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52 (2006-2007)

The week after Infinite Crisis, DC debuted 52, its first weekly series since Action Comics became Action Comics Weekly for less than a year in 1988-1989. During Infinite Crisis, the entire DC Universe was moved forward a full narrative year, and 52 set out to tell the story of this missing year in real time, with each issue covering the events of a week. DC had established that Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman were not active during this year, which gave 52 a narrative hook: it would depict, for the first extended story, a DC Universe without DC’s “big three.”

52 was written by a team of four writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid. This team seems to have worked well together, and they didn’t reveal who wrote what, except that Grant Morrison wrote Animal Man‘s dialogue, in deference to his run on the character. J. G. Jones provided covers for all 52 issues. Interior artists varied, although Keith Giffen did breakdowns for the entire series, helping to unite it artistically.

Beginning with issue #2, 52 began a back-up feature, entitled “History of the DCU,” an updated version of History of the DC Universe, which had followed Crisis on Infinite Earths. “History of the DCU” (10 chapters, 40 pages) wrapped with issue #11 and was followed by two-page origin stories starring various characters, each written by Mark Waid, with various artists. These origin stories appeared in issues #12-20, 22-28, 30-34, 36-39, 41-43, 46-49, and 51 (a total of 33 stories and 66 pages). The other issues featured longer stories and no back-up.

The story of 52 was originally intended to exclude DC’s big three, but they crept back into the story. Particularly memorable was Batman retracing the path he’d taken during his years of training to become a vigilante. But minor characters such as Ralph Dibny, Booster Gold, and the villain Black Adam wound up having memorable story arcs. In fact, Black Adam’s storyline, in which he gained a family of his own only to lose them, led into the series climax, in 52 #50, where Black Adam turned his rage upon humanity, an event known as World War III within the DC Universe. Augmenting this event was a four-issue mini-series, every issue of which was published (and occurred during) the same week as 52 #50.

The 40-page conclusion offered another memorable event: the formal restoration of DC’s multiverse, a concept abandoned in the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths. In fact, this was rumored to have been the conclusion of Infinite Crisis, but that story was changed prior to publication. Thus, in 52 #52, the new DC multiverse was said to consist of 52 universes (called Earths as in the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths system), explaining the mysterious presence of the number “52″ throughout the series (as well as the series’s title).

52 became a wild success, with each of its weekly issues ranking among the top-sellers in their month of publication. The series hadn’t missed a week, and its various plots somehow managed to come together fairly successfully. Suddenly, every publisher seemed to be considering weekly publications.

The week after 52 #52, DC began a second year-long weekly series titled Countdown, which began with #51, as if it were counting back down from 52‘s numbering. Whereas 52 was essentially a flashback, set during the DC Universe’s missing year, Countdown was intended as the backbone of the DC Universe, leading into DC’s next big universe-wide crossover. For this reason, halfway through the series, it was renumbered Countdown to Final Crisis. The series, however, was a massive critical failure, proof that the magic that was 52 could not be easily recaptured.

52: The Companion

collects stories from Mysterious Suspense #1, Gotham Central #40, Animal Man Vol. 1 #16, Detective Comics Vol. 1 #350, Metal Men #45, Superman: The Man of Steel #97, Strange Adventures #226, Rip Hunter: Time Master #97, Secret Origins #35 and JSA #43-44; reprints old stories featuring the stars of 52; contains introductions to each story by Mark Waid; introduction by Mark Waid; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; 224 pages; $19.99; published Oct 2007

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52 #1

“Golden Lads & Lasses Must” -- 24 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Joe Bennett; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Ruy Jose

first issue; a.k.a. 52 Week One; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 10 May 2006; published 10 May 2006

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52 #2

“Looking Back at Tomorrow” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Joe Bennett; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Jack Jadson
  • Ralph Dibny focuses on the mystery of missing mad scientists

“History of the DCU, Part 1″ -- 4 pages

  • written by Dan Jurgens; breakdowns by Dan Jurgens; finishes by Art Thibert
  • addresses the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC Universe

a.k.a. 52 Week Two; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 17 May 2006; published 17 May 2006
52 #3

“New World Order” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Joe Bennett; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Ruy Jose
  • Gotham police find the body of Alex Luthor, altered to look like Lex Luthor
  • as she chases Terra Man, Power Girl is warned out of Kahndaq air space by Black Adam
  • Black Adam rebuffs Intergang and shows the world how he believes heroes should act, in his own violent way

“History of the DCU, Part 2″ -- 4 pages

  • written by Dan Jurgens; breakdowns by Dan Jurgens; finishes by Art Thibert
  • continues the story of the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC Universe

a.k.a. 52 Week Three; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 24 May 2006; published 24 May 2006
52 #4

“Dances with Monsters” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Joe Bennett; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Jack Jadson
  • the “space team” heroes (from The Rann-Thanagar War and Infinite Crisis) return

“History of the DCU, Part 3″ -- 4 pages

  • written by Dan Jurgens; breakdowns by Dan Jurgens; finishes by Art Thibert
  • tells the story of Crisis on Infinite Earths up to the death of Supergirl

a.k.a. 52 Week Four; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 31 May 2006; published 31 May 2006
52 #5

“Stars in Their Courses” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Chris Batista; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Jimmy Palmiotti
  • Green Lantern has to tell Ellen Baker that Animal Man wasn’t among those who returned

“History of the DCU, Part 4″ -- 4 pages

  • written by Dan Jurgens; breakdowns by Dan Jurgens; finishes by Norm Rapmund
  • completes the story of Crisis on Infinite Earths

a.k.a. 52 Week Five; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 7 June 2006; published 7 June 2006
52 #6

“China Syndrome” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Joe Bennett; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Ruy Jose
  • introduces China’s Great Ten (Accomplished Perfect Physician, August General in Iron, Celestial Archer, Ghost Fox Killer, Immortal Man in Darkness, Manthrax, Mother of Champions, Seven Deadly Brothers, Shaolin Robot, Socialist Red Guardsman, and Thundermind)

“History of the DCU, Part 5″ -- 4 pages

  • written by Dan Jurgens; breakdowns by Dan Jurgens; finishes by Andy Lanning
  • covers the period from Crisis on Infinite Earths to the death of Superman

a.k.a. 52 Week Six; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 14 June 2006; published 14 June 2006
52 #7

“Going Down” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Ken Lashley; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Ken Lashley and Draxhall
  • Booster is publicly taken down by Manthrax
  • shows Adam Strange, Animal Man, and Starfire in space

“History of the DCU, Part 6″ -- 4 pages

  • written by Dan Jurgens; breakdowns by Dan Jurgens; finishes by Norm Rapmund
  • retells the events of Zero Hour

a.k.a. 52 Week Seven; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 21 June 2006; published 21 June 2006
52 #8

“Thief” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Eddy Barrows; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Rob Stull
  • Steel seeks help from S.T.A.R. Labs to deal with his new powers
  • Natasha turns from her uncle to Luthor for help regaining her role as a hero

“History of the DCU, Part 7″ -- 4 pages

  • written by Dan Jurgens; breakdowns by Dan Jurgens; finishes by Andy Lanning
  • covers events following Zero Hour up to Identity Crisis

a.k.a. 52 Week Eight; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 28 June 2006; published 28 June 2006
52 #9

“Dream of America” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Shawn Moll; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Tom Nguyen
  • Steel confronts Luthor over Natasha and Luthor’s metahuman project

“History of the DCU, Part 8″ -- 4 pages

  • written by Dan Jurgens; breakdowns by Dan Jurgens; finishes by Andy Lanning
  • covers the events of Identity Crisis

a.k.a. 52 Week Nine; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 6 July 2006; published 6 July 2006
52 #10

“Stop the Press” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Chris Batista; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Jack Jadson and Jimmy Palmiotti

“History of the DCU, Part 9″ -- 4 pages

  • written by Dan Jurgens; breakdowns by Dan Jurgens; finishes by Andy Lanning
  • covers events after Identity Crisis up to Infinite Crisis

a.k.a. 52 Week Ten; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 13 July 2006; published 13 July 2006
52 #11

untitled -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Joe Bennett and Todd Nauck; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Marlo Alquiza and Jack Jadson
  • investigating InterGang, the Question and Montoya cross paths with Batwoman

“History of the DCU, Part 10″ -- 4 pages

  • written by Dan Jurgens; breakdowns by Dan Jurgens; finishes by Andy Lanning
  • covers the events of Infinite Crisis
  • reveals that Troia, not Jade, was supposed to die in space due to Alex Luthor’s giant hands
  • concludes “History of the DCU”

a.k.a. 52 Week Eleven; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 20 July 2006; published 20 July 2006
52 #12

“Mighty” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Eddy Barrows; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Rob Stull
  • Andrianna becomes Isis, after Captain Marvel gives her powers (at Black Adam’s request) on the Rock of Eternity

“The Origin of Wonder Woman” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Adam Hughes

a.k.a. 52 Week Twelve; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 27 July 2006; published 27 July 2006
52 #13

“Haystack” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Todd Nauck; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Marlo Alquiza
  • Black Adam and Isis try to rescue her brother

“The Origin of Elongated Man” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Kevin Nowlan

a.k.a. 52 Week Thirteen; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 2 Aug 2006; published 2 Aug 2006
52 Volume One

collects 52 #1-13; includes notes by the creators and editors at the end of every issue, Keith Giffen’s breakdown process, and a cover gallery; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; 304 pages; $19.99; cover-dated May 2007

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52 #14

“Sand and Rust” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Dale Eaglesham; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Art Thibert
  • the Question and Montoya continue their investigations in Black Adam’s homeland
  • Steel is found holed up after his beating by Natasha

“The Origin of Metamorpho, the Element Man” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Eric Powell

a.k.a. 52 Week Fourteen; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 9 Aug 2006; published 9 Aug 2006
52 #15

“Outshined” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Shawn Moll; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Tom Nguyen
  • a desperate Booster is again upstaged by Supernova

“The Origin of Steel” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Jon Bogdanove

a.k.a. 52 Week Fifteen; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 16 Aug 2006; published 16 Aug 2006
52 #16

“Uhebbuki” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Joe Bennett; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Ruy Jose
  • the Marvel Family travels to Kahndaq for the wedding of Black Adam and Isis

“The Origin of Black Adam” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by J. G. Jones

a.k.a. 52 Week Sixteen; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 23 Aug 2006; published 23 Aug 2006
52 #17

“Last of the Czarnians” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Chris Batista; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Jack Jadson and Ruy Jose
  • Luthor’s team of metahumans battles Kobra
  • in space, Adam Strange, Animal Man, and Starfire meet Lobo

“The Origin of Lobo” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Keith Giffen

a.k.a. 52 Week Seventeen; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 30 Aug 2006; published 30 Aug 2006
52 #18

“Dismantled” -- 19 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Eddy Barrows; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Rob Stull

“The Origin of the Question” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Joe Bennett

a.k.a. 52 Week Eighteen; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 6 Sept 2006; published 6 Sept 2006
52 #19

“History Repeats” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Patrick Olliffe; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Drew Geraci
  • in space, Adam Strange, Animal Man, and Starfire learn from Lobo about his religious conversion

“The Origin of Animal Man” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; pencils by Brian Bolland; inks by Mark Mardon

a.k.a. 52 Week Nineteen; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 13 Sept 2006; published 13 Sept 2006
52 #20

“God is Fragged” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Chris Batista; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Ruy Jose
  • Supernova visits the Batcave
  • Steel learns more about Luthor’s synthetic super-hero program

“The Origin of Adam Strange” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Kevin Nowlan

a.k.a. 52 Week Twenty; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 20 Sept 2006; published 20 Sept 2006
52 #21

“Teambuilding Exercises” -- 22 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Joe Bennett; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Jack Jadson
  • Luthor debuts his team of super-heroes as the new Infinity, Inc.

the first issue of 52 to not have a back-up story since issue #1; a.k.a. 52 Week Twenty-One; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 27 Sept 2006; published 27 Sept 2006
52 #22

“Burial Ground” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Eddy Barrows; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Rob Stull

“The Origin of Green Lantern” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; pencils by Ivan Reis; inks by Oclair Albert

a.k.a. 52 Week Twenty-Two; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 4 Oct 2006; published 4 Oct 2006
52 #23

“The Island of Professor Morrow” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Drew Johnson; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Ray Snyder
  • Professor Magnus arrives on Oolong Island to join the other missing mad scientists

“The Origin of Wildcat” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Jerry Ordway

a.k.a. 52 Week Twenty-Three; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 11 Oct 2006; published 11 Oct 2006
52 #24

“Just Imagine” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Phil Jimenez; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Andy Lanning
  • Firestorm tries to form a new Justice League

“The Origin of Booster Gold” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; pencils by Dan Jurgens; inks by Andy Lanning

a.k.a. 52 Week Twenty-Four; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 18 Oct 2006; published 18 Oct 2006
52 #25

“Liminal Times” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Joe Bennett, Dale Eaglesham, Phil Jimenez, and Patrick Olliffe; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Drew Geraci, Ruy Jose, Andy Lanning, and Art Thibert

“The Origin of Nightwing” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by George Perez

a.k.a. 52 Week Twenty-Five; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 25 Oct 2006; published 25 Oct 2006
52 #26

“Halfway House” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Patrick Olliffe; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Drew Geraci

“The Origin of Hawkman and Hawkgirl” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; pencils by Joe Bennett; inks by Ruy Jose

a.k.a. 52 Week Twenty-Six; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 1 Nov 2006; published 1 Nov 2006
52 Volume Two

collects 52 #14-26; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; 304 pages; $19.99; cover-dated July 2007

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52 #27

“The Past Best Hope” -- 21 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Shawn Moll; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Mariah Benes, Ruy Jose, Nelson, Rodney Ramos, and Prentis Rollins

“The Origin of Black Canary” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Howard Chaykin

a.k.a. 52 Week Twenty-Seven; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 8 Nov 2006; published 8 Nov 2006
52 #28

“Beyond the Black Stump” -- 21 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Drew Johnson; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Jack Jadson, Ruy Jose, and Rodney Ramos
  • Montoya and the Question return to Gotham with a warning

“The Origin of Catman” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; pencils by Dale Eaglesham; inks by Art Thibert

a.k.a. 52 Week Twenty-Eight; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 15 Nov 2006; published 15 Nov 2006
52 #29

“Name Calling” -- 22 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Chris Batista; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Jack Jadson
  • Infinity, Inc. marshals a Thanksgiving Day parade past Justice Society headquarters

the third issue of 52 with no back-up story; a.k.a. 52 Week Twenty-Nine; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 22 Nov 2006; published 22 Nov 2006
52 #30

“Dark Knight Down” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Joe Bennett; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Joe Bennett and Ruy Jose
  • focuses on Batman retracing his training in North Africa, with Nightwing and Robin in tow
  • also features the Question, Montoya, and Batwoman in Gotham

“The Origin of the Metal Men” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Duncan Rouleau

a.k.a. 52 Week Thirty; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 29 Nov 2006; published 29 Nov 2006
52 #31

“Human Resources” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Chris Batista; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Dan Green, Dave Meikis, and Rodney Ramos
  • in space, Adam Strange, Animal Man, and Starfire encounter Lady Styx and witness the apparent death of Captain Comet

“The Origin of Robin” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Freddie E. Williams II

a.k.a. 52 Week Thirty-One; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 6 Dec 2006; published 6 Dec 2006
52 #32

“Seven Days in Nanda Parbat” -- 21 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Patrick Olliffe; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Drew Geraci
  • Ralph Dibny is in Nanda Parbat, working with the Accomplished Perfect Physician
  • Beast Boy holds an open call for new Teen Titans

“The Origin of Blue Beetle” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Cully Hamner
  • tells the origin of the new Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes

a.k.a. 52 Week Thirty-Two; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 13 Dec 2006; published 13 Dec 2006
52 #33

“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Tom Derenick and Joe Pardo; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Jay Leisten and Rodney Ramos

“The Origin of Martian Manhunter” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Tom Mandrake

a.k.a. 52 Week Thirty-Three; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 20 Dec 2006; published 20 Dec 2006
52 #34

“Suicidal Tendencies” -- 21 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Joe Bennett; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Ruy Jose

“The Origin of Zatanna” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Brian Bolland

a.k.a. 52 Week Thirty-Four; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 27 Dec 2006; published 27 Dec 2006
52 #35

“Rain of the Supermen” -- 22 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; breakdowns by Keith Giffen

the fourth issue of 52 to feature no back-up; a.k.a. 52 Week Thirty-Five; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 3 Jan 2007; published 3 Jan 2007
52 #36

“How to Win a War in Space” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Chris Batista and Jamal Igle; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Keith Champagne
  • Animal Man apparently dies as the lost outer-space team takes down Lady Styx

“The Origin of Power Girl” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Adam Hughes

a.k.a. 52 Week Thirty-Six; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 10 Jan 2007; published 10 Jan 2007
52 #37

“Secret Identities” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Patrick Olliffe; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Drew Geraci
  • Supernova is revealed to be Booster Gold

“The Origin of Firestorm the Nuclear Man” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; pencils by Jamal Igle; inks by Keith Champagne
  • tells the origin of the then-current Firestorm, Jason Rusch

a.k.a. 52 Week Thirty-Seven; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 17 Jan 2007; published 17 Jan 2007
52 #38

“Breathless” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Joe Bennett; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Jack Jadson

“The Origin of Red Tornado” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; breakdowns by Phil Jimenez; finishes by Andy Lanning

a.k.a. 52 Week Thirty-Eight; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 24 Jan 2007; published 24 Jan 2007
52 #39

“Powers & Abilities” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Andy Smith; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Ray Snyder

“The Origin of Mr. Terrific” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Ethan van Sciver

a.k.a. 52 Week Thirty-Nine; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 31 Jan 2007; published 31 Jan 2007
52 Volume Three

collects 52 #27-39; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; 304 pages; $19.99; cover-dated Sept 2007

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52 #40

“Man Ain’t Nothing but a Man” -- 23 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Chris Batista; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Dan Green and Rodney Ramos
  • Steel confronts Lex Luthor over Natasha

the fifth issue of 52 to lack a back-up story; a.k.a. 52 Week Forty; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 7 Feb 2007; published 7 Feb 2007
52 #41

“Miracles & Wonders” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Giuseppe Camunoli; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Rodney Ramos

“The Origin of Starfire” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Joe Benitez

a.k.a. 52 Week Forty-One; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 14 Feb 2007; published 14 Feb 2007
52 #42

“Trigger Effect” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; finishes by Darick Robertson
  • Ralph Dibny dies heroically

“The Origin of Green Arrow” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; pencils by Scott McDaniel; inks by Andy Owens

a.k.a. 52 Week Forty-Two; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 21 Feb 2007; published 21 Feb 2007
52 #43

“Family Matters”

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; breakdowns by Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens; finishes by Norm Rapmund
  • Sobek kills Osiris

“The Origin of Plastic Man” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Ethan van Sciver

a.k.a. 52 Week Forty-Three; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 28 Feb 2007; published 28 Feb 2007
52 #44

“Deaths in the Family” -- 22 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Eddy Barrows; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Eddy Barrows, Dan Green, Rodney Ramos
  • the Four Horsemen attack Kahndaq
  • Isis dies, beginning Black Adam’s final descent into rage

the sixth issue of 52 to lack a back-up story; a.k.a. 52 Week Forty-Four; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 7 Mar 2007; published 7 Mar 2007
52 #45

“Every Hour Wounds, the Last Kills” -- 22 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Chris Batista and Jamal Igle; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Rodney Ramos
  • Black Adam mourns

the seventh issue of 52 to lack a back-up story; a.k.a. 52 Week Forty-Five; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 14 Mar 2007; published 14 Mar 2007
52 #46

“Mad Science” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Patrick Olliffe; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Drew Geraci, Patrick Olliffe, and Rodney Ramos
  • Black Adam attacks Oolong Island

“The Origin of Batman” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Andy Kubert

a.k.a. 52 Week Forty-Six; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 21 Mar 2007; published 21 Mar 2007
52 #47

“Revelations” -- 18 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Giuseppe Camunoli; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Lorenzo Ruggiero

“The Origin of the Teen Titans” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; art by Karl Kerschl

a.k.a. 52 Week Forty-Seven; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 28 Mar 2007; published 28 Mar 2007
52 #48

“Asked and Answered” -- 21 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; finishes by Darick Robertson
  • Montoya becomes the Question

“The Origin of the Birds of Prey” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; pencils by Nicola Scott; inks by Doug Hazlewood

a.k.a. 52 Week Forty-Eight; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 7 Apr 2007; published 7 Apr 2007
52 #49

“Eve of Destruction” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Eddy Barrows; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Eddy Barrows, Dan Green, and Rodney Ramos
  • the Justice Society attacks Ooloong Island to rescue Black Adam

“The Origin of the Justice Society of America” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; pencils by Don Kramer; inks by Michael Bair

a.k.a. 52 Week Forty-Nine; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 11 Apr 2007; published 11 Apr 2007
52 #50

“World War III” -- 24 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; breakdowns by Keith Giffen
  • Black Adam wages war against the world

the eighth issue of 52 to lack a back-up story; a.k.a. 52 Week Fifty; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 18 Apr 2007; published 18 Apr 2007
52 / World War III #1

“A Call to Arms” -- 24 pages

  • written by Keith C. Champagne; pencils by Pat Olliffe; inks by Drew Geraci
  • Martian Manhunter confronts Black Adam in Bialya, setting the stage for World War III
  • five days later, heroes, villains, and ordinary people react to Adam’s actions

first issue; a.k.a. 52 / World War III Part One: A Call to Arms; cover by Ethan Van Sciver; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated June 2007; published 18 Apr 2007

52 / World War III #2

“The Valiant” -- 22 pages

  • written by Keith C. Champagne; pencils by Andy Smith; inks by Ray Snyder
  • super-heroes gather to oppose Black Adam

a.k.a. 52 / World War III Part Two: The Valiant; cover by Ethan Van Sciver; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated June 2007; published 18 Apr 2007
52 / World War III #3

“Hell is for Heroes” -- 22 pages

  • written by John Ostrander; pencils by Tom Derenick; inks by Norm Rapmund
  • young heroes try to stop Black Adam

a.k.a. 52 / World War III Part Three: Hell is for Heroes; cover by Ethan Van Sciver; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated June 2007; published 18 Apr 2007
52 / World War III #4

“United We Stand” -- 22 pages

  • written by John Ostrander; pencils by Jack Jadson; inks by Rodney Ramos
  • the super-heroes stop Black Adam

final issue; a.k.a. 52 / World War III Part Four: United We Stand; cover by Ethan Van Sciver; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated June 2007; published 18 Apr 2007

52 / World War III

collects 52 #50, 52 / World War III #1-4; cover taken from 52 #50; published by DC Comics; 128 pages; $17.99; cover-dated Nov 2007

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52 #51

“Homecoming” -- 20 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Joe Bennett; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Belardino Barbo and Jack Jadson
  • Animal Man returns home

“The Origin of the Justice League of America” -- 2 pages

  • written by Mark Waid; pencils by Ivan Reis; inks by Oclair Albert

a.k.a. 52 Week Fifty-One; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 25 Apr 2007; published 25 Apr 2007
52 #52

“A Year in the Life” -- 40 pages

  • written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; pencils by Eddy Barrows, Chris Batista, Justiniano, Mike McKone, Patrick Olliffe, and Darick Robertson; breakdowns by Keith Giffen; inks by Drew Geraci, Andy Lanning, Rodney Ramos, Darick Robertson, and Walden Wong
  • reveals DC’s new multiverse comprised of 52 universes, including Earth-17 (featuring the Atomic Knights), Earth-3 (based on the pre-Crisis Earth-3 and the anti-matter Earth), Earth-10 (based on the pre-Crisis Earth-X featuring Quality characters), Earth-50 (the WildStorm Universe), Earth-5 (based on the pre-Crisis Earth-S, featuring the Fawcett characters), Earth-22 (based on Kingdom Come), Earth-2 (based on the pre-Crisis Earth-2), and Earth-4 (based on the pre-Crisis Earth-4, featuring the Charlton characters)

final issue; the ninth and final issue of 52 to lack a back-up story; a.k.a. 52 Week Fifty-Two; wraparound cover by J. G. Jones based on 52 #1; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated 2 May 2007; published 2 May 2007

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52 Volume Four

collects 52 #40-52; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; 328 pages; $19.99; cover-dated Nov 2007

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52 Omnibus

collects 52 #1-52; cover by J. G. Jones; cover taken from 52 #1; published by DC Comics; 1216 pages; hardcover; $150.00; cover-dated Jan 2013

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52 novel

written by Greg Cox; novel; cover by J. G. Jones; published by Ace Trade; 368 pages; published 3 July 2007

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52: The Covers

collects the covers to 52 #1-52, 52 Volume One, 52 Volume Two, 52 Volume Three, 52 Volume Four, and 52 (novel), along with commentary and sketches by artist J. G. Jones; introduction by Mark Chiarello; cover by J. G. Jones; published by DC Comics; 128 pages; hardcover; $19.99; published Oct 2007

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