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52 #12

Posted: Friday, July 28, 2006
By: John Hays



Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Artists: Keith Giffen (breakdowns), Eddy Barrows (p), Rob Stull (i)

Publisher: DC Comics


The Plot Tease: Montoya gets a lecture…and a new direction in life. Adriana shows Black Adam a better way, and he shows her the means to bring it about with a little help from an old family member. Ralph confronts Wonder Girl, only to end up surprising both of them with a shocking decision.

The Heroes: Renee Montoya: When Montoya walks by The Question, knocking her bottle of beer against his head…that made the entire issue for me. Hilarious. Very interesting that this particular storyline seems to be on a collision course with the Black Adam one now. I can’t wait to see how that pans out. However, I don’t buy the inclusion of Maggie Sawyer in this issue. Renee was too good of a cop to need someone else telling her that Intergang isn’t going to just cut and run. She and The Question are already tracking them down…we didn’t need that opening scene. By the way, since when did a busty blonde bimbo replace the Maggie Sawyer seen in Superman comics for years? This woman looks NOTHING like her. To be fair and balanced, though, I really liked the transparency effect on Montoya looking through the window, where we can see the rain, Montoya, and the buildings reflected off the window all at the same time. Very nice.

Black Adam: He knows how to make an entrance, doesn’t he? It’s good to see that he is opening up and accepting new ideas about how to run his country. I’m a bit wary though because I can see DC setting us up here, having him start to be more focused on bettering his country with the help of Isis as he grows closer to her, only for some villain or freak accident to kill Isis, crushing Black Adam and causing him to rededicate himself to his earlier principles. I hope this isn’t the case, but it happens too often in stories like this. I was rather surprised that he was able to open up a passage to the Rock of Eternity where he stood. Of course, we all knew who he would find down there after reading about Captain Marvel having to reside there forever in the Day of Vengeance Infinite Crisis Special. What we DIDN’T expect was the good Captain’s mental state. To see such a beloved character in such obvious anguish was really tough. I can see why the wizard Shazam always looked so haggard. I can only hope that Billy figures a way out of that torment.

Ralph Dibny: Wow, so he’s finally gotten a clue (pun intended)! He seems to have taken my advice from a few weeks ago and simply tracked down Cassie instead of trying to locate the entire cult. I’m still curious to know who Devem really is. Nice of Ralph, always the gentleman, to make sure to turn his head when Cassie was changing clothes, especially when Cassie is looking much bustier than I’m used to seeing her. However, once again, we’re treated to the “what length will Ralph’s facial hair be THIS week?” game.

Adriana/Isis: For all Black Adam’s good intentions, he’s limited in his thinking that gaining more physical power is the answer to all troubles, and Adriana tries to point that out to him, at least until the scarab starts to call out to her. On a side note, how many mystical scarabs are there in the DCU? We have this one and the Blue Beetle’s scarab as well. Oh, but that splash page of Isis! How cool was that? We’ve got a new heroine in town, and she’s bound to make a splash…for as long as she lasts. Anyone else wonder how she’s able to get the lightning to strike for her name when no other Marvel can?

Mark Waid and Adam Hughes: Great job on the Wonder Woman origin. Although I did greatly miss the part where she sneaks into the tournament and wins the right to be Wonder Woman. Whether that was simply skipped over or retconned away, it seems to be a glaring omission since it’s such a vital aspect to her origin, having been played out in multiple forms of media. They even played on that aspect of her origin in an old Superfriends episode once. It should be included here. I really like the idea of putting must-read stories at the end though, and I fully intend to look into what some of those stories are about!

The Villains: The editors: Big finger of shame for missing the word balloon error on page six. It’s a rare occurrence to see the same word balloon in two successive panels, especially one so large, and I’m surprised it got by everyone involved.

That’s it on the villains. This was a very strong issue. I just can’t quite give it a perfect score with such an obvious mistake, even if it is a weekly comic.

The Resolution: Will Maggie Sawyer get off Montoya’s back, and go hang out with Dan Turpin?? (They always had great professional chemistry, and I miss Dan!)

Will we see a head-to-head matchup with the Question vs. Black Adam?? (Guess who my money’s on in THAT one! WRONG!!)

Will Isis make it past week 52?? (Will ANY of our core characters, for that matter??)

Will Ralph and Sue be reunited?? (One way…or another??)

We can only hope that these and other questions will be addressed in the upcoming installments of…52!!



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