52, Vol. 2
Storytellers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, and Greg Rucka; various artists.
Publisher: DC Comics
Year of Publication: 2016
Page Count: 584
What I Learned About Writing/Storytelling: In a shared universe like that of DC Comics, continuity is king. You have to meet the standard thresholds of good art and solid story structure, dialogue, and character beats, but if you’re a writer who really wants to resonate with fans, tapping into continuity is the way to go. That’s what Marvel is doing with their movies, and it’s working.
Of course, this can be done wrong, such as in the infamously craptastic Justice League: Cry for Justice, but 52 gets it more than right. How did Rucka, Morrison, Waid and Johns get it right? They demonstrated a solid grasp on the fandom zeitgeist and the continuity itself, allowing them to build an awesome story.
What I Learned About Art/Storytelling: While there were a lot of different artists working on this book, it stands as a testament that such an arrangement doesn’t have to be a liability. Each art team manages to fit their art to the feel of the stories for which they’re respectively illustrating.
It would be one thing if more than one artist worked on the same issue, as I’ve seen done before to underwhelming effect, but the minds behind 52 seem to avoid that trap. The obvious explanation for the rotating art teams was that they wanted to keep up with the demands of a weekly book, but they did it in a smart way by pairing each art team with the appropriate story.
Notes/Review/Synopsis: 52 is a love letter to DC continuity, hailing from a happier era of Big Two comics. It follows the events of the lost year between Infinite Crisis and the subsequent One Year Later event. Although I am no longer closely following the goings-on of the Big Two, I look forward to reading up on all these lovely reprints of older comics, readily available through my local library.
Image from GetComics.info