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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

52: Week Twenty Three

52: Week Twenty Three

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 11, 2006

Cover date: October 11, 2006

Writer: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Penciller: Drew Johnson (breakdowns by Keith Giffen)
Inker: Ray Snyder
Cover: J.G. Jones and Alex Sinclair

"The Island of Professor Morrow"

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Week twenty-three, day one:

Dr. Magnus awakens in the brain of a giant robot, and finds him set down on an island full of mad scientists fed with narcotic drugs attempting to one-up themselves at the behest of an undisclosed financial backer. T. O. Morrow appears, and brings Magnus inside, telling him that he's been drafted to help their project along.

Week twenty-three, day five:

In Yemen, Renee and Question find a cult attempting to induct Isis' lost brother into Intergang. They struggle with the choice to save the boy, who is facing execution, or at very least paralysis, but realize they are outgunned. Question forces Renee to wait, and the boy is smashed into the ground, paralyzing him.

Despite their tact, a goon appears, chasing them from their "Indiana Jones" style perch above the action, knocking them down into the ray. Renee is wounded.

Isis and Black Adam arrive. Isis heals Renee, then goes after her brother.

Black Adam, bursting in, prepares to rend the offenders limb from limb. Isis uses her wind to hold him back and calm him, healing her brother. Her brother, nonetheless, is too twisted and broken from the continued beatings.

Black Adam steps in, telling the boy they now share a family bond, and encourages him to speak his name. The boy whispers it, and in a flash is changed into Amon, taking Black Adam's power and becoming like his namesake. The family, reunited, rejoices.

Question, nearby, starts saying the names of the Marvel family. Renee questions him, and Question responds that he's just trying to see if it's contagious.

Week twenty-three, day six:

Isis tells Black Adam that she's found a way to change the world, and together, in the waning light, they take off for China.

"The Origin of Wildcat"
Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Jerry Ordway

Per what's obvious, the origin of Wildcat.

5Main Story - 5: I'm actually really blown away by this twist on Black Adam. I mean, for years I've absolutely found his character boring and one-dimensional, and now he's taken a bit of depth, and redemptive depth at that.

This isn't going to change the fact that he's ripped people in half, and if they just start parading him around like Lionel on Smallville after he's murdered a bunch of people, it's going to essentially ruin this storyline. I'm hoping he'll make some kind of recompense for who and what he is. Given the crazy, extensive changes to the Marvel family, I would not be surprised if this isn't setting him up to bite the bullet in some redemptive gesture.

Either way, I'm liking where this is going, and hope it resolves as interesting as it's been to watch.

Question trying to become Shazam and Black Adam was also pricelessly funny. Incredibly good.

The opening was very much a bit of fifties nostalgia and craziness. I've made no secret of the fact in the past that I didn't like T. O. Morrow, the name, the modus, or a lot of what he does, but honestly, if he's used in this intriguing way, and if he's characterized well (I've had the unfortunate lack of said characterization in my experience of his work, see DC 2000), I'm going to turn around there.

I'm curious who's backing the experiments, and I'm wondering what the heck is going on with China. All of the somewhat boring side-tracks have taken a break and we're back into character territory. I'm fully enjoying this series STILL more than halfway through. That's CRAZY given the schedule and the obvious time crunch.

4Art - 4: I'm still loving the expressive work here, and the way that everything is synching and epic.

The reason I dock a point is because there were several points where the final touch wasn't added in there. There's one where Renee has no iris for no apparent reason, and the "tan" on IQ was non-existent. Maybe that was flubbed line or something. Not sure.

Either way, still great. Question holding back Renee was actually particularly subtle and beautiful for some reason, still trying to put my finger on it. Very well drawn eyes, I think.

5Backup Story - 5: This one's actually interesting to me, because beyond Geoff's JSA, I don't really know Wildcat, so this offers me a bit of insight and a great story to go with it. I also like the boxing with Batman bit. Awesome.

5Art - 5: Equally well done. Ordway still has it, and here, it's very obvious I want to see him on major books that I read. Outstanding work.

5Cover Art - 5: Expressive, a classic pose put at a new angle, relevant to the story with the bonus of having occurred in it, and a great color contrast. Great cover.

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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