52: Volume I – A Graphic Novel Review

I’ll admit it, I read every spoiler of this series on a weekly basis. I know how it ends, but even that did not diminish the sheer pleasure I derived in reading 52: Volume I. Reading the collected edition of this series cannot possibly mimic the experience of reading it on a weekly basis, but let me just say that the work most definitely holds up as a collected volume. It progresses smoothly with little to no breaks in consistency, and considering that the men writing it were working as a team and cranking this monster out for an entire year, AND never missed a deadline, well, that just makes me appreciate the work even more.

Make no mistake: Volume I is mostly setting up things to come. Even so, I am fascinated with the characters they’re focusing on. They’ve chosen to spotlight characters that are not in the upper echelon of the DC pantheon because, after all, 52 is supposed to take place during a year without Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman. I love them using lesser-known characters because the reader realizes anything goes, which obviously lifts the level of suspense. But even by the end of Volume I, these lower-tier characters had already won me over.

I also need to tell you that while the writing is rock solid, the art changes from issue to issue (as you can surely understand). I found the art more than adequate, but for some people it may be distracting.

I truly believe you have to put yourself in the shoes of the creators with this work and keep an open mind on some of the production issues that they had no control over. They pulled off an amazing feat, and best of all, the quality is superb!

JSA: Ghost Stories – A Graphic Novel Review

What can I say? I love the characters utilized in JSA. Sure, Ghost Stories isn’t as great as some of the other collected editions of this series, but it’s a nice read and it’s fun to have Paul Levitz writing the final arc before Geoff Johns restarts the title as Justice Society of America. Best of all, we get to see the classic artwork of George Perez and Jerry Ordway, as well as fan-favorite Rags Morales.

This edition gives us a bit of an insight in the Gentleman Ghost, and while I’d never really felt the urge to learn more about this villain, I didn’t mind it. There was some confusion as this arc takes place during DC’s One Year Later event, so we don’t know some of what they’re referring to. Such things are being revealed in the 52 storyline taking place even as I type.

Anyway, I read comics for enjoyment and so I’m willing to set little frustrations like that aside and simply take pleasure in Ghost Stories for what it is. It’s always pleasurable to see art by Perez as well as Ordway.