By Keith Champagne, John Ostrander & various (DC Comics)
From the pages of 52 (specifically Volume 4 – ISBN: 978-1-84576-624-5 – and exactly between weeks 49 and 50) comes this all-out action blockbuster, originally released as a four-part miniseries. Each chapter is by a different creative team and depicts a gathering of heroes as the super-powered despot Black Adam, at the very brink of finding peace and redemption, loses his beloved family and descends into all-consuming genocidal rage.
Decimating an entire country, he seems incapable of stopping himself. His grief-fuelled destructive rampages threaten the entire planet. Then the super-heroes gather to stop him, by any means necessary…
‘A Call to Arms’ is by Keith Champagne, Pat Olliffe and Drew Geraci, ‘The Valiant’ by Champagne, Andy Smith and Ray Snyder, ‘Hell is For Heroes’ is by John Ostrander, Tom Derenick and Norm Rapmund and ‘United We Stand’ comes from Ostrander, Jack Jadson and Rodney Ramos.
The miniseries fed right back into the greater 52 storyline, and Week 50 is included here to round off the tale. It is by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid, with breakdowns by Keith Giffen, pencils by Justiniano and inks by Walden Wong.
There’s very little to critique here: All the emotional build-up and investment in the characters occurs in 52 itself and that story easily stands without this aside. Regrettably though, the reverse is not true. WWIII is pretty but impenetrable without the grounding of the greater series to support it. If you’re an art or action lover, however, there are lots and lots of pretty explosions and much hitting…
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