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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

52: Week Twenty Nine

52: Week Twenty Nine

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 22, 2006

Cover date: November 22, 2006

"Name Calling"

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

Reviewed by: Barry Freiman

Click to enlarge

Day 1: On Thanksgiving, Golden Age mystery men The Flash, Green Lantern, and Wildcat lament the dissolution of the JSA. Out their window, they watch Luthor's Infinity, Incorporated who are taking part in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. They are troubled by the appearances of Luthor's heroes using the heroic names of the sons and daughters of the JSA. But the trouble grows exponentially when the newest member of Infinity, Inc. is revealed to have the name "Jade" (with plant powers) just like Alan Scott's recently deceased daughter. GL Scott's son, and the original Jade's twin brother, Obsidian (Todd Rice), angrily arrives and, overcome with his anger, attacks Jade and Infinity, Inc. GL gets Obsidian to back down by asking him if hurting innocent bystanders is what Todd's sister would have wanted. Luthor's Nuklon tells the JSA'ers they've been relegated to irrelevancy. GL and Obsidian fly off.

Day 2: On Oolong Island, Dr. Sivana uses a chainsaw to slice the "Ptero-Turkey Breast". Dr. Magnus walks away from the table, disgusted. Wonder Woman's nemesis, Dr. Cale, assigned to the ever mysterious "Project X", follows after him. She appears to find Magnus attractive.

Back at the dinner table, Chung Zhu (a.k.a. Egg Fu) arrives. He kills a security guard he thinks has been making fun of him. He asks Magnus about his progress on the Plutonium Man. Magnus says he's proceeding slowly but Egg Fu realizes he's lying. Dr. Cale tells Egg Fu that Magnus uses his psychiatric medicines to suppress his manic-depressive tendencies and that it's during his manic highs that Magnus is at his most scientifically prolific. Egg Fu confiscates Magnus's meds.

Back at JSA headquarters, Flash and Wildcat agree that the JSA is not obsolete. Flash leaves. Wildcat remains behind at headquarters to have a few Thanksgiving beers.

Day 3: At the Steelworks in Metropolis, Steel's Luthor-given steel skin begins peeling off. It turns out there is no reverse therapy for Luthor's metahuman project - the bequeathed powers simply expire.

To be continued....

5Story - 5: I loved this issue. If last issue's dog of a story came about because the creators were putting more time into making this issue a solid read, then I say it was time well spent. Of course I'm a sucker for the JSA, I always have been, but I find them more and more interesting admittedly the older I get. I can accept the dissolution of the JSA because it's setting up the new Justice Society of America series - the JSA will never be irrelevant.

Villains stealing anti-depressants? Holy heartlessness. I can certainly relate to Magnus's fear. Mental illness sucks and it can be debilitating. I have been there. One of my biggest fears is slipping back into the person that severe depression turned me into. Except it's far from as simple as the scientific formula of "Remove Pills = Mad Scientist". I hope the story continues by letting Magnus remain heroic - in fact be made more so - with his pills taken away. Then again another wonderful out would be that Magnus, being a scientist on an island full of scientific apparatus, would synthesize his own home-made anti-depressants.

Hmmm, perhaps the reason I loved this issue so much is it deals with things I can relate to - aging and insanity. And they found a Thanksgiving group even more dysfunctional than my family.

The Steel storyline is getting more interesting with this latest revelation. Of course Lex still has the ability to interfere with the powers as he did a few issues back. I can't imagine Lex expects his manufactured heroes to all revert back to normal - and what could he hope to gain if Infinity, Inc. lost their powers all at once during a battle? This is a Lex Luthor I can't figure out. And that's just how I like Lex.

4Art - 4: Just find an issue of "52" that I've already reviewed where Batista was the lead penciller - I'm sure there's been at least one - and insert what I said there here. I like the art.

5Cover Art - 5: So this is how it ends for the greatest heroic minds of our time. Not with a whimper, not with a bang. How do they choose to reward the Justice Society, the greatest geniuses in this world? Do they give them glory? Do they give them treasure? What, mater of fact, do they give them?

The cover. Duh.

And the irony of that caption isn't lost on me. How many times have the last days of the JSA been prophesied? Yet they're still going strong. Who else could possibly look that good in spandex in their mid-80's?

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

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