All right, I’m all jacked up on Café Bustelo, have wolfed down my tostada and am ready to tackle 52 #2. I will admit that I found 52 #1 to be anti-climactic and felt that it failed to live up to the hype of this 52 series. Will 52 #2 under deliver like #1? Personally, I don’t think so.
Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka & Mark Waid
Penciler: Joe Bennett
Inker: Jack Jadson
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Synopsis: Week 2, Day 1: The issue starts with Elongated Man taking pictures of the graffiti on his wife’s tombstone. The groundskeeper for the graveyard tells Ralph that he saved his brother when he was kidnapped at Dreamland Park. The groundskeeper said that Sue was amazing by keeping him from freaking out while Ralph tried to save his brother. The groundskeeper asked Ralph if he knew who would do this to Sue’s tombstone. Ralph did his trademark twitch of the nose and says “It’s a mystery.”
We cut to Booster Gold visiting Dr. William Magnus, the inventor of the Metal Men. Dr. Magnus repairs Skeets. Skeets claims that it was a mere glitch that caused his problems or that someone is messing with the fabric of time. Booster then takes Mr. Magnus to the Haven.
We then shift to the Haven where Dr. Magnus is visiting Professor Morrow. Dr. Magnus tells Prof. Morrow that Red Tornado gave his life to protect the Earth. Prof. Morrow doesn’t know why Red Tornado keeps doing that and that it must be a self-destructive programming flaw. Prof. Morrow then mentions Red Inferno, on of Red Tornado’s brothers and that perhaps one day he will tell Dr. Magnus about him.
Dr. Morrow then mentions how “mad scientists” are being rounded up. Prof. Morrow has newspaper clippings on the disappearances of Dr. Sivana, Ira Quimby, Dr. Death, Dr. Tyme and Dr. Cyclops. Prof. Morrow tells Dr. Magnus to be careful.
Week 2, Day 3: We see the Question standing over the bed where Renee Montoya and her lover are sleeping. (Hot lesbian action! And, wait a minute, is the Question holding Renee’s panties? That perv! I love him more now.) Renee wakes up and the Question asks her “who are you?” Renee grabs her gun and fires off several shots into the Questions. But, the Question disappears without a trace. Renee finds a piece of paper with a question mark on it and the address “502 Kane St.”
Week 2, Day 4: Booster Gold is preparing to intercept an airplane, Flight 2824, that is about to crash. Skeets says it is coming from the North and that its flight path is a matter of historical record. Unfortunately, the Plane is headed from the South and screams past Booster looking in the wrong direction. Booster gives chase and manages to prevent the crash at the last minute. Skeets claims the mistake was merely a last residual glitch. That his self-corrective programming has taken care of everything. Flight 2824 is saved, but we see a newspaper that says hundreds die in a plane crash on Flight 2428. (This is getting very interesting!)
We cut to Renee Montoya and her ever present bottle of booze. She decides to go to the location that the Question left behind during his visit. When Renee gets there all she finds is an abandoned building. Suddenly, with a poof of smoke in the shape of a question mark, the Question appears. Renee pulls her gun and the Question disarms her and tosses her to the ground. The Question tells Renee that he is hiring her for $200 a day and gives her three weeks paid in advance. The Question then tells her “Don’t judge the building by how it looks…judge it by how its’ used and by who uses it. Suddenly, the Question disappears in a puff of smoke shaped like a question mark. (Oh c’mon!! You just gotta love the Question!) Renee is totally confused.
Week 2, Day 6: We see a holy shrine to Superboy with a person knelt in front praying. The prayer is being broadcast online on “Superboy 4ever!” Kids from all around the world are online praying along with the sermon. The transmission is then ended. It appears that the person who was praying and broadcasting the sermon is Wonder Girl. (Or is it?) Ralph appears and compliments her on her homework in re-creating an authentic Krytponian altar. Ralph says that someone defaced Sue’s gravestone with what he thinks was a message from her. (Wow! That was unexpected!) Elongated Man says that on Krypton Superman’s “S” was a symbol with a literal meaning. It meant “hope.” If inverted it meant “resurrection.” Ralph shows Wonder Girl a picture of an inverted “S” spray painted on Sue’s tombstone. End of issue.
This issue does have a History of the DCU back up story where Donna Troy decides to scan the pre-crisis data to learn more about what happened before the Crisis. She starts with the Supermen of Earth 1 and 2. End of back up issue. It is 4 pages long.
The Good: First off, this was a great issue! 52 #2 was much better than 52 #1. The writers have definitely gotten this story moving and the mysteries are sprouting up all over the place.
The scene with Ralph at the graveyard talking to the groundskeeper was perfect. You can still see the silent suffering that Ralph is going through. And the groundskeeper being a big fan of Elongated Man shows that Ralph is still a hero. Plus, it was a great touch that Ralph and Sue worked as a team. The best is that the groundskeeper rebutted Ralph saying Batman was a good detective with the fact that Batman doesn’t have a wife who kept a boy from freaking out while Ralph tried to solve the crime. And you have to love Ralph’s trademark nose twitch whenever there is a mystery afoot. This scene did a good job showing that even though Ralph is torn up inside and still mourning, he is still an amazing detective who loves a good mystery.
It was cool to see Dr. Magnus. I hope we get to see the Metal Men in action soon. I have always though that the Metal Men were great characters. Skeets mentioning that someone could be tampering with the fabric of time is one of first big clues as to what is going on. Who could be the master manipulator? Who knows. But, I’m interested.
The discussion between Prof. Morrow and Dr. Magnus was interesting. I am looking forward to learning more about the Red Inferno. Plus, the disappearances of “Mad” scientists is interesting. Could this be part of the big cloning storyline in the One Year Later storylines of the Titans and the Outsiders? Or is this related to the conflict between science v. magic?
Any scene with the Question is cool! The Question is a great character. I love how he enters and exits in a puff of smoke and the shape of a question mark. What exactly are the Question’s plan for Renee? What is the detective job that he is hiring her for? What is the deal with this abandoned building? So many questions!
Renee is the character that I am liking the least. However, hopefully, the writers have more development for her character other than a hard drinking lesbian cop. I do like the interaction between Renee and the Question.
The scene with Booster Gold saving Flight 2824 further shows that something is wrong with the timeline and it is throwing off Skeets’ history records. The fact that Booster saves Flight 2824, but hundreds die in a crash of Flight 2428 is more evidence that New Earth’s history is changing.
But, the final scene is the best! I love that Wonder Girl has built his amazingly accurate Kryptonian shrine to Superboy. And on top of that she is broadcasting it worldwide on the internet. And on top of that, tons of kids are actually praying along with Wonder Girl! Now, I am guessing that the person in the robe praying is Wonder Girl. They way it is drawn is a little confusing. The person praying is staring out the window with the robe on and then we see a close up of Wonder Girl with no robe on. Plus, Wonder Girl’s altar doesn’t have the little webcam on it like the one that is being broadcast online. I suppose it could be two different people.
Of course the best is when Ralph drops the big bomb by saying that a the “S” means hope and an inverted one means “resurrection” and that he thinks Wonder Girl left the message on Sue’s tombstone! Wow. Great ending. That is how you end a comic and hook the reader. I cannot wait for the next issue, and that is the sign of a well done comic book.
Overall, the writing is fantastic. Each character is handled perfectly. Each character has their own unique voice and personality. Ralph’s quiet sadness, the Question’s mysterious quest, Renee’s feelings of failure and Booster’s feeling of concern and worry that something terrible is happening to our history. All well done.
The dialogue flows well and the pacing of this issue is perfect. Much better than 52 #1.
The artwork was solid. Nothing spectacular, but it is pretty good stuff. It makes the comic enjoyable to read.
The Bad: I have no complaints at all. Seriously, DC is doing a good job with this title. I think that 52 #2 delivers the goods more than #1. The story is definitely getting more interesting.