Well it appears that when DC update their new CRISIS COUNSELLING column, that previous entries aren't archived. For those interested in seeing DC's list of what they consider to be "essential" reading for the Countdown, I'll archive all the entries that are made in the column here. :)
The countdown has begun. Over the course of the last year, the heroes of the DCU have been tested like never before. Villains are pooling their resources, former friends are questioning each other's actions, and no one is safe.
Across the entire DCU, events are transpiring at a rapid pace...and as the developments of the last year have demonstrated, what might appear unrelated may actually be interconnected and leading towards a dark horizon.
Let's take a look at the events that led our heroes from IDENTITY CRISIS to COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE CRISIS:
In IDENTITY CRISIS:
Jean Loring, during a twisted attempt to get back with her ex-husband the Atom, accidentally killed Sue Dibny, the wife of Elongated Man.
During the investigation of the murder, seven members of the Justice League—the Atom, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkman and Zatanna—met, discussing how they once mind-wiped Dr. Light after he was caught assaulting Sue.
Calculator resurfaced, setting up assignments for metahuman mercenaries.
Dr. Light, seeking protection from the Justice League (who considered him a suspect of Sue's murder), hired Deathstroke. Slade Wilson fought them to a near standstill until Green Arrow plunged an arrow into his eye.
During the battle, Dr. Light remembered that the heroes had purged his memory, altering his personality and intelligence.
Further covering her tracks, Loring arranged for Jack Drake (the father of Robin) and Captain Boomerang to kill each other.
While questioning the Shadow Thief, Firestorm was stabbed and detonated, disappearing in an explosion of energy.
The Flash learned that the Justice League also mind-wiped Batman, who walked in on them as they were "operating" on Dr. Light years ago.
The Atom figured out what Loring had done and turned her over to Arkham Asylum.
In THE FLASH #214-#216, Wally West learned of Barry Allen's involvement in the Dr. Light mind-wipe. He also discovered that they had done the same to multiple villains over the years, including the Top, who in turn had altered the personalities of several of the Flash's rogues.
In ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #636, the Man of Steel learned that the villain called Ruin was targeting his loved ones. Unbeknownst to Superman, Ruin is working for Lex Luthor's newly formed secret Society of super-villains. Following a battle with Ruin, Superman then met with Wonder Woman and Batman, who discussed the option of mind-wiping him, as they had done to Dr. Light.
In MANHUNTER #6, Kate Spencer began the prosecution of Shadow Thief for the murder of Firestorm. Also in that issue, the Society employed Calculator to find someone to "deal with" Shadow Thief.
In GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH, Hal Jordan returned to claim his mantle of the Green Lantern of space sector 2814. In doing so, he gave up the mantle of the Spectre, freeing the entity to once again become the embodiment of God's wrath.
In FIRESTORM #9-#11, Ronnie Raymond returned to life, now bonded to the mind of the new Firestorm, Jason Rusch.
In TEEN TITANS #21, Dr. Light attacked the Teen Titans in an effort to rehabilitate his reputation.
In OUTSIDERS #21, Nightwing learned that Batman had been funding the team. Meanwhile, Arsenal discovered that Deathstroke had been masquerading as the Dark Knight and manipulating the Outsiders for over a year.
In JSA #70, the Society successfully recruited Black Adam.
In BREACH #3, Kobra agents—working for the Society—encountered and battled the transformed Major Tim Zanetti. Luthor's group is now greatly interested in the power that Zanetti possesses.
In WONDER WOMAN #214, Cheetah introduced Zoom to Dr. Psycho, a member of the secret Society.
In COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE CRISIS:
Batman told Alfred that he knows "everything they did" in reference to the Justice League's memory-wiping actions in IDENTITY CRISIS.
Lex Luthor, Deathstroke, Dr. Psycho, Talia, Black Adam and Calculator stood revealed as a cabal of super-villains known as The Society. Its goal? As Luthor told an angry Dr. Light, "retribution."
Adam Strange sent a desperate emergency message to the JLA watchtower, telling an alarmed J'onn J'onnz that the forces of Thanagar had invaded the planet Rann.
The Wizard Shazam, revealing an upcoming conflagration involving Captain Marvel, the Spectre and additional members of DC's magical community, revealed that "for the first time in a thousand years" he was "filled with questions" concerning the future.
Someone stole over 100 pounds of kryptonite (recovered from Supergirl's arrival on Earth) from a Kord Omniversal warehouse.
Investigating the theft, Blue Beetle uncovered the O.M.A.C. project, an all-seeing satellite surveillance network that knows the secret identities—and weaknesses—of the world's heroes, including Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Green Lantern, the Flash, Martian Manhunter and Superman.
An O.M.A.C. satellite blasted the house of Blue Beetle, severely injuring Booster Gold.
Maxwell Lord, head of the O.M.A.C. project, revealed himself to be the King of a newly formed Checkmate and fatally shot Blue Beetle, who had uncovered his plans and refused to join his team.
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While he tracked the movement of Bruce Gordon, the Wizard Shazam warned his champion, Captain Marvel: "The past has come back to haunt us again. But unlike before...that was the beginning...now we are reaching the end."
Investigating a string of mysterious suicides in Metropolis, Superman came face-to-face with a kryptonite-enhanced Lex Corp. battle suit that S.T.A.R. Labs had recently retrieved from outer space. Inside was S.T.A.R. Labs doctor Jeanine Tracey, possessed by the entity that Gordon was chasing: the evil being known as Eclipso!
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Under orders from Checkmate's new Black King Maxwell Lord, Black Knight Sasha Bordeux "sanitized" the murder site of Blue Beetle!
Wonder Woman tracked down Booster Gold, who together set out to find the missing Ted Kord!
Maxwell Lord realized that Batman had erased the O.M.A.C. metahuman database!
Batman discovered that Blue Beetle had been killed...and that the Brother Mach I was no longer under his control!
In MANHUNTER #9
In the middle of a trial, Kate Spencer leaped into battle as Manhunter when Merlyn, Monocle and Phobia (hired by Lex Luthor's secret Society) attacked the Los Angeles Federal Courthouse...intent on silencing Shadow Thief!
In ROBIN #137
After fending off an attack by the assassin known as the Dark Rider, Tim Drake discovered that the Penguin had put out an open contract on the lives of Robin and Batgirl!
In TEEN TITANS #23
While battling Dr. Light, the Titans learned that the Justice League had mind-wiped and lobotomized their now enraged foe!
Vowing to maintain their trust in one another, each Titan revealed a secret...but Superboy did not admit that 50% of his DNA comes from Lex Luthor!
The Titans handed the defeated Dr. Light over to Batman and Batgirl...who were actually Deathstroke and Ravager in disguise!
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Superman discovered that the LexCorp battle suit that attacked him (in the pages of ACTION COMICS #826) was reinforced with a kryptonite alloy!
The Man of Steel also learned that Eclipso was attempting to lure him to his touch by possessing civilians and compelling them to commit suicide!
Eclipso finally succeeded in possessing Superman...and quickly collided with the World's Mightiest Mortal, Captain Marvel!
In BATGIRL #63
Forging an alliance with Lex Luthor's secret Society, Penguin hired Deathstroke to kill Batgirl!
After barely eluding the one-eyed assassin, Cassandra came face-to-face with Deathstroke's daughter, the Ravager!
In BATMAN #639
While investigating the return of Jason Todd, the Dark Knight told Zatanna and Green Arrow — who were both present at Batman's mindwipe — that he didn't trust them!
After stealing the 100-pound crate of Kryptonite from the Kord Industries warehouse, the new Red Hood (a.k.a. Jason Todd) continued to encroach on the Black Mask's criminal activities!
In DAY OF VENGEANCE #1
Eclipso's diamond, the Heart of Darkness, appeared in the Arkham Asylum cell of Jean Loring. The evil entity then convinced the Atom's ex-wife to allow him to posses her. Flush with power, the new Eclipso promptly broke free from the infamous institution!
Summoned to a devastated forest, the supernatural avenger known as the Ragman rescued Enchantress...and stumbled upon a fierce battle between Blackbriar Thorn and the Spectre!
The Enchantress revealed that the Spectre, freed of the influence of Hal Jordan in the pages of GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH #4, had just killed seven hundred sorcerers!
The magical community of the DCU gathered at the Oblivion Bar, where they enjoyed one last drink and faced the chilling fact that the Spectre was now waging war on all things magic!
Detective Chimp, a decade's long patron of the bar, spoke up and revealed that the Spectre had already taken out the supernatural "big guns" — including turning the Phantom Stranger into a mouse — and that the task of stopping the Spectre was now up to the assembled magic users!
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Possessed by the evil entity known as Eclipso in ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #639, the Man of Steel attacked Captain Marvel!
The wizard Shazam, knowing Eclipso would not stop unless his host was killed, summoned the Spectre!
Freed from his human host in GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH #4, the Spectre dove into Superman, driving Eclipso out of the Man of Steel and back into his gemstone!
Eclipso's cursed jewel mysteriously appeared in Arkham Asylum... in the cell of the Atom's ex-wife, Jean Loring!
In VILLAINS UNITED #1
Somewhere on the outskirts of Gotham City, Lex Luthor met with his Secret Society of Super-Villains: Black Adam, Calculator, Dr. Psycho, Talia and Deathstroke!
Over the past few months, the Society — in an effort to pool their resources — recruited many new members, including Mr. Freeze, Cheetah, Black Manta, Gentlemen Ghost, Fadeaway Man, Phobia, Prometheus and Gorilla Grodd!
Catman boldly refused Talia and Dr. Psycho's invitation... and the Society made an example of him by slaughtering his pride of lions!
Sent on a mission by the mysterious Mockingbird, a group of six mercenaries — Cheshire, Deadshot, the Fiddler, Parademon, Ragdoll and Scandal — made quick work of some unfortunate H.I.V.E. agents!
During the fight the Fiddler made a critical error. Mockingbird ordered him executed... and Deadshot quickly complied!
Impressed with his stand against the Society, Scandal and Deadshot offered Catman a place in their group. Seeking revenge against the Society, Catman accepted.
Mockingbird told the rebellious mercenaries that they were "The Six... the Chosen," and that if they agreed to ban together and fight Luthor's Society they would be rewarded handsomely... or punished severely if they refused!
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The Spectre and his new ally Eclipso (who possessed the body of Jean Loring in SUPERMAN #216) attacked the Crimson Avenger... and revealed that their next target was Black Adam!
Black Adam convinced Atom Smasher to rejoin his handpicked squad in his homeland Kahndaq!
Captain Marvel returned to the JSA and — together with Hawkman — told the team that they needed head back to Kahndaq to confront Black Adam!
In RANN - THANAGAR WAR #1
Space adventurer Adam Strange teleported to Earth, seeking the help of Hawkman and Hawkgirl!
Strange told the Winged Warriors that Sh'r Valkyr, a rogue Thanagarian who worshipped a mysterious entity, teleported the planet Rann into the heart of the Polaris System, destabilizing Thanagar's orbit! Fleeing their doomed world, Thanagarians sought refuge on Rann... and quarrels between both races soon flared!
Hoping to calm fears and prevent more violence, our heroes rode a zeta beam to Rann... and arrived in the middle of all-out war!
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The Man of Steel squared off against Ruin, the fiend who had been targeting Superman's friends and family! When he defeated and unmasked his new enemy, Kal-El stared into the face of his friend (and former President of the United States) Pete Ross!
In BATGIRL #64
Contacted by fellow Society member Penguin, Deathstroke turned down a job to assassinate Batgirl... and instead passed the gig to his daughter, Ravager!
The two deadly young women battled across Bludhaven, until Batgirl took advantage of Ravager's weakness in a most extreme manner!
In BATMAN #640
Troubled by the suspected resurrection of Jason Todd (as the new Red Hood), Batman traveled to Metropolis to question someone who had also returned from the dead: Superman!
Back in Gotham City, the Red Hood teamed with Onyx to take down some drug pushers... and then turned on Onyx herself!
In DAY OF VENGEANCE #2
Channeling Eclipso, the Enchantress revealed how the Spectre fell under the evil entity's charms... and how he then took out Dr. Fate and the Phantom Stranger!
Despite personal doubts and misgivings, a group including Ragman, Blue Devil, Nightmaster, Enchantress, Nightshade and Detective Chimp (that's right, Detective Chimp) decided to unite and stand against the Spectre!
The Spirit of Vengeance collided with a fighting mad Captain Marvel!
In DC SPECIAL: THE RETURN OF DONNA TROY #1:
On the planet of New Chronus, Troia, Goddess of the Moon, began to question her role in a war waged by her fellow Titans of Myth — even as she was haunted by visions of a former life as Donna Troy, a Teen Titan!
In THE O.M.A.C. PROJECT #2
Batman told Superman, Booster Gold and Wonder Woman that — in response to the JLA wiping his memory (as revealed in IDENTITY CRISIS) — he created Brother Mach I... and that Blue Beetle (who disappeared while investigating the satellite spy system in COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE CRISIS) was now dead!
After violently stopping a coup, Maxwell Lord discovered that Black Knight Sasha Bordeaux had betrayed him for Batman... and sent not one, but three OMACs to terminate them!
In OUTSIDERS #24
The Outsiders fought their own teammate Indigo, who had revealed that she was actually Brainiac 8!
After barely surviving the battle, the Outsiders regrouped with the Teen Titans... only to be attacked by a battalion of Superman robots!
In an abandoned Cadmus laboratory located three miles under the destroyed LexCorp Towers, Indigo and Suberboy met with their "fathers": Brainiac and Lex Luthor!
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Continuing his mission to eliminate all things magic, the Spectre trapped Dr. Fate within his own helmet!
Having learned that the Spirit of Vengeance's next target was Black Adam, the JSA raced to the kingdom of Khandaq and battled the Spectre and Eclipso... only to be picked off one by one!
In SUPERMAN #218
The Man of Steel investigated the identity of the OMAC that attacked him in SUPERMAN #217, but the Fortress of Solitude's computers came up blank!
After watching Superman fight the new Blackrock, a shadowy figure at the Brother I console remarked: "Look at him. He's losing control...unsure of himself. It's almost time..."!
In VILLAINS UNITED #2:
Sent on a mission to intercept a shipment of Thanagarian weapons headed for the Society, the Six instead walked into an ambush by a host of villains including the Weather Wizard, Shadow Thief, Cheetah, Knockout, Black Spider, Fatality, Brutale, Hellhound, Multiplex, Killer Frost, Count Vertigo and Captain Nazi!
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Martian Manhunter — after walking in on an argument between Hawkman, Green Arrow, Flash, Black Canary, Green Lantern and Zatanna — learned that his teammates once mind wiped Dr. Light, the Secret Society of Super-Villains and even Batman!
Before J'onn J'onzz could share this shocking information with the Dark Knight, both heroes were attacked by Chronos, Star Sapphire, Faust, the Floronic Man, Matter Master and the Wizard! The Secret Society of Super-Villains has reunited — with their memories restored!
In ACTION COMICS #828:
After Superman defeated Dr. Polaris, Society members Black Adam and Zoom appeared to retrieve the delusional villain back to their headquarters. Before he left, the monarch of Khandaq warned the Man of Steel: "A confrontation is coming, Superman. Between your community and those you seek to control...I suspect you and I will meet again on that day"!
In NIGHTWING #109:
Impressed by Dick Grayson's "work" for the mob, Black Mask — now a member of Lex Luthor's Society — hired our undercover hero to help expand his criminal web into Bludhaven (the new home of Batgirl and Robin)!
In RANN - THANAGAR WAR #2
As Kyle Rayner turned back a Khund invasion, several combustible personalities were drawn into the escalating conflict between the forces of Rann and Thanagar, including the Omega Men's Tigorr, Starman IV (Prince Gavyn of Throneworld), Vril Dox, Blackfire (Tamaran's Queen Komand'r) and Captain Comet!
On Thanagar, a high priest of the Seven Devils (aided by the efforts of Shi'ri Valkyr in ADAM STRANGE #8) resurrected the dreaded Onimar Synn, who vowed to use the science of Rann to feast upon the souls of the entire universe!
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While under lockdown at Stryker's Island Correctional Facility, former U.S. President Pete Ross — arrested for crimes committed as the super-villain Ruin — revealed to Clark Kent that Lex Luthor told him that his childhood friend was really Superman!
During his visit with Ross, Kent changed into Superman when the Parasite twins initiated a jailbreak... only to be attacked by an OMAC!
The OMAC killed the male Parasite, while his sister disappeared in the confusion... and so did Ross!
In BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #66:
Society members Deathstroke and Talia (backed by her KOBRA troops) captured the super-villains known as Prometheus and Hush! Talia ordered Hush to keep his wounded ally alive because the Society is searching for the powerful key that Prometheus once held... which now resides in the JSA museum! (You can follow this dangerous development this Fall in JSA CLASSIFIED #5!)
In BIRDS OF PREY #83:
Viewing her as a major threat to its cyber-network, Brother I commanded an OMAC to terminate Oracle, but called it off at the last second, stating that Barbara was "rapidly approaching instability" and "imminent total failure" thanks to her re-emerging Brainiac virus!
In DAY OF VENGEANCE #3
Battling the new Eclipso, Blue Devil apparently killed Jean Loring by spearing her with his demonic trident!
Contacted by the Enchantress, most of the world's magical beings — and even many normal humans who never knew they possessed residual traces of magic energy — funneled their power into Captain Marvel, allowing the World's Mightiest Mortal to go toe-to-toe with the Spectre!
On a secret mission, Nightshade and Detective Chimp tracked down Lori Zechlin, last seen in BIRDS OF PREY as the vigilante called Black Alice!
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Luthor revealed why he donated his DNA to help create Superboy: to generate a sleeper agent that he could use to destroy Superman!
Brainiac explained that he sent Indigo back in time to kill Donna Troy because: "Troy and the Titans were destined to interfere in the development of my home world...our rule over the universe after the Crisis would never come to pass...she had to die"!
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Despite Batman's best efforts, three OMACs captured Sasha Bordeaux and returned her to Checkmate headquarters for a brutal interrogation by the Black King himself! The Dark Knight would have been killed if not for the timely arrival of Superman!
Wonder Woman and Booster Gold's hunt for Batman's spy satellite was interrupted by Guy Gardner, who convinced Booster to search with him instead to honor the memory of their dead teammate Blue Beetle!
Learning of Batman's mission to shut down his activities, Maxwell Lord reached out to "the one we can count on": Clark Kent! Even more shocking, Clark responded: "Don't worry, Father. I'll keep us safe"!
In BATMAN #641:
After saving Onyx from an assault by the Red Hood — and then viciously battling his new foe across the rain swept rooftops of Gotham City — the Dark Knight was stunned when the Hood removed his mask and revealed that he's Jason Todd!
In OUTSIDERS #25:
In part four of "The Insiders," Lex Luthor and Brainiac nearly succeeded in destroying the world's next generation of heroes, but in surviving, Nightwing quit the team...and Shift was forced to kill Indigo!
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The sadistic Crime Doctor repeatedly tortured each member of the Secret Six...but none would supply the real identity of Mockingbird!
Back at Society HQ, Black Adam objected to the torture...until Luthor told him that unless they discovered Mockingbird's identity and motivation, the mysterious foe intended to irradiate several locations around the globe...including Adam's homeland!
After escaping from their cell — and killing the villain known as Hyena — the Six ordered the remaining Society soldiers to tell Luthor and his group: "they're already dead...they just haven't fallen down yet!"
In JSA #75
While defending his homeland, Black Adam snapped the neck of the new Eclipso...only to see Jean Loring later rise again and disappear!
Sacrificing himself to save the people of Khandaq, Atom Smasher asked the Spectre to judge him instead. The Spirit of Vengeance then seized — and squeezed — Al Rothstein's heart...but like Eclipso, the giant returned to life...thanks to the actions of Black Adam!
In DC SPECIAL: THE RETURN OF DONNA TROY #2:
Transported by a travel sphere of the Titan gods, members of the Teen Titans and the Outsiders — including Nightwing, Cyborg, Starfire, Arsenal, Kid Flash, Raven, Beast Boy, Shift, Jade and Wonder Girl — arrived on the planet Minosyss, where they encountered a fighting mad Donna Troy!
In SUPERMAN #219
Last seen in OUTSIDERS #25, Brainiac lured Superman to his headquarters at the bottom of the Marianas Trench! There, the Man of Steel discovered that his intelligent enemy had kidnapped Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, Lana Lang and Lois Lane!
After his friends were apparently murdered, Superman threatened to kill Brainiac, but he then suddenly reappeared back at his Fortress of Solitude...and was confronted by an angry JLA!
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