Not surprisingly the numbers come before the letters, but this is the only one currently in my comiXology collection to be a number.
DC Comics (July, 2006)
“Golden Lads And Lasses Must…”
WRITERS: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, & Mark Waid
BREAKDOWNS: Keith Giffen
PENCILER: Joe Bennett
INKER: Ruy Jose
COVER ART: J.G. Jones
COLORIST: Alex Sinclair
LETTERER: Nick J. Napolitano
ASSISTANT EDITORS: Jann Jones & Harvey Richards
EDITOR: Steven Wacker
First some history. After the events of Infinite Crisis DC had the “brilliant” idea to jump ahead one year. This kind of annoyed fans who wanted to know what happened during this year. Initially 52 was that tale, but it evolved into a storyline for the heroes who weren’t part of the high ranks of DC Comics echelon, including taking the Trinity (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman) out of the tale. I’ve heard much praise of this but according to what I hear Dan DiDio wasn’t into it. That led to the infamous Countdown, which he claimed was “52 done right”. It was a total nightmare of a story, filled with continuity errors even between issues. This should tell you why DiDio isn’t looked upon favorably by a lot of DC fans.
52 also had a back-up feature called “The History Of The DC Universe” that is not included in this issue in the comiXology version I’m reviewing from. The DC Database has more on the history of and leading up to this miniseries, released weekly which is rather odd for an event. DC keeps trying to do that and they should stop until they can do it right, ensuring there are no delays that ruins things for everyone else and there’s better communication between the various creative teams. And now, the review.
With the destruction of Brother Eye (long story in this continuity so don’t ask) Steel has been going all over the place trying to help others. When Natasha gets a chance to join the Teen Titans Steel insists that she stick to the clean-up, and when she protests shuts down her armor. Meanwhile, Ralph Dibney has seen his house and all he has left after Sue’s murder in Infinite Crisis and prepares to shoot himself until he gets a call about strange markings on his wife’s grave. Black Adam foils a suicide bombing attempt and rips the bomber’s arm off demanding to know who his compatriots are. Later, Doctor Silvana is kidnapped, leaving Mister Mind behind.
As for Booster Gold, he’s trying to get back into the spotlight, but at what his history says is the beginning of a new age for heroes and that Booster becomes part of what he calls the greatest Justice League teaming ever. However, Batman and Wonder Woman are a no-show at the funeral for the heroes lost during the previous event (they were on hiatus given how things went recently between Brother Eye and Maxwell Lord) and Superman (who had temporarily lost his powers fighting Superboy-Prime–long and loaded story) showed up, but as Clark Kent. Booster is confused since this is supposed to be a huge moment in history, and then Skeets shuts down. Back in Gotham, the Question takes over the Bat-Signal, replaces the bat with a question mark, and shines it right into a drunk Renee Montoya’s apartment, wondering if she’s ready.
What they got right: A time-travel related mystery as well as what’s going on with Sue’s grave. There’s some potentially good storytelling there. We get to see the impact of how the recent influx of events have affected some of the heroes.
What they got wrong: Let me get this one out of my system first: I NEVER WANT TO SEE A SUPERHERO, ESPECIALLY A DC HERO, PUT A GUN INTO HIS MOUTH TO COMMIT SUICIDE!!!!!!!!!! EVER!!!!! That kind of thing doesn’t even happen at Marvel, and no, I don’t care how fall the former Elongated Man has fallen since Identity Crisis (a story I have many, many problems with whether it’s good or not), this is what I come to DC to AVOID! Or at least I used to before DiDio and the bad fanfic brigade slowly ruined it. The DC Universe is supposed to be my happy place! And what the heck crawled up John Henry’s butt anyway? Why he is opposed to Natasha joining the Teen Titans and so insistent that she be part of the clean-up. She’s been invited to the second best superhero team in the DC Universe, where the younger heroes can find friends and teammates and you stop her from joining because you think wanting to join them is shirking responsibility? What the hell, Irons? You should be proud of her but ask her to hurry at Superboy’s funeral so she can get back and help him. Instead he decides to be a jerk and end her superhero career. And I read a bit ahead in the DC Database and that comes back to punch him in the face. He kind of deserves it.
Recommendation: I hear 52 is supposed to be a real good story, seeing the lesser heroes get some long-deserved focus and I appreciate that. But a story that gives me a superhero about to blow his brains out is not exactly endearing me to it. While curiosity draws me to see the rest of this based on the praise I’m not exactly racing to get more issues, digitally or in my preferred print. You’ll have to judge for yourself, folks.