Overview

52: Week Thirty-Five

Review

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52: Week Thirty-Five

Credits

  • Words: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, & Mark Waid
  • Art: Keith Giffen, Phil Jiminez & Dan Jurgens
  • Inks: Andy Laning & Norm Rapmund
  • Colors: Hi-Fi
  • Story Title: Rain of the Supermen
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.50
  • Release Date: Jan 4, 2007

Disaster strikes New Year’s in Metropolis at the stroke of midnight—and Lex Luthor wouldn’t have it any other way.

As the clock strikes twelve, the heroes of Luthor’s Everyman Project "spontaneously" lose their powers and the billionaire madman watches with satisfaction. Men and women fall from the sky, crowds riot, gas mains explode, and New Year’s Eve becomes a scene of carnage. Supernova, Infinity Inc., and the DCU’s existing heroes struggle to contain the chaos and Natasha Irons begins to see what her uncle had been warning her of all along. Meanwhile, at Lady Styx’s doorstep, the lost space heroes have a change of plan—one which takes a few of their number by surprise.

Since the early issues, the creative team of 52 has taken great pains to restore Lex Luthor to being a brilliant, callous Machiavellian monster. This issue features one of the most despicable acts in the character’s history and it’s clear that the brief flirtations DC had with a return of the green-and-purple-wearing mad scientist Luthor are a thing of the past. The calm, unflappable mass murderer in a well-tailored suit seen here is chilling to observe. It’s also heartening to see that Natasha is (finally) wising up to Luthor’s motivations, as her petulant bickering with Steel has been one of the weaker plotlines of the series. As the readership utters a collective "I told you so" to Nat, here’s hoping that this storyarc will start taking some interesting twists. Unless I miss my guess, there’s a possibly ominous clue in Infinity’s genetic screening this issue and in the scene between Natasha and doting boyfriend Skyman.

This horrific yet pulse-pounding chapter of the saga is a gripping read but falters slightly in the final pages. The writing makes it somewhat unclear whether the space heroes’ new tactic is due to a genuine betrayal or the pretense of one. Possibly this is intentional to keep us in suspense but it makes for a somewhat confusing final page.

The art on the other hand is solid throughout, with the always stunning work of Phil Jiminez capturing the horror of the Everyman massacre with his usual epic flair. Dan Jurgens also turns in excellent pencils in the scenes that follow. While the change in inking and detail level is immediately apparent, the switch does not detract from the reading experience.

52: Week Thirty-Five starts the new year with a bang (among other destructive noises) and catapults a classic antagonist to new heights of villainy.

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