52 Week 020-1

52 #20 Review

52 is usually a very dependable read. I really enjoyed the last issue. 52 #20 appears to be focusing mainly on our heroes lost in space. Honestly, this storyline is quickly becoming one of my least favorite storylines. I’m not too sure why. Maybe it is due to Lobo and the fact that I have never cared for his character and there is nothing about this “new” version of Lobo that I find very compelling or intriguing. Anyway, let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid
Penciler: Chris Batista
Inker: Ruy Jose

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: Week 20, Day 1: We see Supernova snooping around the Batcave. He finds what he is looking for: Lex Luthor’s Kryptonite-powered glove.

Week 20, Day 3: We see Steel helping firemen save people from a fire. Kala, his scientist friend, comes running to the scene. She has important papers for Steel to review. Evidently, her research has led to the discovery that Lex Luthor’s metagene therapy allows Lex the ability to take away the superpowers that he has given to anyone who has received his metagene therapy.

Week 20: Day 6: We see our lost heroes in space with Lobo. Lobo’s church and his flock of followers are suddenly attacked by a form of interstellar carrion that feeds off dead and dying planets. They kill and eat just about anything. Animal Man finally gets into the action and uses the bizarre alien powers of the creatures around him to blast away a bunch of these interstellar carrion creatures. Starfire joins the fight. However, it is hopeless. The carrion are too many and too destructive. Lobo’s space dolphin asks Lobo to use the Emerald Eye to destroy the carrion. Lobo says that he can’t use it and the dolphin knows exactly why.

The carrion then devour Lobo. The Emerald Eye of Ekron falls out of its chest. Starfire realizes that the Eye is the only thing that can save them all. She grabs the Emerald Eye and kills all the carrion with one massive blast. We then cut to a massive head-shaped spaceship with one green eye locked onto the glow of the Emerald Eye of Ekron that emanates from the planet where Lobo’s church is located.

52 Week 020-3

Lobo regenerates from his own blood and tells Starfire that she just signed their death warrants. That the use of the Emerald Eye set off a signal to Ekron. That the Emerald Eye of Ekron was ripped from the Emerald Head of Ekron. Now, Ekron is going to tear the cosmos apart to get the eye back. With that Lobo suits up and tells our heroes to hitch to his space bike so they can try and escape.

We are “treated” to a two-page origin of Adam Strange. End of issue.

The Good: 52 #20 was a pretty solid issue. The scene with Supernova in Batman’s Batcave was very interesting. Very few people know about the location of the Batcave. Plus, the fact that Supernova was looking at the Robin outfit and then Lex Luthor’s armored fist full of different Kryptonite rocks seems to hint that Supernova may indeed by Kon-El. I just don’t think that DC would bring back Kon-El and then kill him a second time. We know that Kon-El is not alive in all of the One Year Later storylines. I think that the writers are just trying to throw us off with this scene.

The scene with Steel did reveal a neat little nugget of information with the fact that Luthor can take away any powers that he gives a person via his metagene therapy treatment. That comes as no real surprise. Lex Luthor has a God complex. Would he ever offer people wonderful powers without retaining the ability to take those powers back if that person crossed Luthor’s path. Nope. What Luthor giveth he also taketh away.

The rest of the comic dealt with our heroes lost in space. Being a big Legion of Super-Heroes fan, I dig the Emerald Eye. So, I thought the Head of Ekron blazing a path of destruction in an attempt to get its eye back was pretty cool. This should provide for a pretty entertaining storyline in future issues.

After seeing Animal Man sitting on the sidelines for the first 19 issues, it was nice to see him in action. The action scene was well-paced and nicely done.

The Bad: 52 #20 was my least favorite issue so far. This issue felt like it was stuck in neutral. I don’t mind a steady and measured pace for a weekly title, but this issue was too slow for me. The overall feel and structure of this story were a bit boring. The only scene that really grabbed my interest was Supernova’s opening scene which only lasted for two pages.

Steel’s four-page scene was too long and oddly constructed. Having Kala, the S.T.A.R. Labs scientist come running onto the scene of the fire waving her papers containing her revelation concerning Steel’s powers and Lex Luthor’s metagene therapy was goofy. It felt forced and clunky. The fire scene wasn’t necessary and didn’t serve any real purpose. This scene could have been handled on one page with Steel visiting Kala at her lab to review the test results.

52 Week 020-2

The scene with our heroes in space just fell flat for me. Yeah, the battle scene was nicely paced. And I did like the revelation of the Head of Ekron coming looking for its eye. But, that is about it. The rest of the scene was crammed full of boring dialogue. There was a noticeable lack of chemistry between the characters. This entire scene just came across as sloppy and unfocused.

The entire Church of the Triple Fish God and their followers’ storyline is poorly constructed. It is terribly developed and explained to the reader. I have no sense of what in the world Lobo is doing with the Church, why the followers are following Lobo, and what their purpose is supposed to be. It just seems poorly delivered and comes across as a bit messy and vague. It also isn’t particularly interesting. I honestly don’t find myself even remotely curious or interested in this storyline.

I also still find Lobo to be an extremely dull character. DC promised a Lobo as we have never seen before. Yeah, he has taken an oath of non-violence. Great. That is it. Lobo’s personality is still as generic and monotonous as ever. At this point, the writers have failed to get me interested in Lobo’s character.

This issue simply lacked the “pop” and excitement that the previous issues have generated. Usually, we get several new exciting twists and turns with each issue. 52 #20 was just a very flat issue. The dialogue was average and there wasn’t much quality chemistry between the characters.

Overall: Every title, no matter how good, is going to have an issue every now and again that is a snoozer. 52 #20 is that issue. It is unrealistic to expect a title that is coming out weekly to hit a home run each and every week. 52 #20 was not that interesting, but this title has still been great to read. I’m sure that the next issue will pick up the pace and excitement.