Saturday, May 10, 2003

52 #1 Review

As I mentioned in my bit on Infinite Crisis #7, I found it hard to blame the creators all that much for Infinite Crisis #7 being a bad comic, because it was clear that everyone involved was rushed way too much, and as a result, the product suffered.

52 #1 really does not suffer that much from being rushed, but there was enough minor problems that DID seem to be a result of rushing that has to make one worry about what the future will hold for this book, being weekly and all.

I am a fan of all the main characters of 52, save Black Adam, so this project is right up my alley (Morrison and Giffen being involved doesn't hurt, either).

And, for the most part, this is a nice beginning to the one year later story. Joe Bennett is a better artist than he shows here, because he's obviously drawing in a hurry (look what that resulted in in Infinite Crisis #7! YIKES!), but Giffen's breakdowns are very solid. In fact, outside of the waste of space on the first two pages, I think they did a very nice job of cramming a lot of story into this issue, Giffen Five Years Later style (not THAT much, but still, more so than a typical comic book).

Some of the characterizations I did not have a problem with. Black Adam, obviously. Steel has barely been around enough to HAVE a personality, so I will cut people slack there. Renee Montoya, while going down a cliched road, is going down the route in character, which makes sense, as Rucka is involved in this story.

Most surprisingly, though, I do not have a problem with the Elongated Man's scenes. Is it lame seeing the Elongated Man stick a gun in his mouth? Of course, but that's not the fault of these writers - that's the state Brad Meltzer left him in. So if we have to see some silly, over-the-top stuff with Ralph before they build him up and send him on neat adventures, I'm okay with that.

The problems I had are ones that fall more under the "paying attention" category. Stuff like the cover of the book "Where are Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman..." when that questioned was answered already. Fire talking to Ralph one way, while Rucka is currently writing here a whole different way in Checkmate. Booster Gold acting one way in Infinite Crisis, written by Geoff Johns, and acting a whole other way in 52, written by....Geoff Johns! Or Dr. Light! Didn't she lose her powers or something? I'm pretty sure she lost her powers. And why is there a huge ass statue to Superboy?

This is all minor stuff now, but if you can't get it right in issue number ONE, what the heck will happen for issue number twenty-seven?

As for the overall issue, it was a decent story. I think there is some definitely nice groundwork set up here for some interesting future stories down the line. This issue though, I don't think I can recommend.

Read the Review


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it something creepy about Booster Gold on that cover? Or is it just me? He's wearing a corset! Creep. :D

5/15/2006 04:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Jer said...

"Fire talking to Ralph one way, while Rucka is currently writing here a whole different way in Checkmate."

Not to defend anyone here, but the Checkmate stuff is "One Year Later", so I can see how Fire might undergo some events during the next year that turns her into however she's being written in Checkmate.

And the big-ass Superboy statue was built by whatever company they contract with for Superhero memorials - those things are always up way too quickly. They must have a warehouse of these granite statues that they roll out whenever someone dies. (They probably make 'em replaceable at this point too - easier to roll them out when someone comes back to life and put them back into storage than it is to build a new one everytime somone dies...)

5/15/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meltzer did not leave Ralph in that state.
At the end of Identity Crisis, Ralph had come to terms with his loss and reconciled his feelings.

5/15/2006 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Nef said...

At the end of IDC Ralph was talking to his dead wife like she was right there next to him.
How is that good?

As far as trying to commit suicide, well he did lose the house a day before that. It was the only thing he had that reminded him of his wife.

5/15/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Chuck T. said...

"They must have a warehouse of these granite statues that they roll out whenever someone dies."
Awesome, jer, I had the same idea! They probably don't even take the wheels off the Metamorpho statue anymore...(Over at Marvel, Alicia Masters, the Thing's old girlfriend, has carved approximately several thousand statues, for just such an occasion.)

5/15/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

Anon-2: Meltzer has a pretty fucked up idea of what "reconciliation" is.

5/15/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Evan Waters said...

Nef: Ollie had specifically told Ralph, "You know, I've been dead, and I can tell you, talk to your wife, she'll hear you."

It strikes me as, at the least, a decent coping mechanism. And in a universe where the existence of an afterlife is as close to objectively certain as you can get, it's not that eccentric either.

The house being destroyed, though, I can see that as driving him a bit further to the edge. I just don't wanna read it.

5/15/2006 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

It was all set-up. Read like a part one of fifty-two. I thought it was unfulfilling, and honestly kinda boring. (Except for the bit with the Question.) Hopefully there'll be a complete story next week.

5/15/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

"Not to defend anyone here, but the Checkmate stuff is "One Year Later", so I can see how Fire might undergo some events during the next year that turns her into however she's being written in Checkmate."

The whole "The Bea you know from JLI was an act" thing was from the OMAC Special that Rucka did, which was set before 52 #1.

5/15/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

And yeah, having conversations with your dead wife is, to me, the exact opposite of settling.

Quite unsettling, really.

5/15/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blame Ollie! He's the one (fresh from the Afterlife, you know) who egged Ralph on into acting like Mrs. Dibny was just unusually quiet that night.

Hell, why Raplh would take advice from Ollie in the first place is questionable.

5/15/2006 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger DCUBoy said...

If I were Ralph, I would be thinking of killing myself too. I really think your complaints about 52 are rudiculous. It was great!

5/15/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Generally, you would offer up something more than "rudiculous," perhaps a reason why they are "rudiculous."

5/16/2006 02:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Chris M said...

Is Ralph no longer elongated? When? How? Why?

by the way, as a long-time lurker - great site!

5/16/2006 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff R. said...

The last issue of Identity Crisis had a big case of Gingold in the trash bin at Ralphs. Now, it's not clear (what with all the reality-punching going on) what Ralph's powers' relationship with Gingold was at that point, but "He's given it up, and thus lost his powers" or "He lost his powers due to the trauma, bought some Gingold, and either didn't use it to try and get his powers back or it didn't work" are all plausible.

(And I think that rudiculous is a perfectly cromulent portmanteau word combining 'rude' and 'ridiculous'. But that's just me.)

5/16/2006 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Oh, sorry if it came off as though I was making fun of the spelling!

I wasn't - I just figured that I was damned either way, if I corrected the spelling, it would look like "Oh, look at me! I'm correcting your spelling!" and if I DIDN'T, it would look like "Oh, look at me! I'm mocking your spelling!"

I was just quoting the word because, well, that's what I do when someone tosses out a charge without backing it up.

If someone said, "Your review was moronic," I would say, "What exactly was 'moronic' about it?"

5/16/2006 08:44:00 PM  
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I enjoy reading the report, too. It′s easy to understand that a journey like this is the biggest event in ones life.
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