How do I choose when to give this series a full review? Divine whispers, friends.

*Soldiering Forth Dept: As many of you probably already know, DC officially cancelled orders for Seven Soldiers #1 the other day, with resolicitation to arrive at some point in the indeterminate future. But peering downward at the Newsarama comments section reveals some interesting additional info from artist J.H. Williams III - it seems his run on Detective Comics with Paul Dini will now last only one issue (#821) initially, to be followed by Seven Soldiers #1, then an eventual return to Detective. The Seven Soldiers #1 script is finally done, it seems.

And in other Morrison project news, over at Barbelith Cameron Stewart offered some Seaguy 2 updates in response to hints that came out of WW Philly:

I HAVE heard from a couple of relevant people at DC that while Seaguy 2's status was formerly absolutely dead, its condition has now been upgraded (if you'll forgive the terrible metaphor) to merely in a coma with a weak pulse, with a slim chance of resuscitation. So, that's something, and suggests that we should all sit waiting patiently at the bedside for at least a little while longer.”

Keep clicking through the thread for some lovely Fred Hembeck art.

52 #5 (of 52)


Starting off a new month, and a new art team, Chris Batista & Jimmy Palmiotti, joining series regular Keith Giffen. They’re ok, though absolutely nothing stands out.

I’ve found that The History of the DC Universe is a lot more entertaining on a week-by-week basis if you imagine that it’s taking place in semi-realtime in the same manner as the rest of the book. Like, Donna Troy hears about Supergirl’s death in Crisis on Infinite Earths and starts to cry at the end of issue #4, and then she goes home for the week, goes to work, watches television, does some internet research, maybe posts on a message board, and then dresses in exactly the same glittery cabaret ensemble to return to New Cronus and confidently declare “The Anti-Monitor.” Which is what I try to say whenever I enter a room too. Such thoughts kind of take the drag off the fact that this week’s installment is another four pages of synopsizing the original Crisis. The captions keep flying and Donna keeps crying - I bet the orb had to summon the waaaaambulance to carry her home this week.

Anyway, the main story of this week’s feed takes place the morning after the end of last issue, as everyone runs around trying to get the recently ‘recovered’ space heroes stabilized. I like the image of Alan Scott wandering around in full red, blue and green regalia, with an eye patch now stuffed under his little mask (at least on the inside of the book, though I’ll be an optimist and presume the cover takes place before he got the thing) - it’s a good symbol of the simultaneous goofiness and portent these stories can manage in their more deft moments, as is the bit with Steel charging up his armor to use his hands as a means of artificial resuscitation.

That’s about the loudest the action gets, though - most of this issue wavers between explorations of superhuman medicine (kind of interesting) and ponderous consideration of the tragedy of Infinite Crisis (not interesting whatsoever). It is all sort of redeemed by an amusing punchline ending in which we discover that the mourned, feared dead trio of Starfire, Animal Man and Adam Strange wound up getting teleported to pretty much the nicest planet in the universe, although there’s some sort of danger on the loose and Adam’s eyes apparently got blown out, so he’s feeling up his spaceship’s innards like a sci-fi Zatoichi (wouldn’t it help to take the gloves off?) while Animal Man lounges around in his jacket and underpants and Starfire cavorts in the raw. For added amusement, watch Animal Man’s line of vision throughout the sequence.

Actually, despite so little happening, a good three additional plots (counting the aforementioned mystery in space) manage to get started this issue, while major characters who’re otherwise unoccupied watch television. Some sort of threat called ‘52’ is coming, striking a blow for the obvious. Sinister Lex Luthor seems to have developed a procedure to make everyone a superhuman; it’s pretty damn obvious what that’s most reminiscent of, though I actually found myself thinking back to the ‘humans wanting to be mutants’ theme Grant Morrison and Joe Casey inserted into their concurrent runs on New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men, not to mention the grand finale of the former’s run on JLA. I wonder what Morrison might do with this material, the plot point possibly recast as a matter of genuine security rather than philosophy or fad. I also think it would help to have Montoya carrying a bottle of booze and a laser pistol around every time she appears for the remainder of the series, because it’s funny.