Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The failure of 52

Warning: contains spoilers for 52 #15

I'm enjoying 52.

It's an interesting approach to the anthology - turning it into an ensemble piece where different characters are off doing their own thing, but having it all occur in the same comic without any discrete separation, so the various storylines thread together and build up a rich background that informs all the characters' separate adventures.

Where it falls down is that the different stories are not integrated enough. So when the main character in one thread appears to die I am entirely unconvinced because there is nobody to continue his storyline. A storyline that is full of unanswered questions that is so clearly not over. It's a shame, because the format is ideal for a situation where the plot from one segment runs into the plot from another, but they just don't overlap that much. This is a comic where events in one storyline should affect the others, but other than in a general background way, it's not happening, and there is nobody in place to take over this particular plot. And 52 has been far too well organised so far to have this come grinding to a halt with so much unresolved, or for some new figure to come in and take over the story.

He's not dead, Jim.


Anonymous said...

Overall, I've been enjoying 52 as well....and I agree there needs to be more convergence of the various storylines. Happily, Montoya and the Question traveling to Kahndaq seems to be a step in that direction.

Something else I think the series could use are a few more "HOLY CRAP!!!" moments, whether they're big revelations or shocking twists we don't see coming. There was something like that a few weeks back with "Wicker Sue Dibney", but I could use more of them.

I'm sure things will steadily heat up as we near the end of the year-long series....but I think it needs a little more "spice" along the way.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think things are going to start interweaving a lot more as we get further on. That said, they should already have. Ah well.

Bully said...

The trouble is even a 52-fan like me is starting to get impatient. We're one-quarter of the way through and I want the series to start hitting some major beats. Last week's death is one, but I agree: I don't want that to be the end of that storyline. We shall see.

Anonymous said...

I think the problem may lie in teh fact that this series is messing with everyone's "properties" Each storyline seems distant from the other because they have had to plot this thing out 1. Extremely carefully given teh pace it is taking and 2. So that they are careful not to put characters in with eachother that will then screw up storylines going on next spring in their other books. (if that makes any sense)