52—Volume 1

52 volume 1 cover review trade paperback
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Fun and interesting concept book

Not as fun to read as a clump as a weekly series

Comic Info

Comic Name: 52

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Geoff Johns/Grant Morrison/Greg Rucka/Mark Waid

Artist: A Keith Giffen/Eddy Barrows/Chris Batista/Joe Bennett/Ken Lashley/Shawn Moll/Todd Nauck

# of Issues: 13

Release Date: 2007

52 #1 cover review

52 #1

Reprints 52 #1-13 (May 10, 2006-August 2, 2006).  The world has been rocked.  Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are missing in action, and there is a great void to be filled.  Rene Montoya finds herself working for a mysterious stranger who puts her back in contact with her former lover Kate Kane.  Ralph Dibny continues to mourn the loss of his wife and tracks down a group worshipping for the resurrection of Superboy.  In space, Adam Strange, Starfire, and Animal Man hope to find the way back home.  Steel finds himself at odds with his niece Natasha as Lex Luthor makes a pitch for a new breed of superheroes.  Clark Kent adjusts to life without powers as a new hero appears in Metropolis.  Booster Gold’s quest for fame hits a snag as his partner Skeets seems to have problem interpreting the future.  Black Adam seeks to build his forces against the heroes of the United States, but a woman could change his perspective.  Scientists are disappearing all over the world, and who or what is 52?

Written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid, 52—Volume 1 is the first of four collections of the DC Comics weekly year long event series.  Following Infinite Crisis, the series featured layouts by Keith Giffen and art by Eddy Barrows, Chris Batista, Joe Bennett, Ken Lashley, Shawn Moll, and Todd Nauck.  The issues in this collection were also collected in a larger 52—Volume 1 which is composed of the first two smaller volumes.

52 was an exciting premise.  You have some of the biggest writers at the time taking on some of DC’s smaller characters in a process to redevelop them and sculpt the future of the DC Universe.  While the series has some faults, 52—Volume 1 starts out with a bang.

The series doesn’t really have the “Big Three” to play with.  Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman are MIA and generally DC is very Big Three oriented.  That allows for some new blood and some of the lesser seen characters to pop up.  While most of the characters did feature into recent event series, some characters like Rene Montoya were added as a means to get a new lease on life for their direction.  It is different and provides different stories.

52 #7 cover booster gold

52 #7

While collected editions like this have all of the first issues collected, it was fun to read 52 as it was released.  With the month to month schedule, a so-so issue can be frustrating in that you have to wait for another month (or few months) to finish the storyline or start a new one.  52 provided a rapid fire storyline with multiple character arcs…if you didn’t like someone’s story, you didn’t have to wait long to get another.

It is relatively balanced.  Just when you start to think that 52 is a Booster Gold series, it starts to feel like a Black Adam series…then an Elongated Man series.  It keeps juggling and at this point has very little evidence that it will come together into a bigger storyline.  It is strong enough to keep you motivated to read.

This volume of 52 is a nice kickstart to something different (but also something that DC quickly drove into the ground).  The collection has some big firsts in it with the return of Kate Kane (an amalgam of pre-Crisis characters) and the new Batwoman, but it also reintroduces the rather interesting Isis.  52 has a ways to go at this point, but if you read this volume, you’ll probably want to carry on.  52—Volume 1 is followed by 52—Volume 2.

Related Links:

52—Volume 2

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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