Fifty-Two takes a more streamlined approach, focussing more on individual plots in these issues.

Title: 52 #37-40

Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid.
Artists: Chris Batista, Joe Bennett, Keith Giffen, Hi-Fi, Jack Jadson, Pat Oliffe, Alex Sinclair, et al.

Covers by J.G. Jones and Alex Sinclair.

Supporting features by Jamal Igle, Phil Jimenez, Ethan Van Sciver, Alex Sinclair, Mark Waidet al.

Premise:

  • We finally learn the identity of Supernova—and bizarre doings occur in the Fortress of Solitude which, since Infinite Crisis, resembles its crystalline Hollywood incarnation.
  • The space-lost heroes leave Animal Man, supposedly dead. He awakes, however, to see the aliens responsible for his powers—extra-terrestrials who, when last seen, also explained to him that he was a comic book character.
  • At great personal cost, Montoya takes the dying Question to Nanda Parbat, but arrives too late to save him.
  • We behold some of the creations of the Island of Mad Scientists.
  • Osiris blames himself for the disasters that beset Kahndaq.
  • Ralph Dibny appears, briefly, among the ruins of Atlantis.
  • We learn more of Luthor’s plot as he gives himself superpowers. John Henry Irons, back in his old Steel outfit, leads an assault against Lex Luthor and his cronies.

Origins: Firestorm, the Red Tornado, Mr. Terrific. These are the second editions of each of these characters.

High Point

The Road to Nanda Parbat sequences feature some excellent and touching artwork. I really like this plot. It seems that Montoya will become the next Question and, while this represents an interesting development, I’m sorry that DC may lose one of their most interesting, non-costumed supporting characters.

Low Point

I liked Steel’s return to form and his assault on Luthor Tower. However, even a superhero yarn should have some reasonable limits. Did Irons have to receive injuries of quite the magnitude described, and still be able to soldier on? Did Lex Luthor’s plotting have to veer so ridiculously far into megalomaniacal delusion? Did the fight need quite so much expository dialogue?

And if Rip Hunter has the access to the technology demonstrated here, why is he not a deity?

The Scores

Originality: 3/6.

Artwork: 5/6. The artwork has improved in consistency.

Story: 4/6. I liked the focus on fewer stories, made possible by the fact that so many plots have been established. I found that, even by comic book standards, certain segments seemed needlessly over the top.

Characterization: 4/6.

Emotional response: 4/6.

Flow 5/6. Flow improves, as the writers cover fewer story arcs in each issue

Overall: 5/6.

In total, 52 #37-40 receive a score of 30/42.