Another week, and what have we here? DC is batting a thousand and so am I, with the latest 52 (OK, it’s just the second one) reviewed below.
The superstar creative team didn’t hit the ball out of the park last week, so I was hoping to see something this week that would allow me to refer to 52 as something other than “the most ambitious comic book project to date.” Was that hope fulfilled? No. Not even close. First off, I’ll break down this issue fully, then wrap it up with larger thoughts.
The cover to week two takes a monumental step down from week one. Last week was the kind of cover that gets non-fans to pick a book up. This issue was the kind that makes me say, “Oh, isn’t that clever, it’s Clark Kent in the corner,” then go back to being non-excited by Booster Gold.
The issue starts with Ralph Dibny investigating the mark on Sue’s grave. We don’t learn what it is until the end, and that mystery is supposed to hold my interest. It didn’t. The whole cemetery scene was just awkward between Ralph and the groundskeeper. Ralph just comes across as annoying (yeah, I vacation all over the globe. Suck it!!!) and the groundskeeper is one of those standard poorly written young adults of the comic book world. Oh, and the mystery isn’t intriguing. Did I mention that?
Our next mystery is what happened to Skeets, the Robot Who Had a Perfectly Acceptable Name Until Dave Chappelle and Lil John Came Along. Anyway, Dr. Magnus gets him working again without much happening. Booster is remarkable for having less personality than his robot. Mr. Magnus then visits Professor Morrow in prison. It’s revealed that scientists are disappearing. Why? Not a clue.
One mystery is solved. Lesbians sleep in lacy panties with no covers and their arms and legs tangled up all sexy-like. The Question intervenes, leading to scenes of nearly naked women looking very serious. Later, a fully clothed Montoya visits him and he hires her as a personal detective. Why? No clue.
Booster Gold tries his hardest to kill an airliner full of people but fails, and apparently Skeet’s future cast says the airliner crashed.
The week ends with Dibny accusing Wonder Girl of painting Sue’s grave with an upside-down Superman “S.”
So, the macro review: This book is failing for two key reasons, all of which tie into a central problem. First, as is abundantly clear if you’ve read this far, the mysteries aren’t very compelling, and second, the characters aren’t very interesting. We already know that Wonder Girl doesn’t resurrect Conner, since he’s still dead OYL. We don’t know enough about Montoya or the Question to be curious as to their goings on. Booster Gold probably can’t read the future because the future was messed with by Alexander Luthor in IC. And there’s no reason to be more than mildly curious about scientists disappearing.
If this issue had featured more of Black Adam or Steel, maybe I’d be more engaged. But then again, maybe the problem is that there’s not a tight enough focus. It’s hard to become interested in a character in two-page spurts. Of course, the over-arcing problem, so far, is that this is a series that takes place when all the big shots are gone. Like it or not, people read DC because of the famed characters. This series needs to make the undercards interesting, but so far it hasn’t. Luckily for it, there’s still a whopping 50 weeks left.
P.S. I don’t know why they bothered with the “bonus” story of Donna Troy looking through DC’s history. In this first edition, all she does is look over ground that was covered in IC. The ridiculous-ness is capped off with a fish-eye reflection focused on Ms. Troy’s boobs. Groan.