Review: The Four Horsemen #4-6

Wetched mowtahl! Yuuwd wiw make you watch whiwe he sucks the mawwow fwom yuh bownes!
–Famine (“Yuurd”) follows Fudd after being super-punched in the mouth.

This six-issue follow-up to 52 features DC’s Big Three and a handful of others battling the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The series ended this past week and a trade doubtless will be released soon.

Is it worth reading?

Title: Fifty-two Aftermath: The Four Horsemen

Writer: Keith Giffen
Art: Pat Olliffe, John Stanisci
Hi-Fi: Colors

Issues #1-3 were reviewed November 4.


Bialya, laid waste by Black Adam, refuses all but the most basic international aid and definitely does not want metahuman assistance. Nevertheless, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and a handful of other heroes and villains become involved when they realize that the Four Horsemen were not destroyed during 52, and have assumed new forms.

High Points

The series does a passable job of showing DC’s super-community working together, but not always harmoniously, against a large-scale threat.

Batman’s interaction with a rather arrogant Snapper Carr is almost funny.

Low Points

If the intention is mindless escape, so be it. But if DC wants to stretch a story over six issues, they need to give us more. The could really develop the characters, for example. This story, in particular, had potential to examine the familiar heroes, the villains, and Snapper Carr in far more interesting ways than we see here.

Personality-wise, the Horsemen are largely undifferentiated arrogant comic-book villains who talk like Victor Von Doom on grain fungus.

The Scores

Originality: 2/6. Heroes face an adversary based on an old mythic concept, the heroes themselves have been compromised, they have to work alongside villains for a common cause, the adversary has a vast army of walking dead to assist them, and the most important person may be the representative of the average man. Sound familiar? The setting is somewhat unusual (and grim) for a mainstream comic, but it recalls the worlds of a thousand videogames and “dark” pop culture stories.

The handling of Snapper Carr has potential, but it plays a comparatively small part of the story.

Artwork: 4/6. As with the previous issues, the artwork varies in quality. Some of the battle scenes are effective. The art team obviously rushed some illustrations.

Story: 3/6. The story didn’t need six issues to unfold.

Characterization: 4/6. This is where this story should have been more successful. 52 by its nature had too many characters, and inconsistent development of them. The Four Horsemen has a handful of leads, and Giffen clearly wanted to develop them. He gives us some snappy, character-driven dialogue and an epilogue with DC’s cliquey Big Three (the fannish name, “the Trinity” has apparently been given to them in the DCU by Lois) sharing dinner. A greater sense of character, and less time with uninteresting secondaries, would have helped make this event comic something memorable.

Emotional response: 3/6. We have here a mediocre series with a few good moments.

Flow 5/6.

Overall: 4/6. This may interest fans of DC’s greatest heroes, and it features a number of fight sequences.

In total, The Four Horsemen #4-6 receives a score of 25/42.

Since I’m Griping Anyway

Is it just me, or is the ad for Terminator: the Sarah Connors Chronicles that currently appears in many comics (and in Horsemen ) overly tacky and somewhat offensive?