52: Week Thirty-Eight


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52: Week Thirty-Eight


  • Words: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, & Mark Waid
  • Art: Joe Bennett
  • Inks: Jack Jadson
  • Colors: Hi-Fi
  • Story Title: Breathless
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.50
  • Release Date: Jan 24, 2007

Montoya desperately continues with Charlie in an attempt to return to Nada Parbat. Three Horsemen of Apokolips are revealed and Natasha tries to uncover Luthor’s secret.

As the 52 juggernaut rolls through (and over) the DC Universe, readers get a little quieter issue filled with drama and rising tension rather than action. A little ironic that an issue that provides a bit of breathing space should be titled "Breathless."

Montoya proves that she is definitely a fighter as she refuses to let death claim another partner and person she has come to care about deeply. Charlie is already dying but Renee is willing to risk her own life in order to drag him back to Nanda Parbat in a last ditch attempt to stave off death. Can she make it in time or will she lose another partner? More to the point, will she learn something important along the way? Meanwhile, on Oolong Island, T.O. Morrow pays a visit to Will Magnus, who certainly seems to be a bit more mad scientist-y since they took him off his meds. Is Magnus going off the deep end or is he crazy like a fox though? There is little time to speculate as Morrow has come to invite Magnus to the unveiling of three of the Four Horsemen of Apokolips. Could these evil geniuses have finally stepped over the line? Finally, we return to the team of Steel as John Henry Irons’ team continues to try to unravel Lex Luthor’s Everyman Project… with a little help from Natasha now; that is, if she doesn’t get herself killed…

Despitesome really good moments and some hints dropped that leave me giddy with anticipation, this issue largely left me cold.Although I have and continue to appreciate the relationship between Renee and Charlie this round just seemed a little overblown. The writers had been bringing this storyline along nicely, building it subtly and slowly but in trying to emphasize Renee’s desperation here they took things a little too over the top and the results are slightly irritating. The big reveal of three of the Four Horsemen was handled nicely, including another reference to the Crime Bible and another name check to one of DC’s lesser known villainous scientists. Although it started minor, the Oolong Island portion of this story is quickly heating up to move into a significant place in the 52 line up.

Joe Bennett continues to prove that he has truly solid artist’s skills. The issues of this series that he has handled have been some of my favorites. He does not spare the ravages of illness on Charlie’s face and his Renee Montoya has an everywoman quality about her that makes the character more than just your average "comic book babe." His renditions of the three Horsemen though are just what they should be – awe inspiring and creepy.

With fourteen weeks to go, the lines of 52 are starting to show signs of converging and the stakes in this game are starting to pile up. If nothings else, the four writers and their posse of artists will have an impressive body of work to point to when everything is said and done. What began as an experiment and a dare has become an intricate and oftentimes moving story. While this issue may have some faults, it certainly does nothing to detract from the overall tone of the series.

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