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52 Aftermath: Four Horsemen #5

52 Aftermath: Four Horsemen #5

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 26, 2007

Cover date: February 2008

"Dead Reckoning"

Writer: Keith Giffen
Penciller: Pat Olliffe
Inker: John Stanischi

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Mr. Terrific and Kalid argue over Veronica Cale's motivation with the Four Horsemen.

Meanwhile, Caulder and Cale argue over Doom Patrol's potential action as Roggas (War) attacks Oolong. Cale eventually accedes, and Caulder goes to work.

Yuurd attacks Superman, who blasts him with heat vision. Superman recovers even as his illness spreads, wrapping his cape around Yuurd's neck, riding him up into space, and then smashing him down to the Earth. Yuurd is staggered, but so is Superman, who feels his illness taking hold.

Batman does battle with Zorrm (Pestilence), using his arrogance embedded within his new human form to keep the beast focused on Batman, enabling him to take him down with morphine (as opposed to antibiotics, as morphine, presumably, relieves pain. Or maybe he just put him to sleep. I just saw a deeper subtext there - Neal).

Snapper Carr continues to be flip, so Batman smacks him when he again refers to Superman as "Clark."

Superman arrives with Yuurd, and the pair prepare to fight Death.

On Oolong, War recalibrates his weapons and breeches the shield. Cale watches in horror as her island is decimated, and moves to gather weapons as the dead march on her lab.

Outside, Wonder Woman confronts War...

5Story - 5: Okay. I'm buying the trade if they offer one. Flat-out, this is awesome. This is one of few tethers keeping me in comics. A character-based study set in the awesomeness of 52, just like Crime Bible.

I just read 52 in the course of three days, top to bottom. Outside of the context of the wait, in a single read, it's one of the best comic stories I've ever read. This series is a compliment, which says a lot.

Batman and the morphine, very nice. Superman's courage in the face of failing health. Cale, especially, losing her potential empire. It gives you sympathy for this utterly loathsome woman, which is hard to accomplish.

The one point of contention people may have was Snapper getting slapped around by Batman and being played like an idiot, but I personally think it's being handled very well, and though the slap might have been technically out of character, the laugh it generates is more than enough to keep me in. And heck, IS it out of character for Batman to smack a guy for annoying him? Heck, that's the basis of his character! But Snapper IS supposed to be a good guy. Still, it reminded me of the South Park moment with Brooke Shields (wasn't it?)

"I farted once on the set of "Blue Lagoon!"



I'm still laughing.

But beyond that, taking a concept like the horsemen of the apocalypse, which has been done to death, and revitalizing it and making it into an awesome story with the DC mains has me really looking forward to each issue and enjoying this series.

5Art - 5: This art is detailed, subtle, and awesome. From the opening spread with War, to Cale's expression that draws pity, to a trick I am totally stealing from these guys, the subtle foreground clue that you have to go back to see (the rat, which looks like set dressing but is actually a foible... see Pestilence)

Beyond that, though, every character, every scene is strong and vivid. I see a bit of Giffen everywhere, if I'm not totally crazy, and it shows.

3Cover Art - 3: For all the rocking aspects of this issue, this cover was the weak link. Roggas looks like some kind of plain villain figure here, and the use of the big three stuff is archetypically almost lazy, with a cape, the tiara, and the utility belt in a less dynamic way. The lack of a background hurts it too.

But the detail is there, so it's not awful, just not incredible.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

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