Friday, October 21, 2011

Review: 52, Vol. 4

52, Vol. 4
52, Vol. 4 by Geoff Johns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(This review is for 52, Vol 1-4. I couldn't separate them out in my mind.

52 is the story of what happens between the end of Infinite Crisis (after which Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman disappeared for a year) and Year One, where there was a bit of a reboot/change in the status quo. The story revolves around... well, almost all of the characters you've ever cared to hear about in the DC Universe. There are many storylines that weave themselves together into a wonderful whole - Booster Gold and Skeets trying to figure out why history is changing and having some pretty bad things happen to them through out; Black Adam finally finding peace with a woman he loves, only to have that peace ripped from him by people who refuse to believe that he could have changed; Renee' Montoya, former cop whose life has been spinning out of control, meeting the mysterious Question and having her life change tremendously; Adam Strange, Beast Man and Starfire being stranded in space, desperate to try to find a way home; Steel and his niece, Natasha, standing on opposite sides of a battle instigated by Lex Luthor, Not to mention all the other super-heroes who are trying to make sense of a world without the big three. This is a truly epic story that any fan of the DC super-heroes should check out.

My Thoughts: I'd heard a lot of things about 52 while I'd been reading some of the other graphic novels that came across my desk. And almost unanimously, it was said to be one of the best. Most recently, while reading Gotham Central, I heard about it again when told that Renee' Montoya has a large part in the storyline that spanned 52 issues in one year. So I requested them from the library.

Unlike other times when I've gotten books, I waited until I had all four volumes before I started reading. And I'm glad that I did, since I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning - when my eyes could barely stay open - turning pages to find out what was going to happen next. It was truly a world-encompassing story and gave me fantastic introductions to some characters I'd never heard of before, and yet found myself loving. The story was full of surprises, the plot was very tightly written (especially for a series with the kind of time crunch these authors were on - for those unfamiliar with the world of comics, they are usually released in 16 page monthly books. This year-long series was released in 16 page weekly books.). I found myself crying a few times through-out the story, which has always been one of my indicators that a story is good. If it can give me strong emotion, then it's one that was good. And this is one of the few that I want to own, not just have to borrow from the library. I was seriously blown away by all four of these books and the complete story in general.

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