Customer Reviews: 52 Omnibus
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on December 1, 2012
The 52 Omnibus collects 52 #1 to #52, so that's the complete series packed up in one big 1.216 pages book.

The weekly series "52" is one of the most interesting and better-accomplished projects of DC Comics from the last decade. With a brain trust of writers consisting of Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Mark Waid and Greg Rucka the expectations were high and the actual results were even higher than one could have anticipated. The genre of the stories included in 52 range from magic and mystics, to science fiction and cosmic epics, to mystery and crime. This series never bores you and always manages to surprise you. There are a lot of story arcs that eventually interconnect with each other, an a BIG thread that starts and end the series (which of course I won't spoil).

This maxiseries picks up literally right after Infinite Crisis. Each issue narrates an entire week of the DC Universe in "real time", so once you put the fifty-two issues together you get a whole year of stories. 52 Omnibus is the perfect companion for the Infinite Crisis Omnibus, as it is its direct sequel. However, 52 is quite a stand-alone series. You don't really need to read Infinite Crisis to understand 52, just by reading the 1-page recap included at the beginning of the book and/or online sum-ups you will be okay to enjoy this Omnibus.

* * * * THE CHARACTERS * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
52 features a wide array of characters. These are the main ones:

- Booster Gold and Skeets, his robot from the future.
- The new Batwoman (the same one from the current New-52 ongoing series), Reneé Montoya (from the Gotham City Police Department) and The Question.
- Ralph Dibny (the Elongated Man), still dealing with the aftermath of Identity Crisis.
- John Henry Irons (Steel) and her nephew Natasha.
- Animal Man, Adam Strange and Starfire, all of them involved together in a terrific space adventure.
- Will Magnus, creator of the Metal Men.
- Black Adam, in his search for redemption, one of the highest points of 52.
- Lex Luthor, amazingly written.
- Lobo, in quite a different take from the character.

And many, many more characters that I can't list as to not spoil the events.

All of these characters are pushed to the very limit, and that's one of the main reasons that make 52 such an outstanding series. You won't miss at all the big players of the DC Universe like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman or Green Lantern (they all play nice small parts anyway!), because the featured cast will win your heart over. Every character has a very carefully planned and developed arc with a clear beginning, middle and ending.

* * * * THE ARTISTS * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Keith Giffen provides the art breakdowns for every issue of the series, assuring a sense of unity in the overall layout of the pages. The pencillers list is large and it includes some very talented artists, such as Joe Bennett, Eddy Barrows and Chris Batista doing most of the bulk of issues and Phil Jimenez, Darick Robertson, Justiniano, Giuseppe Camuncoli among others gracing the pages in other individual issues. The art is overall good and truly great sometimes. You can argue that some issues are not as well illustrated as others, but given the titanic effort it took to accomplish such a complex project, DC did really fine.

* * * * ABOUT THE EDITION * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
POSITIVE aspects:
+ This is a sewn-binding book, which is vital for such a big edition, as it allows to read it comfortably since it lays flat on the table. The gutter-loss is almost non-existant, so you can fully appreciate the artwork. This looks like a very high quality binding destined to last for a lifetime. And by the way, this sewn-binding is a bit more flexible than the previous Invisibles Omnibus published by DC (though it's still not as flexible as Marvel Omnibuses). It's great to see that DC keep improving in this aspect.

+ The paper stock is heavy weight and glossy, you don't see the art through the pages. The printing quality is excellent, with sharp reproductions of the illustrations and vibrant colors.

NEGATIVE aspects:
- The "World War III" 4-issues mini-series is NOT included. This is a real shame, as these mini-series takes place between issues #49 and #50. The inclusion of WW III would have meant only 96 more pages. This is a 1.216 pages book, while The Invisibles Omnibus was a freaking 1.536 pages long book for exactly the same price, so there's really no excuse for the omission of WW III.

- The presentation of the book leaves something lot to be desired: the hardback consists of plain black cardboard with cheap engraving details. This is unacceptable for a 150 dollars edition. I was expecting a proper printed hardback like the one in The Invisibles Omnibus, unfortunately, it was not the case.

* * * * EXTRAS * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Even though this Omnibus packs around 70 pages of extras scattered all over the book (they are placed at the begining of each chapter), the previous 4 volume TPB edition included MUCH MORE extras that were OMITTED in this Omnibus. This edition mostly includes sketches by cover artist J.G. Jones, extracted from the "52: The Covers HC" and interior pages skectches, pencils and inks extracted from the TPB editions.

Now, in the TPB edition each one of the 52 issues featured a 1 or 2-pages DVD style commentary section, most of them by Mark Waid and Greg Rucka themselves, as well as some by Dan Didio and other editors (plus more sketches and thumbnails) that are NOT INCLUDED HERE AT ALL. It's a TERRIBLE SHAME, because those were some of the most elaborated extras I've ever seen in these kind of collected editions and gave a unique insight to the series.

What really bothers me is that those extras already existed, DC didn't have to take the time or the effort to create them, they just needed to reprint them, simple as that. This Omnibus could have easily had 300 more pages (like the Invisibles Omnibus indeed does) to accommodate the inclusion of both WW III and that massive load of extras, but of course, DC just didn't care for it. Absolutely shameful.

SPECIAL NOTE: The original weekly issues of 52 also included a 10-part "History of the DC Universe" by Dan Jurgens & Art Thibert (with a total of 40 pages put together) and a section of 2-pages "Secret Origin" sum-ups of many DC caharacters by top-talent artists. That material is NOT included here, but I don't necessarily think that's a problem. While it's definitely great stuff, it has pretty much nothing to do with the 52 series, so the omission of that material is something that can make sense from an editorial point of view, in my opinion.

* * * * CONCLUSION * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
DC puzzles me with this edition: they are certainly taking steps to improve their Omnibus line with an excellent sewn-binding and great paper stock, but they mess it up with a poor presentation and missing material.

52 is one the best DC series I've ever read, so if you can get it with a deep discount, I recommend you to buy it. But if the price seems too much, you can always get the 4-volumes TPB edition (plus the World War III stand-alone TPB) for a more affordable price (and with the advantage of getting those precious extras). I previously owned those TPBs and they are a nice edition indeed, but I sold them as soon as I heard of this Omnibus. Don't get me wrong, I'm quite happy having 52 in this format, because I love Omnibuses and the series deserved this deluxe tratment, but now part of me regrets giving up those TPB full of extras goodies.

So my final conclusion is this: read 52, no matter what format, because it's an excellent series. Each edition has its pros and its cons: if you want a deluxe edition to show off in your shelf, with a higher paper stock and printing quality, oversized art and great binding, go for the Omnibus. However if you want a more affordable edition, confortable to read anywhere, and a load of DVD-style extras, go for the TPBs.
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on January 4, 2013
When the 52 series originally ran from May of 2006 to May of 2007, it was an unprecedented undertaking by the company to release an event title on a weekly basis in real time. Another factor that sets this apart from other titles is that it is the result of collaboration between four authors, often considered the best in DC's roster. This hefty book collects all 52 issues together, and most if not all the issues are 20 pages in length. While this alone ought to seem filling, those who read the books back during their original run may be somewhat disappointed with the lack of extras here in this omnibus. Many of the original books came with short biography sections at the end where the reader was given a brief rundown of the history of the universe's lesser known characters. Here you will almost only get the story itself, with the extras being a short intro by Paul Levitz and production sketches laced throughout. The series itself is an action-packed run with a dynamite ending; the editing out is just something you experienced readers may wish to know about in advance. One of the objectives in launching this project was to give the audience a look at the DC universe without its biggest three names to lead the charge. This year with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman stepping down and the B- and C-listers stepping up to fill the void is a compelling drama. It is well worth the price of the book and the time it will take to wade through it.
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on April 5, 2013
Love the story, but just like my comment with the Countdown's just a little unwieldy to hold and read. Not that this will stop me from enjoying all the other DC Omnibus' in the future!
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on May 4, 2014
It's very difficult to explain what all is in this book because of its sheer size but if you want to enjoy interesting tales starring some characters you may not have ever read about, try it out. There are about a dozen major stories happening that they jump back and forth through, the main one focusing on Booster Gold and Skeets but my personal favorites are about The Question and Renee Montoya as well as Luthor and his super-hero team.

The Omnibus is also well worth it over the price of the individual books and it is amazingly well put together.
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on January 30, 2013
As much as I am annoyed with DC comics' cash grab in putting out a $150 deluxe edition with some material missing from the four collected editions, I am going to review this version because the series is one long and epic story. I may recommend that you buy the four individual collected works but I am reviewing the whole story here.

I am not the biggest fan of superhero comics. Since I am not a teenager, that makes sense. I just don't want to hear angst-filled muscle bound thugs beating each other up to save the world. However, this series not only gave me the sense of wonder that I used to get from comics way back in my teen years, it also gave characterizations that rival The Sopranos or Breaking Bad for intensity and moral ambiguity.

Saying too much about this series risks giving away spoilers; however, there are several aspects to love. Including -
- The villains have real motivations and don't come off like Dr. Evil with a death ray.
- Lex Luther is actually scary in this series as the authors pull out all the stops in combining the industrialist with the amoral supervillain.
- Some characters grow and change throughout the series whereby other characters take stumbling moves toward growth that ultimately backfire.
- the plotting is intricate and juggles several plots at once. Yet it still manages to stop for the important segments.
- The plot twists are both surprising and believable. A couple of times the mad scientists claim that they have made 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse but they released Hunger first. Yet when Hunger is revealed it's one of the most shocking and bloody moments of the story.
- The artwork is amazing.
- Even when you know a character, the character is still capable of surprising you.

There are so many great bits about this story, but essentially it is one of the most entertaining and compelling comic book stories of the past decade.
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on January 8, 2015
I am in Nerd Heaven!!!!!!!!! It feels like a brick but the pictures and paper they're printed on are amazing in every way. <3 <3 <3
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on April 9, 2015
love this comic series and it came in impeccable condition will be going with my collection very nicely
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on September 9, 2013
difficult to read any dialogue in the middle of the page because of the binding. Bulk of book makes reading it difficult at times.
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on January 10, 2015
Great Product
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on August 29, 2013
My husband loves it!! One of the perfect gifts I picked out for him. But do I really need to write that much?
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