SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today, appropriately enough, we look at Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid and Keith Giffen’s 52!
One of the most notable aspects of 52 was JG Jones’ beautiful covers – this was basically all he did for 2006 and 2007, but in the long run, it was probably worth it, just to have an artist this good committed to the covers of each issue of 52.
Another major part of the series was the addition of Keith Giffen to the project as the lay-out artist for the majority of the series (he also worked as a sort of co-plotter) – Giffen’s a very good storyteller, artistically, so having him as the foundation for the various artists who worked on the project was an important addition.
The biggest part of the project, though, was, naturally, the quartet of writers who worked on the year-long weekly project – Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid all plotted the series together (Steve Wacker was the initial editor) and each man more or less took a story or two as “their” baby (like Rucka was the main writer for the Renee Montoya story), so as a result, you basically got seven year-long stories by four of the best writers in comics – all in one comic book!
Reading the comics in their original format (at the time), the comic had a bit of a slow start, but when you read the collected work, wow, it goes by pretty quickly, and when it gets to the END of the series? Wow! It becomes a roller coaster ride of excitement!
The main characters (and plots) of the series (whose selling point was a year’s worth of stories with no Batman, Superman or Wonder Woman to be the leads) were:
Booster Gold and Supernova
Steel versus Lex Luthor
Animal Man, Starfire and Adam Strange’s Excellent Space Adventure
Elongated Man’s attempts to bring his wife back to life (or WAS he?)
Renee Montoya becoming the new Question (I think Batwoman’s introduction is folded into this story, but if you want to count her as her own story, then fair enough)
Will Magnus being trapped along with a Who’s Who of mad sceintists
Black Adam trying to form a “Black Adam Family,” and it not going so well
The stories were all handled impressively well, considering that they had to share space with each other.
One of the intended goals of the series that never actually happened was that this project would explain what happened in the “missing year” after Infinite Crisis (all the DC books picked up “One Year Later” in their plots), and while it DID explain somethings, for the most part it just told the above seven stories (DC even had a mini-series towards the end that tied in with 52 where some others writers had to quickly work in all the changes that had not been addressed yet – as you might imagine, it didn’t really work all that well), but I can’t really begrudge them – the format they came up with was a lot more interesting.
The whole project is collected into four trades – it is worthwhile read.
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