With DC starting another weekly series and Figs anxious to continue his Morrrison-athon, this seems like a good time to take a look back at 52.

 

<SPOILER ALERT> .... Due to the amount of plot building and foreshadowing in this series, spoilers aplenty will be tossed about. You have been warned. ... <SPOILER ALERT>

 

DC has tried the weekly comic format a number of times. 

 

The granddaddy of DC's weeklies would be the Millennium crossover series.  I suspect this was issued weekly because DC wanted to confine its annual crossover to the summer.  Millennium started off with a bang but ran out of steam quickly after the initial Manhunter reveals.  One could argue that the story was forced to move too slowly to wait for each monthly to have a crossover.  In any case, DC’s takeaway was that another format would work better for their crossovers.

 

DC’s next weekly project was Action Comics Weekly.  This was run as an oversized anthology title with six different features; a Superman 2 pager, a Green Lantern 8 page lead, and four rotating 8 page features.  After 42 issues ACW was reformatted back to a regular length title, once again spotlighting Superman.  A number of the features received new titles and minis but DC did not try an anthology title again until the Showcase series in the 90s.

 

The triangle Superman titles were DC’s next go at weekly storytelling.  DC had four titles that were telling Superman stories, Superman, Action, Adventures of Superman, and Superman: Man of Steel, and they decided that rather than having each creative team look for a different perspective to differentiate their title, they’d have each storyline continue from one title to the next.  To make sure there were no gap weeks, Superman: The Man of Tomorrow was added to cover 5th weeks.  This system required lots of coordination and editorial control but lasted for a number of years, until the titles had a reason to separate after the death of Superman.

 

It was many years before DC tried another weekly, finally giving it a go with 52.  52 was a comic that DC put a lot of resources towards, essentially putting five of their top writers on one comic.  Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, and Keith Giffen crafted an anthology comic of interweaving stories set during a time the rest of DC’s line was restricted from using, except through flashbacks.  The comic was supposed to chronicle what went on during a missing year, and did to some degree, but ultimately wound up focussing more on the stories of its lead characters.  DC intended to have a puzzle that would be filled in, showing how the one year later status quos came about, causing fans to become more invested in their characters.  Fans became invested in 52 and its focus characters, making 52 DC’s most successful weekly to date, allowing most of the key characters to spin off into either minis or ongoings, and showing that people will read both weeklies and anthologies if the circumstances are right.

 

After the success of 52, DC almost immediately started another weekly, Countdown (To Final Crisis).  Once again, Countdown was set up as an interweaving anthology.  This time, the series was set up with one main writer and in the same time frame as the rest of the DCU.  Whereas 52 was off on its own, Countdown made a concerted effort to act as a “spine” for DCU current events.  This proved to be unwieldy for continuity and unsatisfying as a story.  Countdown proved to be a critical failure, mostly ignored going forward.  However, sales were high enough that DC decided to try another weekly the next year, Kurt Busiek’s Trinity.

 

Trinity was a more focussed story, with bigger name characters to increase its draw.  It initially focussed on the relationship between Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman but quickly veered into an alternate reality story about how the DCU would differ if Supes, Bats, and WW were removed.  By going with an alternate reality story, Trinity removed the need to coordinate with the rest of the DCU, however, it also became less “important” in the context of the DCU.  Ultimately, Trinity didn’t do as well as its predecessors, whether this was due to problems with the story or because Countdown poisoned the well is debatable.

 

The next weekly from DC was a departure in format, the broadsheet comic, Wednesday Comics.  This was an anthology set up like newspaper comic strips of old rather than comic books.  This had big names, working on varied characters, over a shorter time frame.  Each strip had its own flavour as the creative teams were varied and were not bound by comic book continuity.  Although, widely considered a creative success, more volumes have not been forthcoming.

 

This leads us to DC’s latest attempt at a weekly comic, Before Watchmen.  Before Watchmen is different from its predecessors as it’s more accurately 7 minis with a common backup and trade dress.  It remains to be seen if the backup will in some way relate to the other stories or if the minis will have any themes in common beyond working towards Watchmen.  Regardless though, with its scheduling and a backup that requires all the minis for the full story, this has to be seen as a type of weekly comic.

 

So, as DC turns away from the interweaving anthology weekly in favour of linked mini series, the time has come to take a look back at 52 to determine what made it so uniquely successful.

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Issue 2

 

The most interesting section of this issue for me was the Magnus/Morrow parts.  The relationship between Magnus and Morrow is fascinating.  Although one is essentially a hero and the other a villain, neither seems to hold it against the other, instead falling into student/teacher or mentor type patterns.  Science is bridging the hero/villain divide... or maybe just preexisting relationships overriding knowledge learned second hand. 

 

Another interpretation that comes to mind is that by putting moral constraints on himself, Magnus is limiting his scientific accomplishments.  The Metal Men don’t seem to work anymore and Magnus can’t find any problem with Skeets despite having all the outside world’s resources.  Meanwhile, Morrow in his prison is noticing patterns that others aren’t seeing and is building things like a tv that receives future signals.  Yet, because he’s on the right side of the law, Magnus gets the acclaim whereas the criminal scientists get no recognition.

 

Intriguing thoughts.  Regarding Magnus failure with Skeets, that's a good way to connect the different threads.  



 

Of course, in the real world, the moral divide between Morrow and Magnus hardly matters.  It would seem that real world science doesn't worry about moral constraints too much.  Cruelty to animals is thought a small price to pay for research, and scientists just go where their research takes them, regardless of whether what they are enabling will be good for mankind or not.  Currently, much more funding and research are being applied to first world problems like obesity (and possibly Male Pattern Baldness) rather than third world problems like malaria and TB.  (The magic bullet for obesity will be worth a fortune to whoever discovers it, whereas those suffering from Malaria won't be able to cough up that much!)

 

I’d love to learn the story reasons as to why mad scientists are imprisoned differently than other villains.  They’re not giving them anything to work with, so it doesn’t seem like it’s to gain inventions and we’ll see going forward that it’s not a minimum security facility.  I’m intrigued.

 

On the face of it, the Mad Scientists get the rooms in the Hannibal Lector wing because they can make phasers out of bits of a telephone and a biro casings!  Highly dangerous men.  But then again, Morrow was given enough equipment to make that future TV.



 

The key contributor for the mad scientist section is most likely Morrison.

 

Just as Geoff Johns is continuing the work he did with Black Adam in JSA, Morrison is continuing what he was doing with the mad scientists in JLA.  There, he'd repurposed them as comicbook versions of internet hackers, which made them very 90s, and gave the comics some connection to ‘our’ world.  The brainy villains were shown as self-absorbed, brilliant, egotistic, competitive within their small community and not very socially competent.  It's this last that makes Morrow's later attempts at sincerity with Magnus quite touching.

We saw this in the Morrow and Ivo scenes in the Tomorrow Woman issue of JLA.  (T.O. Morrow putting the clue to her origins in her name is typical hacker behaviour.) 

 

Another hacker trait was in the Key's obsession with outdoing his peers.  "Dr Destiny?  Ha!  Dream on!"
(A wonderful line.  Look at all the things Morrison was doing with it:  Showing the competitive relationship between the boffins of the DCU, showing the Key’s arrogance, referencing and poking fun at Gaiman’s use of Justice League villains, and Gaiman's grimey low-level horror in that book compared with the Key's fantastic and outrageous scheme, punning on the Sandman’s name.  Good writing doesn’t have to ‘literary’, just elegant and intelligent, like this.)

 

The similarities between the Geeks and Morrison's scientists are apparent in recent biographies and articles about Julian Assange's beginnings in hacker culture.

Morrison obviously enjoyed writing the 'Mad Scientists as computer geeks' in JLA, but here he gets more space to develop them and their interactions.  They are another marginal, despised group that Morrison brings to the centre of his stories.  Morrison's empathy with these groups give 'heart' to a lot of his work, much of which would only be empty stylised mental exercises without it.



 

- Morrow is accused of attempting to start a war between parallel worlds.  Is this a continuity glitch?

 

Howso?  Because it wasn't followed up on?  I like to see mentions of stuff that has nothing to do with this or other stories.  It gives the impression that this is a big world with much going on that we aren't party to.  Much like our own.  



 

The other thing is that stuff like this, which previously only seemed like Morrison putting ideas out there for flavour, later turned out to be seeds for important stories, like the sentient universe mentioned in passing in Rock of Ages, that was pivotal to SSoVyears later.  It makes for more fun when these stories are reread in context of the whole tapestry later.

 

- Hundreds dead on another crashing plane with a similar number in Australia or Nova Scotia implies more than just historical facts are off.  Some type of synchronicity maybe?  Is this ever addressed?

 

I hope so.  It's intriguing isn't?  It's not like the butterfly effect where more changes multiply out from the first change.  The DCU is a multiverse where intertwining universes asume an uncannily parallel relationship to each other.

And what is the single change that makes this past different to the one in Skeets' memory banks?  It would seem to be the fact that the Trinity have taken a year out in this version.  Or was it something earlier that led to their sabbaticals?  Was it some time-meddling that occurred after Booster came back to this era, or Booster's trip in the first place?  Again, I wonder if we find out?

 

- It would appear the Question is paying Montoya to look into things he already knows.

 

Why does the Question choose Montoya as his 'apprentice'?  I wonder, do we find out?  She looks far from an ideal candidate at the start of 52.  They have obviously never crossed paths before.  I don't think the Question even spent much time in Gotham before... 

 

This issue also began the “History of the DCU” feature. 

 

I've read all these Donna Troy chapters now. It might be worth saying a few things about them when we get to  the last one.

Final Night is another brief, weekly DC crossover. It was definitely more creatively successful thanMillenium, and is still pretty highly regarded.

It seems a bunch of the crossovers during my "time away" were weeklies.  Anyone have a list of the DC crossovers and which ones of them were weeklies?  I'm kind of wondering which is the first of them that was relatively successful, ('cause I certainly wouldn't class Millennium or War of the Gods as successful).

It looks like you've read this series a few times, or reread it a bit while reading it the first time. 

I've reread a few of the issues before, but this will be my first reread of the entire series.

 

Booster perplexed me on my first readthrough.  Even I knew that he'd moved past his 'Greed is Good' phase by this point.  And they give the impression that he'd returned to the future in the meantime, and stocked up on Skeets memory banks and Booster's gadgets.  Perhaps that's just the impression I got.

Yeah, I'm wondering if there was more in the Omac Project and Infinite Crisis than I remember or if they just recreated this status quo from whole cloth, so to speak.

 

Something is very wrong with time, if the events are starting to diverge from Skeets' records.  I can't recall what the reason exactly was for this, but I look forward to finding out.  It's a departure for a Morrison story, because time is usually 'a fixed solid' for him, where everything always works out the same, even if you try to change things.  (He's no doubt influenced by the old DC rules, as well as certain ideas in modern physics.)

Well, the JLA Rock of Ages storyline kind of implied differently, but regardless it begs the question, just how much was each creator responsible for and how did they reconcile any conflicts?

 

I think the DiDiDogs are an in-joke for the creators, or one of them, anyway!

Could be... 'course it's also an old expression.

Regarding Sivana's capture, I noticed this time that his captors had a furry arm and a reptilian arm...  The scientists being captured is very much a nod to Watchmen, isn't it?

I didn't even think along those lines.  It makes one wonder, how often are plot points meant to reference previous works and how often are stories just covering the same ground?  Were the heroes ignoring Booster like they did Beetle in Countdown to Infinite Crisis or scientists being kidnapped in both Watchmen and 52 meant to mirror previous work and resonate with fans or are these just happy coincidences because the authors were interested in playing with a similar element?  Perhaps it's more causal and one was the inspiration for the other?  How much is planned and how much is happenstance?

 

 

Of course, in the real world, the moral divide between Morrow and Magnus hardly matters.  It would seem that real world science doesn't worry about moral constraints too much.  

 This brings to mind one of the conceits of the JLA/Avengers series, that the DCU was more trusting and in a fundamental way even morally different from the Marvel U.  It would seem that holds true for Earth Prime as well. :)

On the face of it, the Mad Scientists get the rooms in the Hannibal Lector wing because they can make phasers out of bits of a telephone and a biro casings!  Highly dangerous men.  But then again, Morrow was given enough equipment to make that future TV.



Plus, it looks like he wasn't just given a room, he was given a house, although a Hannibal Lector house.  Apparently another Morrison throw away creation.  A shame no one picked this thread up again.

Just as Geoff Johns is continuing the work he did with Black Adam in JSA, Morrison is continuing what he was doing with the mad scientists in JLA.  

Makes one curious as to what work Waid and Rucka are continuing through the series.  If I'm not mistaken, this is where Rucka actually starts his big overarching work with the crime bible, although I guess an argument could be made that the character of Montoya is his through line.  I don't notice anything specific with Waid.  Sort of makes one wonder if it's an early indication that he'll be the first to leave DC.

 

- Morrow is accused of attempting to start a war between parallel worlds.  Is this a continuity glitch?

 

Howso?  Because it wasn't followed up on?  I like to see mentions of stuff that has nothing to do with this or other stories.  It gives the impression that this is a big world with much going on that we aren't party to.  Much like our own.  



I like the idea of that as well, but in this particular case I was thinking that prior to 52, the DCU wasn't acknowledging parallel worlds except in the extremely short lived case of Infinite Crisis.  I don't get the impression Morrow would have had time to try and start a war during Infinite Crisis.

Why does the Question choose Montoya as his 'apprentice'?  I wonder, do we find out?  She looks far from an ideal candidate at the start of 52.  They have obviously never crossed paths before.  I don't think the Question even spent much time in Gotham before... 

I don't remember a good explanation for this, but I guess we'll find out.

Why does the Question choose Montoya as his 'apprentice'?  I wonder, do we find out?  She looks far from an ideal candidate at the start of 52.  They have obviously never crossed paths before.  I don't think the Question even spent much time in Gotham before...

There was a Huntress mini, in the 90s I believe, that co-starred the Question. I just don't remember how much time they spent in Gotham. But agreed he didn't really spend a whole lot of time there. Maybe he chose her, because she was so down and out, just like he had been a few times before.

Border Mutt said:

It seems a bunch of the crossovers during my "time away" were weeklies.  Anyone have a list of the DC crossovers and which ones of them were weeklies?  I'm kind of wondering which is the first of them that was relatively successful, ('cause I certainly wouldn't class Millennium or War of the Gods as successful).

I thought Final Night was a good solid story when I reread it for the start of the JLA thread. Immonen's art was excellent, and the story stayed focused on the events at hand rather than a lot of continuity (even though Hal Jordan was stuck in the middle of it!)

To be honest, I was probably surprised at how good it was, as event-crossover-comics tend to have such a bad name.

Interesting that both you and Philip (fanboys to your footsoles!) had given up on DC for a while prior to JLA. The point I was trying to make on that thread was that DC had lost what made their heroes singular and mythic in the first half of the 90s. Morrison laughs at characters with names like Bloodwynd in his Supergods.

John Byrne's Genesis Wave 4-parter was weekly and affected the whole line, but by no stretch can it be called a 'success', beyond selling some comics.

 

Coming up on my JLA thread will be JLApe and Day of Judgement.  Both might have functioned as short weekly series in effect.  Both were released during the summer holidays, I think.

Yeah, I'm wondering if there was more in the Omac Project and Infinite Crisis than I remember or if they just recreated this status quo from whole cloth, so to speak.

Of course, Infinite Crisis itself rewrote the past, and Booster's puzzling new status may be part of that. JLA history and Superman's history were considerably changed after IC.

Given that the plotline is Morrison's and he has a long history of interacting with Moore's work, I'd say the kidnapped scientists thread is a conscious reference to Watchmen. Whereas Moore was quite po-faced about these geniuses in their fields disappearing, it is very characteristic of Morrison to ask: 'Hey what would life be like amongst such highly-strung, socially inept, competitive, often overcompensating individuals, once they'd all been holed up together?'

Morrison openly and the other creators to some extent all have the whole 'anxiety of influence' thing going on with Moore's work.  They can't sit down to write a superhero story without being aware of what Moorehas done already.  Sometimes they take the tack Moore took, and other times they try to rebel against it completely

Once we've read to the end, we'll see if the scientists being locked up together was absolutely essential to the plot, or if Morrison just wanted to riff on his 'supervillains as geeks' and reference Watchmen at the same time.

Douglas Wolk sees the title of the first chapter of 52 as mirroring the first chapter of Watchmen.  I only glanced at his 52 blog, but I'm looking forward to checking it out once we get further into 52. 

 

One of the arguments I've seen against the Before Watchmen project is that any addendum to Watchmen is redundant given that most superhero comics since 1986 have been a response/reaction to it in one way or another.  Comics have been adding to/commenting on Watchmen for 25 years.  Good luck JMS and co coming up with something new to say.

 

Whether by happenstance or design, 52 gives us a more sociable and balanced Rorschach in the Question, an anti-hero prepared to use any means necessary to save the world from itself in Black Adam, the aforementioned kidnapped scientists, and the next best thing to Blue Beetle/Nite Owl trying to get back into the hero business.  Just off the top of my head.

..he wasn't just given a room, he was given a house, although a Hannibal Lector house.

Missed that. I'll have to check it out again.

Makes one curious as to what work Waid and Rucka are continuing through the series. If I'm not mistaken, this is where Rucka actually starts his big overarching work with the crime bible, although I guess an argument could be made that the character of Montoya is his through line.

The writers' commitment to the characters is probably a big factor in 52's success. Rucka was very committed to Montoya. The critically praised, but hardly read Gotham Central ended with Infinite Crisis, and Rucka probably knew that the only way to continue with Montoya would be as a superhero.

 

Even without the Gotham Central connection, you just have to see that the Question thread has 2 strong kick-ass female characters, to guess that Rucka was involved in it and personally committed to it.  That’s how he rolls, it seems!

 

I’ll be interested to see if the Steel thread is Morrison’s.  On the one hand it is shouty family melodrama, which is a bit unlike Morrison, but on the other, we have the theme of transformation from people into superheroes and the ethnic representation box ticked, which he likes to do.  Also, the sequence with Steel hallucinating was very Morrison, as the readers had as little clue as Irons as to what was happening.

 

The ‘ripping people apart’ motif is the giveaway that Johns is in charge of Black Adam, but it is well done.  I’m enjoying it so far.  It is well paced, and not as ‘obvious’ as Johns can often be.

 

I don't notice anything specific with Waid. Sort of makes one wonder if it's an early indication that he'll be the first to leave DC.

 

Waid doesn’t have quite the same signature ‘moves’ as the others, does he?  Perhaps it is Waid as Continuity Maven we are seeing here.  He’s trying to ‘fix’ what had been done to Ralph and Sue in Identity Crisis.  He’s also stitching the death of Kon-El more firmly into the DCU.  That was the only real emotional beat of Infinite Crisis that worked for me, and it is the one specific beat from Infinite Crisis that Waid runs with.  He’s trying to make it all work as one big story, from the Elongated Man’s 50s adventures through JLA/I/E, through the lead in to Infinite Crisis and out the other side.

 

Is Waid writing Booster?  As you say, there is some kind of minor rebooting going on there, which would contradict my point! 

 

In any case, it was strange to see Jurgens doing the back-up to a comic where his hero Booster was being written by another writer.  I have a book called The 52 Companion, which collects previous representative issues of each of the stars of 52.  It contains the only real Booster Gold story I’ve ever read.  Jurgens isn’t a creator that does a lot for me, but it’s clear that he invested a lot in Booster Gold.  The story had a lot of heart and I could imagine I’d enjoy reading more of Jurgens’ Booster comics. 

 

Regarding how the writers are using bits and pieces of previous continuity, that Booster story featured Beetle telling him to get rid of the JLA merchandising he was proposing to mass-produce before Batman saw it.  Many scenes in 52 show kids with Justice League merchandising and toys all around them.  What happened between the two stories was JLA, where Morrison showed the team harnessing the power of corporations to brand themselves and win over the hearts and minds of humanity.

 

Perhaps just happenstance, as you say, but it’s nice to see a continuous story there to be read if we so wish.

 

Interesting thought about Waid not being committed to any DC characters at this point.  Perhaps Rucka wouldn’t have stayed so long if he wasn’t waiting to develop Montoya and Batwoman further.  Notice that Morrison actually works the beginning of his Batman run into 52 itself.  He’s committing himself here.  (Johns work with Black Adam is refreshing given how much he has immersed himself in Green Lantern since before 52.  He does like his colour-themed protagonists though!  :-)  )

 

I like the idea of that as well, but in this particular case I was thinking that prior to 52, the DCU wasn't acknowledging parallel worlds except in the extremely short lived case of Infinite Crisis. I don't get the impression Morrow would have had time to try and start a war during Infinite Crisis.

 

Ah. Apologies.  You are right.  It becomes very germane to the plot of 52 that there aren’t any parallel worlds going in, so this looks somewhat like a boo-boo.

I’ll be interested to see if the Steel thread is Morrison’s.

Figs, you mentioned that the trades have supplementary information.  Is there anything mentioned about the writer breakdowns, (beyond the party line that they all worked on everything)?  

Is Waid writing Booster?  As you say, there is some kind of minor rebooting going on there, which would contradict my point! 

The two main reasons I think Johns was probably most responsible for Booster are the rebooting, (which is very much a Johns thing), and the fact that he wrote the Booster followup series, (neither of which are conclusive).

 Perhaps it is Waid as Continuity Maven we are seeing here.  He’s trying to ‘fix’ what had been done to Ralph and Sue in Identity Crisis.

The biggest disappointment for me coming out of 52 was that no one picked up the Dibnys and ran with them, (well, other than Didio and I'd just as soon block that out ;)).  I wonder if Waid had stayed with DC if this was a project he would have followed up on?

The other big wild card in the writer responsibility ring is Giffen.  Did he have any input in plot matters?  If he did influence or direct a part, my money would be on the space section with Lobo.  It seems to have a lot of Morrison elements to it but it wouldn't surprise me if Giffen had a strong hand in it as well.

 

Agreed completely. I really hope that, in the New52, Elongated Man--along with Sue and Ted "Blue Beetle" Kord for that matter--is alive and well. I was glancing through the latest issue of Blue Beetle in the store and noticed that at the end of it, Booster Gold is there as the set-up for the next issue. I am praying that Booster won't be mentioning "my buddy who you replaced--you've got big shoes to fill, kiddo!" Just hoping beyond hope that he won't mention a thing about it, thus keeping the door open for Ted's big comeback.

Border Mutt said:

The biggest disappointment for me coming out of 52 was that no one picked up the Dibnys and ran with them, (well, other than Didio and I'd just as soon block that out ;)).  I wonder if Waid had stayed with DC if this was a project he would have followed up on?


 

52 # 4 - Dances With Monsters

 

Day 1: Montoya is two weeks into a stakeout of a building the Question paid her to watch.  Up in space, Halo and a team of astronauts detect a Zeta Beam Transfer that is in progress but not completing.

 

Day 2: Fire is visiting Booster about a rescue mission that’s being organized to help the heroes trapped in the Zeta Beam but Booster blows her off for a meeting with sponsors.

 

Day 3: In Gotham, the Question pops in on Renee and tells her to keep up the good work, even though she has yet to see anything of interest.  While in Metropolis, Steel gets sick and hallucinates while his body actually transforms into steel.

 

Day 4: Cassie and the cult convince Ralph to get immersed in some “Kryptonian waters” in order to receive visions of his dead wife.  While he’s under, he passes out and they nick his wedding ring.

 

Day 5: Someone actually shows at the stakeout, causing Montoya and the Question to follow an alien into the warehouse and spy it messing around with hi tech weapons.  A fight breaks out and Montoya blows the alien away with one of the “special guns”.

 

Day 7: Halo and the Rannians are able to ground the Zeta Beam in Australia, releasing a bunch of transformed and hurt heroes including Hawkgirl, Alan Scott, Bumblebee, Mel Duncan, and a couple of partially merged heroes.

 

IMO, this was the first weak issue of the series.  The space plot starts up with some awkward dialogue and a large infodump.  Booster and Fire have a scene that either references past events that don’t appear to still be in continuity, (based on previous issues), or tells us there’s missing info that was included in a different series; very sloppy compared to issue one.  (BTW, does anyone remember if Booster jumped back and forth from the future during the Omac Project?)  Additionally, bringing in Booster for a “rescue mission” just screams plot device.  Finally, the length of time that passes before Ralph meets Cassie’s cult stretches plausibility, accentuating a weakness in the title being so tied to specific dates.  Overall a weak issue... still it did have some interesting bits.

 

The Question harps on health issues to Renee, giving us our first indication that he might have health problems. 

 

Booster’s been trying to contact time experts, either without any luck or without any results.

 

Steel’s hallucinations imply he’s trying to discourage Natasha from being a superhero because he’s afraid she’ll get hurt, and further, they suggest that he thinks being a hero might actually make him a negative role model.  (This actually picks up from last issues request that the doctor not call him by his heroic name.)

 

Ralph is baptised in a way, not embracing life in the Christian sense but instead embracing death and visions of the departed.  (As he’s passing out, the bubbles form a question mark but he doesn’t get to see the answers yet... he’s still on his journey.)

 

Other items of note:

- Skeets appears to be concerned with his own well being.

- Steel is upset about hallucinating while Ralph is actively trying to hallucinate.

- Intergang is being set up as the early connection between our protagonists, having crossed paths with Black Adam last issue and the Question this issue.

 

So, while this issue wasn’t as strong as previous issues, it was still well worth reading.

 

Best lines:

“I wish the wino would come back.”

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