52: Week Twenty-Eight


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52: Week Twenty-Eight


  • Words: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, & Mark Waid
  • Art: Keith Giffen & Drew Johnson
  • Inks: Jack Jadson, Rodney Ramos & Ruy Jose
  • Colors: David Baron
  • Story Title: Beyond the Black Stump
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Nov 15, 2006

Before he was given a human body, Red Tornado has some odd adventures in Australia. Meanwhile, Batwoman returns!

52 and the various well choreographed books that led up to it have done something for this reader few DCs books over the past few years have been able to do—get me interested. In the latest installment Renee Montoya and the cancer ridden Question team up with Batwoman—she’s a lesbian in case you didn’t hear—to take down Intergang and defile the prophesy of an evil bible. Red Tornado has some trouble of his own down under and the mismatched, eclectic crew of Starfire, Animal Man, Adam Strange, and Lobo finally face the big green head that’s been chasing them through space.

It is quite the collection of competing stories to wrap your mind around. When you add the fact that there are several more dangling plot lines we just didn’t see this issue, you really have to hand it to Johns, Morrison, Rucka, and Waid. They are doing something incredible here. These four are playing productively in the sandbox that is the healthy history of the DC Universe. Characters of little to no importance are being brought to the forefront, characters who have fallen out of vogue are back, changed for the better, and characters, who were, through this or that twist of fate, lost in the massive shuffles of the nineties are back to remind us why we liked them so much to begin with. I speak, of course, of The Question, Renee Montoya, Animal Man, Adam Strange, Starfire, Red Tornado, and yes, (I know, I know, really?) Lobo. Their adventures, all connected somehow, are highlighted in this, the twenty-eighth week of 52, all plot threads running toward one clearly big ending . . .

The artists, also, are putting their best feet (hands?) forward. Keith Giffen, breaking down the panels, and scenes, has a distinct look the penciler, Drew Johnson, and the inkers, Jack Jadson, Rodney Ramos, and Ruy Jose all add to. The art has a classic sensibility about it that is really only truly done right at DC. Smooth lines, clear backgrounds, and just the right amount of elemental indicators such as blowing leaves, naked trees, desert mesas, and space debris set the proper mood and climate for each scene. The pacing of the splash pages is equally marvelous. They are almost used as covers within the book to tell the reader a new storyline is about to begin. It doesn’t hurt, either, that this information is presented in such a beautiful manner.

Beautiful. That is a good word to describe this epic project. Sure, we may all have issues with the pacing and the bouncing around of plotlines, but read together—which I do, trying to take in three to four issues at a time—this story is an artistic work of genius.

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