DC Database

"The Face of Death": Previously, Superman of Earth-31 convinces many of the displaced beings in uniting against Monarch, with the aid of the anthropomorphic beetle, Ted Kord, who plans on building a device from parts of their prison in their struggle against Monarch, but with certain exceptions

Quote1.png In Russia we would call you "boy scout." Quote2.png
Superman (Earth-30), to Superman (Earth-31).

Countdown: Arena #2 is an issue of the series Countdown: Arena (Volume 1) with a cover date of February, 2008.

Synopsis for "The Face of Death"

Previously, Superman of Earth-31 convinces many of the displaced beings in uniting against Monarch, with the aid of the anthropomorphic beetle, Ted Kord, who plans on building a device from parts of their prison in their struggle against Monarch, but with certain exceptions of some: Raymond Terrill who cares more of getting back to his world than for the others, Johnny Quick who cares less about Superman's stance, Breach who seems amnesiac, and the Scarab who seems to plot with Daniel Garrett's Scarab. Conflict ensue between the Supermen as the Soviet-raised Superman began to see more of Superman-31 as a "boyscout" while the more pacifist Christopher Kent tries to defuse their bickering conflict. Raymond Palmer of Earth-6 immediately defuse the conflict by briefly blinding the Supermen (and everyone in the room) with his power of light. Monarch arrives back into the room with the bodies of Batman-19 and Batman-40. Superman-31 questions Monarch of what he did with the Vampire Batman, in which Monarch only suggest to him of winning his Arena battle. However, Superman tells Monarch that it is inevitable that they will fight against each other. Monarch criticizes Superman-31's disobedience as a "broken record", but Superman states that he isn't the only one "playing this song" as he and the others stands beside him. In a self-control rage, Monarch reminds the beings that he is the one who controls the lives of their homeworlds as he blast them into submission, and furthermore states that they will likely join his army. Monarch then chooses the Rays (including Apollo) in the next tournament.

Once in the Arena, Raymond Terrill sees a clear dome above the Arena and knows a chance to escape as he can turn into light to pass through it. He immediately changes into light and flies to the ceiling, but only to discover that he can't go through it. Terrill quickly decides to battle his counterparts, in having subduing Apollo and battles the Ray-6. However Ray Palmer reasons with Terrill that they are at a stalemate due to having similar powers and convinces him into helping him leave the Arena. Terrill successfully leaves the Arena but is then kill by Monarch for violating his rule. Ray is pleased in tricking Terrill to his death, but is then attack by a disoriented Apollo (due to the Arena's amount of radiation) who believes that Ray is Monarch. Ray tries to tells Apollo that he isn't Monarch, and is eventually have to subdue him by shrinking himself and jumping into Apollo's head, blasting him from the inside out, defeating him, but leaving him alive. Monarch keeps Apollo in stasis alongside his spared Batman-19. A disgruntled Ray is then admitted into Monarch's army.

Back inside the prison, conflict ensue between the Flashes, and the Blue Beetles are then taken to the Arena, ruining Ted's chance of finishing his creation. As the Beetles are taken into the Arena, Monarch forewarns the Green Lanterns that they too will be next in the Arena. In the Arena, Ted tells the other Beetles from doing anything "rash" and states that the device he has been working on may be the key to their situation. Daniel Garrett begins to becoming too distress of his Scarab and is shock to learn that it is deciding to leave him for the Scarab, as they, the Scarabs, had planned from the start.

Ted's death by the Scarab.

As soon as Garrett's Scarab did this, thus leaving him vulnerable, the Scarab devours him, stripping him to a skeleton despite Ted's help in saving Garrett from his death. Ted and the Scarab then battles each other. Ted have the advantage of possessing a durable carapace from allowing the Scarab from penetrating his skin, and manage to subdue the Scarab. But, the Scarab lure Ted into dropping his guard and hold him down, in which it allows its beetles into his mouth and eating him from his insides. Before Ted dies, he urges someone to finish his work on his device, and is then gruesomely kill as the beetles burst from inside of Ted and the Scarab declares it's victory.

Back in the prison, the beings are appalled of the Scarab's brutality. Starwoman obtains Ted's work (a sort of harness) and ask the others of its function, in which Superman-30 forcefully seize it in examining it. Meanwhile the Green Lantern, Bruce Wayne, entrusts his counterparts to follow his lead once they are in the Arena. The Lanterns are then teleported into the Arena, and Monarch immediately forcefully confiscated Ted's device from Superman-30.

In the Arena, Bruce execute his strategy in bringing Monarch into fighting against the Lanterns by shielding the Arena with the power of their rings, preventing Monarch from being able to observe them. Monarch notice their action, in which he partially damage Ted's harness, and then enters into the Arena before warning to the beings of his treatment of the Lanterns as a "final example".

Monarch dissipates the Lanterns' shield and do battle against them. The three Lanterns attack him, but their combined attacks have no effect whatsoever. Bruce turns off his ring's safeties in order to throw one, powerful blast at Monarch's face. The blast destroys the face-plate, compromising Monarch's containment suit, resulting in a massive explosion which kills the Earth-5 Green Lantern and renders the other two unconscious. Hal Jordan of Earth-12, being the first to rise, although missing an arm from earlier in the battle, is recruited by Monarch.

The other two Lanterns are then teleported to a stasis chamber with Batman-19 and Apollo in stasis, and The Bat lying motionless on the floor. Monarch's disposal crew prepares to dispose the bodies of Hal Jordan-5 and The Bat, but are then surprise to find The Bat have change into a vampire, due to having been bitten by the Vampire Batman, as he kills one of the crew members and prepares to attack the others.

Appearing in "The Face of Death"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:





  • This issue also shipped with a retailer incentive variant cover illustrated by Dale Eaglesham and Mick Gray.
  • Includes DC Nation editorial #91 by Dan DiDio which announced Keith Giffen formally joining DC as an exclusive.


  • As shown on the last page, the Earth-40 Bruce Wayne arises from his death as a vampire.
  • The events of this issue is also shown in Countdown to Final Crisis #20 when the Green Lanterns used their rings in creating a shield which captures Monarch's attentions.

See Also

Links and References

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Countdown Crossover
The events from this issue or series are related to the Countdown to Final Crisis. Countdown was a weekly series spanning exactly 52 issues, and tying in with plots across many story arcs all over the DCU. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Countdown Crossover category.