It's about time! You asked for it from the very start of this blog, and it's finally here!
The last chapter! The Final Countdown!
52 Vol. 4
by quadrillions of people
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Well, if you don't know what it's about by now, go check out the first, second and third volumes. For you latecomers though, the gist is that, for 52 weeks, DC decided to put a hiatus on the Big Three - Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman - and instead tell a weekly comic about DC's other heroes.
It really rocked. This volume concludes the 52-week epic.
WHAT I LIKED: This is why comic books are made. There's one scene where Captain Marvel says "Shazam! Shazam! Shazam!" over and over, calling the thunderbolt from the sky over and over, and then grabbing that thunderbolt to lay the smackdown on people, while phase-shifting from Billy to Cpt. Marvel! That is insane!
Plus, you have that really cool cover with Will Magnus shooting bullets of the Mini-Metal Men at Egg-fu, and then you have the Religion of Crime erecting pits of fire across Gotham, and you have the Planet Green Lantern Mogo stopping Adam Strange's ship from tumbling into a K-type Sun, and you have Booster Gold travelling back in time to see Ted Kord pre-death, and then you have Mr. Mind trying to devour the universe. . .
Well, suffice to say, this is why comic books are made!
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Some of the endings for the arc are kind of underwhelming. Steel's confrontation with Lex Luthor left me "meh." So did Renee Montoya's takedown of the Religion of Crime in Gotham. Ralph Dibny's arc too. It's just that they were formulaic and predictable, or so voncoluted that you'd have to remember the details of the past trades.
The biggest irk, though, is the severe plot twist in Black Adam's arc. I just really find it unfair that he can't catch a break. I mean, he gets a wife, a new brother, a new family, a new life! And then these guys take it all away. I really don't see the need to make everything so dark and grim and gory as they portrayed it here. I don't want Black Adam to get angry and wage war on the world. I just wish Black Adam could have a happy life. Jerks.
Art-wise, this isn't pretty good either. Joe Bennett was one of the foundation artists in early 52, but he only shows up for 2 issues or so here, which really disappointed me. Some of the artists here aren't the best.
EXTRAS?: You have 13 issues for 20 dollars! It's amazing, because most trades these days, are 6 issues for 20 dollars! Even more, after each issue, you have page's worth of comments from the writers, and sometimes sketches, cover sketches, or script excerpts! The 52 trades truly excel in the extras department.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I KNOW I KEEP SAYING THIS, BUT I REALLY WILL GET MY HANDS SOMEDAY ON THOSE ANIMAL MAN TRADES.
And the Metal Men are a really cool concept! I'm thinking about picking up Keith Giffen's Doom Patrol reboot this year, which will have Metal Men back-ups in them.
Read all my reviews of DC's 52:
Volume 1: issues 1-13
Volume 2: issues 14-26
Volume 3: issues 27-39
Volume 4: issues 40-52