No spoilers here, but be careful if you jump to the wiki link.
Rumblings spread across the internet a few months ago that there was a very sad disjoint between the 52 braintrust’s storyline planning and the OYL factoids already on display in the current books. Having Rucka, Johns, Waid and the God of All Comics is enough for me to simply say, “Hey, they’ll build the storyline bridge some way and it’ll be great. No worries.” From the message boards at the time there was more concern than I had, but I dig all of their work independently and have loved 52, so I’m a cheap date for the future possibilities. They can write their way out of anything. This week they did their job but
First off, why is World War 3 4 comics, especially when they have to come out on the same day? Make them one big book, annual sized, and be done with it. Oh, but then it would be close to $10, and would therefore scare many people off. For $2.50 a book people will bite and then immediately pile on for the remaining three. There is also something to be said for buying 4 books and knowing you have the entire set. I’m calling it a scam nonetheless. The story also didn’t merit that high of a page count either. I can see the pitch session clearly and envision the inevitable statement: “If its 4 books then it can be a trade.”
I was initially confused as to whether I should have read 52 #50 first or plowed through WW3 first. The cover of #50 told me that WW3 begins here so I went that route. I loved that book. It covered a huge battle, showed some character changes, and had a strong resolution. No complaints. Jumping then to WW3 was such a downer. It was essentially a drawn out, less interesting retelling of the story I had just enjoyed in 22 pages. Why was Martian Manhunter’s presence looming like the Spectre usually does? I know the Spectre is MIA and it was addressed but still. Too much navel gazing. If this big event helped us fill in some of the OYL bits, and it did, why do I still have no clue about Commissioner Gordon? That little fact is nagging me. I’ll bet a Batman annual will fix that in the next few months. $4.99 I’m sure.
I love comics and more importantly never mind spending cash on books I plan on reading – it is almost always an inherently good act. Still, this feels very much like an unnecessary book. 52 #50 covered all I needed to know and about an extra 15 pages here or there would have given me the OYL info I needed. This, coupled with the pricing I noted above, makes this feel more bloated than usual.
I love 52 and I’m in for Countdown. Black Adam is one of the most interesting characters around these days but it would be nice to see him in a better set of books. I’m sure Countdown will fix that. These events, when elevated above this week’s bloated books, are very interesting and will happily resonate for the next year of infinite purchases.