Buy Now!

Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

52: Week Twenty

52: Week Twenty

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 20, 2006

Cover date: September 20, 2006

"God is Fragged"

Writer: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Penciller: Chris Batista (breakdowns by Keith Giffen)
Inker: Ruy Jose
Cover: J.G. Jones and Alex Sinclair

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Adam Strange"

Back-Up Story & Layouts: Mark Waid
Back-Up Art: Kevin Nowlan
Back-Up Inker: Kevin Nowlan

Reviewed by: Barry Freiman

Click to enlarge

Day 1: It's night in Gotham City. We can hear a reporter's news report that someone is leaving tied up costumed bad guys on the roof of police headquarters just like Batman used to do before he vanished. The reporter wonders if Batman's back or if a new vigilante is running around Gotham. Meanwhile, Supernova enters the Batcave and looks around as if he's been there before. He pauses in front of Jason Todd's Robin costume and then appears to find what he's looking for - Lex Luthor's multi-colored Kryptonites implanted in his power suit glove.

Day 3: Steel helps save civilians during an apartment fire in Metropolis. A scientist friend catches up with him and shows him the results of her tests into the metagene therapy - Luthor built into the ability to give powers an ability to remove them as well. Steel realizes this is trouble.

Day 6: The Archbishop Lobo speaks to his followers, that he plans to send them help as soon as they hit civilized space. Lobo's going to go with Buddy, Adam, and Kory. Suddenly the planet is under attack by thousands of globby looking parasitic aliens. The heroes and Lobo defend the populace. One alien tries to use the Emerald Eye and is blown up along with Lobo. Kory takes the Eye and uses its power to destroy the invaders. The heroes save the day. But Lobo, reconstituting himself from his own blood, tells them that using the Emerald Eye of Ekron would have been a clear signal to the entity looking for it - the Emerald Head of Ekron, which is seen floating through space sans one eye. Lobo and the space heroes must leave immediately with the Emerald Head of Ekron now in hot pursuit.

To be continued...

Back-Up Story: "The Origin of Adam Strange"

Back-Up Story: Mark Waid
Back-Up Art and Inker: Kevin Nowlan

Archeologist Adam Strange was being chased by a Peruvian tribe and leapt over a deep gorge - he vanished into a beam of light, which turned out to be a Zeta Beam. Adam was transported to Rann, met Alanna, daughter of Sardath (who invented the Zeta Beam), and they fell in love. Adam learned Rann was a sterile planet with no survival skills - they needed a champion. Adam married Alanna and she became pregnant - giving them daughter Aleea. Due to the events of the Infinite Crisis, Adam is now blind.

2Main Story - 2: This space heroes arc is kind of a snoozer of a story for me. I like the Legion of Super Heroes so it is interesting to get some background into where the Emerald Eye actually came from before it came into the possession of 31st Century Legion villainess and Fatal Five member Emerald Empress. But I find myself losing interest the more this story veers from its primary goal - getting these heroes back to Earth. The only part of this Emerald Eye story that was well-timed was that I read this issue the day before the new TV cartoon "The Legion of Super Heroes" premiered and the Eye figured into the episode.

Lobo has certainly never been a favorite of mine - the one place I do really enjoy his antics is on "Superman: The Animated Series" and "Justice League" but most of the credit for that goes to actor Brad Garrett who voices the Main Man, and the writing which makes him in many ways a true counterpoint to Superman - the responsible use of power vis a vis the irresponsible use of power.

It's only week 20 and I miss Superman. Contrary to what Cassie (Wonder Girl) seems to believe, that certainly isn't Kon-El underneath the Supernova mask even if he does know the way to the Batcave and has an apparent interest in the Kryptonite infused glove that belonged to Kon-El's genetic half-father, Lex Luthor.

The one part of the story this issue I really enjoyed is the brief scene of Steel the hero in action. It's got to be nice for Superman to know that he truly has a second-lieutenant ready to step up whenever Superman can't be there for Metropolis - Steel always seems most heroic when he's trying to honor a missing Superman by doing good for good's sake. I'd like to see Steel keep his Lex-given powers when all is said and done.

Finally, for those of you who don't read the "Batman" titles, Batman left a reformed Harvey ("Two-Face") Dent in charge of keeping the streets of Gotham City clean while Batman's gone. I think that's who's nabbing costumed baddies - though I suppose it could be the Batwoman too. I'd like to see those two cross paths at some point in their mutual Gotham-protecting endeavors.

3Art - 3: For the most part, I enjoyed the art especially in the sections taking place on Earth. The art on the alien world felt crowded and confined to me. The Emerald Head of Ekron reminded me of some of the designs considered for Brainiac's ship in the never-made "Superman Lives" Tim Burton - Nic Cage fiasco.

3Backup Story - 3: I'm not a big fan of these origin stories so far but this one isn't bad. Adam Strange doesn't have a particularly well-known origin so he's a really good candidate for a quick recap of his background. I would have liked to have seen some mention of his frequent team-ups with the Silver Age Justice League but this origin seemed to hit most of the major highlights.

5Art - 5: I really like this story's art. The panels recapping Adam's Silver Age origin story have a Silver Age feel to them. It doesn't hurt that the artist is inking his own pencils and doesn't over-play the dark shadows. Outlandish and garish though it may be, Adam's original costume shows up in all its Santa Claus-colored glory. Art-work wise, my favorite origin so far.

4Cover Art - 4: This is one of my favorite covers. The eye is genuinely creepy and I like the way the green aura permeates the entire cover - with the exception of our heroes, looking particularly heroic, none of whom have green in their uniforms.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2006

February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006

Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.

Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2006.