One year. 52 issues. 52 weeks. And it all comes to a head with the psychedelic return of DC’s Multiverse. I don’t know what to say.
DC’s weekly series, 52, finally ends this week. I can’t believe I stayed on for all 52 issues. There were some totally awesome issues and scenes, but there were also some sucky episodes and WTF moments. All in all, it was a fun ride. But I won’t go through another weekly series again. Yeah, I’m skipping Countdown. Why? I need more money for beer and videoke battles. And probably for my future kids’ college fund.
With that totally wussy statement, I end my weekly love affair with the whole DC universe. And since I missed two (count ’em, two!) Weekly Haul posts, this is going to be a long one. Three weeks worth of comics, coming up! With SPOILERS on top!
52 #50: World War III begins here! This is probably the most action-packed and most awesome issue in the whole series. The action doesn’t let up as Black Adam brings the whoop-ass to the Marvel Family, China’s Great Ten, the Justice Society, and practically every active DC hero! And he almost wins! Almost.
Captain Marvel basically changed Black Adam’s “password” to his powers, so by issue’s end, we get a de-powered Adam roaming the streets of Kahndaq. You just know that he’ll be back to kick some more ass.
Awesome line: “Send soldiers. Send armies. Send them all.” – Black Adam telling the whole world to bring it
Rating: 5 out of 5 brilliant ways to turn off someone’s powers.
52 #51: After last issue’s big shebang, we’re treated with quiet, reflective, and touching stories in this penultimate chapter to the whole 52 saga. The heroes from space come home, and the rest remember those who have fallen during the crisis a year ago.
We finally find out what the hell’s going on with Skeets. Mr. Mind, a dude who’s supposedly just a worm with eyeglasses, is behind all the time/space shit, and he’s now blossomed into a hideous otherwordly creature resembling Mothra. Right.
Awesome line: “Did Roger order a stripper?” – Animal Man’s wife after seeing Starfire collapsing on their front porch
Rating: 4 out of 5 fish gods blown to bits by Lobo.
52 #52: It ends here. The Multiverse returns and is saved from being butterfly food for Mr. Mind by Booster Gold and Supernova. Yeah, don’t ask.
We learn that there might be a new Isis. Ralph Dibny’s story isn’t over. Skeets is back. And the new Question and Batwoman may see some more adventures. Interesting, but I won’t be sticking around the DCU that much to find out where all of this is heading.
Awesome line: “I’ll lay my eggs in your belly!” – Mr. Mind threatening to lay his eggs inside Supernova which is just gross
Rating: 4 out of 5 big words and phrases I may never ever understand.
Astonishing X-Men #21: Yay! I got the variant edition again! And it screams sexuality. Love that Frost queen.
This series is a joy to read. It would be the most awesome series in the history of all awesome series if it comes out monthly. Joss Whedon is putting a whole lot of character in these characters, and so does John Cassaday. I particularly love the back-and-forths of the couples in this issue, including Beast and Agent Brand, although they’re not really a couple.
Awesome line: “Did he teach you the handshake?” – Cyclops on welcoming Armor into the team
Rating: 5 out of 5 giant mosaics of Colossus destroying a planet.
Avengers: The Initiative #2: Trauma is seriously becoming one of the coolest new characters in all of comicdom. Seriously. And finally, I’m finding Yellowjacket interesting. This series is destined to be the surprise hit of 2007. Or not. What do I know?
Back to Trauma, he’s getting a private tutor, apparently from the ranks of the X-Men. Can’t wait for #3 to find out who she is. Also, this is the first time I’ve seen a giant dude ride a flying ship, bronco-style! Awesome.
Awesome line: “Screw that! Avengers kick their ass!” – Gauntlet on re-imagining the Avengers’ battlecry
Rating: 5 out of 5 Presidential Medals of Freedom awarded to a wife-beater.
Birds of Prey #105: Hawkgirl vs. Scandal. Hot girl fight! This cat-and-mouse deal between the Birds of Prey and the Secret Six is fun to read with the right amount of intrigue, humor, and girl-on-girl action.
The action is pretty much unpredictable since a new twist comes in every issue, like Harley Quinn being the new member of the Secret Six. It’s going to be fun to read indeed.
Awesome line: “Your thing, Blake. I was saying it was little.” – Deadshot talking about Catman’s little thing
Rating: 4 out of 5 conscious dead superheroes.
The Brave and the Bold #3: Funny, seeing Batman and Blue Beetle feels like Batman and Spider-Man. And that’s good.
George Perez should not stop drawing comics. He’s freakin’ awesome. There’s so much going on in almost all of the panels, and they’re all pretty. If he sticks with this series for the long haul, I might stick around too.
Awesome line: “Ohmygod you’renotreally Batman ohgod Isaidthatout loud.” – Blue Beetle being all awestruck by the presence of Batman
Rating: 4 out of 5 Supergirls flashing Lobo.
Fantastic Four #545: Michael Turner’s Galactus on the cover looks awesome. But I’m still getting tired of his soulless covers. Just do a monthly swimsuit special, Turner!
To prove that Dwayne McDuffie is making the Fantastic Four fun again, Storm fries the Silver Surfer with hydrogen stuff. In outer space. And then the Black Panther manages to kick his ass. And to top it all off, Galactus prepares to eat Epoch, a living planet. Groovy.
Awesome line: “I’m almost positive that I don’t do drugs.” – A confused Gravity after being told that he’s been brought back from the dead
Rating: 4 out of 5 hideous humanoid planet thingies.
The Incredible Hulk #106: Before anything else, Gary Frank’s art freakin’ rules. It just looks so awesome. His rendition of She-Hulk is both scary and sexy. Awesome.
Mastermind Excello is trying to round up a few good men (and women) to stand beside the Hulk when he comes back and brings a whole lot of hurtin’ to Marvel’s so-called heroes. Man, Reed Richards comes across as evil and assholish in this issue. Love it.
Awesome line: “They just shot you into space. But you would have been proud of what happened next. Jen smashed.” – She-Hulk bragging about how she smashed Iron Man’s iron face
Rating: 5 out of 5 second-string super-heroes ready to be Warbound.
Justice League of America #8: Dammit. Michael Turner cover again. Without wimmens! I didn’t get the cover shown over there on the left. Curses!
So this is where the JLA/JSA crossover begins, and it’s all about the Legion members trapped in the present. It’s nice to see both teams working together, but it would have been better if Ed Benes got to draw this issue. But meh, Shane Davis did a good job anyway. Especially on the last shot of Power Girl and Black Canary. Yummy.
Awesome line: “She’s got a crap sense of humor.” – Red Arrow on how he’s smitten with Hawkgirl
Rating: 4 out of 5 off-panel kick-ass fights.
Justice Society of America #5: The JLA/JSA crossover continues here as members of both teams invade Arkham Asylum to rescue Dream Girl from Doctor Destiny. Another group of them rescues Wildfire from stasis in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.
Just like JLoA #8, the art chores of this issue were handled not by the regular artist. Gah. You’d think DC would make sure that with a huge crossover like this, they’d be using the regular artists for added awesomeness. Pfft.
Awesome line: “I get my heart back, I get my mind back. I want my lunch now.” – One of Starman’s ramblings
Rating: 3 out of 5 time lost super-heroes from the 31st century.
Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness #3: Things are getting worse for Ash and his female companions, the Scarlet Witch and Dazzler. That means things are getting better for the readers. The brilliance of this series continues with Zombie She-Hulk munching on the remains of M.O.D.O.K., and the Zombie Power Pack kids raising hell.
And just when I thought this series can no longer surprise me, Nextwave shows up for a superfluous cameo. Sweet.
Awesome line: “Sorry Ash, there is no such thing as a Quinjet Mile-High Club, and if you don’t take your hand off my knee, I’m going to break it off.” – Dazzler telling Ash to buzz off
Rating: 4 out of 5 alien zombie anthromorphical ducks.
Mighty Avengers #2: OK basically, what we have here is a series of flashbacks showing how Wasp, Sentry, Wonder Man, and the Black Widow were recruited for the new team. And Ultron kicking the crap out of these “mighty” Avengers while taking the form of a way hotter Janet Van Dyne.
I have to give props to Frank Cho, though. The art is amazing. Makes up for Brian Bendis’ slow-ass story pacing. Feh.
Awesome line: “Meh. I like Thor better.” – Ultron responding to Ares’ statement that he’s the God of War
Rating: 3 out of 5 evil hot naked robots.
Runaways #26: I fuckin’ love Joss Whedon. This issue is just so perfect. The kids get trapped between a flying monster dude and the Punisher, then they fight ninjas, and then they get transported back in time to the Victorian era.
I’m actually having a hard time in picking the “Awesome line” part of this issue since there’s a lot, and most of them are funny lines. And the funny doesn’t stop at words. Molly punched the Punisher right in the stomach, probably making him bleed internally. Awesome.
Awesome line: “You underestimated Lace, Bro-Ho.” – Chase to Xavin, a Skrull who’s both male and female
Rating: 5 out of 5 ninjas working for the Kingpin.
Silent War #4: With that image on the cover, you just know Black Bolt’s not happy in this issue. And man, he’s definitely not. I mean, you’d want to scream your lungs out too if you catch your hot red-head wife making out with you insane usurper-to-your-throne brother.
Black Bolt’s so pissed off, he does what the humans and the Inhumans fear might be the beginning of the end: he declares an all-out attack on the humans. Shit has hit the fan.
Awesome line: “If only I could seduce you with words.” – Maximus the Mad not realizing he’s already doing it to Medusa
Rating: 4 out of 5 city-shattering screams.
World War Hulk Prologue: World Breaker: This prologue contains three stories. All of them adds to my excitement for World War Hulk.
One story centers on Mastermind Excello and his first encounter with the Hulk. The other is a parody of Planet Hulk, which is pretty funny. The main story shows us how She-Hulk resists joining Doc Samson and the Illuminati against her cousin, and how the Hulk trains to use his rage as a weapon. The Marvel heroes are screwed.
Awesome line: “Casus belli, courtesy of your friends, is going to land you all hip-deep in World War Hulk.” – She-Hulk explaining to Doc Samson that he and his super-hero friends are totally screwed
Rating: 5 out of 5 dead aliens courtesy of the Hulk’s sword.
X-23: Target X #5: (of 6) What the?! I thought this was only good for 5 issues! But I’m not complaining. The drama, the action, and the beautiful art is of the same quality as that of the past four issues.
Kimura, X-23’s handler, is one hot evil bitch. She threatens to kill the only family X-23 has left, and she’s enjoying it. Not to be outdone in the kick-assery department, X-23 cuts off her hand and perpetrates an explosive escape for her and her family. Good times.
Awesome line: “Should I put my finger through her brain, or through her heart? You choose, X.” – Kimura being a total douche
Rating: 5 out of 5 hot chicks soaking wet in the rain.
X-Factor #18: Another brilliant issue by Peter David. Layla Miller’s little stunt displays how this title shines as a funny, brilliant, and smartly written series.
Several old faces from the X-Men’s past appear. Blob, Fatale, and Marrow apparently are members of X-Cell, the terrorist group that’s currently bugging X-Factor Investigations. 90’s nostalgia or great use of under-utilized characters? You decide!
Awesome line: “His contact man is named ‘Robert’ and he claims to live in a pineapple under the sea. I’m figuring that’s code for a secret aquatic base.” – A clueless government agent dude who probabaly hasn’t seen an episode of Spongebob Squarepants
Rating: 5 out of 5 mutant hookers.
X-Men #198: The Hecatomb arrives and kills dozens and dozens of people. It’s an intangible mind-eater with an insatiable appetite. Sabretooth leaves the X-Men high and dry, so they’re basically on their own. Which means they’re pretty much screwed.
Rogue’s still sick, and she’s getting worse. Cable’s practically being raped by a Mummudrai. It’s interesting to see Omega Sentinel taking a pseudo-leader role. Also, Mystique’s hot.
Awesome line: “Send a ghost to catch a ghost, X-Morons.” – Lady Mastermind being her cute bitch self
Rating: 4 out of 5 weird shapes that resemble an alien monster.
Wow. 19 comics. That’s got to be a record. I’m such a geek.