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52 #3

Posted: Thursday, May 25, 2006
By: Jim Beard



Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Artists: Keith Giffen (breakdowns), Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose and Jack Jadson; Dan Jurgens and Art Thibert (backup feature)

Publisher: DC Comics


For Synopsissies Only: Power Girl finds herself a cowboy but loses him to a Man in Black. Steel points out the benefits of higher education and performs eye surgery. Black Adam receives gifts. Booster Gold eats pavement for breakfast. There’s blood in the streets, so…much…blood…

The Yo!: Best Issue Yet. There’s little to dislike here in Week Three and much to ballyhoo. What stood out strongest for me is the dialogue. Here we have a comic written by a gaggle of writers (and editors) yet it’s a terse, tense, mine ride of moments and verbosity. Comic book dialogue is a beast that can quickly devolve into a barrel of monkeyshines, but this comic illustrates what good, solid dialogue can be. Comment is followed up by pointed response, proselytizing punctuated with fine words, and the common man in the street sounds like, well, the common man in the street. Bravo, gang.

There’s also so much delicious manipulation going on in Week Three. Black Adam is manipulating Power Girl, yet he himself is being wooed by Intergang. Steel is coming down hard on Natasha with the facts, and her frustration is palpable. And then there’s Lex Luthor, King of Manipulation, and a scene that forever cements his domain. And is Booster being manipulated, too? Is he a victim of circumstance or something more sinister? This is an interesting new DCU we’ve been welcomed into, one that is warmly familiar yet frighteningly strange, also.

And very quickly about Steel again: he’s still right and Natasha’s wrong. I hope she’ll see that one day and realize the wisdom in John’s words and actions.

The Meh…: Why is it exactly that we’re in Week Three and Booster Gold seems to be repeating himself? Week One, he performs a spectacular feat and something’s not right. Week Two, he performs a spectacular feat and something’s not right. Week Three, he performs a spectacular feat and guess what? SOMETHING’S NOT RIGHT! Is this all there is to his story? I want to like Booster Gold, not be bored by him. Skeets needs to say, “Booster, something’s not right…and you should do something about it, NOW.” I don’t want to have to speak to you again about this, Booster. ‘Kay?

The Moment: Truth time. We’re all buds, right? I have to level with you. I’m not a Power Girl fan. Not by a long shot. Her supposed charms are lost on me….but…she and her Kahndaquian Knight Errant win The Moment this week. Think about this: ballsy PeeGee chases after a new Terra-Man (how cool is that, 70s fans?) and runs headlong into Big and Black Adam. Cannonball meet Steel Wall. Wow. Is there much of anything or anybody that can make Karen stop and find herself at a loss for words? Adam, who at times has probably wanted to completely ravage Power Girl, shuts down her little speed train and makes her think. Whodathunkit?

I mean, dang. Black Adam rocks. Big comeback from Week One, in my book.

The Line: It was almost “FIVE MILLION, SEVENTY-NINE THOUSAND, FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY-TWO”, but I chose instead, “Yer Supergirl-Lite.”

At first Black Adam’s line hit me like a ton of bricks. Then I realized that that particular sack of building material should have hit me in Infinite Crisis. I never got that sense of loss of life in that miniseries, and I’m kinda miffed about hearing it now. It’s a cool way to shut down PeeGee, but when you come right down to it, our dearly departed new Terra-Man did it better with one simple statement. She’s gonna chew on that one a while, folks, long after she forgets that lil’ number Adam threw at her.

The Character: Lex Luthor. Sure, I’ve talked about Black Adam a lot this week, but when it comes to cajones, when it comes to backing someone into a corner, when it comes to making an entrance, when it comes to getting out of just about any bad situation, you call on Mr. Lex Luthor. He appears in basically two pages yet his presence is felt throughout this issue…and the entire DC Universe. Pretty good for a bald guy with no powers.

Mr. Wanty: I want to see a new artist. Now, that’s not to demean Joe Bennett’s contributions at all, nosiree. It was wise of DC to give us some consistency right off the bat and ease us into 52. Now I want to see some of the other artistic stars in DC’s stable. I also want to see Ralph Dibny back toot sweet. And in costume. And with stretchy powers. Is that too much to ask?



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