Countdown Breakdown: An Illustrated Guide to DC’s ‘Final Crisis’ – Part 1

Alan Kistler

Alan Kistler is a freelance writer who has contributed to and He is a freelance video editor who occasionally acts in independent film projects. His blog is located at

You may also like...

13 Responses

  1. Brian Alvey says:

    Oh man I loved this. Especially the pictures to help me follow along.If DC would print something like this to help people keep track of what was going on during these big summer megaseries, maybe all their executives wouldn't be getting the axe.Great work!

    • Alan Kistler says:

      Thanks, man. I'm a big fan of visual aids.And really, I wanted to emphasize the fact that Countdown could've happened in six issues or seven issues max. I mean, honestly, look at this.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If you can't summarize the concept in a sentence or two it won't sell. Civil War sums it up in two words. But "Superheroes choose side to reigester with the government or not" is a good example.

    • Alan Kistler says:

      Completely with you on that.I mean, what is the unifying theme of this? "The New Gods are nuts"?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Darkseid does not whittle.Darkseid uses the anti-life equation to make the parts of the wood he does not need vanish, leaving behind a perfect, full-articulated Batman chess piece.

    • Brian Alvey says:

      On the base of the figurine it should read "Made in New China".I think DC should market them as collectibles. They could sell a mother box load of them.

    • Alan Kistler says:

      Who is this, because that idea is HILARIOUS.

  4. Russ Rogers says:

    Thanks, Alan. This is very helpful and funny. Nice illustrations too!

  5. John Hays says:

    Hi Alan,Any chance of changing the column name to something more original? I actually used Countdown Breakdown as my own column title over at Comics Bulletin for my weekly breakdown of each character and location in the weekly Countdown series!Thanks!John Hays

    • Rick Marshall says:

      John,As I mentioned to you already in another forum, this isn't a column. It's a two-part feature that breaks down DC's "Countdown" event – hence the "Countdown Breakdown" portion of the headline. It's not intended to be clever or original, but simply a statement regarding what a reader will find in the article. If your original column title was something less straightforward, such as "Catching Up With Countdown" or "Cracking the Countdown Code," I might understand your concern if we used the same phrase in our feature – but please take a look around ComicMix andyou'll see that we don't really "do" clever headlines.While I understand that you might be frustrated, please keep in mind that: A) Your column is no longer being published and hasn't been published for quite some time now; B) This feature was not a column or any sort of recurring feature similar in any way to your column; and C) It's quite unreasonable to expect a fairly straightforward phrase like "Countdown Breakdown" to be retired from use on the Internet for perpetuity.Feel free to email me if you have any other questions or concerns: rick [at] comicmix [dot] com

      • Russ Rogers says:

        Let's turn this beef into a Win/Win situation. As far as I know, you can't copyright a title. The subtitle of Alan Kistler's piece should be enough to avoid confusion with Mr. Hays work. If this series becomes a regular feature of ComicMix (and I hope it does or something very much like it, Kistler's illustrated commentary is hilarious and unique), I suggest the title, "Kistler's Countdown Breakdown". It's alliterative, descriptive and you already have the Kistler caricature holding the sign! I'm surprised that nobody LINKED back to John Hays column. It is part of the Silver Soapbox at Comics Bulletin. One of the reasons Mr. Hays might be sensitive about his title is that the "Silver Soapbox" is a space shared by multiple columnists. And there is no way to tell from the archive of articles who wrote which column. Unless a columnist comes up with a unique distinguishing title, they are lost in the shuffle. Kelvin Green uses "Green Day:". So the best way to find John Hays' columns is to go to the Silver Soapbox Archive and search for "Countdown Breakdown." I suggest John Hays use a title like, "The Hays Code:", to distinguish his column from the others in the Silver Soapbox. And lets not worry if that title was used before. As far as I can tell, "Countdown Breakdown #14" (which is actually more like the 37th breakdown, because we're counting backwards) seems to be Mr. Hays most recent column. That was put up on February 1st. I'm not sure if Mr. Hays or Comics Bulletin lost interest in the Countdown Breakdown at that point, or what. Seems like there is more counting and breaking left to do. I wouldn't mind breaking down the Final Crisis!By the way, there are some very interesting articles hidden in the Silver Soapbox and on Comics Bulletin. Real gems. You have to do some digging. But there is some very funny, insightful and thought provoking stuff to be found. Comics Bulletin did a nice interview with ComicMix artist, Tim Truman, back in March. Comics Bulletin needs somebody to organize their archives and pages a bit better. You shouldn't have to guess which columnist wrote which article from the archive. And you shouldn't have to go back to the archive to find out when an article was written.It's just goes to show how much design, cataloging and ease of navigation go into the overall experience at a site. Thanks again to Brian Alvey and the ComicMix tech crew for do a great (and continually improving) job here.

        • Alan Kistler says:

          If you and the readers would enjoy it, I would be happy to do regular illustrated guides to a variety of stories. Any suggestions on what I should tackle next?And as for the above remarks from Mr. Hays, I was completely unaware of a previous column called that since I don't personally read Comics Bulletin. But I think Rick says it all. It's not a column title, this isn't a column. It's a headline and it's the first thing that comes to mind because that's what it is. It's a breakdown of Countdown. It's like when we interview Grant Morrison we called it "Interview: Grant Morrison" cuz that's what it was. This article has already been up for over a week and no one has confused us, nor do I see how they could when the content is clearly different from each other.Sorry if you took it personally. I didn't mean to emulate/imitate anyone else nor do I really think I did, other than a coincidental opening headline.