"Stretching the Truth": While being escorted down a corridor in Arkham Asylum, Killer Croc breaks free and attacks visiting reporter Jimmy Olsen. By sheer instinct, Olsen dodges out of the way only to discover that his body begins stretching all over the place. Croc's claws cannot pierce Ols
Countdown #49 is an issue of the series Countdown (Volume 1) with a cover date of May, 2007.
Synopsis for "Stretching the Truth"
While being escorted down a corridor in Arkham Asylum, Killer Croc breaks free and attacks visiting reporter Jimmy Olsen. By sheer instinct, Olsen dodges out of the way only to discover that his body begins stretching all over the place. Croc's claws cannot pierce Olsen's pliant skin. More security guards arrive and bring Croc down with their tasers.
Meanwhile on a satellite station, the Monitors discuss their pledge to safeguard the newly recreated Multiverse. They condemn the actions of a rogue member who executed Duela Dent, claiming that her existence on New Earth was an aberration. The rogue points out several other heroes who exist in the prime reality when they should not, including: Supergirl, Nightwing, Karate Kid, Red Hood, Ion and Donna Troy.
On the Justice League satellite, Red Arrow interrogates Karate Kid. He asks him why he has traveled from the future to the 21st century, but the Karate Kid relinquishes little information.
On the Eastern Seaboard, the Pied Piper uses the mind-controlling powers of his pipes to force a rich industrialist to dive from the stern of his yacht into the sea. Before doing so however, he coerced the man into wiring his entire fortune into an offshore account. The Mirror Master is content with the newfound wealth that the Piper provided him, but is not convinced that his former ally is truly ready to be a "Rogue" once again. The Piper then steals the money out of Mirror Master's account and donates it to a Homeless Children's Fund. He tells Mirror Master that this was revenge for killing his parents.
In Gotham City, Mary Marvel runs away from a violent criminal. No longer gifted with the power of Shazam, she is unable to defend herself. She runs inside of a cathedral and is startled to find how much it eerily resembles the Rock of Eternity. The man follows after her, but something emerges from the shadows and kills him. Mary turns around to find that her rescuer is actually Black Adam. After dispatching the thug, Adam leaps after Mary Marvel.
Appearing in "Stretching the Truth"
- Querl Dox (Pre-Zero Hour) (Cameo)
- Reep Daggle (Pre-Zero Hour) (Cameo)
- Donna Troy (Cameo)
- Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) (Cameo)
- Nightwing (Cameo)
- Red Hood (Jason Todd)
- Supergirl (Kara Zor-El) (Cameo)
- Boesky (a millionaire) (First appearance)
- John (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "History of the Multiverse (Part I of XII)"
Aboard their satellite, the Monitors analyze the series of events that gave birth to the Multiverse. They concentrate on one of the more key events in Earth's history which involved the first meeting of the Flash from Earth-One and the Flash from Earth-Two.
Appearing in "History of the Multiverse (Part I of XII)"
- Joan Williams (Flashback only)
- This issue shipped on May 23rd, 2007.
- This issue begins a back-up feature titled "History of the Multiverse". It follows the same format as the "History of the DCU" vignetted featured in issues 2-11 of 52.
- The events from this issue take place concurrently with "The Lightning Saga" running through alternating issues of Justice League of America (Volume 2) and Justice Society of America (Volume 3). It also takes place after the "Full Throttle" storyline running through issues of the The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive.
- Black Adam appeared last in 52 Week Fifty-Two. When last seen, Black Adam no longer possessed the ability to transform from his mortal self into Black Adam. At the time of publication, no explanation is provided as to how his powers have returned.
- The cameo appearance of Kyle Rayner shows him in his original Green Lantern costume, not his current Ion costume.
- The "History of the Multiverse" feature analyzes the first meeting of Barry Allen and Jay Garrick as presented in the original Pre-Crisis continuity. Prior to the Crisis on Infinite Earths event, Barry and Jay were native to two distinctive realities. Barry Allen was the Flash of Earth-One (where most of the primary DC comic books took place), and Jay Garrick was native to Earth-Two (which reflected most Golden Age era stories). Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the histories of both characters were merged and they were both born in the same dimension, albeit at different points in time.
- This issue includes an advertisement for Countdown featuring a close-up of Granny Goodness wearing a pin which reads, "Darkseid Rules!"
- Jimmy Olsen's stretching abilities this issue are a nod to the Pre-Crisis Silver Age era when he briefly adopted the identity of Elastic Lad. This was but one of many one-time super identities that Jimmy used during throughout the tenure of his own title.
- Aboard the JLA satellite, Red Arrow asks the Karate Kid to "Wax off". This is a reference to a line of dialogue from Pat Morita's character, Mister Miyagi, in the 1984 film Karate Kid. The Karate Kid film has no connection to the DC Comics character beyond the fact that they both specialize in the art of karate.