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52 Aftermath: Four Horsemen #6

52 Aftermath: Four Horsemen #6

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 9, 2008

Cover date: March 2008


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

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Wonder Woman does battle with War across Oolong Island, along with most of its inhabitants.

Superman battles Death in Bialya.

Batman has managed to contain Pestilence. He and Mr. Terrific, with Snapper listening in. Snapper informs them that the horsemen have left their hosts, meaning, the current bodies they are fighting in.

Superman, fighting Death, is taken over by Famine.

Veronica cale, taking a piece of Apokolips technology and meshing it into a form of rock, swallows the piece, considering her role in their creation. Caulder taunts her as she staggers out to confront the threat.

Wonder Woman, fighting War, is taken over.

Superman arrives on scene, as does Batman. Veronica Cale staggers out, using the technology inside of her to withdraw War and Famine from Superman and Wonder Woman. Death arrives, and with a throw from Wonder Woman, Cale springs to Death and takes Death as well.

The threat seemingly over, they consider what has happened to the essence of Pestilence. Batman explains that it tried to take him over a while back. He casually dismisses the fact that Pestilence is inside him, and asks Cale how long it will be until she can remove the Horseman.

Wonder Woman, Clark, and Batman speak of the threat over dinner at Wayne Manor.

Snapper debriefs with Terrific and suggests that Caulder needs watching. Terrific suggests that Snapper might be the right man for the job.

Veronica Cale goes under the knife to take the Four Horsemen out of her body.

4Story - 4: There were a few elements of this plot that I didn't like as much as the rest of the issues, but it's still a pretty strong resolution for what I found to be a quite enjoyable series.

Cale as Deus Ex Machina is a bit hard to buy without any precursor or build-up, but it does speak to character, and it's quite sensible that she's the instrument to stop the baddies where the heroes were not. It strengthens her as a character and allows the dilemma to resolve itself without the typical cheesy "FIGHT IT!" scene when a hero is controlled.

I just re-read 52 in the trade form, and the commentary indicates that Cale was to be killed before folks fought for her life, and ultimately it ended up with the scene where Black Adam passes her by for creating the Horsemen. With her death, this story wouldn't have resonated nearly so well, and I had fears they would kill her here, but now she lives, a powerful force in the DCU and a strong female villain who isn't dressed down in tights and objectified. I quite dig that.

The takeover was a bit simplistic, but it was made up for by the motion of the plot, which overrode the stereotype, and the pacing of the opening scenes are one of the better set of drag-ins in near memory, with the huge splash page that is really just one panel in the larger double splash page. Fantastic. That should go to the artist, but it was written as such no doubt as well, so credit here.

All in all, I like what this story did for Snapper, too. He's a character for me, now, and I look forward to perhaps seeing him in Checkmate.

There were two points of confusion as well, when Snapper reports the Horsemen have ditched their bodies before they do (odd). That bugged me.

Also, Superman gets taken over mentally, and Squad K were not immediately there to smack him senseless. Come on, guys, Squad K is SO RAD! (He said glibly, snorting.) Sorry. Shouldn't even have mentioned that story in the same review as this one.

5Art - 5: Still as strong as the last issues, and the splashes alone are enough to make you want to look at this book again. Usually splashes are a waste of time and flashy crap, in my opinion, but here they're utilized at the appropriate and apt time, and really drag you into the story. Awesome work, top to bottom, and a key reason I'll buy this if they trade it.

5Cover Art - 5: A gal friend of mine looked at this cover and laughed. "RAR! I'm Superman, and I have ripped off a giant metal guy's head! Rar! I'm Batman! I'm gonna use a batarang on someone who's already down! Rar! I'm Wonder Woman, and I'm lassoing a cloud!"

She's got a point. It is a bit of a cheesy pose. I don't care. I still enjoy it. This is one of those rare cases where I can overlook the cheese factor in favor of love of the composition. I think it's the colors coupled with the level of detail coupled with the poses, which I enjoy. Only Superman's semi-Liefeld chest bugs me, but I had to really look to see that. Otherwise, I enjoy it even if Famine doesn't look like famine.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2008

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