52 #1 Review (Take Two)

The Revolution has been extremely excited for 52. Our fearless leader has already done a fine review and synopsis, so I’ll just be adding my two cents in.

Creative Team
Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka & Mark Waid
Penciler: Joe Bennett
Inker: Ruy Jose
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating:7 Night Girls out of 10
Total Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10


The Good: The glory of this series is in the details. The West Wing, probably my favorite show in recent memory, did that well. Every second contributing something, and many of the small details important. Some highlights for me include:

  • They show the gun in the first panel of the first day. Reminded me of the story about if you’re going have a gun go off in Act 3, it has to appear in Act 1.
  • Establishing, on Page 1 (not counting the New Earth Pages) that their was a significant toll on the civilians, and a quiet reminder of the dedication of the emergency folks that have to respond to it. Like the French policeman’s son being missing, but he being on the job.
  • The facial expression on Renee Montoya. They are not, in any way, glamorizing her smoking or drinking, and that look in her eyes showed you everything they were trying to say. And, btw, 52 Pickup?
  • The St. Louis Fireman is from precinct 52. Hmmmm. And hot Dididodogs?
  • The title of the comic is from Shakespeare. “Golden lads and lassess must (like chimney sweepers come to dust)”. Booster is not very sympathetic in this issue, and seems to be heading for a fall, while most of the others seem to be near bottom and starting the climb back up.
  • The pasts with Steel and his daughter could have been any father/daughter argument. And I very much like Steel as he has always been portrayed, as a stand-up guy.
  • Thank you for not killing Azrael!
  • Is the Question looking at Montoya, or at the reader?
  • I like Renee. She has a long road back, and we’ve definitely established that.

I liked this comic, and am looking forward to this. It did not wow me in the same way that Countdown, or Issue #1 of Infinite Crisis did, but in a 52 issue limited series, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. The art is great. The artist tells as much story in the expression of these characters as is in the exposition, his style clear, easy to follow and invocative. The Bad:The book doesn’t hook you in, and is short on sympathetic characters. Booster, Renee, Ralph, the Question, all are done having the worst week ever, and while you might feel a little sympathetic, watching Booster’s alligator tears, or Renee’s drunken stupors, or Ralph about to off himself, they do not necessarily endear you to them. Steel seems to be the only one moving on and acting the hero. I hope we start rooting for more of the characters soon.