10 May 2006

Here's To A Lean, Mean Year (CS)

I'm gonna assume that most of our readers (which would be 3 out of the 4 people that read this site) aren't comic book nerds, so I'll try to make this as easy on you as possible.....
So 52 is this crazy ambitious project DC is putting out. A serialized comic dealing with the entire DC Universe that comes out every week in a world where monthly issues being several weeks (or months!) late is the norm? You don't say! So I thought, in honor of DC's ever ambitious efforts, I would make an ambitious effort of my own, do something I've never done before, and dissect/review a single comic book as one big post. Mind you, this will mostly be snarky and ridiculous. If you're looking for a real, smart analysis of 52 then there are places you can go. This is not one of those places.

Now, after Infinite Crisis, most members of the nerd community were expecting some sort of bold new direction from DC. Most seemed to be hoping for a new direction that was the old direction, what they thought was the light hearted days of the gold and silver age. Feed our nostalgia! Yeh well DC's got news for you. Comics were then, are now, and apparently always will be ALL ABOUT DICKERY. Let's be honest, assholes sell comic books (and I mean that in the least pornographic way possible). Millar's Ultimates is pretty damn popular, people love just about any title Garth Ennis touches, and Warren Ellis is notorious for hard cunt leading men and also notorious for being widely loved by many readers. This sort of no holds barred, grim, meanness seems to be what DC is shooting for and I'll follow suit as well. So you might wanna keep the children away from the screen because like Ennis and Ellis and all those smarmy fellas, when I feel like being a wise-ass, out comes the profanity.... And without further ado, away we fucking go!

"52: Week One"
"It Starts Here!"

Well yes, of course it starts here. At one. What a novel concept. Sure you don't wanna release a "Countdown to 52" first? Maybe a "52, Week Zero!" ?? C'mon DC, MILK US DRY!

On the bottom of the cover we see: "Where are Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman? ..."
Dude... Who fucking cares??? I bought this issue because The Question and Booster Gold were on the cover. After watching Supes, Bats, and Wonder Woman stand around with their thumbs up their asses while the entire world was going to shit I could use a break from them anyway.

Pages 1 & 2
So we get several panels of those "fragments of reality"TM spiraling into a bright light as they create the world. Kinda interesting trying to see which images DC decided to showcase here. Lots of screaming and angry faces. Except Booster Gold who's flashing the pearly whites. Good ol' Booster, we can always count on him.

Page 4
We get the idea at this point how the first three main characters have been spending the beginning of their week. Ralph Dibney is STILL moping around, being a general puss and fishing for sympathy with Bea on the phone. Straight up pathetic.
Steel is being one industrious s.o.b., appearing all over the world, helping out where he can. Stepping up to the plate and busting ass, damn commendable. I like this guy.
But I really like Montoya. What do you do when you've had a shitty day/week/year?? If your answer wasn't "Live in a bar for three days straight and get totally shitfaced" then you gave the wrong answer and no, you cannot run with Montoya.

Now that's my kind of gal.

Page 12
After throwing down the smackdown on Mammoth (I feel like he's been a bit of DC scapegoat lately, poor guy), Booster gets the inside track from Skeets that Metropolis is still upset over Superboy's death and Booster plays the crowd like they were a finely tuned kazoo. He pours on the waterworks and everything, oscar winning! This is some dickery of the highest order. This is what we call finesse dickery. Just look at that man go!

Poetry indeed, Skeets!

Page 18
Steel grounds his daughter. Pun absolutely intended. Damn good parenting. That's the sorta parent I want to be. You are entitled to nothing! DO NOT TOUCH THOSE COOKIES!!!! That's it... I'M GETTING THE HOSE!

Page 21
You know what? I admire Black Adam too. A bit of an over the top nationalist, but he really just wants what's best for his people. Heart of gold, that Black Adam. And really, isn't this how we really want to deal with terrorists?

(I'm not even joking here.... I think this panel let's us live a bit vicariously through Black Adam as he takes the power back in a situation that has left us feeling powerless out here in the real world time and time again. Given the chance, I think this is what almost all of us would do.)

Page 24 & 25
So we sorta get a bit of a roll call here as we see people showing up for the memorial service. Looks like Klarion, Frankenstein, and Manhattan Guardian are still alive, so I'm pretty happy about that. Mr. Miracle is there, but who's to say whether it's Scott Free or Shiloh Norman. Personally I'm pulling for Mssr. Free (sorry Morrison, but Kirby wins this round with me).

Pages 26 & 27
Booster gets a bit of a bad rap for being a bit of a dick. You might say to yourself, "If DC is embracing dickery, no wonder they have Booster as their lead character!" To which I must say, "You unobservant ninny, Booster's just keeping it real!" I mean, Booster might be a bit cocky, but he doesn't spend his time talking shit behind other heroes' backs....

And none of the other heroes seemed the least bit concerned that Booster's main compadre, Skeets, appears to be dying.

Yes, Booster wears advertisements all over his body like some sort of whore (which I might remind you we saw first in the Mystery Men movie), but he's gotta pay the rent somehow! Not all of us can be aliens, or millionaires, or members of a huge union. Yes, it's the other so called heroes who are mostly dicks. It seems that Booster (and to an extent, Steel as well) will serve as our rocks of decency in this sea of Assholes.

Sidenote: pg 26 has a half image of Aquaman, leading us to wonder, just when/where does he get messed up/dispatched so that we can have Sword of Atlantis???

Page 28
This is the sequence I bought this book for. The Question peels Batman's signal off the spotlight and sprays his own in its place. I am totally ready for badassness, Question style. (also, hey, DC, would you mind collecting that Question mini-series you did? I mean, all you have to do is publish one copy. I'll buy it. C'mon guys, please?)

Page 29

I guess that's supposed to be a bottle of wine.... but let's just pretend Montoya is chugging straight bourbon.

Page 30
Things to come. More question! Booster and a plane! Somebody's all up in the Fortress of Solitude!!! Yeh, I'm on board.
All in all, a good start for a series I'm pretty excited for. Steel is admirable, Booster is fun and well written, Montoya's an alcoholic (and we always know THAT'S entertaining), The Question just kicks all ass in general and Ralph.... Well, let's just hope things shape up for Ralph's story arc, cuz he was just depressing.
My only question is.... Why didn't Black Adam make the cover? RACISM!!!!