52 #3 Review

The Revolution has really enjoyed the last issue of 52. This has been a pretty exciting series. I like the weekly format. You never have to wait long to get your next fix. Let’s check out 52 #3 to and see if this issue continues the momentum of issue #2.

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.
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: Week 3, Day 1: Gotham PD is investigating a murder. The victim appears to be Lex Luthor.

We then shift to Power Girl fighting with Terra-Man. Power Girl says “A redneck who can fly. You know, I’d almost pay to know you out.” (Wow, how amazingly racist. If you replaced that racial slur with one for any other ethnic group then this would never get published.)

Power Girl is fighting Terra-Man when Black Adam suddenly grabs her. He tells her to stop. That she is in Kahndaq’s airspace and he will not tolerate her trespass. He tells he is doing what is necessary to protect his people unlike the other super heroes who failed to protect the millions who died during Infinite Crisis. Black Adam tells Power Girl that she has 10 seconds to leave his airspace and to tell all of her friends to stay out of Kahndaq. (Damn! Black Adam is the man!)

Week 3, Day 2: We see John Irons talking to his niece Natasha. She is upset that she isn’t registered for the Future Tech Colloquium next week. Irons tells her that she isn’t signed up because he enrolled her in summer school. Natasha got a “D” in English and Irons says that such a grade is unacceptable. Natasha is upset and says, “Poets do Poetry, I’m a scientist! I’ve got more important things to do than read a bunch of books by dead white guys.” (Wow! Again, another racist comment against you blancos. And they even put the word “white” in bold type to really drive the point home. Man, change the word white to black and make the character white instead of black and that would not get published unless it was a villain talking. You poor blancos. You all get no respect. In America, you guys are the only group left that people can say racist things about and it is considered perfectly acceptable. Well, we love everyone here at the Revolution. All races and nationalities. Including you blancos!) Irons tells Natasha that must apply herself in every subject including ones that don’t come easy to her. S.T.A.R. labs then calls Irons and asks him to come over to perform an autopsy on Lex Luthor’s body.

Week 3, Day 3: We are in Black Adam’s HQ in Kahndaq. Two gentlemen are visiting Black Adam. They offer him gifts including the most beautiful virgin in all of Egypt who is bound and blindfolded and two million in African gold. (Sweet gifts!) The men say that these gifts are a “hello” from their employers, Intergang. That Intergang is looking to expand into Africa and the Middle East and would like to use Kahndaq for safe passage to move their terrorist goods. The men then ask Black Adam what is his answer. Black Adam stares at the man holding the bound Egyptian girl. The man is a white guy who also is un rubio. (The writers are letting us know that not all terrorists are Arab. Great, so now I have to worry about Biffy and Muffy down the street and that they might be packing explosives in their Volvo?!) Black Adam says nothing and reaches out and crushes the rubio’s head. Black Adam tells the other man, “I say no.” Terr-Man than appears and says that he likes Black Adam’s style.

Week 3, Day 4: We see Booster Gold battling Shockwave. Booster Gold takes out Shockwave and then asks Skeets if they made money on the bet they placed on the baseball game. Skeets told him they made plenty of money and that it is time for his meeting with Akteon-Holt, Inc. We then see Booster signing an endorsement contract with Akteon-Holt, Inc at a press conference. Later, at the celebration party, the President for Akteon-Holt tells Booster that his stock options will make him a billionaire once they go public. The President is interested to know why Booster was so certain that such an unknown small company was worth his time. Suddenly, the Secret Service bust in and arrest the President for Securities Fraud. The company is now dead and Booster has lost any chance to make money on his stock options. Booster yells at Skeets for his mistake. Skeets says that he still must be suffering from a malfunction. Booster tells Skeets that he knows who they need to go see: Rip Hunter.

Week 3, Day 5: We see John Irons performing an autopsy on Lex Luthor. He discovers that the corpse has colored contact lenses in his eyes. That Lex’s eyes are green not blue. Irons says that the contacts are spotless and that they must have been inserted post mortem. Irons thinks that Lex Luthor did this. Suddenly, Lex himself enters the room. Lex is followed by a bunch of reporters. Lex whispers to John if he has found and removed the contacts. John tells him to go to hell. Lex then tells the reporters that the body found was a man from another reality. A version of Lex Luthor that only cared about money and power. And that Lex had been held captive in that other reality and only managed to escape moments before it ended. Lex said that if the reporters didn’t believe him then they could ask John Irons aka Steel to verify about his story of Infinite Crisis.

Week 3, Day 6: It is the grand opening of the New York embassy of Kahndaq. Black Adam flies in and hovers above the reporters. He asks them where are Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman? Black Adam says that he intends to gather allies who will send a message to those who may try to take advantage of the absence of the heroes. We see Terra-Man floating next to Black Adam smiling at him and giving him a thumbs up. Black Adam then says that his first message is that people like Terra-Man doesn’t deserve to live. And with that, Black Adam rips Terra-Man in half sending bloody chunks all over the reporters. Black Adam says “It is time for heroes who don’t just patrol the world…they change it.” End of issue.

This issue has a History of the DC Universe back up story. Donna Troy learns of the existence of Earth 1 and 2 and their differences. The computer then tells Donna that Earth 1’s future has survived, but only partially. That there was a Crisis in which all the infinite earths were destroyed. We see the Monitor and Anti-Monitor. End of story.

The Good: This was a pretty solid issue. Since last issue dealt mostly with Elongated Man, the Question and Renee Montoya, we spent this issue around Booster, Steel and Black Adam. I like the alternating storylines with each issue.

The scenes with John Irons were well done. I like Irons’s old school approach with Natasha. The writers really are doing a good job establishing his character. They are also getting me to like a character that I was never interested in before. The autopsy scene shows us how Lex took advantage of Infinite Crisis in order to clear his own name from any suspected wrong doings. The scene was well done. It shows the reader just how amazingly calculating and devious Lex Luthor can be. The man always has a plan.

The scene with Booster Gold continues to show that there is something clearly wrong with New Earth’s timeline. Skeets’ records are no longer 100% accurate. It is obvious that the timeline has been tampered with. And who do we look to when we have timeline issues? Rip Hunter! I’m interested to see just how much of New Earth’s timeline has been messed with and what changes that might mean for New Earth.

The Black Adam scenes were my favorite. Hands down. Black Adam is such a great character. 52 is making me a huge Black Adam fan. DC has a great character with tons of potential on their hands. The intro scene with Black Adam and Power Girl was awesome! I love it! Black Adam is the man. The way he just put Power Girl in her place really shows off his regal and imperious personality.

The scene between Intergang and Black Adam further establishes Black Adam’s hardcore take no shit direct style of action. Clearly, when it comes to Black Adam, actions speak louder than words!

And, of course, the final scene was excellent! The way that Black Adam uses Terra-Man as a “demonstration” for the public was perfect. It had plenty of visual impact. Black Adam is a new breed of hero for a New Earth. Black Adam does what all of us want to so deep inside, but can’t. In general, super heroes do a lousy job protecting the earth. They simply catch criminals who continually escape and kill again. Black Adam is looking to end that cycle. Black Adam’s extremely hardcore view of handling criminals appeals to our darker side. Deep down inside, your average person can relate to just deciding to kill criminals rather than waste time catching them just so they can escape and kill again. This scene exposes the weakness of having heroes that won’t kill. If Batman had just killed the Joker at the start then imagine all the people who would have been saved. This can be applied to nearly every super-hero. It is an uncomfortable realization that heroes who kill truly do save more innocent lives than the heroes that populate the DC Universe.

Aside from the unnecessary comments about blancos, the writing was pretty solid. The dialogue was well done. Each character has their own unique voice. You can tell that the writers have a good feel for each character. 52 is doing its job by getting me interested into characters that I never thought much about before like Steel and Black Adam. 52 is also becoming more fun and interesting to me than Infinite Crisis. There are many mysteries swirling around in 52 and it is going to be entertaining solving all of them.

The best thing about 52 is that it has me excited about the DC Universe in general. Everything seems so dynamic with interesting surprises around every corner. I hope that DC delivers with this New Earth. I hope the changes are more than just the subtle tweaks to the backgrounds of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. If DC fails to deliver with some real changes then the ending is going to seem very anticlimactic.

The artwork is nice. Bennett draws a great Power Girl and a nice Black Adam. The action scenes are well done and have plenty of motion. The art adds to the story and makes this an enjoyable title to read. I also like the layout of the panels. It gives the story a nice flow.

The Bad: This issue wasn’t very fast paced and really only furthered one major plotline and one minor plotline. We explained how Lex Luthor would clear his name. And the rest of the issue was spent of establishing Black Adam’s position in this New Earth and what his plans entail. Compared to 52 #2, this issue was a bit of a let down. The Booster Gold storyline is starting to get stagnate. The writers have already pounded into our heads that Skeets’ history records are off. We get it. Move on and start investigating why they are incorrect.

I also am not too sure where Steel fits into 52. All the characters seem to have a very definable storyline except Steel. Is his storyline going to be about him trying to expose Luthor for the fraud that he is? I hope so. Either way, they need to bump Steel’s storyline along a bit.

These History of the DC Universe back-up stories have been incredibly useless so far. They are extremely short, which is ok if there is some type of progress with each story. Instead, the first two have been boring and really haven’t gotten going yet. It is like reading a Rex Morgan comic strip. It takes 2 weeks just for a character to finish a 2 minute conversation. Hopefully, they will get these back up stories moving and a little more interesting.