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52 #2

Posted: Friday, May 19, 2006
By: John Hays



Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Artists: Joe Bennett (p), Ruy Jose (i)

Publisher: DC Comics


The Plot: Ralph makes a new friend and shows off his nose twitch. Will Magnus gets Skeets back online, but to what effect? T. O. Morrow speaks philosophically regarding the sudden disappearances of fellow mental cases. The Question pops in uninvited with an invitation of his own for Renee Montoya. Wonder Girl kneels at an altar for Superboy? Finally, as we begin the first of many backup features, we are treated to the TRUE history of the DC Universe.

The Heroes: Ralph’s nose. Yes, I marked out on that one. It’s great to see him back in action instead of wallowing in his misery. Does anyone else think there might be more to his new friend than meets the eye? It’s just that, all too often, the first person on the scene ends up knowing a lot more than they initially let on. The gathering of brains…what’s it leading to? Is the Society involved? I don’t even know half the villains listed there, and that excites me! Just when I think I have a fairly vast knowledge of the DCU, I discover more and more characters I’m not familiar with! Red Inferno… you can just taste Morrison’s influence there. I can’t wait to see what other inspired and truly original ideas he has up his sleeve in an age where many think there are no longer any original ideas in comics. Will the Metal Men return? I didn’t even know they were gone! The Kryptonian symbology… I’m a sucker for anything related to Superman, and tying that into Ralph’s mystery is a great touch. Earth 2 Robin in classic costume… it’s one of the oddest costume designs every created, which of course makes it a classic. Last but certainly not least, the art. Once again, consistency is king...every character is clearly depicted, with no quick blurry sketches of characters in the background. Plus, I always enjoy seeing Jurgens draw montages… it just brings back many good memories. As for the cover, this looks to be one of those titles where every single cover is worthy of framing.

The Villains: Booster Gold. Can a character be half-dimensional? I miss the determined, upset Booster from Countdown. This feels like a giant step backward in characterization for him, unless there’s some time traveling explanation. Jimmy Olsen in a bowtie… I know it’s a classic look, but give the guy a break already. He’s trendier than that these days. If this were a monthly title, I would complain about the slow burn on the Question/Montoya plot, but it’s a weekly comic, so we’ve got plenty of time to let that build. Donna interrupting the history lesson… if we’re not going chronologically through the entire history, what ARE we doing?

The Resolution: Alright, now we’re talking. I really enjoyed getting my feet wet with each of these stories, and can’t wait to see where they lead. Of course, since the title IS weekly and has so much ground to cover, it might be a while before we get back to all of these particular plots, but there’s plenty of time, and I would wager that whatever new plots are introduced next week will be just as engaging. Is it week three yet???



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