DC Comics' "52" Preview
If you haven’t picked up the IC series yet, then the rest of this article doesn’t apply—go to your nearest comic shop and catch up on the events. IC came to an exciting close last week, and trust me you don’t want any spoilers. If you’re really confused, the official DC website has some nice character bios and Crisis info for a crash course tutorial (dccomics.com).
But, if you’ve just finished IC and have been exploring the One Year Later books, then you’re ready for 52 which launches Wednesday, 5/10. 52 is a year long series chronicling the missing year in the DC universe. Think of the series as a cross between the popular TV shows Lost and 24—each issue is essentially a flashback explaining how our favorite characters arrived at their current situations, and the series is told in weekly real time for exactly one year. Hey, why not steal narrative techniques from hit TV shows if the formula works?
52 highlights the “lesser” characters in the DCU, while the big three (Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman) are away for a year rediscovering themselves. Can the second string hold down the fort (or world, as the case may be) while the mighty icons are on vacation? The series will explore the value of every hero, whether he/she is the Man of Steel or simply a Plastic Man. Every character, no matter how small (an Atom, perhaps?), plays a role in establishing justice and peace in the ravaged universe. Sort or reminds me of the Body of Christ, in that ALL parts of the Body must contribute in order for the Body to function properly. There is no such thing as a lone hero in the Body; each believer is important, contributing to a unified Church.
What better way to illustrate the importance of unity than the recent events of Identity Crisis? The story leading into 52 is indeed a morality tale which reveals how suspicion, factions, and isolation can destroy harmony and lead to chaos. The Justice League’s undoing was due in part to the distance and mistrust between the lesser-known characters (Blue Beetle, for example, RIP) and the A-List Team (Batman, for example). Now, with the non-existent Justice League and a fractured universe, every character has to work together in order to establish justice. Teams must be re-created, friendships restored, and villains punished. Most importantly, the heroes have to rebuild their unity. There is no longer room in the universe for the lone hero.
Should be an exciting 52 weeks, comic fans…