Current Reviews


52 #18

Posted: Friday, September 8, 2006
By: John Hays

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

Publisher: DC Comics

The Plot Tease: The gang’s all here, or are they? Black Adam serves a little breakfast in bed, Ralph makes a monkey out of himself while taking control of his own fate, and Booster might not be as out of the picture as we had thought!

The Heroes: New characters! I’m completely unfamiliar with most of the characters that open our tale, and I love it! I know a good deal of DC history, but I always enjoy learning about characters I’m not familiar with. Since when does Ralph have a regular meeting at the House of Mystery? I guess it makes sense, him being a detective and all. Am I the only one missing Cain and Abel when we get to see these houses lately?

Charles Victor Szasz: I had forgotten about Charlie’s last name! Is he any relation to the Batman villain? Charlie not only cracks wise, but he brings the focus back to the problem at hand. It amazes me how he and Renee can hold their own around such powerhouses as Black Adam and Isis.

Ralph: How cool would it be if Ralph became the next Dr. Fate? That would kind of solve his problem of missing Sue, since he could probably commune with her spirit with Fate’s powers. I am surprised that Ralph can jump right into a new mystery after being in hysterics the last time we saw him. It sounds like I really need to take a trip to France sometime! Of course, our mysterious dark figure from Ralph’s last issue has apparently helped him overcome his issues as well. I look forward to finding out just who the mystery man is! I don’t like the looks of that French waiter and his comrade, though. Ralph’s nose should be twitching right about now.

Detective Chimp: Who are the Croatoans again? Did I miss something? The way he figured out Ralph’s cover reminds me of the scene from A Christmas Story where the father needed the name of the Lone Ranger’s nephew’s horse….Victor. Hilarious.

Daniel Carter: Heehee, just a chip off the old block. Or should that be the other way around? Time travel can really mess up your head. Either way, so much for Dan Didio’s idea that Michael’s attitude was outdated. Daniel Jon Carter…hmmm….folks named Jon Carter always wind up in strange and interesting adventures, and I doubt this case will be an exception. Are we looking at the future Booster Platinum? (Hey, Gold is SO yesterday! Or is that tomorrow?)

Dr. Fate: I like that they’re starting to bring in the magical element to 52. I do have to bring up an interesting topic posted on the comicbloc forums recently in regards to a page in this issue. The Spectre is shown when magic is being spoken of, yet he is a force of God. What is the relationship between religion and magic in the DCU? Surely they aren’t considered to be the same thing, and yet there always seems to be some relationship between the two. I can’t explain why, unless it’s just easier to lump them together when needed. Perhaps those DCU characters that don’t believe in one assume it’s the other? Hey….wait a minute. Why does Sue’s face appear when Fate speaks of sacrifices? We’re not going to see more tragedy for Sue are we??

The art team: There are some really great shots in here, and the cover is an awesome tribute to the old pulp magazines. The lighting on Ralph’s beard when he is near the helmet is excellent. The splash page of magic is really fun to look at as well.

The Villains: Black Adam: He’s something of a moody spoilsport in this issue, isn’t he? Rather odd for someone still in the honeymoon phase. We get to see a bit of the old Adam for a short while. A sign of things to come? Of course, Renee doesn’t help matters any in her drunken self-pitying state. Did anyone else notice how the native girl perked up when Charlie mentioned Intergang?

The Resolution: Will we learn more about the Croatoans??

Will Renee realize that Charlie keeps interrupting her so that he can have her all to himself, or will she piss off Black Adam again and not make it to the end of 52??

Will Ralph become Dr. Fate and see Sue again, or will his path take a darker turn??

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

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