Saturday, September 23, 2006

52.17 - 52.20

The long-simmering storyline of our heroes lost in space come to a forefront in the four most recent issues of 52. They are finally away from the planet and beginning their long trek home. Starfire lectures Animal Man about the dangers of "existential isolation trauma" but Buddy feels like the universe like him and that he'll be okay. That's a reference to his Grant Morrison-written solo series from the late 80s (available in three trades and essential reading!) and suspect Morrison is behind that section of the current series. Anyway, the two heroes and Adam Strange run into problems - Devilance has pursued them off-planet, though that danger is quickly replaced by the return of Lobo (an anti-hero who was very popular in the 90s; I could take him only in small doses). Things are different for the Main Man - he has found religion and is an Archbishop. He has also found the Emerald Eye, which leads to further complications.

Ralph Dibny (Elongated Man) returns in #18, after being contacted by Detective Chimp. Not only is Detective Chimp a member of Shadowpact but he and Ralph are also members of a heretofore unknown group called the Croatoans. One of that second group's members has died in mysterious cirumstances that also involved Dr. Fate's helmet. Ralph agress to help look into things but the helmet talks to him and he is possible he will become the new Dr. Fate?

Skeets (sidekick to the recently-deceased Booster Gold) turns up an ancestor of BG's at his funeral (remember Booster is from the future) and uses him to get back into Rip Hunter's lair. Skeets isn't playing fair, however, and sends Daniel Carter to his doom while uttering "He knows." Um, who knows? And what is Skeets playing at?

And those are just the main points. We also see more with Black Adam, Isis, The Question, and an even more messed-up Renee Montoya; the reemergence of Steel; the internal problems associated with being Luthor's personal super-heroes; Supernova versus Weather Wizard with an assist and awkward encounter with Wonder Girl; Supernova also breaking into the Batcave (along with a reference to events that took place in the Jamie Robinson-written "One Year Later" issues of Batman and Detective Comics; and clue to what to overall nature of 52 might be in the form of Red Tornado. Plus, solid art by Chris Batista (twice), Eddy Barrows, and Patrick Oliffe along with a host of inkers and the secret origins of Lobo, The Question, Animal Man, and Adam Strange.

Looking forward to more...

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