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52 #14

Posted: Friday, August 11, 2006
By: John Hays



Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Artists: Keith Giffen (breakdowns), Dale Eaglesham (p), Art Thibert (i)

Publisher: DC Comics


The Plot Tease: Renee and Charlie take the last plane to Kahndaq, where they make friends with the local law enforcement. John Henry builds an effigy to Natasha that does nothing to assuage his sorrow, despite a visit from a friend. While unsuccessfully attempting to rebuild his Metal Men, Dr. Will Magnus discovers that Professor Morrow still has a few tricks up his sleeve, including one that is of great help to Magnus and his Men! Finally, we are treated to the origin of Metamorpho the Element Man!

The Heroes: Renee and Charlie: In this issue our hilarious odd couple do a great job of imitating Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day from The Man Who Knew Too Much (yes, another Hitchcock film…are the MG3 Hitch fans?). That is to say, they play the more or less innocent couple that ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, just as the villain has intended.

It’s interesting to see how the various stories are slowly starting to pull together, with Black Adam’s and Renee and Charlie’s stories starting to merge. Another couple of stories hint at a merge later on, making this issue sort of a transition from Act I of 52 to Act II.

A particularly entertaining moment occurs when Renee is feeling really good about her detective skills, thinking she’s going to really surprise Charlie with the news that someone is following them…only to be told that Charlie’s known this all along.

“I swear before this is over I’m gonna hold his dead body in my hands.” Ha ha ha.

John Henry Irons: Alas, poor Natasha. He thought he knew her well. It’s a sad statement when a man builds a sophisticated body of armor, the whole time knowing that the person he’s making it for has no intention of ever wearing it. However, I have a feeling this armor won’t be going to waste. J. G. Jones’ cover blog gives the armor a title – Iron Maiden. That’s too good of a name to go to waste, as is the armor. I just don’t think John Henry will be giving up quite that easily, and Lex is sure to have a few surprises headed his way in coming weeks.

Professor Morrow: I know, I know, you’re saying “but he didn’t even appear in this issue!” Well perhaps not, but the guy still made a great impact. Will Magnus is being hounded by the authorities to turn over his Metal Men technology, even though it has stopped working for some mysterious reason. I have to give props to the art team on the panel where the special agent is tossing the Prozac pill bottle back and forth. Really cool effect here that clearly conveys this action. Anyway, when Will decides to take a breather and visit his old professor (yes, you read that right…Morrow actually taught Will Magnus), he discovers that Morrow has escaped his cell. However, Morrow doesn’t up and leave without so much as a goodbye. He does leave a note to Will that has some type of code written on it. It apparently ends up being the code that Magnus needs to get his Metal Men back online, much to his delight (or serial killer craze…his facial features were rather odd on that last page). As Magnus is reading the note, the guards are considering contacting Ralph Dibny to figure out how Morrow has escaped, thereby bringing two more storylines together! By the way, does anyone know who that other professor was that ran out and started freezing people? I have no idea. The town, however, looked just like one of Ivo’s old android towns from the old Justice League Detroit days. Creepy. One last thing here. Perhaps it’s because of the references to The Time Machine in an earlier issue, but I’m starting to picture Rod Taylor (the star of the original Time Machine film) as Will Magnus.

The Villains: No villains this time around. I really enjoyed this issue. I can’t WAIT until next issue when the ultra boring Booster Gold storyline will hopefully gather some momentum and actually move forward! I really think that this storyline, once it hits high gear and starts dealing with the things Booster saw on the chalkboard of Rip Hunter’s lab, will be one of the best in the series. I love time travel stories!

The Resolution: Will Renee and Charlie go out like Butch and Sundance, or does The Question have an ace up his sleeve??

Will John Henry get out of his funk and go on the offensive to free Natasha from Luthor’s influence, or will he spend the rest of his days in utter agony?

What will become of that awesome Iron Maiden armor?

Will Dr. Magnus’s Metal Men get their act together, or will the government have a dangerous new weapon in its possession?

Just where the heck DID Professor Morrow go?

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



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