Week 22: FriedThat headline describes my current state--hence this week's late, abbreviated 52 Pickup--and it's also the punch line to a joke I liked as a kid, involving an elderly and memorious Native American.
The story of the original Standing Bear is worth looking into--it's the one really sharp reference to Native American culture this issue. The title "Burial Ground" is, er, a little on the corny side. As for the Manitou Stone--it's probably not this one--"Manitou stones" are in fact a generic name for certain kinds of headstones in New England; as this page puts it, "manitou" is "a word used by the Algonquin speaking peoples of New England to mean 'spirit,' as in having spiritual power."
That's Algonquin, not Iroquois. "A great noble of the Iroquois nation" wouldn't have called on "manitou, the great spirit in things"; he'd have called it "orenda." (If he'd been Sioux, he'd have called it "wakanda.") The effect is roughly the same as having, I don't know, a Greek character thinking back to growing up in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.
Super-Chief (no, not that Super Chief) first appeared here, in All-Star Western #117 (a story reprinted here, and I think I know what I'm looking for next time I go to the back-issue bins); he appeared in what I'm guessing was not quite his original context here. There were only three original Super-Chief stories, in the final three issues of All-Star Western, and I now desperately need to track down all of them to see if he actually fought dinosaurs. Or, you know, I could just wait for this. For a really, really long time.
Saganowahna, by the way, is not an actual name in any tradition other than the DCU's. You thought otherwise?
(Also: sorry to see Stephen Wacker go, and good luck to him in his new endeavors! As much as I've given him a hard time here, I do really appreciate everything he did to make 52 possible.)
Cover: I like this one a lot, even though it manages to conflate two other people's trademarks on the same cover that sticks the little "registered" sign next to "Green Lantern." I can't help thinking those alchemical symbols look a lot like "PLOT 04" too.
Pg. 1: So Supernova does have remote disintegration power. Who do we know who has that power? Besides Coagula, that is.
Pg. 2: Good use of the teaser line.
Pg. 4: Luthor really likes that expansive "behold!" left-hand gesture, doesn't he?
Pg. 5: "Fastback" is a good name for a DCU bus line--the turtle of that name was part of Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew. Silverblade was mentioned on Rip Hunter's chalkboard, and it's a perfectly appropriate subject for a big-budget action flick. And the Earth-Prime Highway 52 runs northwest-southeast between Portal, North Dakota and Charleston, South Carolina; apparently the DCU version cuts east a little further north to pass through or near Metropolis. Jon is reading the same issue of "Metahuman Journal" that was in Clark and Lois's apartment three months ago (cover-dated July); why is that one so interesting? The back page of the newspaper in panel 2 is apparently advertising a TV version of "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?", which the DCU version of Alan Moore will, I'm sure, make very clear that he's not going to watch.
Pg. 6: Of course it's Gate 52. Will we ever see Ms. Red-Hair-Glasses-and-Freckles again? And how do the cops know Jon's "service record"--and from what?
Pg. 8: Bad storytelling in the first panel--I guess that's a funeral (for Jon's father), but that's really not a convincing coffin, and I'm not sure what the thing it's on top of is. Beyond the service record, it looks like Jon's been in jail at some point...
Pg. 9: The "Six Nations" was an Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) confederacy (the Cayugas, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Senecas and arguably the Tuscarora). But the book is also a kind of Secret Six (how great a cover is that, by the way?).
Pg. 11: Whoa: was killing him what Jon's grandfather wanted him to do? I'm thinking maybe not, since they're both wearing different outfits in this scene than in the previous one (and the grandfather is still making some noise in the last panel). Odd to see Booster on the cover of "TV Nation," since he couldn't seem to scare up much interest for his funeral...
Pg. 12: That's awfully old-fashioned architecture for a new business school (apparently the one Luthor was talking about last week). Is it a rededicated older building within an established university?
Pg. 13: Have we seen Mr. Ferry before? "Themyscira" just isn't as funny as "medieval," although I'm wondering if it's a cue about the DCU Mercy's background.
Pg. 15: "David" is Doc Magnus's brother, Col. David Magnus, first seen here--another fine cover design. Shade is apparently not this one or this one, but S.H.A.D.E.--the Super Human Advanced Defense Executive introduced here. And the Plutonium Man business Doc Magnus mentions happened in a three-part storyline ending here.
Pg. 18: When did Doc mix the aqua regia? It needs to be prepared immediately before it's used (and Doc mentions that it's "fresh")--otherwise it degrades very quickly. And Doc sure has a problematic relationship with Tina, doesn't he?
Pg. 20: Nice cliffhanger--Lead continuing to rampage in the background after the punch line is a very Morrison touch. Anybody recognize the Sentinel-ish thingie? Also, I like the preview of next week's Drew Johnson/Ray Snyder art, not least because it looks like we're finally getting back to the Montoya/Question plot.
The Origin of Green Lantern: So is Hal's chest insignia green, black or a hologram?... And the non-yellow problem is overridden by Hal's will? Interesting.
Question of the week: does anybody actually click through to the covers I link to? I'm curious.