Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Artists: Keith Giffen (breakdowns); Shawn Moll (p), Ruy Jose, Mariah Benes, Rodney Ramos, Prentis Rollins & Nelson (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
I have to say this right off: it’s few and far between that comic issues give me an “Oh my God” moment. I think my last one was seeing Thor’s return in Civil War (even though it wasn’t really Thor). In this issue it's when Ralph is about to see the actual murder of his wife. You just can’t get much more intense than that.
The Plot Tease: Rule #1: You NEVER want to see the Spectre grin. Ralph tastes the juice…and the juice isn’t good. He does not like the juice. Waverider gets skinned, and Renee discovers two dear friends are in grave danger.
The Heroes: Ralph: You really have to feel for the guy. He’s been through so much, and now just when he seems darker than ever, he comes through in the end, not being able to deliver such a harsh punishment to Jean Loring. If Ralph had gone all the way, there would be no redeeming the character, and we all can just feel that Ralph is coming out of this one a stronger hero than ever before…somehow. Guess where Ralph’s headed next? Did you read one of my previous reviews? Then you’ll know who ELSE calls Nanda Parbat home!
Waverider: I loved the quick H.G. Wells (author of The Time Machine) reference. I hope Matthew makes it out of this issue alright! I need to do some research to catch up on who all these various time travelers are. How cool was it to hear the words “Hypertime” and “divergent timelines” again after so long? I’m a big fan of the Hypertime concept, and if Grant’s involved again, I can only hope that he’s finally able to bring it to the next level in 52!
Renee: Does it look to you like she’s being trained to be a superhero coming out of 52? It sure does to me! Hey…is Tot moving that woman’s dress in the Crime Bible? Dirty old man! It seems odd to me how the writers suddenly add cancer to Charlie’s profile, as well as suddenly make him look much older to go along with it. Who else noticed the still blooming flower? As an astute person on the Comicbloc message board guessed, I think that might hold the key to Charlie’s survival.
Does anyone else get as big a kick as I do out of how much 52 reads like a stage play? Did you catch it? Just as Renee and Charlie prepare to walk offstage away from Nanda Parbat, Ralph prepares to walk on! Brilliant!
The Villains: Eclipso/Jean: “You’re going to fight back? That’s a nice change of pace! God knows your wife didn’t!” Wow, that’s harsh!
Skeets: That’s one cold robot. It’s a great idea to suggest that Skeets’ armor came from Waverider. That smiling cat clock is just chilling.
The Spectre: Spectre’s pretty creepy with no host, Hand of God or not. I do like how DC made sure to reaffirm that he’s the most powerful being in the DCU.
The Resolution: Will Waverider be alright?
Will Ralph ever be reunited with Sue?
Will Charlie be alright?
We can only hope that these and other questions will be addressed in the upcoming installments of 52!
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