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52: v. 1 [Paperback]

Geoff Johns , Greg Rucka , Grant Morrison , Mark Waid
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 July 2007
In the aftermath of the Infinite Crisis, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman vanished for a year. This incredible new series reveals what happened while they were away! Self-serving 'hero' Booster Gold is grabbing headlines; Steel is investigating Lex Luthor's latest masterplan; former cop Renee Montoya is probing the mysteries of The Question; Elongated Man is searching for a way to bring back his wife; and Black Adam is becoming fatally pro-active. Meanwhile, somewhere in space, Animal Man, Starfire and Adam Strange discover a terrifying new threat! Written by Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison, with a host of superstar artists, the future of superheroes begins here!


Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (27 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845765524
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845765521
  • Product Dimensions: 25.6 x 16.8 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"52 encompasses space opera, hard-boiled detective fiction, psychological suspense, light comedy, Grand Guignol violence, medical drama and straight-up good-guys-vs.-bad-guys action..." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Geoff Johns has written scores of comics including Infinite Crisis, Green Lantern, All Star Batgirl, Teen Titans, X-Men, The Avengers, The Flash, JSA and Superman. Grant Morrison is the critically acclaimed writer of Batman: Arkham Asylum, JLA, Seven Soldiers, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, The Invisibles and All-Star Superman. Greg Rucka has written many Batman comics, and is the writer of Checkmate. Mark Waid is the Eisner award-winning writer of Kingdom Come.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book-even without the "big three"! 2 July 2007
Format:Paperback
52 follows on from the events of "Infinite Crisis" and shows how the heroes cope in a world without Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman(the big three!). Even though the story focuses on numerous characters it is very easy to follow and keeps you interested throughout.

I particularly enjoyed the parts of the story that feature Black Adam as his character traits are well explored (from his ruthless side to his very human side).

The artwork is also excellent throughout and each character looks as good as they do in their individual books.

My only slight gripe is that "the question" features a fair bit in it as I do find him a bit boring.

However overall this book is fantastic and I even preferred it to Infinite Crisis.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A TV show on the printed page 21 Mar 2008
Format:Paperback
52 was the follow up to Infinite Crisis, designed to plug the gap between crisis and the one year later stories that were published right after. A year without Superman, Batman and Wonderwoman. What you actually get is the start of several running stories featuring characters who at the beginning of the title at least are 2nd string characters. One thread regarding Gotham cop Rene Montoya and the Question, another about Black Adam, a third showing Adam Strange, Animal Man and Starfire lost in space, another featuring Steel investigating Lex Luthor's latest enterprise, the personal journey of Ralph Dibney and another story showing Booster Gold's attempt to fill Superman's place as hero of Metropolis. That's a lot of stories, but 52 is written like a TV show. Set over a single year, the pacing and multiple story arcs are hard to follow, till you look at it like a TV show. The characters are written with depth and charm. The first volume starts off all the main stories and in that it does a good job, but this is only the beginning. The only complaint is that the art team changes almost chapter to chapter, but the writing team stays constant and in this title, it's the writing that makes it work. It's a long journey, a 52 part story, but if you stick with it's rewarding. By the end, everyone'll have a favourite story and character. The DC universe may have missed Superman, Batman and Wonderwoman, but while reading this, I didn't.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A highly addictive story 8 April 2008
By T. R. Alexander TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
52 was an ambitious series that would attempt to tell the story of what happened during the DC Universes missing year following the events of `Infinite Crisis' an real time. With Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman taking a year out following the Crisis, heroes new and old attempt to fill the void left by their absence. Add to this Booster Gold's quest for corporate endorsements, a Kryptonian resurrection cult and Black Adam's attempts to bring peace to the world in his own way, you get a story that is gripping, addictive brilliantly made.

This volume of 52 includes the first thirteen weeks of this truly ambitious series and despite the number of plot threads, cameos and characters, the story is easy to read and understand. The artwork is universally great throughout the entire series and it is true that this does have the feel of a weekly TV show more than any other comic I have read. The characters that are the main focus of the story are all very well realised, especially Black Adam who is quickly becoming one of my favourite DC characters. 52 is a truly compulsive read that any fan of the DC Universe would be happy with.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Challenging Work... both to the good and the bad 17 July 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
52 was, if nothing else, a grand experiment. Initially, it purported to show what would happen in the DC Universe during a year without Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

Well, the answer there is, as you might expect, pretty much exactly what happens in the DCU books that aren't constantly pandering to the Big Three.

That said, what we do get in these books is an array of talent rarely seen in one place and at one time -- especially as regards third string characters.

While the quality of the artwork varies at times (and with the huge panel count pages no one involved in 52 could be considered a slouch), the writers miraculously provide a consistent and unified tone.

And while 52 does not directly embody the intricacy of an extended Rucka plotline, the unbridled insanity of Morrison, or the straight-up sass of Waid cutting loose; it does show delightful touches of all of three of these authors while remaining generally faithful overall to the work of tried-and-true DC stalwart Geoff Johns.

52 feels more like Geoff Johns on JSA than anything else -- only maybe a bit deeper, a bit nuttier, and a bit funnier -- and for the most part that's a very good thing.

Like Geoff Johns' JSA, you also wouldn't consider 52 an "easy" read. There are lots of panels, lots of tiny text bubbles, lots of storylines running haywire all over the place.

Countdown, the follow-up to 52 headed by Paul Dini, by counterexample, is a much simpler and more straight forward execution. Because of this, in the moment, it feels more engaging -- but does it resonate so thoroughly? Only time will tell.

As befits a book of 52's stature, there are highs and lows, bits that work (Black Adam, Skeets) and bits that don't (Adam Strange, Animal Man, Batwoman). If you plan to read it all, you'll enjoy it. You certainly won't feel gypped. Is it a story that resonates for the ages? No. Is it quote unquote important? No. Does it rival the best work of any of these authors individually? No.

But 52 is a solid story overall and one that in places does manage to captivate the soul.

Casual buyers, bear in mind that none of these trades will contain anything resembling an arc. For a complete story, you must purchase ALL of the 52 trades.

This book: 5 stars. 52, the series: 4 stars.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daring, Inventive, Addictive, Amazing: Weekly Comics Experiement Collected! 3 Jun 2007
By JackFaust77 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought each issue of this weekly comics as it came out and now I've shelled out for the trade paper back. Why? Because 52 is an amazing soap opera read and is like NOTHING you've ever read before from DC. It's landmark, genre-fusing, crazy, and one of a kind.

It really reads well when strung together like this: all the foreshadowing, all that hard work by four of the most talented and creative writers in the business, it's all there from issue one, page one. To complain about the odd pacing issue on a book that came out week-in, week-out for fifty-two weeks is churlish, but as you may or may not now, hard core comics fans can be ridiculously cantankerous. Give em Citizen Kane, they'd moan that it is in back and white, give them The Godfather and they'll bitch that it's not as violent as Scarface.

All the blurbs on the book's back jacket, from almost EVERY major press outlet, is there for a reason. 52 is an amazing accomplishment, a bird's-eye view of the DC Universe that takes us through one year in the life of some of its fascinating second and third tier characters.

The commentary section after each issue is a very nice bonus and offers insights into how the story changed from it's original conception, how it took on a life and momentum all its own, and how the writers and editors came up with many off their brilliant ideas.

In terms of mainstream superhero comics, this is THE series of the last ten years, and it sets a standard of achievement and excellence that will be hard to match! So do believe the hype: this is a rolicking, fun, entertaining read.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars best enjoyed on its own terms 29 May 2007
By The Watcher Uatu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Other reviewers will invariably take 52 to task for a perceived neglect in achieving what they have taken to be the purported goal of this series. And while there is a certain legitimacy to these gripes, they do a disservice to the series which, on its own terms--which is to say, outside of reader expectations--mostly succeeds in weaving together a diverse collection of narrative threads and character arcs, and eventually coming to some rather clever and exciting, if occasionally confusing, conclusions.

It is true that the extent to which it speaks to the One Year Later stories seems almost an afterthought...but oh well. What it does do is introduce new readers (or reintroduce them to comics veterans) to an assortment of lesser-known but otherwise strong characters from DC's B-list and put into motion events that, by the end, allow each of those characters to shine in a way that a universe dominated by the Big 3 seldom allows. DC never entertained the idea that characters of the ilk of Booster Gold and Elongated Man could someday be A-list headliners of flagship titles. That's just silly. Instead, 52 is an ensemble drama that rewards readers for their attention.

If it has a weakness, it is that the real-time gimmick doesn't always bear out very well, as some plot lines seem absurdly protracted in order to coordinate story and thematic climaxes. But thankfully, this only begins to plague the series about two-thirds of the way in. The first collected volume, which only contains the set-ups, still manages to pack a good deal of narrative punch as it puts all of our protagonists into situations within which they are the decided underdogs:

Booster Gold discovers that he may in some way be responsible for breaking time. Animal Man, Adam Strange, and Starfire are stranded in deep space with a bounty on their heads. John Henry Irons stands as the only moral counterbalance to the hollow promises and Machiavellian intent of Lex Luthor's Everyman program. Ralph Dibny (Elongated Man) is living on borrowed time after a near suicide attempt while he attempts to put his final affairs in order. And so on. You may not care for all of these mysteries or all of these characters, but the chances are good that at least one of these plotlines will suck you in.

At its best, 52 is rousing. At its worst, plodding. Though never particularly bad, in my opinion. And the early installments were all fairly well-paced.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A year without Superman or Batman Part one 28 Jun 2007
By Bennet Pomerantz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After Dc Infinite Crisis, Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman vanished...was the world defenseless--NOT AT ALL. This 52 week maxi series divided in 13 issue arcs is what great comics are about.

DC did some housecleaning, but brought heros from ages ago and modern day together. It is good work. It is told over 53 weeks that the Superman, Batman,etc are missing.

However, at this books 13 issue division point, you crave for more and more... and the next volume is a month away-I got this first week in june, next volume is mid july-IT is Depressing

Now what DC comics did is better than the mess Marvel Comics calls the Civil War-It is not Civil, nor it is really intriguing, just a hype to spread over all its lines. This 52 week series uses characters and makes the readership involved-a trick Marvel has done for years. It is also One series of books, rather than millions-BRAVO

I can not wait until volume two--or three--or four...and then its 52 series sequal Countdown..OKAY I AM HOOKED

Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The aftermath 6 Jun 2007
By N. Durham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To say that DC's 52 is ambitious is saying it lightly. While fast forwarding the rest of the DC universe a whole year after the cataclysmic events of Infinite Crisis, DC launched this weekly, real time comic series (hence the title). 52 finds the DC universe minus Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and those that have fallen in the events from Infinte Crisis as well. The series mainly revolves around what could be considered minor heroes, including Elongated Man, Booster Gold, Steel, Adam Strange, Animal Man, Starfire, and the Question among the many others that populate the DC universe, as well as Captain Marvel nemesis Black Adam. In this first volume that collects the first thirteen weeks, Elongated Man finds the grave of his dead wife Sue desecrated and soon learns of a cult seeking to resurrect the fallen Superboy, Booster Gold defends Metropolis seeking fame and fortune for his deeds, Steel finds himself transformed as Lex Luthor reveals a devious plan, Adam Strange, Animal Man, and Starfire are trapped on an alien planet with a bounty on their heads, and the Question teams up with burned out Gotham City cop Renee Montoya, and Black Adam takes over the nation of Khandaq, meets the love of his life, and seeds are planted for future events that could spell doom for all involved. Also here are the debuts of Batwoman and the mysterious Supernova, who becomes the new defender of Metropolis much to the delight of reporter Clark Kent. We also learn the fate of the rest of the space team from Infinite Crisis (Green Lantern Alan Scott, Hawkgirl, Firestorm, Cyborg, Red Tornado, etc.) who return to Earth in vastly different states. Featuring a bevy of talent in terms of writers (Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid) as well as artists (Keith Giffen, Joe Bennett, Ken Lashley, and Jimmy Palmiotti among others), 52 manages to be compulsively addicting as well as confusing for new readers. Despite all that though, 52 has more going for it than some reviews may make you think, and as a follow up to Infinite Crisis, it succeeds mightily. All in all, 52 is an ambitious project that surprisingly works well for what it is, and it's definitely worth picking up if you missed out on the single issues.
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