This is just brutal. Chris Eckert pulls together quotes from interviews given throughout the year-long run on Countdown and makes clear that the heavy-handed editorial approach was awful, that it stomped all over Final Crisis, and that the Powers That Be at DC are always lying about everything.
Funnybook Babylon -- Five Years Later: The Oral History of Countdown to Final Crisis
DIDIO: If you’re creating stories just for the sake of having events to tie things together with no real meat on the bones, then you’re going to have event fatigue because you have all this promotion and drive and anticipation, but you’ve under-delivered on what the expectations are. That’s what some people felt about what Countdown to Final Crisis was. They felt it didn’t build properly off the event or for the amount of anticipation they had for the series itself.
Andrew Hickey, founder of the DC Countdown Blog: I’m going to review Countdown in a different manner to the way in which 52 has been looked at. I’m going to look at the comic every week and review it, make predictions, say what’s interesting about it, but I’m also going to post brief reviews of the other DCU titles I’m reading, and look at how they tie in. (4/15/2007)
BRADY: [Asked] why they liked Countdown, another fan said, “I was expecting a train wreck and didn’t get it.” To which DiDio said should be used as a back cover quote on the trade.
Neither this, nor any other quotation from a review of the series appeared on any Countdown to Final Crisis trade.
HICKEY: I have now dropped Countdown. The extent to which there will not even be a pretense of a story in this comic has become painfully clear. Everyone involved in the production of this series should be ashamed of themselves for producing such meretricious drivel. But not as ashamed as I am for supporting them. (7/14/2007)
DIDIO: One expression that I find humorous is “editorial mandate.” I feel that expression gets thrown around a great deal. The role of the editor is to assemble and be responsible for whatever project they are in charge of. Whatever talent they hire, that is an editorial mandate. They choose to hire that talent. [...] So when you say “editorial mandate,” please understand that whatever book you hold in your hand, at the end of the day, is there because of an editorial mandate to create that book. End of story.