Conservative Comic Book Pundit

Thursday, September 28, 2006

So - how is DC's 52 shaping up? (spoilers)

Well, DC's foray into a weekly non-anthology series hit issue #21 this week. From a scheduling standpoint, this is amazing - especially in an industry that is (in)famous for comics coming in months late (I think I saw a copy of Ultimates 2 #12 in the store this week as well. Issue 13 will be out in mid 2007 at this rate), DC deserves serious kudos for keeping this series on track and on-time.

But it adds up to very little. There is only one seriously intriguing mystery: What's up with Skeets and why is he evil? The other mysteries make little sense, and the Ra;[h Dibny/Elongated Man storyline seems rather pointless.

The Lobo/Starfire story arc has the potential to be fun, but so far it seems to exist merely to give us "peek-a-boo" T&A shots of Starfire. Lobo as interstellar Pope should have been more fun, but instead it seems rushed and unnecessary.

Luthor's dastardly plot seems to have potential, but given that the rest of the comics in DC's line-up are "one year later" there's no suspense as to what happens to Luthor.

All in all, it seems more of a marketing gimmick than a serious attempt at a series. Plus, the Question isn't on panel enough.

2 Comments:

  • While I can admire the publishing experiment of 52, I think the execution of it has been a disappointment overall. The trick to managing a "crazy quilt" of sub-plots is to quickly string a common thread through all of them, but I don't see that happening nearly as fast as it should have. By this point, there should have been some serious "convergence" taking place...and not just the Question and Montoya jumping to Kandaq.

    In defense of the series, there are many great ideas and cool concepts rattling around in 52, but because of the scattershot approach and the storytelling demands of its real-time progression, they simply get lost in the shuffle. As a "fly-over" of the fringes of the DC universe, it succeeds...as a coherent story...not so much.

    I will commend DC on one point, though. By and large, I think they've managed to convey a much more positive spirit to the storyline (despite the occasional shocks or PG-13 nonsense), unlike Marvel's dank, thinly disguised political screed in Civil War.

    By Anonymous Mark Engblom, at 11:51 AM  

  • I have to admit to having recently jumped Marvel's ship to look in on the DC universe myself. The New Atom and Donna Troy as Wonder Woman are both very intriguing from the point of view of someone who has read only occasional comics. A recent issue of Batman's comic stood out as a self-contained story (when has that every happened in recent years?). Yet the primary draw for most of these comics is that some of my favorite artists were still active at DC (John Byrne, for instance, in the recently-ended Blood of the Demon series). The "event" comic isn't really grabbing me right now because it comes across at yet another continuing crossover.

    It is interesting seeing the contrast in how DC and Marvel are viewing their respective properties. I get the feeling that while Dan DiDo is trying to keep the former in touch with the basics of its main characters (and only doing superficial changes to a few minor players), Joe Quesada and his cohorts are just pissing all over Marvel's for the sake of generating controversy and have chosen to forget entirely what made some of these characters so unique between the two superhero universes. I'd rather have a Wonder Woman who vaguely remembers events from her past which may have happened in another world for another generation than to have a Spider-Man constantly retconned to have connections to metaphysical entities when the radioactive spider bite would still come in just as handy today as it did back in 1963.

    By Anonymous Yusaku Jon III, at 5:01 PM  

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