Home > DC Comics > 52 #8

52 #8

June 29, 2006

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Thief

A new hero appears, old heroes reunite and John Henry Irons begins a chilling transformation.

Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid & Dan Jurgens
Breakdowns: Keith Giffen
Pencils: Eddy Barrows & Dan Jurgens
Inks: Rob Stull & Andy Lanning
Colors: Alex Sinclair, Jeromy Cox & Guy Major
Letters: Travis Lanham & Nick J. Napolitano
Editors: Stephen Wacker, Eddie Berganza, Ivan Cohen & Jeanine Schaefer
Cover Art: J.G. Jones & Alex Sinclair
Publisher: DC Comics

Review: There’s an awful lot going on in this week’s issue of 52, and as much of it involves Steel, that makes me a very happy camper. John Henry Irons is beginning to exhibit symptoms of a very bizarre transformation, and a checkup at S.T.A.R. Labs proves his worst fears realized. At the same time his niece, Natasha, fed up with trying to build her own armor to replace the one John Henry took from her, begins to ponder Lex Luthor’s metagene project.

Meanwhile, Ralph Dibney recruits an old friend to help his investigation into the Cult of Conner, Booster Gold defends himself to the media, a new superhero appears in Metropolis and the space trio of Adam Strange, Animal Man and Starfire run across a new threat. It’s hard to imagine how any comic could pack more story into such a relatively short page length.

The Steel stuff continues to be my favorite aspect of 52. John Henry is one of my favorite DC characters, and seeing him face off against Lex Luthor in Superman’s absence is immensely satisfying. Natasha’s “teenage rebellion” story arc is working as well, and between the two of them it seems like Steel’s corner of Superman’s universe is in for some major changes.

Ralph’s storyline this issue also gives us a lot to go on, as we see the planting of some of one of the best “One Year Later” storylines so far. The new hero that arrives this issue only makes a quick, mysterious appearance that helps build up the drama surrounding him.

Eddy Barrows’s pencils this issue are quite an improvement over the last couple of issues – while Keith Giffen’s layouts help this book maintain a consistent look no matter who the penciller is, some will invariably be better than others, and I like what Barrows does here.

As for Dan Jurgens’s “History of the DC Universe” segment… well… I’m a Jurgens fan from way back, but I just can’t wring any enjoyment out of this feature. It’s just treading water, going over stuff that long-time readers already know and new readers will just be confused by. It’s wasted potential all around. I’m just glad there are only three weeks left before we finish it off and move on to the origin stories that will make up the rest of this title’s run.

Rating: 8/10

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