52 has been leading up to this?! Talk about lame.
When reading the press releases and all the hype surrounding World War 3 I was expecting something Earth shattering to happen. In a way it did… Black Adam slaughtered mass amounts of innocent humans in an attempt to get some manner of twisted revenge on the world for the loss of his beloved Isis and her brother Osiris.
In theory this should have been a great comic.
Perhaps I expected too much out of this mini-event, but I can now say that I am disappointed.
Let’s examine the good and the bad. The following does contain spoilers, so you should come back to this article after you’ve read World War two, or do yourself a favor and just read the synopsis of each book (links below).
First up, the good
There are two different aspects of this comic which I would like to cover in this review. Concept, which is the idea behind the execution of this mini-series, and plot which is the actual execution of it.
I absolutely love the concept behind World War III. DC nailed it when they said a war between super heroes would be quick. That’s one of the things that Marvel lacked in their Civil War series. They were caught up in the red tape of bureaucracy that they forgot that super heroes settle things with their fists. DC didn’t make that mistake.
Black Adam is an awesome character who’s potential has rarely been tapped until now. Seeing the destruction he’s capable of was really cool. I would venture to say that his only equal (outside of Captain Marvel) is the Spectre, and not even Superman (who is susceptible to magic) would be able to stop him.
Killing off Terra and Young Frankenstein was a nice touch as well. I really hate the Teen Titans. My only regret in the fight is that Adam didn’t murder the whole lot of ’em.
It was also nice to see Infinity Inc. cower in fear when asked to go in to battle. They are weaklings crafted by Luthor and will hopefully be written out altogether very soon.
If you’ve been following Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Checkmate or any of the other crappy new comics that came out after Infinite Crisis, I suppose it’s cool that you got more insight on what happened to these characters prior to the One Year Later storylines.
Now for the bad
This series moved very quickly, which is necessary from the standpoint that this was meant to take place in one week, but it made the comic feel empty and the concept feel shallow. DC would have been better off releasing this as a one-shot issue with all four issues grouped in to one, or release four separate issues but double or triple the length of each. So many separate story lines were attempted to be touched on that it made the over all story feel disjointed. This concept works well in 52 because the writers had a full year to stretch the multiple stories out and truly delve in to each character. World War 3 however tries to cram in as much information as possible in four issues and it just feels wrong.
Also, I stopped following certain characters in the DC Universe months ago, such as the goings on of Checkmate. Others I didn’t bother to pick up (Firestorm and Aquaman). These low sales, boring characters are the side stories that World War 3 attempts to interest us in.
The main story on the other hand, is that of Black Adam murdering people, and super heroes attempting to stop him. This is could have been a good story if we perhaps had some manner of character development on the supporting cast, outside of the Martian Manhunter. Instead the main story was little more than a 4 issue brawl; an extension of the fight which we already read about in 52 issue #50. In short, it was a money maker and little else.
What find to be rather humorous is this week’s DC Nation column which says in part:
“That’s why this week, in conjunction with 52 #50, we have four one-shots designed to cover the deep-reaching changes the war caused. In these books, you can see the effects of the war on the Teen Titans, Firestorm, Supergirl, Batgirl, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter and so many others.”
Deep reaching changes huh?
Teen Titans, Martian Manhunter and Aquaman I’ll buy. Their lives were pretty well changed in the events of WWIII. But Firestorm, Supergirl and Batgirl? Not at all.
Let’s take a look at these three:
Firestorm merges with Firehawk. I suppose this is going to be permanent? I also suppose I’m expected to give a crap? Firestorm is a boring character. If this merger with Firehawk is actually “deep reaching” in some way then I guess I’m wrong, but seriously… it’s not that exciting.
Supergirl, according to book 3, was “mysteriously divided, and one of her selves has fallen to Earth, while the other remains lost in space”. Oh good… more dual Kara personalities. That’s not all that “deep reaching” is it? It’s not even much of a change. We’ve already seen a split Supergirl before the Infinite Crisis ended!.
Batgirl? You’ve got to be kidding me. She was in 3 pages… 5 max. And it involved Deathstroke trying to manipulate her way of thinking about being a hero. You can’t seriously consider that a “deep reaching change”. Perhaps a prelude to a “deep reaching change” but no real event took place. There were words exchanged and that was pretty much the extent of it.
52 has been nothing short of a masterpiece. Word War 3 was nothing short of filler that resulted in a little extra cash for DC to line their pockets with.