52, Vol. 4
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52, Vol. 4 (52 #4; issues 40-52)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,645 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Paperback, 328 pages
Published November 7th 2007 by DC Comics (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,080)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
When I started 52 Vol 4 I was ever-so-slightly fatigued. This isn’t too surprising, considering that the 52 story is told in real time over 52 weeks (one year). Compressing a year’s worth of story into a little more than a week might not necessarily be the best way to go about reading this... On the other hand, it’s so very addictive!

I’ve re-read the whole of 52 as part of my 2014 graphic novel binge. Volume 4 obviously concludes the saga with weeks 40 through 52.

The writers pull a number of sur...more

This tale follows a “missing year” in the DC Universe after the groundbreaking “Infinite Crisis” story (see my review for that one) which was one of the bestselling graphic novels for the 2006 year. Note that "Final Crisis" follows after this and was published in 2009.

52 asks the questions who takes the role of the most popular superheroes (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman) when they step down from their roles? There are a list of vying superheroes trying to make a name for themselves...more
The 52 project was so huge that I didn't feel like I could give a decent review after any given volume. How to review what is, really, just a small part of a much bigger story? Now that I've finished all 52 issues, I can give a sort of post-mortem.

There are so many storylines, and so much to wrap up, that the last 13 issues had huge events nearly every other issue. It certainly kept me reading. This was the only one of the 52 trades that I read all in one sitting. For the most part, I was prett...more
Satisfying conclusion to the series. I felt greatly educated, by the end of it, of all the (relatively) minor DC Universe characters that I hadn't yet encountered, given that my exposure to the mainstream titles had been through Wonder Woman and Gotham-based books (oddly, I never read a lot of Batman titles. I did read a lot of Catwoman and Gotham PD books.)

Story-wise, the reveal with Sobek was a moment of "Holy shit, I can't believe they did that in a mainstream title!" Ditto for the bit with I...more
I wasn't sure about this series as it intentionally focused on more supporting characters in the DC Universe (no Batman or Superman)in the year following the events of Infinite Crisis. However, the characters they selected proved complex and their storylines compelling. Unfortunately, like almost all of these special events, nothing ultimately happens or at least nothing really changes that can't be unchanged to suit writers' needs/lack of imagination.
John Yelverton
Every page I turned was more amazing than the last.
Summary: too bad about the never-say-die multiverse addiction at DC.

Dibny's story? Awesome. Week 43 Day 1? Like a five-year-old wrote it.

Black Adam's finale was not written by that five-year-old, and works much better.

And the build-up to the final climax? Cool. I felt like I participated in something actually pretty wondrous.

Too bad about bringing back the multiverse tho. Seems like DC is just addicted to its easy outs - the many, many variations on the same themes that make it so easy to expla...more
The best part, as in the other three volumes, is Renee's story. I especially liked her team-up with Dick. They should work together more often, especially with Kate.

I did like the John Henry Irons/Everyman storyline. Way to make things interesting, Lex.

I felt bad that Kory was stuck in such an uninteresting plotline, and I disliked the island of mad scientists, but the thing that kept me from truly loving this book was Black Adam's story. Ugh. I really wanted his redemption to stick and I reall...more
Five stars for this volume, five stars for the series as a whole.

I think this series has more character development than any series I've ever read. Kate Kane, Ralph Dibny, Natasha Irons, John Henry Irons, and especially Booster Gold and Renee Montoya. It's all great and really well-written.

I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves superhero comics. And what would you expect when you're reading something by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid? And Keith Giffen's breakd...more
Kirk Kiefer
I would rate this volume 3.5 rather than 4 stars, mostly because many issues are taken up with big plot summation dialogue. I understand why, given the number of threads that had to be tied up and the limited amount of space they had to do it, but it still was a bit repetitious to have so many expository scenes so close together.

That aside, it was still a fun ride and well worth my time and money. As a Bat-fan it was nice to see the early adventures of Batwoman (even if some of the back story he...more
Robert Morganbesser
This will be the same review for all four volumes. First, while I liked seeing some of the lesser known DC heroes and villains get highlighted, since this led to the New 52, which as an older fan, has left me behind, I'm unhappy with it. They killed off a few too many of the newer heroes (I'd have liked to see Isis survive, and since Superman died and the world got on for a year, we already know what a world without Superman would be like). I found the harsh treatment of Diana, who killed Max Lo...more
Again, guys... If you're reading my reviews on these volumes, this is going to kind of pick up where I left off on the first three volumes.

This book wrapped up nicely the plot threads that were hanging in the first three volumes. All the fantastic, seldom used characters are still here, along with the tales from the premiere creators in comics, all of them great fun to read.

As with the other volumes, the art was nice and solid, employing it's own host of fantastic talent.

Again, as with the fi...more
Gayle Francis Moffet
Well, if you're gonna end it with a bang, ending it with a time-travel bang is the absolute best way to do it.

Honestly, I really enjoyed every ending on this book save Black Adam's. Killing off his family like they did just felt like melodrama and didn't feel coherent in the story. But everyone else? Excellent endings all around, especially Booster.

It's especially exceptional because the endings all happen over 12 issues, and it's a credit to the writing staff that the story felt coherent, int...more
The final volume of 52 is a nonstop thrill ride, where each of our main character's plot lines wrap up with time to spare. We have Steel's triumph over Lex Luthor that happens fairly early on, Ralph Dibny's fate (with a touching epilogue in the series final pages that brings the Elongated Man's purpose home full throttle), Renee Montoya's soul searching that leads her to the answer to Vic Sage's question and World War III, which centers around Black Adam and the mad scientists of Oolong Island....more
You have to give them this - they have mighty, mighty gumption. (OK, I was going to use an anatomical reference, but we'll go with gumption). "The missing year" in DC continuity turns out to be far more consequential than I had expected. Seriously, I just thought there'd be a huge flash-bang fight at the end and nothing major would change in the DCU.

I was wrong. I got my flash-bang fight all right, I got "World War III" after all, but the impact from this 52 issue epic will clearly be vast. It i...more
Michelle Cristiani
Oh, how I loved this series. I am a little sad to finally read the last one. The artwork was phenomenal, the story was gripping, and the layouts and plotlines were seamless - even for one easily confused as I. What a dream team of writers.

I'm late to the party, because this came out on 2007, but I am happy to see the DC 'multiverse' back. Mark Waid writes in the comments that the line 'welcome home' is his favorite in the series. He says, "'Home,' both to us as writers and to our characters, is...more
Amber Ditullio
Oct 21, 2011 Amber Ditullio rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Superhero Comics, Those who like to read epic comic stories
Recommended to Amber by: Highpockets on SparkPeople
Shelves: graphic-novel
(This review is for 52, Vol 1-4. I couldn't separate them out in my mind.

52 is the story of what happens between the end of Infinite Crisis (after which Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman disappeared for a year) and Year One, where there was a bit of a reboot/change in the status quo. The story revolves around... well, almost all of the characters you've ever cared to hear about in the DC Universe. There are many storylines that weave themselves together into a wonderful whole - Booster Gold and...more
Karl Kindt
Dec 26, 2007 Karl Kindt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: DC fans
It ends well. Very little leftist politics to spoil the final chapters. All the characters were well used. This weekly comic is amazing. Take out the ridiculous leftist slop shoe-horned into the story, and this is 5/5 stars. As a whole, this series is the best DC epic ever, even better than CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. Why is it better than CRISIS? CRISIS only real failing was that it felt superficial, like there was too much story and too many characters for the time the storytellers had to tell....more
So... this is DC's stab at emulating weekly tv series and it succeeds to do so on all terms. Although the one week at a time device echoes 24, the series it most resembles is LOST. Good hook, some really cool episodes in there and a rushed,incomprehensible, dumb as nails ending. Too many cooks on this one. If only Rucka and Morrison had written this, it would have been awesome. This makes you appreciate how good Morrison's FINAL CRISIS is. He's probably the only writer besides Warren Ellis that...more
Amal El-Mohtar
Summing up all 4 volumes as follows:

The amount of teamwork and organization that went into this is truly staggering, and the star rating reflects how impressed I was by its density and inventiveness. However it did feel like I was reading 12 different competent books simultaneously, and enjoying some a lot more than others. Everything that was IN SPAAACE bored me (I'm just bemused by Lobo), but other plots annoyed me in their beginnings but paid off in their ends (Booster Gold, Everyman project,...more
Indika De Silva
The epic conclusion for the 52 series. The last volume was a real page turner. The team of writers takes the readers through so many twists and turns and hoops and whatsnot..

A must read for fans of DC comics. The number of plots, sub-plots and counter plots are so much I will not attempt to discuss any in this review.

This was a great series. There were several concurrent storylines, and numerous lesser-known characters, but they all got the attention they deserved, and there was enough information that even people new to comics would be able to follow most of it. (And for the very few "who/what the hell is ______" moments, there's always Wikipedia.)

The great thing about 52 is that it helped me to see what's so great about many of the under-utilized characters in DC's pantheon. Here are some characters I knew...more
half gold, half crap. Which half is which really depends on your POV.

The Island of mad scientists was brilliant, loved the new Chinese super heroes, the redemption of Booster Gold had it's moments and against my better judgement I liked the Renee/Lesbian Batwoman story.

The Elongagated man arc was asinine. I know 'Identity Crisis was horrible and wrote Ralph Digby into a corner, but this was the best they could come up with to fix it?
What genius thought it'd be really cool to create a grim and g...more
Feb 24, 2013 Sean rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: DC Comics fans!
A year long weekly comic is an amazing undertaking. The fact that Johns, Rucka, Waid, Grant, Giffen, many pencillers and editors were able to complete this is an unbelievably huge achievement. There is no way around that. The problems lie with the inconsistencies that you would expect wit all the different people involved. Characters looked wildly different from issue to issue which was jarring and at times confusing. The story once again had high extremes and lows. Batwoman, Question, Black Ada...more
This is it, the final climactic conclusion to the 52 event. They've been building up to this with the previous 39 issues, and they don't let you down with the ending.

The best part for me is the WWIII climax, in which Black Adam goes on a total rampage after his second family is killed. When she died, I got goosebumps. I still do when I think about it. His rampage is not unjustified, and he becomes the force of rage, pain, and loss personified. Nothing is better than a tragic villain.

The Mister...more
End of the 52 week/issues after the events of Infinite Earths. Batman is off, Flash is dead, Superman has lost his powers, Wonder Woman MIA.

The story was good fun and had some decent twists along the way.
Krista Jenkins
Overall the series was enjoyable. I picked this up under recommendation of a friend as it focuses on the VERY minor characters of the DC-verse. Two of which being my favorite: Elongated Man and Booster Gold. Four volumes of 13-issues later I realized I only enjoyed their stories. I found the other stories boring and dull because I couldn't care about the other characters and what was going on with them. I suppose the Titans being in for a bit was cool, but The Marvel's and Black Adam, The Questi...more
The only downside of re-reading this series is that it reminded me the ending is relatively weak. I'm not sure I really like how any of the non-Question plotlines wrap up (and even that I had some issues with this time around), and overall there's a bit of a "oh dammit, we ran out of space!" feeling to a lot of the resolution. Still very very good comic-booking, just maybe not everything it could have been. Nonetheless, it's amazing the whole thing is this good considering it was written one wee...more
Maxwell Heath
Overall, I think the main story I actually enjoyed was Renee Montoya becoming the Question. I enjoyed her in Gotham Central, and it's interesting to see the character's next step. The Ralph Dibny story was also good, and the mad scientists getting revenge for all the bullying they've suffered was fun. Other than that, there wasn't much here that interested me, with the space heroes probably being the worst, since it felt entirely pointless.
The whole run of this story is pretty great, so it's unfortunate that the end (particularly the Booster Gold stuff) is unsatisfying. Formally, it's a fairly remarkable story, and the writers' ability to integrate their various approaches and to use many seemingly small details is worth a look.

I also didn't think the WWIII stuff was so great, particularly removed from that miniseries (which wasn't so great in itself).
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Geoff Johns originally hails from Detroit, Michigan. He attended Michigan State University, where he earned a degree in Media Arts and Film. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 1990’s in search of work within the film industry. Through perseverance, Geoff ended up as the assistant to Richard Donner, working on Conspiracy Theory and Lethal Weapon 4. During that time, he also began his comics career...more
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