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52 #5

Posted: Friday, June 9, 2006
By: John Hays



Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Artists: Chris Batista (p), Jimmy Palmiotti (i)

Publisher: DC Comics


The Plot Tease: Buddy Baker’s wife gets news on her husband from a very good source. Lex Luthor makes a super pitch to the public. John Henry Irons visits some rather unique patients while ignoring his own altered state, and we get a flashback as to what really happened to the Space Family Robinson. Montoya gets a visit from a fellow lady of the law. Buddy Baker finds himself complaining in paradise, and we are treated to yet another round of Crisis flashback in the History of the DCU.

The Heroes: Plots finally kicking into another gear. Woo! We’re past the introductions, and the real plots are starting to gain some headway. We even have an IC flashback, complete with the required Red Tornado explosion! You just can’t have a complete series without a Red Tornado explosion. This issue felt much fuller than previous issues, with everything that’s going on now, and that’s a good thing.

Lex Luthor. Bet you didn’t see that one coming, eh? This guy ALWAYS has a plan. He’s always cooking up some new scheme. This time it’s super powers for everyone! I can just imagine how that’s going to play out. Talk about mass chaos!

Starfire. God bless her. “Paradise…Heaven…Once in every generation…Earth might be countless light-years from here…Light centuries even…We may be here for quite some time.” Are you getting the PICTURE here, Buddy? Of course not, you’re too busy moping. Oh well, at least his wife has nothing to worry about. The guy’s already been there for two weeks, and nothing’s happened. Gotta hand it to the guy for taking his vows seriously, but don’t you just know that this will be the story all of his male friends want him to retell at every party for the next thirty years?

The Zeta beam/Portal split. Great plot device. Anything can happen, and it does. “Supergirl went…somewhere.” Does this perhaps explain her appearance in Legion time? If so, is it possible that Alan’s eye went with her and became the Emerald Eye? I know this has been shot down in certain circles, but it still seems the most likely explanation with regard to his eye still being in existence somewhere. The only thing I can make out regarding his statement about his current eye is perhaps that he’s referring to it being composed of starheart energy?

Adam Strange. Any guy who can still fix a spaceship after being blinded is a cool dude in my book. I do have to question his common sense, though. I mean, they’ve been in the jungle for two weeks, and he’s still wearing his jetpack…and gloves. He’s got to be sweating up a storm! Maybe that’s just the strength of his focus on the ship…have to respect that.

The Villains: Alan Scott. Who is this guy, Denny Crane? Do we need him to introduce himself on every other page? Besides, if I recall correctly, Steel was a JLA member during the JLA/JSA teamup “Crisis Times Five” in JLA a few years ago, so he should be familiar with Alan and Pieter. Plus, if you go by Identity Crisis, most heroes not only know each other, but know each others’ secret identities, so these introductions seemed a bit odd. By the way, Alan obviously needs some serious counseling or drugs or something. The guy’s giving a soliloquy while Mal’s having a freaking seizure! The only assistance Alan can give is mouth to mouth….yeah, his ring must be on lunch break.

Montoya/Maggie Sawyer. This scene is just so blah after all of the action last week. It’s really a step back in the excitement level of Montoya’s story. On a side note, it could be a coincidence, but it seems like something is up when DC announces that the new Batwoman is a lesbian, and then the following week they have Montoya, a lesbian cop, visited by Maggie Sawyer, a lesbian law enforcement officer (I haven’t kept up with Maggie since she left Metropolis, although I believe she’s joined up with some force in Gotham). Now, I have nothing against them being lesbians. It just seems like a topic that’s getting a lot of attention from DC lately, so I’m just wondering if it’s something they’re trying to bolster in their lineups right now. Perhaps Montoya and Maggie have a history that I’m just not familiar with.

History of the DCU. They really just need to call it what it is, “History of the Crisis, Over and Over and Over.” Honestly, the odds that a completely new reader is jumping into 52 seem slim, so going into this much detail on the Crisis seems rather unnecessary, since existing fans already either know all about it, or don’t really care about it since Infinite Crisis played a much larger role in defining the current status quo.

The Resolution: It’s coming!! 52!! 52!! The weekly gimmick is now a plot device!!

Will John Henry Irons master his suit, or will it master him?

Will Alan Scott take his medication, or will he become the next Manga Khan?

Will Mal become one with Red Tornado’s voice box, or will he start seeing Visions? Will Marvel sue? (Although Young Avengers hasn’t had a new issue in so long, it might actually be public domain by now.)

Will the Question visit Montoya again, saving her from the infinite boredom she’s currently experiencing? Or is that just our infinite boredom with her story in this issue?

Will Kendra be shrunk back down to normal size, or will her taste in men become that much more selective?

Will Buddy Baker succumb to Starfire, or will she move on to Adam Strange? If so, will she have to work much, much harder since the whole visual appeal factor would be right out the window?

What is Donna referring to when she fears “what happened next”? Will we finally move on past the Crisis??

All of these questions and many more are sure to be addressed in future installments of 52!



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