Countdown Breakdown #29
By John Hays
The Extremists. Ah, yes. A nod back to my old love, the JLI/E. I am a JLI/E completist, and the Extremists were perhaps the best original villain groups created for the series. Even though they were knockoffs of Marvel villains (Lord Havok = Dr. Doom, Dreamslayer = Dormammu, Gorgon = Dr. Octopus, Tracer = Sabertooth, Dr. Diehard = Magneto), they were really powerful, made a great team, and at times were better interpretations than the originals.
The odd thing is, and this is not exactly breaking news at this point, how Captain Atom/Monarch is being portrayed here, since he was constantly fighting the Extremists in his JLE days. I realize these are different Extremists, but it still feels wrong.
The Extremists actually didnít even start out on a parallel Earth. The original Extremists lived in another dimension on the world of Angor and fought the Champions of Angor, who were based on Marvel heroes. Their battles caused a nuclear holocaust, destroying practically everything on their planet. Just before this occurred, robotic duplicates of the Extremists had been created by a fun park owner named Mitch Wacky. These duplicates thought themselves the real deals, and followed the surviving heroes to the planet Earth, which is where the JLE came into the picture. The robots were defeated and deactivated several times. At one point, Maxwell Lordís body was possessed by Dreamslayer. At another point, I think Lordís mind might have possessed Lord Havokís body. They were strange days. The Extremists briefly appeared in a few other titles through the years but have really been in limbo for the most part until Countdown, and of course, this is a different group entirely.
Double Down. Jeremy Tell is a character created by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver for the Flash, first appearing in the Iron Heights story. Tell was a con artist who got on the wrong side of a gambler with a cursed deck. When he killed the gambler, the deck fused itself to Tellís body. Now Double Down can peel the cards from him, toss them, and control where they go. Since theyíre magic, they can even cut Superman!
Thatís it for this week! Catch you back here next week for more fun!
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