Wednesday, April 25, 2007

52 #51

Nope, it's not a preview of Countdown, it's my thoughts on the penultimate issue of DC's weekly series.

I want to start off by saying here that overall I've enjoyed 52, and I don't feel that DC has somehow scammed me out of my money without providing a decent book. I'm a fan of 52. But whether it's my own nature, or just the nature of fans in general, I'm probably going to speak a bit more about the things that I wasn't happy with than with what I like about the book.

Having read issue #51 a few hours ago, and having just skimmed over it as I wrote a plot synopsis for's online comic book database, I have to say that the overall impression that I get is one of missed opportunities. This is something my neighbor Chad and I have discussed some. 52 had a lot of plots flying around, but in all honesty the thread that feels the most ignored to me is the one that seems to have been the main plot.

Which story do I mean? Ultimately, I guess I mean Booster Gold and Skeets' story. Why do I think this one was meant to be the main story? Skeets actually seems to have some idea of what '52' means. When 52 first came out, monthly books, taking place One Year Later would occasionally have references to the number 52, including the Guardians of the Universe all saying '52' at the same time, referring to something that Hank Henshaw might know. Red Tornado, one of the heroes who fought in space during the Infinite Crisis spent the missing year with the number stuck in his voice box. DC's even teased us with advertising asking us if we've figured out the mystery yet! Umm... what mystery? That Renee Montoya is the new Question? Yeah, I figured that one out a few weeks ago, thanks.

I like Renee Montoya as much as the next guy, and I know she was always meant to be one of the main characters in the series... but was her story always supposed to be as large as it turned out to be? As near as I can tell, she appeared in 28 issues of 52. That's over half of them. The previous Question, Vic Sage appeared in 20 issues. Now I know Montoya/Sage's story wasn't the feature story in every issue, but that's a large portion of the series.
Some could say that I've just got a case of sour grapes that my favorite storyline in the series didn't get quite as much attention. I'd answer by pointing out that this story was important enough that apparently the book was titled after it, and it was mentioned elsewhere in the DC Universe. That's more editorial attention than World War III got, and we got five books full of World War III in one week.
I just caught myself saying that I wish we'd get four one-shot issues to wrap up the Booster/Skeets story. But after having read World War III, maybe I should be glad we haven't. But then again, maybe we're about to. The first issue of Coutdown is scheduled to hit a week after 52 ends, right?

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