Today the first of 52 issues of DC’s 52 has been released. After the Countdown, after the Infinite Crisis, before One Year Later… and still it’s billed as the most ambitious comics project ever undertaken. Well, we’ll see. And, since I’ve been slacking so much lately (I got married, OK!), I’m going to attempt an extremely ambitious (for me) reviewing project of sizing up each and every issue of 52 as it comes out. Will the issues come out on time? Will I actually get content posted? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s by tuning it, same bat time, same bat channel.
First impression? I could have done without the “It starts here!” on the front. No crap. We all know. We’ve all been waiting for it. Only detracts from a brilliantly illustrated and designed cover. Oh well…
The swirl of crystal images, coming together into the new world is cool. But, I would’ve liked to have seen some scenes of the largescale destruction wrought by the crisis. All we get is close-ups, and it doesn’t lend enough scale to the damage.
That’s enough nit-picking, at least for the moment. The best compliment I can give is that it’s really, really hard to tell this was written by more than one person, let alone four. It’s smooth, clever, touching, grandiose, all when it needs to be. It’s a little choppy at times between all the different locales, but that’s kinda hard to avoid.
Booster Gold may very well take over Guy Gardner’s spot as the hero it’s the most fun to despise role. Man, what a pompous asshole. Yeah, it’s a bit hard to imagine how he shifted from a dour “my buddy Ted just died” to “Yee-ha, I’m going to be a JLAer!” (and it’s ever so strange that he was able to find numerous sponsors only days after the crisis), but he’s interesting, engaging for all the wrong reasons, pompous, fun… And the issue nicely sets up the mystery of how his future casting has gone awry.
I’m also looking forward to more of Steel, who I, for one, really enjoyed when he first came around. He seems to have the Superman thing down better than Superman, for what it’s worth. Not much intrigue has been raised with him so far, but I’m patient.
The Black Adam moment seemed like a bit of a forced metaphor for international affairs in the ol’ real world, and I don’t know who Doctor Sivana is or why I should care about monsters kidnapping him (do I need to turn in my geek card?)
The Question, of course, is awesome, and I hope more people realize it with this series. He’s not given much to do, yet. I’m really hoping he keeps on in the vein of last year’s mini-series, which gave him an ethereal, supernatural bent.
The other main characters, Montoya and Ray Dibney, are just depressing at this point. Luckily, they weren’t around for too many pages.
For a starter issue, it was good. Got lots of setup out of the way and established the cut-rate heroes we’ll be following. The memorial scene was a gem. Nothing remarkable yet, though, and we still have no clue what kind of threat will surface that merits 52 issues worth of conflict (oh yeah, make that 51, now). But, then again, there’s a whole year left. Almost.