Monday, July 13, 2009

Countdown, Part 2

Do you think there's an alternate earth where this series didn't completely suck?

69 comments:

Slade Dreizehn said...

nice work... good to see you survived through it all. (looks at 'updates' post from earlier)next up, the top fifteen worst moments? you've been able to cut it down to that few? why don't you just say 'countdown's one worst moment... countdown' XD

oh well, great work. and a nice 'previously on' segment. truth be told, i'm not a big fan of them; but this one was really fun.

Felipe said...

THIS COMIC IS RE-TODD-ED!

There you have it. You may thank me later! =)

Anonymous said...

Wow Jason Todd got a new costume thats surprising. Good Review Linkara, where was Robot Linkara though

ezim93 said...

Well, in the end, I just have to say Countdown is one big mind fuck. My brain does feel raped by this comic even though I never experienced it first hand. I just have one question, what happened to the story arc with Mech-akara? This isn't going to lead to a pointless mini series is it?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Nah, ongoing subplot that will culminate in an awesome conclusion.

Jer said...

this WAS the first comic I read. oh and that prime voice was burned in my head, and when I read infinite crisis.I tried to like him but could'nt.

Dave said...

"Do you think there's an alternate earth where this series didn't completely suck?"

If there is, I'm sure Bob The Monitor's antics wrecked it on the way through. Countdown actually had me expecting that the multiverse would be destroyed in Final Crisis, since DC seemed intent on wrecking it beyond repair here anyway by killing off anyone remotely interesting on those worlds.

I did like the Trickster/Piper arc (especially Trickster's impromptu puppet show), but as you said in part 1, it's pretty pointless and heavy on gay jokes.

Twinbladez22 said...

Who Monitors the Monitors.... Reminded me I could go read Watchmen Instead of Countdown

FotoVerite said...

Lewis,

Great job. But even you could not explain everything in one go. So I must ask. WTH is up with the sentient virus, cause I still don't understand the point of that. At all. Why does it exists, what's it's connection to ray palmer. Why does it start mutating. Also really could they ruin Mary Marvel any further.

A. Conroy said...

Wow, that was an epic in two ways.
Both in the shear stupidity of the series and your direction for this video.

With the first part, I thought Countdown was dumb but not too bad. But all of the violence, inane ideas, and more violence in this part made me feel dirty. And I just read Green Lantern #43.

Great video. Look for to next week's conclusion.

rdfox said...

I will mention that the end of Mary Marvel's arc was editorially mandated *after* the last scripts were turned in; her story was supposed to end with her redemption that was seen earlier, but Grant Morrison, having not bothered to tell them that he needed her heel turn to stick for Final Crisis, reminded Didio of this, forcing the insanely stupid rewrite to turn her heel AGAIN just for him.

And, of course, all he did with her was shave her head and have her act as Generic Henchgirl #2 for Darkseid, then have a clothes-ripping catfight with Supergirl. Meaning that having her be evil was... entirely pointless!

Of course, neither Morrison nor Didio bothered to tell the Countdown writers what initial conditions they needed to get to for Final Crisis, and what sort of plot setup was needed. This meant that, of the seven issues of Final Crisis, Morrison spent four and a half of them on the setup that should have been done in Countdown--and, since he didn't bother to take any of Countdown into account, it also rendered all of Countdown... entirely pointless! (It also resulted in his then doing the first issue and a half worth of plot in Final Crisis at normal pace, then cramming FIVE AND A HALF ISSUES into the last issue, resulting in it making about as much sense as Countdown, but that's another issue.)

I'm seriously considering getting a friend of mine who's a big fan of MST3K-caliber movies a copy of the Countdown trades, since it's pure and utter botfodder...

Pmax said...

This great! I had always wondered what the whole deal with the Countdown series was, and now I have been enlightened!

...and you went through all that pain to provide it. May the heavens bless you for enduring such drivel.

And dang, it must really have bit the big one to warrant a "GD" in there. I think that's the first time I've heard that curse in one of your videos.

This week's "to be continued" installment was entertaining as well! Bravo! Sir, you're program is quickly becoming one of my favorites to watch.

James said...

Lewis, I must compliment you on your latest "Previously on" trailer. You do a fantastic Sinatra impersonation. And the bits with Doug, Spoony, Lee and FilmBrain were great as well. THAT should've been published instead of Countdown.

Keep up the excellent work. And remember, if you ever need help fighting against the Continuity Alarm or Youngblood's Disease, I'll do what I can to assist.

Anonymous said...

"Do you think there's an alternate earth where this series didn't completely suck?"

Yes, it is a world where Star Wars fans wounder how much better the critically acclaimed Prequel Trilogy would have been had Lucas lived to see it made. Where Civil War's depth and moral ambiguity rivaled Watchmen and both sides came across as sympathetic and reasonable. Where writers and editors caught the fact that Watchmen and the Dark Knight Returns were good for there complexity, not just for being dark.

Rachel said...

Does anyone ever ask Red Robin for a burger?

Ian said...

Doug's scene was fantastic, and I especially love the overlapping dialog, and his acting chops were at their best. Really, I'd love to see him do more skits. Also, you did a good job editing his piece to split up throughout the Previously. Lee was a blast to see too! Great Youngblood's joke! I thought the lack of Mecha-Linkara was great - Dr. Insano shrieking about HIM COMING was a great method of suspense. The Old Nemesis mocking the protagonist on what is yet to come - good times. The new tuxedo character seems pretty interesting - a bit 4th-wall breaking, kinda laid back, indifferent and passive compared to the extreme drama going around. You and the TGWTG crew did a great job! And the text before the theme song was the perfect 'bang' moment - loved it!

Okay, too much talking on just the intro. You've been doing great with bringing out the old catchphrases to tie it all together, including the "Should we do something?" and the surprisingly embarrassing "I am a man!" scene - Great reaction to that. Speaking of which, the Superboy Prime voice is so utterly perfect. And the 90s Kid return was a great status quo breaker! Oddly enough, thinking on it, all the Superboy Prime mockery was the best part of this already awesome episode.

You said Countdown was an example of everything wrong with comics, and I agree - the worst part is Plot overriding Theme, Character, or Continuity. It's just stuff happening, and stuff happening, and twists happening, and none of it with aim or purpose or planning.

I think you could work on some of the angry reactions - the Re-Todd initial reaction felt a bit overdone and unnatural. Plus, maybe it's a personal thing, but the sight of guns to people's heads, fake or no, kinda makes me feel uncomfortable. Your unhindered screams and seething sarcasm still works fantastically, though. And it works so great in contrast to your also great softer narration used for Karate Kid and Triplicate Girl.

... Also, Triplicate Girl ate by rats? Oye...

This is my favorite AT4W yet - Plenty of riffs, great guest appearances, lots of tie-ins to past AT4Ws and status quo breakers, and a great summary of a completely nonsensical story. Awesome work!

TheRetroFox said...

Great work covering the cluster-f**k that was Countdown. :3

Y'know, that line of "Who monitors the Monitors?" reminded me of a similar line that was used to a lot more meaningful effect in Justice League Unlimited in an exchange between Batman and Green Arrow.

Batman: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

GA: "Who guards the guardians? We've got it covered."

But anyway...

Great video. Loved the preview and the stingers at the end. :3 Looking forward to the next show. :D

ScreamingDoom said...

... Wow. What a terrible, terrible comic.

Mary Marvel being both evil and stupid. How well did this abomination actually sell? Despite it being critically panned and a humiliation on DC comics as a whole, were the editors justified by the profit it made?

This is kinda off topic, Linkara, but have you ever considered doing a Q&A of comic books? I, for one, have wondered where Themyscria is, geographically speaking. I mean, people seem to just wash up on it fairly regularly, so I guess it must be accessible through mundane means. But no one ever seems to know where it is.

Let's see a story about a sleazy timeshare condo developer trying to finangle a deal to build units on the island.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Well the thing to remember about Themyscira is that, for a good chunk of its life, it was completely hidden from detection. I think some of the earliest accounts put it in the Bermuda Triangle, but modern versions of it put it near New york or Washington, D.C.... though that one doesn't make as much sense.

Carrie said...

I don't even think Frank Miller comic has that much death in it and Garth Ennis ones are probably less dark.

Rokee said...

So great...I don't even know where to start.

The intro was just awesome. You hinted on Doug's scenes back in your commentary on the Warrior comic, didn't you?
Also, Spoony, Lee and Film Brian erm, Brain were funny, too.

As for the review itself:
It instantly became one of my all-time favorites. I especially liked your reactions over the various puns and on Mary Marvel's upskirt shots.
But everything was just great. This episode really shows, that you put more than a lot of effort in it.

Anonymous said...

That's Re-Todded.

Ben said...

im sorry, im clueless. the whole Red Robin, what is that a reference towards?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

It's a reference to the graphic novel "Kingdom Come," portraying a dark future for the DC Universe.

The House of C.R.P said...

Damn. If only the Doctor was there. He could have stopped all the killing!

My LORD! This is the epitome of pure awfulness! This takes everything bad in Comics, and combines it into pure sludge!

And have Superboy Prime?! Who thought Superboy Prime was a good idea to be, not in here, but to exist in general? A miserable dork who kills and tortures, thinking that they deserve it? He's worse than Sauske!

Linkara, my heart goes out to you to survive through this abomination. I just hope this comic does not affect my, or anyone else's sanity. Here come the drums, here come the drums......

Jer said...

house of C.R.P when talking about saskue and prime. At least Prime dosnt have a group of people willing to get the shit kicked out of them to protect the asshole

The House of C.R.P said...

^Yes, but at the same time, Sauske does yell out whiny garbage, or run around exploding multiple worlds for no reason.

Plus, Sauske's current scheme is hilariously moronic, rather than painfully moronic.

RocMegamanX said...

I find the multiverse idea kinda cool, and I might use that idea someday.

As for Countdown, good thing I haven't read it. Can't wait for the Top 15 list next week!

You gotta admit though, painful as it may be, "Re-Todd" is actually pretty funny. With a surname like that, he was pretty much asking for it.

PWBOT said...

Another great review! Man, Countdown really sucks. I can see where they could have gotten things right. If they had let the writers do the writing while the editors laid out the end results of Countdown, it could have worked. Instead, it just sucks so much. If you excuse me, I go buy the much more awesome 52 series.

Animikean said...

DC, uhm well. There are so many parts to this series that spell plainly how wrong it was.
I'll admit that I read it, even some of the minis like arena but it felt like the thing was going out of it's way not to connect with the reader.

The clearest and most simple example is the sparse labeling of alternate worlds. Some times they were, but only labeled with a number and an expectation that you would get the reference to the elseworlds book, or the company or the special issue this world was referencing. But sometimes they weren't labeled and some worlds had their number changed between issues.

There is something wrong in that I have to Wiki in order to be let into the joke that the Batman character I got an interest in, in the midst of this mish-mosh series is from JSA: Liberty. I say joke because how is that any way to run a business? If you get people interested in characters don't you want them to know where they come from and thus sell more books from it?

This is worse then what D.C. did with that 3rd Tanget miniseries because even though it was GAWDAWFUL it was only 12 issues.

But I'll bring up one bright spot. Look to things like Earth-12, now Batman Beyond exists on paper. It's nice to have a Bat progeny that doesn't make you want to punt him isn't it. And as was brought up back pre-crisis (ah hell I'm not going to look up when it was now) some Earths are farther along chronologically so there's a chance that 40 years from now in comic book time on the main Earth (after Bruce comes back from his finger painting) he'll train a boy named Terry.

Kamen Rider Gumo said...

Wow....just.....wow.

That was horrible. I don't know how you withstood 51 issues of that. By comparison, "Reign of the Supermen" was a well-written, well-drawn story arc with interesting characters, plotlines, tie-ins and plot twists. (Got any plans to ever do that one, by the way?)

Also: Slade Dreizehn.....is that an inverted "Kamen Rider Decade" logo I spy as your avatar?

The House of C.R.P said...

Oh yeah. WHY BATMAN BEYOND?! I loved Batman Beyond! Well, okay, I never watched it as a kid, due to my creampuff personality that I discarded in later years (Because of that I also ignored Batman: The Animated series. Boy, am I kicking myself for that), but I watched Return of the Joker and I loved that. It's my favorite Batman movie, second only to The Dark Knight.

Someone should write a poem about Countdown.........I should work on it......

Anthony said...

What's the song used near the end of the video when Linkara is scanning through the destruction on "Earth" only to interrupt it by explaning how dumb it is for it to not be on the DC Earth?

Anonymous said...

"Do you think there's an alternate earth where this series didn't completely suck?"

The answer, of course, is no.

Nicely done, sir.

mightysamurai said...

The sequence where "Earth" was being destroyed by morticoccus is probably the only time I've felt legitimately disturbed by a comic. It's just morbid and wrong and makes you feel unclean as you're reading it.

ScreamingDoom said...

"I think some of the earliest accounts put [Themyscira] in the Bermuda Triangle, but modern versions of it put it near New york or Washington, D.C.... though that one doesn't make as much sense."

You're right, that doesn't make much sense, since it seems that the island is sub-tropical (unsurprisingly close to being Mediterranean in biome).

But then again, I suppose anything is possible with magic.

"It's magic. It doesn't have to make sense."

Sieg-sama said...

Damn? Who made Insano cut his hair?

And Countdown is terrible. And seeing that there's an effin pile of those comics behind you...
You're a brave man, a greater warrior, than Barkley...

I think you should take a break (or rehab) on some more sensible and good comics...

日本文化のマニアック said...

I absolutely love stories with a gazillion interconnecting story lines, so long as an author can keep them all connected. But the idea of having each storyline be touched upon in every issue, every week?? Were they insane?? YOU DO NOT DO THAT! You use one issue to move one storyline along a good distance, then in the next issue, do the same with another storyline, until eventually they start connecting at the end and you have only one storyline.

I see the real problem here as that they tried to do ALL this plot in ONE YEAR. I know it's the nature of American comic books to be fast-paced, but with 51 issues of main story plus a gazillion side-stories, you need more time than that to develop everything fully. And then to have it passed on relay-style from one writer to another...UGH.

You know what? For my super-long, hordes of characters, interweaving plot lines series, I'm just gonna stick with "20th Century Boys" (shameless Urasawa pitch for the win!).

Slade Dreizehn said...

it was mechankara!

he cut insano's hair!!!

the bastard!

to kamen rider gumo:
yes, it is. XD during the first episode, i noticed that it looked like a skull when turned upside-down X3

Emily said...

This comic is SO...... random!
btw 'stupid' boy is a creeper "I will kill you! I will kill you to DEATH!!!" O_o ?????? wha.....

Stacy said...

Oh Anti-Life so justifies my hatred. . .my burning, festering hatred.

I'm so completely grateful that I ducked out of Countdown and Final Crisis (apart from the Superman Beyond two-parter which I actually found pretty boss, though I understand why readers of FC might be mightily torqued about it). Shock tactics and attempting to out-widescreen books like The Authority using DC's stable is a fool's errand at best and outright moronic at worst.

I love superhero storytelling to the bone and I don't mind some shades of gray in my heroic tales, but it's not meant to sustain angst and gore and death consistently over a long period of time. Superhero stories are morality plays writ large, where people dress in silly costumes and usually end up beating the crap out of each other, lost worlds are uncovered and there are otherdimensional realms like Asgard or the Negative Zone. It's a medium where you can have lost cities of hyperintelligent gorillas and maniacal despots who rule their own countries with iron fists. Where one person or a small group of people go out and show that might can fight for right and good can actually triumph over evil. It's silly, puerile and rife with imagery and concepts that makes the so-called Literati wrinkle their noses and declare that such silliness would never happen in real life.

And that's the damned point. It's a fantasy, as much so as any work by Lieber or Tolkien. Is it 'real'? Is it 'relevant'? Not all the time. But it shouldn't have to be. If stories like Countdown and Identity Crisis are what DC Comics editorial consider grownup fare, then pass the Frosted Flakes and tune the dial to Batman The Brave & The Bold,'cause they can keep it.

(Which, if you haven't watched it, is frickin' glorious. The batmobile turns into the batplane which turns into the batsub which turns into the batmech. The batmobile is a mecha, complete with rocket fists. My sound of purest geeker glee made my neighbor's dogs bark like mad. Oh, and the most awesome character on the show? Aquaman. You heard me. ;p)

Stac

Brian said...

I always love how Johns and DC collectively SWORE that the legal issues surrounding the name "Superboy" had NOTHING to do with the Conner Kent Superboy being killed off. Because if that was the case, they would have just changed his name, it was argued.

So what happens after Infinite Crisis?

He's only ever referred to as "Conner" and all other Superboy iterations, like Superboy Prime, get their names changed. Very convincing, DC.

Seriously though, even if they had changed Conner Kent's alias, what would it have become? Nightwing's success as a former "family" hero was an exception, and he's the new Batman for Pete's sake. I know everyone thought Supernova was Conner during The 52, and maybe that would have worked, but then he would have never have been able to talk about that period of time when he was Superboy.

calisto-lynn said...

another awesome review. im looking at your videos for quite some time now and you are by far my favorite.
it was about time someone decided to review comics instead of just movies or games. keep up the great work.

Stacy said...

ETA: Aquaman being the best character who is not, of course, Batman. Put down the torches and pitchforks people. . .ah heh heh. . .

Stac

Strannik said...

Nice work.

I am surprised that you didn't mention one of the most frustrating aspects of the whole - that it ultimately wound up having nothing to do with the series it was supposedly counting down to. But that's just me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lewis, I just started reading comics thanks to your weekly ATFW videos. I just happen to notice a certain artist named Greg Land. Whom happens to use live pictures and trace over them. I really dont like this style since it limits the number of poses of characters and it looks like I am reading a Sears Catalog. I was wondering, what you think of his style? and is he the Rob Liefeld of this generation?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Linkakra, I think something's
wrong with your latest vid that you've
posted on the AT4W website.

Can you be able to fix it. please?

TheGoose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Thank you for the fill in (now I know what I really didn't miss).

I had heard that Countdown was going to have the 'Great Disaster' occur that led to Kamandi, but having it happen in an alternate universe takes some of the sting out of it.

Mary Marvel chose to be evil a SECOND time? Why?! She pretty much had the same powers as Captain Marvel, why take the powers of Black Adam instead?

Oh, well, here's hoping that "Blackest Night" is put together better than Countdown.

SynjoDeonecros said...

And this is what 52 was supposed to be like, according to the executive editor of this abomination, huh? Is it just me, or are more and more previously-awesome writers starting to drown into their own ego and insanity and decide their chosen medium was little more than a tool to express their lame-ass fanfiction in?

As an example, take Laurel K. Hamilton; her work on her Anita Blake series was fairly decent starting out. The characters had good development and growth (especially the title character), and while some of the stories were weaker than others, they still held to a moral standard that made the conflicts within them deep and meaningful. Nowadays, though, her stories read like the worst dredge you can find on Adultfanfiction.net, with Anita as an overpowered Mary Sue, all of the guys hung like brachiosaurs, and much of the plot derailed in lieu of inappropriate, badly-written, and horrifyingly, painfully implausible sex scenes.

Or, closer to home, take One More Day; this was the sole pet project of Joe Quesada, who mandated and dictated every bit of it along the way, simply because he alone could not stand the character development Peter and Mary Jane were having as a married couple. This wasn't even a writer of the comic doing this, this was the main editor.

As a fledgling writer myself who has aspirations of pumping out at least one professional work, I'm appalled at the amount of arrogance and egotism the literature, comic, and even movie companies are showing, nowadays. What's with these people forcing their own fanon on us, the fans, when anyone else with a brain can figure out it's wrong and bad?

I've got to agree with you, Linkara; I don't want to know the origins of Donna Troy, or hear about Willy Wonka's daddy issues, or why the hell the town of Chewsandswallows has food products for their weather in "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs". They should stick with what's already been established and expand on that, not twist it around like a piece of wire to fit their own Ultimate Warrior-esque ramblings into the canon. If they want to write fanfic, they should do it on their off hours, and not as a legitimate project that they get paid for.

Samantha said...

Diseeeeeeeeease~

Truce Weston said...

I have no intention of doing that joke that you warned we would be doing

but, wow, this is insane! I'm glad to see you made it through ok, so far

best part is you not doing the I AM A MAN bit on supermanboy-prime

aa97464 said...

Making out with a bug chick eh? Doesn't sound so bad in MY book.

hehehe.....*remembers The Fly*



OH GOD NO!

thatmagicnoob said...

good work, whats the song after the opening, i heard it before but i don't know the name

Anonymous said...

If you happen to fix the vid problem
I had, Linkara, then thanks.

If you didn't then no big.

Anyway, I like your latest vid.

MechaFire82 said...

Strannik makes a good point, because what did any of this have to do with Final Crisis in the end?

But awesome video and reviews! My friend told me about your site, and I had to see. Now i'm gonna check your back catalog for some more awesome stuff, Linkara

Anonymous said...

"Who monitors the monitors? That's like something a 12-year old would say!"

Suddenly Watchmen isn't genius?

Elemental said...

This series went from the sort of bad where it's a trainwreck but you can't stop watching and laughing, to the sort of bad where you just feel faintly dirty and depressed. Billions of people are dying and it's just background noise to give the few characters who matter something to angst about. Who'd want to live in the DC universe?

And the annoying part about Superboy Prime is that you just know the next time another character has a chance to kill him, they won't because That Would Make Us Just As Bad As Him. Still, at least it gives you excuses to do that hilarious whiny voice for him.

Carrie said...

Now that I think about it, you should let 90's Kid review a comic.

Lord Seth said...

Actually, your reference to Batman Beyond made me think it would be cool if you reviewed the shows in the DCAU. Obviously they'd probably be generally positive reviews, but you've done positive reviews (Blue Beetle) so it should be possible.

Anonymous said...

"Who monitors the Monitors?"

That's almost as cheesy as, "Who watches the Watchmen?"

On topic, I liked the review.

krrackknut said...

It was only two.

THAT IS RE-TODDED!

Now it's three.

Frank said...

Maybe I'm just thick (as it has yet to have been mentioned), but what is the music you used over the title screen? It sounds like New Order, though I'm not sure which song.

Also, not sure if it's been discussed, but alongside the casual throw-in recommedations (in the midst of your reviews) to books like 52, and some of the 5-panel comic end screens which feature "Seriously though, _____ is awesome", have you ever thought about doing a series (or even a podcast) describing GOOD books that people should read both new and old, single-issue regular or TPB/GN?

I recently got back into comics, after about a year of absence from buying Alan Moore and Batman books due to seeing The Dark Knight and the Watchmen Trailer (which made me want to read the book, unlike the actual movie which just made me want to vomit). I'd also read Kingdom Come and The Greatest Stories Ever Told: Shazam. Just in the last few weeks I picked up JSA: The Next Age at the recommendation of the local comics shop, only Vol 1, and soon Vol 2-4 of 52. Being relatively new to the DCU beyond Batman and the other big names, some of 52 (Vol 1 was very engaging, but Vol 2 had some "huh?" moments) baffled me, but overall I loved it. I can't seem to get an answer from local "pros" what I should read next, as I've been steered clear of Sinestro Corps War until I can recite each Green Lantern's biography by heart, and even told to read Amazons Attack as a (quoting) "good Wonder Woman story", despite what I know from watching AT4W. I also can't seem to get a solid answer from anyone whether Crisis on Infinite Earths is good or not. Everyone I ask says "Durrr, it's like important and stuff" (not always in those exact words, but often). Ok I get it, they destroyed the Multiverse - it's important! But is it actually a good read?

Finally, I've all but abandoned Marvel Comics to DC. I think the last Marvel series I read (far back in the long, long ago) was the X-Cutioner's Song crossover, which I'm curious to know what you thought of.

mariofan1000 said...

This comic is re-todded!




...Sorry.

ReddiShadow said...

Actually, there IS a story to do the 'sentient virus' thing well. The Red Dwarf episode "Epideme".

Anonymous said...

Well scratch off Triplicate girl off the list of heroes who died. Starman says that KK is dead but not TG. Instead she reappears in FC: Legion of three worlds where She is now Duplicate Damsel.

Anonymous said...

Same thing with Monarch not being dead. It turns out he's Captain Atom. by the end of that battle he ended up on Daxam home to LoSH member Mon El and Ion powered Green lantern Sodam Yat

alugo2 said...

I love Harley. In the usually dark and grity stories of batman and the DC universe in general, shes got "A positive attitude and lots of denial!" :)

J said...

I can't believe I'm defending anything in countdown, but the evolution idea does make a bit of sense. If I remember correctly, each monitor exists either as an extension of or within one of the parallel universes. As such, each would adapt differently, even if only mildly, in order to better survive that universe. Small changes or not, these differences may be enough to prevent the monitors from re-merging.

Or I'm just grasping for straws in a desperate attempt to find something that makes sense.