- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Ace Trade (July 3, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441015077
- ISBN-13: 978-0441015078
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,114,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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52: The Novel Paperback – July 3, 2007
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Cox did some amazing things with a poor story to get this book to two stars. However, the overall quality of story that he had to base it off was poor. Beast creatures from Intergang? All the mad scientists working together to create the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? A new Batwoman, way too similar in identity to Batman? These are real stretches and were difficult to fathom as good comics.
This really seemed like a forced gimmick from DC to capitalize on what was a good story with Infinite Crisis. While the basic idea of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman being out of action was sound, the follow up was not.
If you don't want to buy the four collected volumes themselves, this book is a cheap alternative way to get some, but not all, of the stories.
The stories covered:
Booster Gold is saving lives and fighting bad guys in Metropolis, with his robot sidekick Skeets giving him leads on which mission to go on next. Booster and Skeets are from the future, and Skeets has a massive database of 21st century events. Skeets' data contains errors, and Booster thinks there might be a problem with time, so he looks for Rip Hunter, a time traveler. Rip is missing, but he left behind many cryptic notes, including the phase "Time is Broken." Also, a new hero arrives in Metropolis: Supernova.
Renee Montoya has quit the Gotham City police force. Charlie Sage (the Question) recruits her into investigating an abandoned building, which leads her to Intergang and the Religion of Crime, and she will eventually run into the new Batwoman (who starts her career in this series during Batman's absence) and the Black Adam Family.
Black Adam, usually a foe of Captain Marvel (the "Shazam" guy), has become the ruler of the Middle Eastern country of Kahndaq. Intergang offers the young Adrianna Tomaz to Adam as part of a bribe. He kills the Intergang agents and eventually gives a portion of his powers to Adrianna, turning her into Isis. (The book explains it better).
Stories NOT covered:
Luthor has come up with a way to give people super-powers. He organizes some of these young folks into a team he calls "Infinity Inc." (which annoys the JSA.) Natasha Irons, annoyed with her uncle John Henry Irons (a.k.a. "Steel"), chooses to get powers from Luthor. Not including this story seems an odd choice, since you'd figure people would want to know what Luthor gets up to when Superman is out of commission, but I suppose including it would have made the book "too long."
Ralph Dibney (the Elongated Man) goes on a mystical detective journey, trying to get back to his dead wife Sue.
Animal, Starfire, and Adam Strange are lost in space, where they bump into Lobo, who has the Emerald Eye of Ekron.
Someone is abducting mad scientists. Eventually they get Doc Magnus, creator of the Metal Men. (The author will eventually cover the latter part of this story, since it ties into the Black Adam story, but he leaves out Doc Magnus.)
Plot points left out:
The People's Republic of China has a new super-hero team called "The Great Ten."
Wonder Girl (Cassandra Sandsmark) has joined a cult of people who worship a hero who died during "Infinite Crisis."
If you already have the comics, this doesn't really add much. Also, he'll move some events around, since for example during week 5, nothing much happened in the plot threads the book covered, so he had to move something from Week 6 into it to avoid having an "empty chapter." And since he didn't cover the Luthor story, he gave some of Luthor's lines to Mannheim.
And as of the 2011 reboot, most of this didn't "really happen."
I don't follow the actual comic books, so I wasn't familiar with many of these characters. And though I do normally enjoy Booster Gold, he wasn't my favorite here. Booster was very interesting in the beginning, but toward the end of the Booster/Supernova arc, the finale didn't really live up to the buildup. It was still good though.
Now, the two plots which really showcase character-driven writing here were Black Adam & Renee Montoya's stories. Black Adam's journey was somewhat unexpected, especially when the Famine Hourseman appeared, the whole thing was just very well done, and not predictable as so many superhero tales are. Renee Montoya's quest with the Question was just great, this wasn't as unpredictable, but her denial being juxtaposed with Vic's (The Question) eagle-eyed focus was kind of the whole point of the story.
Batwoman's oddly in front on the cover, maybe she had a bigger role in the comic version, but in the novel she was not much of a protagonist. She's a Jewish Lesbian who is rich and can handle herself in a fight. That may sound like it would make for an interesting character, but she honestly doesn't accomplish much on her own in this book.
Overall, I highly recommend this book for someone looking for character-driven superhero stories. Though, like most people, Batman's my favorite hero, he's not really missed here. I'd also recommend the GraphicAudio adaptation of this book, they're this great little company with professional actors and pro sound effects, which really live up to the "movie in your mind" slogan. The only criticism I have is that they use the same actor for Commissioner Gordon and Superman, not a problem for this story, but odd in the ones that use both characters, especially since they use several dozen different actors...