Here we are at the halfway point in this title. It has been a fun ride to the mid point and I’m sure it is going to be a blast as we rocket toward the end of this series. 52 #26 should be a pretty good read. Hopefully, it is a bit faster paced than the last issue. Let’s do this review.
Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid
Penciler: Patrick Olliffe
Inker: Drew Geraci
Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Week 26, Day 1: We see the Black Marvel Family dropping The Question and Montoya off at some remote location in the Himalayas. Black Adam thanks both of them for their help and tells them that the Black Adam Family counts them as friends. The Black Adam Family then take off. The Question and Montoya then meet up with one of The Questions’ friends named Aristotle Rodor as well as the Question’s teacher, Richard Dragon. Dragon is now going to teach Montoya.
Week 26, Day 2: We shift to the “You Are Wrong” Show hosted by Jack Ryder who can be seen as The Creeper over in his currently ongoing mini-series. Jack’s guest is Steel. Steel tells Jack that Lex Luthor’s Everyman project is putting people at risk by placing untrained metahumans out into the populace. Jack then announces his special secret guest who is none other than Starlight, Steel’s niece. Starlight says that Steel and the older heroes are just jealous that anyone can become a metahuman now. Starlight says that Infinite Inc. is very well trained to handle all types of missions.
Week 26, Day 4: We zip over to the Sivana Family’s mansion. Georgia and Junior are in their father’s basement laboratory messing with some of his equipment. Their mother, Lady Sivana calls for them to come to dinner. They leave the basement and we see some reptilian creature lurking in the shadows. The door bell rings and Lady Sivana opens the door to reveal her dinner guests: The Black Adam Family. Lady Sivana welcomes them in. Black Adam makes it clear to her that her ex-husband, Dr. Sivana is no friend of his. Lady Sivana says that she donated $20 million to Kahndaq’s Children’s’ Hospital so that Black Adam and his family would accept Lady Sivana’s dinner invitation and to consider helping her family find the missing Dr. Sivana.
We shift to Oolong Island where the mad scientists are complaining about the fact that the newest scientist to be arriving at the island is a woman. Dr. Cales is the newest scientist and once she enters the lab, all the dorky evil scientists are stunned by her beauty and all rush to help her get some of her necessary equipment.
We cut back to the dinner between the Sivana Family and the Black Adam Family. Black Adam agrees to take searching for Dr. Sivana under serious consideration. Osiris then snaps. Osiris finds searching for Dr. Sivana to be ridiculous. That they should be fighting the Sivana Family and not eating with them. Osiris says he is tired of flying around the planet attending one function or the other. That he wants more. That he needs friends. Osiris then storms off.
Suddenly, the giant reptilian creature from the basement jumps on the table, grabs the turkey and then busts through the mansion’s walls to escape. We then see Osiris outside in the garden. Osiris then spots the giant crocodile creature with the turkey. The creature begs Osiris not to hurt him. That he was originally a crocodile that Dr. Sivana performed tests on to mutate him to his current state. That he was locked up in the basement and hadn’t eaten for weeks. That he just took the food because he was hungry. He wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. The crocodile creature then says that he wishes he had friends. Osiris asks the creature for his name. The creature answers that he doesn’t have one. Osiris then replies if the creature would like one. End of story.
We then get a two page back-up story about Hawkman and Hawkwoman. End of issue.
The Good: 52 #26 was a very average read. This just may be the weakest issue up to this point. The dialogue was as solid as usual, but this issue lacked the chemistry between the various characters that we have seen in previous issues. The only time that there was any chemistry was the scene on Oolong Island. I love how all the various mad scientists interact with each other. And the dialogue was pretty humorous.
To be quite honest, there really wasn’t that much that I found to be particularly interesting with this issue. It was cool to see Jack Ryder worked into the 52 storyline. I’m glad that DC is making an effort to integrate this new Creeper into the overall framework of the DCU.
The writers continue to pare away at the various plotlines by merging them together with each issue. In 52 #26 we see the Black Adam Family folded into the mad scientists’ plot line. This is a logical step since both plot lines involved Intergang in some form. I do like that the Black Adam Family seems to have taken center stage on 52. I like all three characters and I’m enjoying seeing the writers portray them as major players within the DCU.
Of course, I don’t think we have seen any of the members of the Black Adam Family in any of the One Year Later storylines. It makes me if they survive the events in 52. I certainly do hope so. While I’m not too sure Black Adam could support an ongoing monthly title, I would definitely love to see Black Adam get an 8 or 12 issue mini-series. One of the biggest achievements of 52 has been the maturation and development of Black Adam’s character.
The Bad: 52 #26 was extremely slow and uneventful. I don’t mind a slow issue if it is building toward something. However, I didn’t get the feeling that this issue was building up to anything at all. Instead, 52 #26 read was just slow and boring.
The entire scene with Steel and Starlight on the Jack Ryder show was completely unnecessary. It just re-hashed the same argument that we have read over and over between these two characters. This plot line feels stuck in neutral.
The scene with The Question and Montoya meeting up with the Question’s old teacher, Dragon, was quick and also rather uninteresting. Plus, if this is all leading up to Montoya getting trained to become the new Question then I will be extremely displeased.
The scene on Oolong Island also seemed like a wasted scene. We get to see the introduction of Dr. Cales as the newest scientist on the island. That’s it. Eh, I just couldn’t care less.
The dinner scene between the Black Adam Family and the Sivana Family was also rather pedestrian. I have no interest at all in the crocodile creature. He is just another generic monster. I can’t see this particular plotline leading into a direction that would captivate my interest. We know from the current Teen Titans story arc that Osiris eventually is a Teen Titan for at least a little while during the events of 52. Since I already no this, I just don’t find Osiris’ plot line of needing friends to be particularly fascinating.
52 #26 just read like a total filler issue. This issue was a bland read. It was a rather colorless story. It seemed that the writers just needed a break so they cranked out an issue that required very little effort to write. At the half way point, the writers appear to have lost a bit of momentum. The past couple of issues have not been of the same quality as the previous issues.
The art on 52 #26 was also below average. However, this isn’t really much of a surprise. 52 hasn’t boasted art on any previous issues that was anything particularly special. The rather unimpressive art was probably much more noticeable on 52 #26 because the story was also weak. Usually, the strong writing has been able to carry the average artwork.
Overall: 52 #26 was my least favorite issue so far on this title. This issue was slow, boring and uneventful. Those are words that have been rarely associated with 52 before. Hopefully, this is just a temporary hiccup. I think this is probably just a momentary lapse of concentration on what has to be a rather grueling title to write.