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52 #34

Posted: Friday, December 29, 2006
By: John Hays



Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Artists: Keith Giffen (breakdowns); Joe Bennett (p), Ruy Jose (i)

Publisher: DC Comics


The Plot Tease: The honeymoonís over for the Black Marvel family, courtesy of the all new Suicide Squad. One of the Infinity Inc. girls gets a fashion lesson courtesy of Steel and the Birds of Prey. Clark Kent tells the truth, what a shock. We check in on a dying Charlie and his friend Renee. Lex Luthor seems to do the unthinkable, even for Lex.

The Heroes: The Birds of Prey and John Henry Irons: Well, John has FINALLY decided to get his message across to Natasha. Itís about time. Iíve grown tired of his hinting, ineffectual text messaging, etcÖ without ever actually telling her anything. Hopefully this will get the ball rolling in time to save her. Nice touch using the Birds to help him out. Iím ready to be done with the inane prattling of Infinity Inc. and their entourage.

Clark Kent: Poor guy. Not only does he have to deal with not having powers, but he has to continue to deal with Lex Luthorís cronies, even when the subject matter doesnít even have anything to do with him. Interesting to note that Clarkís self-imposed loss of powers actually includes being able to be punctured with a needle. Thatís SOME mental power!

Renee and Charlie: Doesnít it always seem like this time of year drags death along with it? James Brown, Gerald Ford. Even 52 isnít immune. Charlie just lies there wasting away, singing Danny Boy while Renee despairs. Very sad, and Iím not seeing some magical way out of this storyline. Reneeís salvation is coming at an extremely heavy price. By the way, who else noticed Charlieís temporary blond hair? That and Clarkís momentary blond locks in the scene where Luthor is being updated need to be caught next time by the colorists.

The Villains: The Suicide Squad: Not surprising, the Suicide Squad ends up being comprised of the dregs of villainy. It would have to be, when assembled by Amanda Waller, herself a sticky piece of gum on the sole of humanityís shoe. I guess DC decided to forget about Plastiqueís relationship with Captain Atom, unless Iím missing something. Iím also surprised to see Boomer acting so horribly here, when heís portrayed much better in his Supergirl appearances. Must be a rough year for him, or else the 52 writers just decided to ignore that aspect and use his fatherís personality instead. Iím still lost regarding who The Persuader really is, or was, in relation to the one in Legionís time.

Although Iíve been expecting it since the start of Black Adamís upswing, I am still very sad to see this befall the Black Marvel family. I thought Geoff Johns had made a point regarding Superboy Primeís gruesome actions in Infinite Crisis, whereby he was going to make that intense level of violence a rare thing to keep its shock value, yet here it is again in the very next large scale story heís working on. Iím rather disappointed, but I hope it ends up being worth it in the end.

Lex Luthor Is there much more to say about him at this point? If he actually detonates all of those Everyman heroes just to make Supernova look bad somehow, that might actually be the worst thing heís done yet, and thatís saying something. Happy New Year? Not for some.

The Resolution: Will the Black Marvel family be able to save Osirisís reputation, or will he become public enemy #1?

Will Natasha figure things out in time?

Is there some miracle that will save Charlie?

When will Lex Luthor be brought down?

Who IS Supernova?

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



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