Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Giving 52 Another Shot

Among the million and one other things I'm reading lately, I've decided to pick up the trade collections of DC Comics' 52 series from my local library. I never finished the series initially, only getting to #20 or #22 before giving up on the whole thing, but something about not having read it to the end bugs me. It may be because I'm a huge Keith Giffen fan and his breakdowns were pivotal to bringing the whole thing in on schedule, or possibly it's wanting to just get it out of the way once and for all. It is comic book history, after all (at least American comics, anyways) as a lover of the art form, I try to keep up with these sorts of things.

Hell, maybe I just want to finish it because so much of the DCU right now comes directly out of the events of 52 and it's sister book, Countdown. I read a couple of DC books every month and I gotta say, I do get a little confused sometimes. Like someone who has missed an episode or two of their favourite show and catches up with those "Previously on..." montages at the beginning of the show.

Anyway, what I'm discovering is that, experiencing it away from all the hype and hullabaloo, this is a pretty good story so far. Granted, I'm only on Week 5 right now, but the pacing is solid, the characters engaging, the mystery satisfyingly opaque, and there is real gravity to the stuff. I know I'm going to get a little disappointed once they spend some significant time in space (I wasn't a big fan of that part the first time around) but I'm sure there will be other things to keep my interest (I hope, anyway).

More than anything, I'm surprised (and pleased) that a corporate event comic is keeping me entertained. I recently re-read Civil War as part of my Captain America experience, and let me just say that I was sure happy when that ended and I could get back to just reading the core Cap book again. I sort of gave up on Secret Invasion 3 issues in, too.

Another nice surprise are the annotations and the extras that they squeeked in as padding between the issues in the trade. Commentary from the creators, breakdown pages from Keith, and script excerpts and character designs to flesh the whole thing out. It's not an amazing thing, or truly comprehensive, but it is a nice peak into the process, the event, and a worthwhile addition to the collections.

With that, I'll take my leave.



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