52! Week Twenty-Nine

By Johns, Morrison, Rucka, Waid, Giffen, Batista, Jadson, Sinclair, Fletcher, Richards, Schaefer, Wacker, Siglain. Cover by Jones and Sinclair.

52 was a weekly series published by DC Comics starting in May, 2006. Because I had my 52nd birthday in late 2020, I thought it might be interesting (fun?) to examine this series for its 15th anniversary. I plan to post once a week about each issue. To read previous posts, click the link (52!).

Synopsis

“Name Calling”

Week 29, Day 2

Wildcat and the original Green Lantern and Flash are the only ones who gather at the JSA headquarters, lamenting the possible end of their team. Outside, the members of Infinity, Inc. pass by as part of a Thanksgiving parade. Inside, Wildcat grumbles that these new kids “fight with no heart”. It is then that Infinity, Inc. introduces its newest member, Jade.

Obsidian appears, telling his father, “This isn’t right.” Jade tells the onlookers that she and the rest of Infinity, Inc. are here to do the superheroes’ job better. Obsidian then breaks through the window, demanding that Jade take off her uniform. Green Lantern steps in, stopping his son from doing any more harm. Nuklon tells Green Lantern that “the world doesn’t need antiques watching out for it when it’s got hundreds kids like us.”

On Oolong Island, the mad scientists have gathered for dinner while Sivana carves a ptero-turkey breast with a chainsaw. Dr. Magnus leaves the table after being drenched in ptero-turkey, and Dr. Cale follows him, revealing that she knows he stole Komrade Krabb’s gold watch. She also tells him that her specialty on the island is alien technology: “A higher, brighter, more terrible world has fallen to earth …. Oh, to live in such times. To see the world changed, forever.”

Chung Tzu arrives, seemingly irritated that he was not invited to dinner. He then demands an update from Dr. Magnus on the slow-moving Plutonium Man project. Dr. Cale then suggest that Chung Tzu remove Dr. Magnus’ medication to allow his “wild, dangerous, creative streak he’s been suppressing” to return. As guards take Magnus’ meds, he begs Professor Morrow for help.

At JSA headquarters, the Flash and Wildcat have finished boarding up the windows and Flash leaves to join his family, leaving Wildcat alone.

Well 29, Day 3

Dr. Avasti visits the Steelworks and finds John Henry Irons’ silver skin falling off. He tells her that Luthor’s Everyman program has “an expiration date.”

Thoughts

In the spirit of the issue’s title, there’s nothing sadder than a bunch of has-beens complaining about the new generation, right? And how appropriate that my least favorite DC Comics character is the whiny baby doing the complaining? Put a sock in it, Wildcat! I did like the panel where Green Lantern says, “Extant is dead,” with a picture of his dead daughter behind him. Though, maybe that was a little too on the nose?

When Obsidian assaults the new Jade, demanding she take off her uniform, now!, what did he expect her to do, unclothe in public? There was talk in this issue about how Obsidian has been crazy before but that he’s now better, but is he? Given how the “old” guard acted in this scene, perhaps Nuklon has a point?

The table setting on the splash page was kind of fun, especially with the ptero-turkey tray on a set of tracks (though, given how long the tray is, there’s no way it could turn the small corners) and the sheer glee on Sivana’s face as he slashed that bird.

In her last appearance, Dr. Cale seemed to be sane amongst the insane, but her discussion with Dr. Magnus and later her pricking her finger and sucking her blood proves otherwise. Plus, she is a cold one revealing Magnus’ Achilles heal as she did (but how did she know about his medication?).

It’s unfortunate that the creators decided to lean into the absurdity of Chung Tzu in this issue. He’s already absurd looking, but why also make him insecure and homicidal? It just served to diminish his authority to me. However, Professor Morrow’s silent indifference as Magnus was hauled away, pleading with Morrow to help him, only made Morrow more interesting to me. As Sivana told him, “Thank God there’s still some real evil in you, Tom. Thought you were turning pansy.” While this a great bit of characterization, I still have hope that Morrow will end up helping his former protégé.

By god, I am starting to loath Steel and his constant whining about Luthor’s experiment. Put up or shut up already, Irons! If something doesn’t change soon regarding this lot, Steel may join Wildcat on my most-despised list. They should have just given us another two-page Origin instead of this broken record.

New Comics Wednesday (3/18/20)

Happy New Comics Wednesday!

Go here for a complete list of comics releasing this week.

What are you getting this week?

My comics

  • X-RAY ROBOT #1 – I love me some Allred
  • STARSHIP DOWN #1
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE #43
  • ROBIN 80TH ANNIVERSARY Special – Robin (Dick Grayson) is my favorite comic book character, so I’m happy to celebrate his 80th.
  • TREES TP VOL 03 – Can’t wait to read the conclusion of this story.
  • UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #5
  • VALKYRIE JANE FOSTER #9
  • ARTEMIS & ASSASSIN #1
  • DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN #5
  • MONEY SHOT TP – It sounded interesting but not enough for me to buy the singles. But I heard enough positive things about it that I ordered the trade.

Other comics

  • IMMORTAL HULK TP VOL 06 – Didn’t order it but should have.
  • MARVELS 25TH ANNIVERSARY HC – But is it worth $50?
  • SPIDER-WOMAN #1
  • ARCHANGEL 8 #1 – I almost ordered this one. Maybe I’ll get the trade.

What are some other comics I missed that I should buy?

 

 

New Comics Wednesday (3/11/20)

Happy New Comics Wednesday!

Go here for a complete list of comics releasing this week.

What are you getting this week?

My comics

  • JOIN THE FUTURE #1 – I forgot to mention this last week.
  • KNIGHTS TEMPORAL TP – I also forgot to mention this one last week.
  • GREEN LANTERN SEASON 2 #2
  • HAWKMAN #22 – I’m loving the Pasarin art!
  • SUPERMAN #21
  • DECORUM #1

Other comics

  • ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GHOSTS ORIGINAL GN – A younger readers book that sounds like a fun read.
  • JUST IMAGINE STAN LEE CREATING THE DC UNIVERSE TP BOOK 01 – I’ve read a few of these issues and was not wowed by them, but it’s an interesting piece of history.
  • STEALTH #1 – I almost preordered this, thinking if I hear some good buzz about it I’d get the trade. Let me know how you like it, yeah?
  • HISTORY OF MARVEL UNIV TREASURY ED TP – I so very much want to read this, but I’ll wait for the trade paperback.
  • DAIRY RESTAURANT GN – I totally missed this before, but now I’m intrigued. This is an example of the power of comic book/graphic storytelling knowing no bounds!
  • NICNEVIN AND BLOODY QUEEN GN – This book was on my short list, but I ultimately passed on it.
  • SWEET HEART #1 – Another book I seriously thought about ordering.

What are some other comics I missed that I should buy?

Best comic I read recently

JUSTICE LEAGUE #40 by Robert Venditti, Doug Mahnke, Richard Friend, David Baron, Tom Napolitano, Andrea Shea, and Alex R Carr, with cover by Bryan Hitch and Jeremiah Skipper

Justice League returns to my pull list because Robert Venditti is writing it. I dropped this title shortly after the Rebirth relaunch because I just don’t really care for Scott Snyder stories. But Venditti is awesome, and he’s got Doug Mahnke visualizing the story, so there’s a great team here. I understand that this story takes place prior to the story Snyder and company were telling that ended (for now) in issue 39, but it does occur after recent events in the Superman and Batman titles (i.e., Superman having revealed his identity to the world and the death of Alfred), so that’s not confusing. I don’t particularly care for yet another Eradicator story, but I do like the interaction between the characters, especially the conflict between Batman and Flash. Even better, Madame Xanadu makes an appearance, though it’s a different take of the character than the one shown in Hawkman last year, but I don’t mind the apparent incongruity — continuity isn’t that important to me anymore. I heard Venditti on a podcast explain that DC wants him to tell shorter stories, so I’m looking forward to where he takes these characters.

New Comics Wednesday (3/4/20)

Happy New Comics Wednesday!

Go here for a complete list of comics releasing this week.

What are you getting this week?

My comics

  • KING OF NOWHERE #1 – I usually avoid stories whose descriptions include “has no memory of how he got there”, but the cover image of the guy holding a balloon fish and the other part of the description (“Lovable drunken lowlife Denis awakens on the outskirts of a mysterious village called Nowhere, home to a friendly populace of deformed, mutated, just-left-of-normal citizens…”) had me intrigued enough to buy it.
  • WYRD TP – Finally!
  • DREAMING #19
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE #42
  • STRANGE ADVENTURES #1 – Looking forward to this.
  • MARKED #5
  • BLACK WIDOW WAID/SAMNEE COMPLETE COLLECTION TP – I got the first few issues of this, dropped it, and regretted that decision.
  • DRYAD #1 – This was the sort-of-like Saga book that I decided to try.

Other comics

  • FLASH #750 – Should I have bought this? I love milestone issues, but the Flash, especially Barry Allen, just doesn’t interest me.
  • ROBIN YEAR ONE TP NEW EDITION – The original release was a fun read.
  • EMBARRASSMENT OF WITCHES GN VOL 01 – I can’t decide based on the solicitation if this is something I want to read, but I am intrigued.
  • MARVEL #1 – I’ll get this when it’s collected.
  • POWER PACK CLASSIC OMNIBUS HC – I almost ordered this.
  • STRANGE ACADEMY #1 – Another book I’ll read in trade eventually.

What are some other comics I missed that I should add to my Buy list?

Best comic I read recently

STAR TREK: YEAR 5 V1

Episode One writing and art by Jackson Lansing, Collin Kelly, Stephen Thompson, and Charlie Kirchoff

Episode Two writing and art by Brandon Easton, Martin Coccolo, and Fran Gamboa

Episode Three writing and art by Jody Houser, Silvia Califano, and Thomas Deer

Letterer: Neil Uyetake and Cover Artist: J.J. Lendl

Star Trek Year 5 v1

What a fantastic adaptation and continuation of the live-action sci-fi series that I have loved since I was five! The artists actor likenesses are great but not appearing photoshopped, and the various styles mesh well between the episodes, giving us a visual continuity. Also, they all draw the Enterprise very well, something not all artists who have worked on Star Trek comic books can do and is something I demand, dammit!

I like how these collected six issues involve elements from the original series (Tholians, a return to the “A Piece of the Action” planet, and an unknown alien presence), as well as introducing or expanding on new elements. Uhura is shown as more integral to the bridge crew and a leader. The banter between Sulu and Chekov about Spock was a fun twist on the humorous aspects of the franchise. And we get to see more of the crew — in fact, this Enterprise is full of personnel, as it should be.

I may do a spotlight podcast episode on this trade in the future, but if you are a Star Trek fan, you should read this comic book!

Retro Review: Adventure Comics #459

Direct Download (49:09)

Adventure Comics #459

Pulled from the longbox, I talk about Adventure Comics (v1) #459 (cover date September/October 1978). This dollar comic format featured six “all-new super-star features,” including the Flash, Deadman, Green Lantern, the New Gods, Elongated Man, and Wonder Woman. Let’s find out if it’s really a “fabulous first issue–launching the most exciting new comic of the decade!”

Adventure Comics #459 back cover
Back Cover

Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, chat with me @longboxreview on Twitter, and visit longboxreview.com. Please subscribe, rate, and review the show via Apple podcasts.

Thanks for listening!

Continue reading