Countdown to Mystery #1 in the Stores Today

In a few hours, we’ll officially be out of the realm of the theoretical. It’ll be interesting to hear what all of you have to say once you’ve read COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY #1. Feel free to comment here.

23 Responses to “Countdown to Mystery #1 in the Stores Today”

  1. Starocotes Says:

    Someone willing to scan and send me one copy via email? I still will buy the two copies (in fact I allready ordered them!). No?

    Damn, then I really have to wait untill friday or saturday for my fix of Gerber-goodness.

  2. Chris Says:

    Read it on the bus this morning. That was some damn moving stuff, and I loved the “pre-recluse Grey Gardens” look you and Justiniano gave the good doctor’s wife. I anxiously await future issues.

  3. Charles Bryan Says:

    I’ll be waiting until Saturday AM — the comic shop I visit is 40 miles away, and the hours are such that I wouldn’t get there before it closes on a weekday.

    So, I’m not looking at this page or these comments until after I’ve read issue 1 — but I did want to send good luck wishes for today and, um, well, any other days where good wishes are usually sent, if you know what I mean.

  4. Brandon Says:

    VERY GOOD!! This was jsut how it should be.. i love the fact that the helmet has limitations now tha tat least allows for threats to exist.

    Will the Helmet teach him all the skills, or will hea have to learn about magic from other mystics?

    I LOVE the fact that he was at rock bottom…However, what kind of pills was he addicted to?

  5. Jim Bosomworth Says:

    Lived up to expectations, and likely a bit more. Art was good, for those who were concerned some weeks ago; was the Dr. Who scarf your idea or Justiniano’s? I’m wondering, as I often do with your stories, how much Jewish mysticism (i.e. the Kabbalah) has influenced you. Read your interview and have read several others, but the subject never really gets brought up (or have I missed it?).

  6. Robert W. Getz Says:

    I’m not much of a DCU reader, which means that when I do commit to something in it I usually have to educate myself again. This was the case with SEVEN SOLDIERS, which I liked but probably only half understood.

    My last visits with FATE were when they brought Hawkman back, and before that there was that strange version that Andy Lanning did, the one that spun off into the short-lived SCARE TACTICS (anyone remember that?).

    Anyway, the reentry wasn’t bumpy at all this time around. As promised, I didn’t feel lost for having skipped those 5 prequel stories and just enjoyed myself. I thought it was terrific stuff and am signed on for all eight (and hopefully beyond).


  7. chris Says:

    Whoops, I really dropped the ball on my initial comment, getting Doc’s student and his wife (whose Ween shirt works really well as either an in-joke or a commentary on indie-rock yuppiedom) confused. In no way should my confusion indicate a weakness in the story… luckily, rereading it revealed lots more in the way of subtle touches to enjoy. Great work, Steve, and I look forward to future Fate.

  8. Bgztl (Jack Holt) Says:

    Steve Gerber, you. . .magnificient. . . bastard!!

    You took a flashback tale and turned it into a detailed psychological study of Kent Nelson, of super-heroes and their conceits, and the world.

    The one thing I always like about your work –even when I don’t like-like a particular story is that you turn the world ever so slightly at an angle. Maybe no more than 15 degrees or so. But you can make us appreciate the same thing in a completely different way. I loved the opening narration. I liked the comic book conventional ending. I liked the hints of family secrets and of the thread of a good man who let his life go atray. But I loved Kent Nelson’s running psycho-analysis of himself, Detective Chimp (!!), Azrael, and all the rest.

    What does an utterly rational man (even one with a “family gift”) do when he suddenly finds out there ARE things that go bump in the night?

    I’m looking forward to the answer. Thanks for the hard work.

  9. Fred Chamberlain Says:

    A beautiful 1st issue, though I have to wonder if Justiano’s splash page of Nelson sprawled out in the dumpster was as blatantly Freudian as it appeared to me or if I was the only one who found it downright distracting.

  10. Neil Bradbury Says:

    Excellent! Well worth the wait. I will recommend it to everybody I know. I hope it becomes an ongoing, or at least spawns some sequels. Really enthused to see what happens to the character over the coming months.

  11. Dave B Says:

    Hey, Steve! If you’re interested, I just posted my official review for Countdown to Mystery #1 on the Broken Frontier site here –

    The first paragraph alludes to your recent health problems, but then the review begins in earnest after that. I really liked the issue, and hope your Dr. Fate has a nice healthy run beyond CtM (it damn well should)! I completely agree with Jack Holt that the strength of the issue lay in your turning sheer exposition into a thorough revelation of Kent Nelson’s character. Very skillful, m’man! Until issue 2, take care of yourself, and don’t get too stressed over those dirty Republicans! –Dave B.

  12. Steve Gerber Says:

    I’m keeping mum till a few more of you folks have a chance to weigh in. Obviously, I’m very pleased with the reaction so far.

    (Note to Dave B: That first paragraph of the review made me gulp — you really did the “Buy this book, or we’ll kill this writer!” gag — but I was genuinely touched. Thank you very much, both for the sentiment and the review itself.)

  13. Dan Says:

    Just finished it. I liked it, especially the new interpretation of the costume. Looking forward to finding out how he ties in with the original Kent Nelson, and how you’ll have him reconcile being a psychiatrist with the wider world he’ll be in. Hrm. . .I guess it does raise the question of, in a world with telepaths, superscience & magic, how you know if someone’s really balmy or not?
    Hoping there’s no obligatory Superman or Batman guest appearance in issue 3 or 5; or at least the first guest appearance from the wider DCU should be a JSA’r. Looking forward to the next issue.

  14. Mark Clapham Says:

    Just read and reviewed it:

    I’ve loved the Dr Fate character, and especially his really cool costume, since I first read about him in some digest reprints as a kid. I really enjoyed this first issue, and like the idea of having a pretty broken hero like this new Kent Nelson taking on all that mystic power. The ‘More Pain Comics’ logo made me laugh out loud. Hope this series is a success, and we get to see more of this new Dr Fate.


  15. T. Martin Says:

    Let me jump in here with another review, this time my own for Comixfan:

    Short version: I really enjoyed it. Great writing and great art. Best of luck with everything!

  16. Charles Bryan Says:

    I read it. I re-read it. I’ll probably read it again. That doesn’t happen often with today’s comic books.

    The best part of the construction of the story is that most anyone could come to it and understand it. While it did supply a bit of recap, it wasn’t done in a “recap-py” fashion, particularly with Kent Nelson supplying the running commentary. I particularly appreciated the fact that Kent was surprised not only by a talking chimp, but also that somebody responded. Despite Kent’s circumstances, he was able to bring the rational mind of a trained physician, an empiricist, to the experience. That will make for ongoing fun.

    The approach to this Doctor Fate contains a pro and a con that are inseparable. We’ve had a whole lot of relaunch in the DCU lately, some more creatively successful (Gail Simone’s Atom) than others — and I worry that Fate might get a little lost in all of that (a character learning to cope with strange and wondrous abilities). It even steers a little close to a couple of stories in the one-shots. However, Fate is a character that needed a new beginning, and as new beginnings go, I appreciate that it’s not happening to some random teenager or “whoda-thunkit” supporting cast member, but rather a character who’s had some real-life experience and carries some real world baggage. The connection to the original Fate adds some interest, especially as it ties to some family “gift” that may also explain why the first Kent Nelson was a wearer of the helmet.

    I’m sure that with the first story there was the desire/pressure to get a lot in; I would almost rather have waited a couple of issues to get a more detailed account of Kent Nelson’s rise and fall. (Hell, I watch Lost, so being kept guessing is something I enjoy.)

    Dr. Nelson is not yet the most sympathetic of characters. It’d be interesting to get the reactions from one or two who knew the original Dr. Fate. [Jay Garrick: “So, an adulterous professionally-disgraced bankrupt drunk in a dumpster? Really? Well, huh, y’know, funny thing is, that big round JSA table? It’s all full. Fire regulations — who knew? No, no, save your dime, we’ll call you.”]

    I’d recommend this to anyone who’s enjoyed your work in the past or to anyone who’s in that Grant Morrison/Vertigo line frame of mind. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who’s really grooving on Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters.

    BTW: DC’s gotta get you on a project with Amanda Conner. I loved her work on the Green Arrow/Black Canary wedding thingy, and I couldn’t help but think about how perfect she’s be for something written by you. She can put humor and pathos into the work, her characters are great actors.

  17. Steve Gerber Says:

    Where is Starocotes?

  18. Steve Gerber Says:

    Amanda Conner and I worked together in the early ’90s on a Marvel project called Suburban Jersey Ninja She-Devils. I was a huge fan of her work then, and I still am.

  19. Starocotes Says:

    Sorry that it took a while, recieved my comics on monday and work was hell the last few days.

    I really enjoyed the story very much. For me as someone who has read everything that was recaped it never felt as if you could just skip ahead because it was much to intruiging to see what Kent was making of all that strange crap suddently intruding on his life.

    The art was really good. I liked Justiniano allready from the DoV Mini but this is even better. I also think that it would have been a bad idea to have Gulacy as a regular penciler. His style is much to realistic for much of the more dreamy sequences.

    This Dr. Fate is someone I defenitly want to read more about. I like the fact that he really is a down to earth character and has to learn a lot about everything (magic, life and extradimensional monsters to name just a few things). This is someone who I can relate to a bit, even though I’m faithfull to my wife and don’t have a degree on psychologie, but who also will grow in directions I never can dream off.

    CtM just jump ahead of Green Lantern on my favourite comic book list.

    Oh, and for everyone out there who just bought one: The “Buy Two” campaign is still running: 😀

    @Fred: I had to look again to see what you meant. I didn’t find it that disturbing.

    @Steve: I hope you don’t mind if I put up a webpage with a spell reference?

  20. harris Says:

    My only complaint is that it’s only a miniseries.

  21. Starocotes Says:

    @harris: We all hope that it lead to an ongoing series as soon as the Mini is over and Steves health has improved.

  22. Forrest Says:

    I approve of any character who thinks in parentheses.

  23. Tom Walker Says:

    Very enjoyable stuff so far. The storytelling style has a “chiselled” quality which is no doubt the result of a lot of blood, sweat and tears to achieve and maintain personal high standards. Happily there is enough of an interesting payoff to satisfy the reader to continue – it makes complete occult sense for whatever had served to “curse” our hero’s previous life to turn up (again) at a moment of positive transition. Also linking demons/daemons to certain forms of mental illness and/or misfortune has a poetic validity which is satisfying to me as a reader. No doubt this title is due to get rather weirder as it progresses.. Gerber at his most crazily philosophical is often a combined joy and wonder to behold, so bring it on!!