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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

52: Week Seven

52: Week Seven

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 21, 2006

Cover date: June 21, 2006

"Going Down"

Writer: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Penciller: Ken Lashley (breakdowns by Keith Giffen)
Inker: Draxhall
Cover: J.G. Jones and Alex Sinclair

Back-Up Story: "History of the DCU, Part 6"

Back-Up Story & Layouts: Dan Jurgens
Back-Up Finishes: Norm Rapmund

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Week 7, Day 1

Stranded on a tropical alien world Buddy Baker and Starfire get inebriated from the fruit they had been eating. Adam Strange tries to bring them out of it because he knows that there is something on the planet with them and he wants to get away as soon as possible.

Week 7, Day 2

Montoya sits in her apartment going over all of the information from the case she took from the Question. Despite the fact that she was only paid for three weeks worth of work she is still trying to figure out what went down in that warehouse. Just when she is ready to give up the gossip section of the paper gives her a fresh lead.

Week 7, Day 3

Ralph Dibny pays Booster Gold a visit to ask for help in his investigation of the Cult of Conner. Booster is distracted and doesn't pay him much mind. Ralph realizes that Skeets has been feeding Booster historical information so that Booster can be in the right place to avert disaster. This fact enrages Ralph and he demands to know why Booster didn't tell him about the death of his wife. Booster feigns ignorance but Skeets relates the historical data with no problem at all. Ralph accuses Booster of only being out for himself and challenges Booster to prove that he is a hero.

In Gotham City Montoya goes to see an ex-girlfriend named Kate Kane, whose family is as influential in Gotham as the Waynes. After a tense encounter Renee finally gets around to asking about the warehouse where she had gotten injured. Despite the past they share Kate agrees to help.

Back in Metropolis Booster manages to put out the fire resulting from a truck that had jack-knifed. Afterwards the supposed villain from the subway rescue the previous week steps forwards and reveals that he is an actor that Booster had hired. The check Booster had given him as payment bounced. Even though the "villain" knew he could go to jail for admitting his involvement in the charade he was determined to take Booster down with him. The press turns on Booster and Ralph Dibny does his best to bury Booster in the public eye.

Meanwhile, Starfire continues to clear her head and comes upon a giant metallic object sticking out of the ground. As she stares a giant rises behind her and reaches out for the item.

4Main Story - 4: Well, that was kind of unexpected.

I mean I knew something bad was going to happen to Booster but I didn't expect it to happen so quickly.

Not that I didn't enjoy this aspect of the story. I did. Actually I'm kind of glad it happened because as much as I like Booster I thought he was going a bit overboard with his desire to be in the public eye. I know that he desperately wants to be a hero but I thought he was going about it the wrong way. He got in over his head and it all came crashing down on him.

I really appreciated Ralph Dibny's reaction to the revelation that Booster was using his knowledge of history to play hero. It was paced out so well too. At first Ralph is kind of quiet as he puts the pieces together and then he slams Booster up against the wall. It was kind of funny to watch Skeets totally sell Booster out by rattling off the facts regarding Sue's death and adding that it was a pivotal event in the twenty-first century super-hero community. Ralph definitely got his get back later in the issue when he buries Booster in the press. Frankly Booster deserved it and this puts him in an interesting position as a character. Where does he go from here? How far will be go to be a hero?

I like questions like that. It makes for some interesting reading.

The best part of the issue was the introduction of Kate Kane, the soon to be Batwoman. The set-up for this character is phenomenal. The fact that the Kanes are on par with the Waynes as far as money and influence was a nice touch and the fact that the money comes from the manufacturing of rifles and guns is even better. I don't know if this is going to play into her decision to become Batwoman, but it makes for a great wrinkle, especially if Batman ever finds out who Batwoman is. The fact that the character is a lesbian has no real bearing on how I feel about Kate but I think it does allow for some exploration on the theme of leading a secret life. Put it all together and I think Kate has a real chance.

As long as DC doesn't completely screw it up.

Oh, by the way, that giant at the end; ten bucks says it is the Infinity Man from the Forever People.

4Art - 4: The art has been handled by a variety of artists over the past seven issues but their styles mesh well together so while there are noticeable differences there is also a consistent feel. I'm sure Keith Giffen's breakdowns have something to do with this.

I really enjoyed the art from this issue. The scenes with Booster and Ralph looked good and matched the drama and action happening in the story. The scene with Renee and Kate were just fantastic. In the span of three pages the characters go through every conceivable emotion that ex-lovers can go through after seeing each other again. It was a little heart wrenching to see the three panels where Renee grabs Kate's hand, Kate puts her head on Renee's shoulder and then draws away quickly. The writing in this scene was amazing but it was the art that sold it.

I also dug the fact that one of the pictures in Booster's apartment was the cover to Booster Gold #11. Not only is it a neat little "Easter egg" but it probably one of the most eighties cover of that series.

"History of the DCU - Part 6"

Donna Troy continues to learn the history of the universe. The history of Zero Hour unfolds before her and the Superman of Earth-2's involvement is revealed. At the end of that event the heroes held the real villain, Parallax, at bay while Damage was able to release the energies necessary to recreate the big bang.

4Backup Story - 4: Well, it would be hard for Dan Jurgens to screw this part of the history up. He was the driving force behind Zero Hour so he should know the story backwards and forwards and when I say this I'm talking about the fact that he should know that it was Wally West who took off into what became known as the Speed Force and not Barry Allen.

Normally I wouldn't point out such things. Okay, that's a lie but this time I don't feel like a complete geek because of it. Maybe something changed within the history, in which case I have to wonder why they would do such a thing? Barry died in the original Crisis. That should be enough. This was Wally's chance to give his all and to alter that seems kind of silly.

Or it could have been a mistake. These things happen. Still, it was nice to see Dan start to add the actions of the Earth-2 Superman into the history and while I wasn't really feeling this back-up at first the story has smoothed out into an even pace.

4Art - 4: Again, how could Jurgens screw this one up?

Actually he doesn't and I didn't think he would. He did a fabulous job of condensing Zero Hour into four pages while hitting all of the major beats. It's also kind of cool that the artist who drew the original series got to draw the history of it as well.

5Cover Art - 5: I really love these covers. The black and white character against the red border was particularly striking. Between Booster putting his hand up over the "camera" to the ticker at the bottom this had the Fox News/CNN vibe that some of the other covers have had. I have absolutely no complaints with this 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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