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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

52: Week Ten

52: Week Ten

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 12, 2006

Cover date: July 12, 2006

"Stop the Press"

Writer: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Penciller: Chris Batista (breakdowns by Keith Giffen)
Inker: Jimmy Palmiotti and Jack Jadson
Cover: J.G. Jones and Alex Sinclair

Back-Up Story: "History of the DCU, Part 9"

Back-Up Story & Layouts: Dan Jurgens
Back-Up Finishes: Andy Lanning

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Week 10, Day 1

Black Adam addresses a group of representatives from various countries asking them to deliver a message to their leaders. Adam is concerned that certain countries have been resistant to allow others into his coalition. He asks them to put their differences behind them just as Russia and China have. His conference is interrupted by Adrianna Tomaz, the woman Intergang had kidnapped to offer as a gift to Adam, who has made an escape attempt. Adrianna calls Adam a terrorist and spits in his face, an action Adam considers unwise.

Week 10, Day 2

Perry White is furious that Clark Kent has allowed the Daily Star to break the story on Supernova, the newest hero in Metropolis. Despite his anger Perry is still shaken by the fact that he has to terminate Kent. Clark tries to discuss the situation but Perry does most of the talking, wondering what happened to Clark to put him in such a slump. Clark listens but also watches as Supernova flies near the building. Seeing this as an opportunity Clark opens the window and jumps out. Supernova catches him and Clark turns it in an instant opportunity to get an exclusive interview with the new hero.

In Kahndaq Black Adam visits Adrianna in her quarters and asks her why she tried to run. Adrianna sees herself as a prisoner and Adam corrects her asserting that she is a refugee. He tells her she is free to leave at any time. She begins to walk out and turns to inform him that he isn't going to change the world. She continues to explain that his Freedom of Power Treaty borders on psychotic. Adam insists that some of the meta-humans the treaty would stop have the power to destroy a country but Adrianna thinks that he is going to plunge the world into war.

Week 10, Day 3

Lois and Clark argue about how he managed to secure the interview with Supernova. Lois' concern goes beyond Clark pulling such a foolhardy stunt. The world is having trouble dealing with what happened during the Crisis and the two discuss what happened to the big players in the meta-human community. Clark also tells her of what happened during his interview with Supernova and how he thinks the new hero is on the level.

Week 10, Day 4

Booster Gold has been forced to move into smaller quarters and is furious that this new Supernova is apparently cutting into his endorsements. Skeets can't provide any information on the hero. Booster wonders how this can be. Skeets reminds him that the history of the twenty-first century is diverging more and more from what had been recorded. At Skeet's behest Booster focuses his energy on investigating why the history is changing.

Week 10, Day 6

Will Magnus pays another visit to T.O. Morrow with further news regarding Dr. Sivana. Magnus had been granted privileged access to the contents of Sivana's lab and in addition to a Sivanium Robot Magnus discovered an empty cocoon that had been treated with radiation. Morrow and Magnus are both curious as to what had hatched out of it.

"History of the DCU - Part 9"

Donna Troy continues to learn the history of the universe. She discovers the formation of a society of villains, the war between the Flash's rogues gallery, the creation of the new Speedy, the resurrection of Hal Jordan, the murder of Ted Kord, the creation of Brother Eye and the circumstances of Max Lord's death at the hands of Wonder Woman.

5Main Story - 5: I'm sure that everyone reading this book has their favorite aspect of it. Some like the Booster Gold storyline. Others like the Ralph Dibny storyline and still others probably dig the Question/Renee Montoya/Batwoman part of the series.

Me? I want more Black Adam.

Of all of the characters in the DC Universe Black Adam has emerged as the best example of taking a character that very few people cared about and making him or her into something truly special. Geoff Johns, along with David Goyer and Gail Simone, have done wonderful things with Adam and as a result he has become a personal favorite of mine. It isn't the fact that he has that awesome Prince Namor vibe of straddling the line between hero and villain, though that may be a part of it. It is the fact that the character is doing something that certain fans have wondered about and debated for years; what happens when a person with tremendous power decides that they know what is best and imposes their will on others. What is most impressive is the fact that Johns and his fellow writers have made a compelling case for Adam's views. It would have been disingenuous to do otherwise because to say from the beginning he was wrong would take that choice away from the audience. I know that some people don't like to think about what they read, watch and listen to but I'm not one of them. Adam's actions challenge me as a reader and I like that feeling.

By having Adam assemble the group that he did for the purpose of a coalition to increase his power base the writers advanced the themes they are exploring and made for some great drama as well. The addition of Adrianna makes for a nice counter to Adam's philosophy. Their argument was compelling and the back and forth made for a great scene. The fact that Adrianna gave Adam pause was notable because this man hardly listens to anyone. It was also neat to see the collection of characters that came to listen to Adam's message but reaction is more fannish than anything else.

As intriguing as Black Adam's end of this issue was the highlight was Clark Kent's story. It is great to see how Clark Kent went from the guy Perry White stuck in the back end of nowhere to one of the top reporters in the city as he was presented during the Up, Up, and Away story arc. If handled right the fall and rise of a character can be entertaining and a story worth telling. This chapter was paced beautifully with Clark getting fired, Perry trying to explain why as Clark stares out the window and then Clark pulls a Lois and jumps out the window to get the Supernova exclusive. It was funny but it also made perfect sense. The conversation between Lois and Clark afterwards had a lot of humor to it as well but also addressed the public sentiment about the Crisis and the fact that certain heroes have disappeared. This gives the overall story some context with the world the characters inhabit and I appreciated that the writers included that.

This series has had some bumps along the way but it has smoothed out over the past few issues. This was definitely the best of the series but at the same time I know I feel that way because it prominently featured several characters that I really like.

Hey, at least I'm honest.

4Art - 4: Chris Batista is a very talented artist. I've been a fan of his style for some time now, especially his work on Legion and the 'Crisis of Conscience' arc in JLA. I think the inkers took a bit away from his usually slick work but it was still some very nice art. Once again Keith Giffen's breakdown provide a solid foundation for the artists to start from but the emotion and action are all in the hands of Batista and the inkers.

I also like Supernova's costume. It looked very smooth.

4Backup Story - 4: In four pages Dan Jurgens summarized about two years worth of DC continuity. It wasn't always smooth but it was impressive. This chapter probably gave those who missed a lot of what happened shortly before and leading up to the Countdown mini-series and specials some of the background they needed. Jurgens tied the events together and gave me the sense that there was a master plan behind it all. I know that some of the events were given a connection after the fact but as a narrative it worked.

4Art - 4: The fact that Jurgens only did the layouts took something away from the art of this chapter. Andy Lanning is a capable inker (and a great writer as well) but his finishes were a bit off this time out. The page compositions were impressive and gave a look at the major beats of the last three years. This wasn't the best chapter as far as art goes but it was still very nice to look at.

4Cover Art - 4: If you are going to grab someone's attention then a falling Clark Kent with an unknown hero coming to his aid is the way to go. I also laughed at the text at the bottom that riffed on the tag line from Superman: The Movie. It's always nice to see a scene on the cover actually happen inside the issue. While this may not have been the most experimental of covers it was still a really nice piece or art.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2006

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