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52 #33

Posted: Friday, December 22, 2006
By: John Hays



Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Artists: Keith Giffen (breakdowns); Joe Prado, Tom Derenick (p), Jay Leisten, Rodney Ramos (i)

Publisher: DC Comics


The Plot Tease: Ralph imbibes while packing heat. Alfred lays down the law during a caroling session. Nightwing gives the gift that keeps on kicking butt. Lex Luthor shows, once again, why heís the biggest bastard in the DCU. Renee and Charlie deal with the tougher side of the holidays, or any days. Heroes around the world, and the galaxy, experience Christmas in their own ways. Black Adamís family shows its human side, while Amanda Waller shows that she HAS no human side as she gathers her Suicide Squad.

I must say that, while one might think the action would continue to be hot and heavy in the DCU regardless of the time of year, itís nice to see DC have their characters acknowledge this holy time with quiet moments, just as many do in real life. I can take a single nice reflective issue out of fifty two weeks of action.

The Heroes: Alfred: Donít mess with Alfred! Heíll put the smack down on ya! Other than the minor mishap, itís a very touching scene with the young carolers.

Nightwing: Alright, this is killing me. Not only has DC completely ignored the Dick/Babs proposal thing, they now have Dick going all gaga over a NEW redhead who has already said he isnít her type. I know heís a nice guy and all, but this isnít the same Dick thatís dealing with Supergirl over in Outsiders, and you know it. Regardless, itís a really cool gift that he gives to Kate.

Renee: We all knew it, but it never hurts for her to finally say it. Did you notice that Kateís kiss didnít even faze Renee? Just as a distant friend that hasnít seen you in years might, Kate tries to help, but she still thinks sheís dealing with the old Renee, which her comment about adding alcohol to her drink also indicates. Poor, poor Charlie. I hate to see him like this, and I know Renee does as well. Itís never easy to lose a loved one, but itís especially hard around the holidays when you truly believe that a Christmas miracle will make everything okay. I still have hope for Charlie, because all you can ever hold onto IS hope, but I also fear that weíre going to see just how this is going to play out next week. By the way, did it strike anyone else that Charlie seems to be implying that the chemicals he used for his Question mask are what have caused his cancer, not smoking? Perhaps thatís already been revealed, but I donít recall it having been. Oh, and ďwish to gosh?Ē Itís a Christmas issue. Can we not even say "God" in a Christmas issue?

Black Adam and family: Another story that looks to have a sad ending. Black Adamís really trying, you know he is, and on the eve of Christmas, I think he truly believes that everything will be okay. If only it were ever that easy.

Various: Touching scenes with the various heroes and loved ones around the DCU (poor Reddy; wow, Kyle really looks like Clark there; Even Guy is apparently showing holiday spirit to people of many religions). Of particular note is the unfortunate space team. You just know that Buddy is thinking of the holy star when heís looking at Vega.

The Villains: Lex Luthor: Can this guy GET any more evil? Spitting in the face of a Christmas miracle. Thatís gonna come back to bite him in the ass. I canít wait to be there when it does. That goes for his punk superhero group as well.

Amanda Waller: Second only to Lex Luthor in bastardizing all that is central to the spirit of Christmas. Waller has no care for Black Adamís intentions, she just loves the power rush of taking someone down whether they deserve it or not. Iíve never liked her character, and this issue is no exception.

I canít really put Ralph in the heroes OR villains category this week, but he is worth a mention. I never like to see a gun show up in a holiday issue, and I wonder about Ralphís intentions with the gun after his mysterious ramblings last week. Also, as has been pointed out online before, I think that liquid is really Ralphís Gingold extract, and I think weíre gonna see some elongated action when we least expect it, because I think the dangerous drunk thing is merely to draw the average reader in so that the eventual reveal of Ralph truly being one of the worldís greatest detectives will be all the more shocking and exciting!

Oh, and Martian Manhunter? Yikes. Look at his chin! I didnít realize he was a Skrull! Also, since when is he once again weak to fire? Does continuity mean nothing anymore?

The Resolution: What is Ralph really drinking?

When will Nightwing get a clue?

When will Lex Luthor be taken down (hopefully by Steel, who was noticeably absent this week)?

Whose feet are on the cover for next week, Charlieís or Isisís?

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



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