Batman succeeds and is restored to life, although his journey through time has left him with a hazy but portentous glimpse of his own near future. NOTEs: Prior to following Batman to the 20th century, the hyper-adapter appears in Gotham City in the late 1800s to Bruce Wayne's ancestor Thomas, a worshipper of the demon Barbatos. Mistakenly assuming the adapter is Barbatos, Thomas consumes part of the adapter's essence and becomes infected by it, making him functionally immortal and leaving him with the belief that he is now the Devil himself. (The Return of Bruce Wayne #5) Thomas subsequently becomes Simon Hurt, the villain of the "Batman: R.I.P." storyline. The Return of Bruce Wayne #6 indicates that Darkseid used the adapter in an attempt to manifest himself in Thomas's body, although given Thomas's subsequent fate (Batman and Robin #16), it appears the attempt was unsuccessful.

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1-6 (May–Dec. 2010), Batman: The Return (Jan. 2011)

The Question claims the Spear of Destiny, as foretold in the Crime Bible—she is stabbed by Savage with it. Radiant tells Renee that it must be purified before she can be healed. Renee purifies it by selflessly restoring Crispus' son, Jacob Allen, to life. Her wound is thus purified, too, and Radiant heals her. Crispus Allen rejoins the Spectre, wields the Spear and takes up the mantle of "god's mighty fist," vowing that he is more than just vengeance. He aids Earth in resisting the Anti-Life. He passes god's judgment on those who willingly served Darkseid. The cult is destroyed and Savage is banished to remote Africa. NOTE: Radiant and the Spectre are shown enslaved in Final Crisis #7.

Final Crisis: Revelations #5 (Feb. 2009)