52 #21-24

The many plots continue to develop and, in what may be a significant development or a quick jab at Marvel, the U.S. government considers a superhuman registration act.

Title: 52 #21-24

Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid.
Artists: Marlo Alquiza, Chris Batista, David Baron, Eddy Barrow, Joe Bennet, Keith Giffen, Shawn Moll, Todd Nauck, Tom Nguyen, Alex Sinclair, et al.

Covers by J.G. Jones and Alex Sinclair.

Supporting features by Dan Jurgens, Andy Lanning, Jerry Ordway, Ivan Reis, Alex Sinclair, Mark Waid, et al.


Dr. Magnus turns rogue, and we finally learn where the missing scientists have gone. Luthor’s super-team makes its debut, as does a wannabee Justice League, a dubiously-qualified Super Chief, a Junior Black Adam, and several beneficiaries of Luthor’s hero program. Doubts increase regarding Luthor’s plan. Adam, Isis, the Question, and Montoya crash Intergang’s grim party. We learn what Martian Manhunter has been up to, while Ralph Dibny’s quest takes surprising turns.

Origins: Green Lantern, Wildcat, Booster Gold.

High Point

The writers see the value of Business Class Luthor; the contrast between his polished public appearance and egoistic, evil soul becomes clear in these issues. This guy doesn’t need a purple-and-green exoskeleton to rate as Superman’s #1 foe, and that makes him an interesting character.

Issue #23 features some dark turns and some of the best sequences of the series…

Low Point

…However, #23 overall featurs some of the weakest artwork. More than any other, this issue demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of a weekly series created by so many different writers and artists.

The Scores

Originality: 4/6. Some interesting twists appear in these issues.

Artwork: 4/6. The artwork continues to vary.

Story: 5/6. I remain interested in where each plot is heading.

Characterization: 4/6. I’ve addressed Luthor elsewhere. Black Adam and Dr. Magnus show, at least, a mainstream comic version of complexity. Ambush Bug allows for laughs, as his mad ramblings suggest that he knows he’s in a comic book. Other characters remain underdeveloped, but this the writers are doing well, considering the number of characters we see.

Emotional response: 4/6.

Flow 4/6.

Overall: 4/6

In total, 52 #21-24 receive a score of 29/42.

It’s becoming difficult to say anything new about this series with monthly reviews, so the next three reviews will appear bi-monthly and cover eight issues each.

The Timeshredder’s reviews may be found here.