Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Week 31: Plain Aryan Worms

The Captain Comet sequences of this issue, creepy and effective as they are, indulge in one of my least favorite science-fiction comics tropes: "alien cultures" that are in no way alien. If you're going to do the story where the commander tells the young soldier in Prussian military finery to save himself, but he doesn't, and then his bereaved fiancée mourns him, and then the soldier comes back as a zombie and turns his fiancée into a zombie too, that's totally okay--but don't make them residents of the planet Vardu and call the soldier Jodd and his fiancée Luribel and their god O-Dell, because transplanting genre-fiction archetypes of any other kind to outer space and changing them not a whit besides giving all the characters weird phoneme combinations for names and non-human skin colors is just about as lazy as SF construction gets. There are ways to make genre-fiction clichés of any kind fresh if you're willing to transplant them into a genuinely different cultural setting and see what happens to them--anybody remember Muktuk Wolfsbreath, Hard-Boiled Shaman? go pick it up from the cheapie bins at your local back-issue store if you don't, because it's ridiculously fun--but the "alien names" thing isn't one of them. At least Xax has a pleasingly weird perspective and dialogue.

Really, though, the Captain Comet plot is transparently meant to do two things: set up Mystery In Space and the larger-scale Jim Starlin cosmic-DC project, and establish Lady Styx as exceptionally bad news. (And no, I never get tired of doing that.) It does fine with both of those, even if the church-plus-annihilation thing makes her come off as a cross between Darkseid and the Magus (from Starlin's mid-'70s Warlock stories). I have mixed feelings about the Big Scary White Cubes, but they do have a certain chilling blankness--speaking of Prisoner allusions, as I was a few weeks ago, they're somewhat Rover-ish. (Love the name "glorifiers," though.) And the idea of them being from "beyond the [52?] gates of spacetime itself" makes them come off as greater-than-three-dimensional incursions into three-dimensional space. (Morrison has played with this idea a lot before; if Barbelith from The Invisibles is its benevolent form and the business with the cubes/dice that turned up in various Seven Soldiers books, especially Zatanna, is its value-neutral form, this sure seems like its malign form.)

There seems to be a bit of a "devouring" theme going on in 52 lately, especially this issue: there was the cannibalistic Crime Bible ritual in Gotham and the turkey-and-chainsaw business on Oolong Island, and now we get the cubes "chewing" their way toward the Vega system, the turkey massacre reprised with Jodd's fate, Hannibal the Cannibal digesting what human relics he can, Ralph gulping his tipple (you know, he used to be satisfied by gingold...), and finally Lady Styx enjoying a crunchy power-ring nosh with her grasshopper pie. Implicit in a lot of these is the very old idea that you can get something's power and knowledge by eating it--the "planarian worms in the maze" theory whose most famous comics application was Alan Moore's early Swamp Thing stories. It's pretty firmly discredited science at this point, but that never stopped anything from being a seductive metaphor.

It's worth noting that the new Geoff Johns-written Justice Society of America #1 seems to have a lot of 52-related teasers: the first page is an image from World War III, as teased by Rip Hunter's blackboard in Week 6 (although not Morrison's earlier World War III or, I suspect, World War III as in the Atomic Knights stories), which happens before the main story proper; anybody want to bet this is where 52 is going for its climax, what with the international tension and promised destruction of a country and all? Can't imagine where else it might fit--unless, perhaps, it was an earlier 52-second-long world war nobody knew about.

JSofA also features references to a fight between Damage and a Reverse-Flash that I don't think we've seen, as well as teasers for the forthcoming year involving a "doctor... with no face," someone with a Legion flight-ring whose fringe implies that she's Dawnstar, and Kal-L emerging from the grave. And there's a bit with the not-so-coherent new Starman saying "There's a star on Thanagar. I dreamt about it. Ha! 52!" Plus, of course, a "Wacker Going Out of Business 52% Off" sign... Incidentally, confidential to Mr. G.J.: Harvard University does not have sororities (or fraternities), and virtually all undergrads live on campus.

More notes:

Pg. 4: There's something about Thormon Tox that looks very Gil Kane-drawing-y, but I don't think we've seen him before. Xax, on the other hand, first appeared here; he was killed off here. A different Xax appeared as a Darkstar here. At least he seemed to be a different Xax.

Pg. 7: The "Stygian passover" implies that there's some place that Lady Styx et al. didn't do this.

Pg. 8: Oh good: John Henry's discovered text-messaging at last. But Jade was Nicki Jones two weeks ago--why is she "Sierra" now?

Pg. 10: "Coles 87" would be the New York Jets' Laveranues Coles.

Pg. 12: Either Ralph's drinking ectoplasmic booze (that leaves a red stain on the hand, or whatever that oddly drawn body part in the final panel is), or something even weirder is happening, since liquid should be coming out of the flask in the first panel and it's not. He's already been to Nanda Parbat and come back, the chronology suggests, although it looks like he's going back there for next issue. Also, as far as I know, there's no DC precedent for the name "Derek Mathers"; anyone know differently?

Pg. 13: Okay, we get that Marseilles is important. But why? Could it have something to do with... Mlle. Marie? Incidentally, a postmark from Marseilles wouldn't say "Marseilles," it'd say "Marseille." Perhaps that's just a screw-up. Perhaps it's a clue.

Pp. 14-15: Here we have a very strong piece of evidence suggesting who Supernova is, along with a small contradiction. Ralph's dialogue suggests that Supernova is the JLA's early non-super pal Snapper Carr--I don't have the time to go into his long and not-entirely-comfortable relationship with the League, but he's basically the DCU equivalent of Rick Jones. Or vice versa. In any case, Snapper was briefly a (gizmo-powered, if I recall correctly) bad guy called the Star-Tsar here and here thanks to the machinations of the Key. One of two Keys. If you want to be cute about it. Later, Snapper had teleportation powers for a little while--activated by his Silver Age character tic of snapping his fingers--until in a typically nasty Tin Age plot twist, he got his hands cut off (and then replaced). And we know he's interested in odd colors of Kryptonite nested in devices having to do with hands (see Week 20). The contradiction here is that he makes a point of not being familiar with Cassie, with whom he is very familiar through his time with Young Justice; he's also very worried about being heard. Any theories about that?

Pg. 18: Curious that the only place Adam seems to have any skin left is his face--otherwise his costume appears to be clinging to his flayed body.

Pg. 19: She's wearing Xax's dismembered corpse as an earring as she eats the ring. Scary!

The Origin of Robin: That's a whole lot of iterations of the Robin costume there... not much else to say about this one, I fear.

Since I'm eager to stir up commenting again, here's a question that I'd like to open up to, particularly, people who haven't commented here before: is there anything you wish I were doing more of in 52 Pickup? I'm not promising anything, just curious.


At 11:35 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

This issue seems to discredit the notion that the space heroes are in the future.

That JSofA issue did a fantastic job of pressing my geek buttons.

At 12:13 AM, Blogger Josh said...

Long time reader (since Week 1, I believe,) but this if my first comment here. I even used an ancient Blogger account to log in and comment! Consider yourself honored.

Anyway, I found this issue to be nothing but a bunch of useless filler. Between this and the previous week it feels like we’re treading a lot of water here. I imagine this is going to make it difficult for the various storylines to conclude without feeling rushed.

Last week’s “Batman, no more!” cliffhanger was completely unnecessary, and I doubt this plot point will ever be addressed again. Couldn’t that week have been better spent focusing on the Starfire, Black Adam… anyone? The space heroes’ story isn’t very compelling, and stands out as the most underdeveloped.

It should also be noted that the original DC Starfire has been lost in space for decades. Her self-titled series (1976) was cancelled before the conclusion to her storyline.

Snapper Carr seems like the most obvious answer to the “Who is Supernova?” mystery, although Scott Free is another strong candidate. However, it does seem like we would have received more clues to support either theory by this point. I’m convinced the writers jumped straight into most of these plot threads without a clear idea of how they tied into the big picture. Oh well, Time is Broken, who cares?

Wonder Girl is getting a huge amount of face time in 52. It’s nice to have any of the Wonder Women in the book, but she is too far removed from the Wonder Woman dynasty to represent that part of the trinity effectively. 52 would have been a prime opportunity to push Diana, Cassie and Donna to the forefront of the DC Universe, but OYL all three of them feel less effective and important than ever. Delays with the main Wonder Woman book have created many wasted opportunities.

Speaking of which, the Justice Society of America teases to “World War 3” are more annoying than tantalizing. JSA had several issues following the OYL jump, so only mentioning this enormous war now comes across as sloppy. Having said that, it was a strong issue and an enjoyable read (even if Geoff Johns did try to write the entire thing as if he were Brad Meltzer.)

Sorry if that came across as rambly and bitter. I’ve been reading 52 very closely, and the story only seems to fall apart as things move forward. Your posts are a delight to read, and I only hope that future installments will be as entertaining and informative as they have been so far! Thanks again.


At 6:15 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Lady Styx and her gang reminded me hugely of the borg off Star Trek - with the cubes, the ant army destructiveness and the "turning defeated foes into soldiers" dealy

I think the Damage vs Reverse Flash fight was in Infinite Crisis when the Freedom Fighters all got pwned early on

I like the blog just the way it is, btw!!

At 6:33 AM, Blogger Keith said...

Another first time poster here. I love how this column points out things I missed. It seems to have gotten shorter and shorter over time though. Maybe there's less to say as the plot is revealed?

The JSA issue was fantastic. Johns did in 1 large issue what Meltzer still hasn't done in 3: put a team together, introduce new wildly different characters, and start the big mystery with a bang (or a splat). It was a #1 so having a brief recap of WWIII was appropriate. The ending issues of the previous JSA series was forgettable anyway.

At 6:45 AM, Blogger David C said...

Under the "Snapper Carr" theory, does anything make Superman's absence particularly important?

I'm starting to think maybe the Superman angle isn't "Superman's absence allows Supernova to emerge" so much as "Supernova's emergence *caused* Superman's absence."

Like he's stealing or siphoning off Superman's (solar-based) powers somehow, or cutting off Superman's normal access to solar energy?

Has Ralph been shown "hitting the bottle" before in 52? I know he's been shown in despair, insane, filled with grief, unshaven, etc., but I don't remember him turning to drink. And he doesn't *sound* like a drunk here - sounds pretty lucid and rational, in fact.

My guess is that Ralph doesn't have alcohol in that flask, but Gingold.

At 7:18 AM, Blogger Matthew E said...

The JSA thing with Dawnstar: it's supposed to be the post-Zero-Hour version of Star Boy who becomes Starman, right? But there was no Dawnstar post-Zero-Hour (although there was Shikari, a similar but essentially distinct character). So is this the pre-Zero-Hour Star Boy? Unlikely, as that Star Boy retired, got married, got a real job and let himself go a bit. Or is Johns disregarding pre-Zero-Hour Legion history after a certain point? Or is there some kind of cross-continuity thing with Dawny and post-Zero-Hour Star Boy?

It's quite a can of worms.

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

I still think it's Booster. It's a good theory, but there's been no precedent for Snapper.

I do like how they addressed the "Cult of Conner" comments.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

Actually, Wonder Girl hasn't gotten a huge amount of face time. When I listed the number of pages each character had received during the first half I only counted those that received more than 20 pages and Cassie didn't make the cut (Natasha did but I forgot to put her in).

I also (kinda) disagree about this issue being filler. I think each issue has had essential plot points. The problem is they often only occupy 1, 2 or 3 pages out of the 20. I can forgive the poor pacing of the series since nothing like this has really been tried before and everyone had to figure it out as it went along. I think the big mistake was adhering to the strict "one issue, one week" policy. It's hard to imagine the story climaxing in one issue, which means the climax would be spread out over weeks or time. Unlikely.

Okay I just flipped over to Newsarama and I see that World War III will be in issue #50 of 52. Seems like too big a deal to be in just the last three issues. Sigh.

This issue has reignited my interest in who Supernova is. I actually dreamed last night I was in the comic and discoverd his identity. Then I posted it here! I think the solution will lie with how internally consistent the story ends up being. I like the idea of it being Snapper but that would kind of be out of the blue (and seems like something Meltzer would do). When's the last time Snapper even appeared? The clues would make Ray Palmer a good bet and the triumphant return of a major character would be a good beat for the story. In keeping things internally consistent Booster would be the choice but I just can't get past that scene where Supernova seemed genuinely upset that Booster died and he couldn't save him. The Superman bit must be the key to it (err, no pun intended).

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it can be Snapper -- "Cassie, is it?" is too weird.

My theories--I've been guessing Mr. Miracle for a while (and Ralph's throwing around the word "KEY" maybe a cure reference to this?), but also thought Ray Palmer may be behind the mask (improving the white-dwarf belt to projecting it's size changing and mass-altering stuff to others, as to simulate teleportation, etc). This issue convinced me that it's not Booster, because Ralph knows Supernova's I.D. and, last we saw, more or less hated Booster's guts. Rather calm exchange considering.

But here's another wrinkle--building on David's idea above that:

I'm starting to think maybe the Superman angle isn't "Superman's absence allows Supernova to emerge" so much as "Supernova's emergence *caused* Superman's absence."

Like he's stealing or siphoning off Superman's (solar-based) powers somehow, or cutting off Superman's normal access to solar energy?

. . . maybe it's because Supernova is Kryptonite POWERED? Who besides Metallo actually gets powers from Kryptonite that we know of? AAGGGH.

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"CUTE reference" I meant. damn fingers.

At 12:35 PM, Blogger David C said...

The Ray Palmer theory is starting to make sense to me. The White Dwarf Star belt could tie in somehow with Superman's yellow-sun-based powers, though I'm not sure how exactly.

The teleportation bit might work with one of the Atom's old stunts, answering in the affirmative a question I don't think they ever got around to - can he do the "travelling over telephone wires" thing with wireless communication?

Another attractive feature of the Ray Palmer theory is that it gives a plausible reason for his absence in the new Atom series. As is, it's a peculiar absence, apparently unmotivated by anything in particular. Or at least nothing explicitly mentioned. But if he was Supernova, there might be any number of reason's why he'd need to lay low One Year Later.

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Squashua said...

Do note that in the latest issue of The All New All Different Atom, there is a little message on the final panel. That gives me the inkling that it might be The Atom.

But there is no precedent for it since (1) he's been missing since Identity Crisis and (2) he's been barely touched on in 52 and only recently through his ex-wife. Atom and Snapper Carr are too deux ex machina.

It makes sense to be Booster. He's a pretty good actor/liar! I'm just not sure of the device. Shrinking does work for "disintegration", but flight doesn't, unless he's using the kryptonite glove, and even then that's a really weird and unexplained tool.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

I think it's been well-established that Superman's lack of powers was related to his trip through the red star in Infinite Crisis.

Flight could be simulated through the belt's ability to alter density.

And yeah, Ralph's attitude towards Supernova does seem to point away from Booster.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Josh said...

The mass-changing properties of the Atom's belt can't account for Supernova being able to fly and carry other people (such as Clark Kent) can it?

Ralph is coming to terms with the factors surrounding his wife's death, and I think if he ran into Booster again he'd be less crazy and hate-filled. Booster as Supernova makes the most sense within the confines of the story. It could also be Rip Hunter... I'm not sure if Rip and Ralph have ever met, though.

At 3:50 PM, Blogger David C said...

"I think it's been well-established that Superman's lack of powers was related to his trip through the red star in Infinite Crisis."

True, but the mysterious part was why his powers didn't *return* sooner, as they had in the past. In the OYL Superman books, it looked to be a psychosomatic kind of thing, maybe. But no one was sure.

And the secondary thing was how electronic equipment kept malfunctioning around Clark - perhaps a side effect of the tech gizmo Supernova's using to put a whammy on him?

At 3:51 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

You're right about the flying and carrying: I can't see how the two would work together. And I can't see what interest Ray would have in the kryptonite glove. But man, does the Supernova/white dwarf link fit!

I think if Ralph ran into Booster again his attitude would be more like "How are you still alive?!?"

At 3:55 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

I go with the psychosomatic explanation.

Speaking of OYL, when do we think the OYL books take place in relation to 52? I mean, did Superman #650 take place during the equivalent of week 53 or week 60 or what? In other words, do the OYL issues pick up right after 52 or somewhere within a month or so of the end of 52. There's probably no way of actually determining this.

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mass-changing properties of the Atom's belt can't account for Supernova being able to fly and carry other people (such as Clark Kent) can it?

Sure, if you are presupposing that Ray can now use the belt's powers on others (shrinking that atlantean creature; making clark lighter than air, whatever).

At 5:53 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

JSA press conference:

"QUESTION: A flashback depicted Earth Two Robin in this issue. Will the mutliverse be addressed?

ANSWER: JOHNS: Yes this will be a major storyline down the line. We will touch upon this in the first year."

At 5:53 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

I think Clark would have noticed if he had been made lighter that air.

At 5:56 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

A different transcript of the JSA press conference:

"One of the flash backs shows the Earth 2 Robin. Will how much the JSA knows about the multiverse be addressed in this series?

Geoff: Yes. That will be a major storyline down the line. We'll be touching on it in the first year. "

The first makes it sound like there is a multiverse. The second just seems to how much the JSA remembers about the former multiverse.

At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although Supernova as Booster or Rip Hunter would make sense in context of the whole 52 story, the individual Supernova scenes all seem to point towards a more direct connection to Superman. The Metropolis location, the Kryponite glove, the relationship with Clark, Cassie thinking it's Conner, Luthor thinking it's Superman, and Ralph now saying that Superman's absence is the key. Obviously this could all be misdirection but it certainly seems like all the clues point to a Superman connection and someone like Rip Hunter or the Atom or even Booster would be somewhat out of left field.

Of course, having said that I have no idea who it could be.

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Paul I said...

The "World War III" name drop kinda frustrated me: I prefer my spoilers kept to Newsarama forums (where I can safely ignore them) rather than amongst the comics themselves. Putting all the 52 refs into other DC comics is cute, but I think they're giving the game away too much.

Doug, the blog is perfect as is. I think you're being a little harsh on this week's ish, though. The space story is probably the least effective narrative strand in 52 (not least 'cause the art's so horrible); this was the first time it's really gone somewhere interesting.

One thing: Given the mainstream media coverage of 52 -- in the NYT and EW, at least -- I'd be very interested in what a casual or non-comics reader thinks of 52, if such a person exists.

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Filby said...

RichBarrett: An alternate-universe Superman, perhaps? Let us not forget the old Imaginary Story that inspired Supernova's creation.

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Filby said...

Quoth Michael Siglain:

Ralph is still one of the world’s greatest detectives, so it wasn’t difficult for him to put all the pieces together and determine the identity of person behind the mask. As for you internet sleuths and would-be detectives, if you search back through all of the issues, you should be able to make a fairly educated guess regarding Supernova’s true identity. However, because it’s the Christmastime—which is the season of giving—I’ll give you all a hint: don’t look at just one person’s powers. After all, nobody said that Supernova was one individual.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Emmet Matheson said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Derek said...

"I think Clark would have noticed if he had been made lighter that air."

But doesn't Clark already know who Supernova is? Maybe not, but I vaguely remember him telling someone that Supernova could be trusted.

And as for Supernova worrying about being heard, I think that goes back to Luthor having him monitored. We know Supernova knows about the recording devices because we were told that they kept getting teleported after Supernova showed up.

At 10:34 PM, Blogger Derek B. Haas said...

I'm thinking that the "key" in question is Prometheus's cosmic one.

At 1:25 AM, Blogger Josh said...

I don't think Clark knows who Supernova is, but just that Supernova is trustworthy.

I'm not sure if this can even be considered a legitimate theory this late in the game, but Gog is a time-traveling/teleporting foe to Superman. Superman's disappearance would allow Gog to take hold as Metropolis' true hero, just like he had always wanted. The powers and motivation fit, even if the clues don't.

At 12:29 PM, Blogger creativename said...

Another thought on the identity of Supernova, which I'm surprised hasn't come up- Sylvester Pemberton, Star-Spangled Kid, Skyman, Whatever. It also fits the "device" clue and the clue of his name... although the "key"/Superman clue, not so much.

Pemberton has been mentioned throughout the series, thanks to Luthor's acquisition of his trademarks, so he wouldn't be THAT out of the blue.

At 2:24 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

The problem with Sylvester is that he is rather definitively dead (yeah, I know, so was Jason Todd until Superboy punched the wall) and Stargirl now has the device in question.

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Dan Mishkin said...

Gee, does it really take a writer who can't draw to point out that the art in this issue was a delight?

I think that has something to do with the scenes being longer (my favorite issues of 52 have been the ones that don't keep jumping from plotline to plotline, which can play hell with visual storytelling). And some of it must be that there's less walking (or standing!) around mundane earthbound settings. But whatever the reason, Batista's pencils over Giffen's breakdowns come off as a lot more seamless than before, and I thoroughly dug it.

So much so that I just read and enjoyed and let it carry me along...and worried hardly at all about solving the story's mysteries.

At 7:49 PM, Blogger pittmonster said...

First time post. Love the great site, Douglas! More is always better, love it when you take the time to extrapolate out on the clues and tie things together.

Anybody else think Supernova might be a combo of Booster & Rip Hunter (the Carter boys)? The ability to manipulate time and work "between seconds" could be exactly the angle that Ralph is referencing ... many of Supernova's powers could be explained by stopping time, working to move people (or things) around while time is stopped, then restarting events with the situation "magically" resolved.

Rip (who I obviously believe is Dan Carter) and Booster working together makes sense. Dan Carter is trapped in time by Skeets, becomes Rip Hunter to protect his identity, comes back and works with Booster to devise the Supernova identity which is used to work in public. Meanwhile, the Booster death is staged to panic skeets and eventually draw out his larger plans.

None of this explains the flashes of light when Supernova uses his powers, but I like the time-travel element as the "angle" that Ralph emphasizes in issue 31.

At 11:03 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

It's great to see Dan Mishkin here! Fond memories of his Blue Devil...

If pittmonster's theory isn't right, it should be. Rip Hunter's presence has loomed over this series since week six and it would make sense that he would have been around in some capacity.

The Superman/kryptonite glove connection is still obscure, however...

At 7:15 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

Still wondering who the mysterious figure in the background watching Crazy Ralph hug his thatch Sue is.

I figure it's Ralph, travelling back in time for some reason.

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Jamie Ott said...


I haven't the foggiest who that was. I first thought it was Devem but with the revelation that the cult is a fraud this issue, I'm back to square one on this. You could very well be right.

Douglas, the only comment I have to make about the site is technical and not anything you do about on your end. I have had a heck of a time getting blogspot to load the word veriction jpeg. It's happened elsewhere and it's been the number one reason, I have been posting as much of late. Content-wise, I think you're doing a bang up job. Which is probably why most of us come back here week to week.

As for Supernova theory, I, like most others am back to believing that he is Michael Carter. He KNEW Ralph well enough to call him by his first name and the fact he doesn't want his name stated out loud means that he is in hiding from someone or something. He knows the location of the Batcave and has no idea that Wonder Girl's name was Cassie. As for the Metropolis connection, Booster has lived in Metropolis since he first arrived on the hero scene. He and Superman clashed many times that first year but they eventually worked things out.

And remember, whoever he is, Clark recognized how competent Supernova is in handling emergencies. That's not something that just happens overnight and it's not really something I think Rip Hunter would necessarily take to, IMO.

And Raphael? This issue blew both my 'Ralph is delusional' and the 'heroes in the future' theories. Color me depressed. However, 52 totally renewed my interest this week, which was seriously starting to lag with the shift of the storylines away from what I consider the main stories.

I also interpreted the Damage, er, damage in JSA to the fight in IC#1. However, I'm real tired of seeing poor Grant get totally crapped on. JSA was great though and there's enough stuff that to have hooked me quickly.

I think Mark may be on to something with the Gingold in the flask. Doesn't the extract smell really bad? Please note Cassie's expression when offered a drink. At first, I thought it was an aversion to alchohol but it's possible that it was not....even though that's the excuse Siglain gives in 5.2 this week.

I too noticed the Gil Kane similarities....specifically the close up panel of Tox. It's all in the eyes, I think.

All in all, I thought this was a good issue this week. The best in a while. Let's hope this keeps up.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Jay said...

its taken me 31 of the 52 weeks to find a good source of info on "52". I think the Ray Palmer idea (at Newsarama) for Supernova might be a better idea than Snapper Carr.

At 5:12 PM, Blogger Filby said...

Supernova says that he and Ralph shouldn't be talking -- this implies that someone sufficiently informed could divine his identity by observing him with Ralph. Thus, he must be someone with whom Ralph has a history. Thus, he must be someone (a hero or a villain?) associated with the Justice League in either the '60s or the '80s.

At 8:20 PM, Blogger Squashua said...


Your theorizing made me pull a logic leap that said Supernova is... HAWKMAN. Go figure. That makes only 10% sense.

At 6:40 AM, Blogger David C said...

Hey, you might be on to something - perhaps Supernova is the Atom *and* Hawkman?

Could the White Dwarf Star belt and Nth Metal account for everything?

At 6:47 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

Belt for shrinking and light generation. Nth metal for flight. The only problem I have with using Atom and Hawkman are that neither is previously referred to in the series. That having been said...

1) Neither has shown up OYL

2) Both have worked with Elongated Man.

3) Both voted during Identity Crisis - their set-up series references.

4) Hawkman is notably missing from the space-borne heroes.

5) Atom has been missing since Identity Crisis.

At 7:00 AM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

I kinda like the Atom/Hawkman theory even if I don't believe it. I can see why the Atom would want to hide his identity but what would Hawkman's rationale be? And there's still the Superman/kryptonite angle.

At 7:01 AM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7:03 AM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

Supernova has exhibited a Hawkman-like attitude, though. "Respect my personal space please." Carter probably wouldn't have said please, however.

At 7:28 AM, Blogger David C said...

Really, what makes me suspect an Atom/Hawkman team-up is that they once shared a book more than anything else.

Which may actually be a factor! One of the fascinating little threads in 52 to me is the occasional reference to DC's *publishing* history, to books like Sonic Disruptors and the like that clearly aren't part of the "DC Universe." No clue where they're going with that, but it's interesting.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

I'm wondering if the Kryptonite Glove (last seen what, in pre-Identity Crisis Batman/Superman?) might be misdirection. Maybe Clark Kent as well, though if it's a "normal" under the mask using the device, it wouldn't be out of the question for C.K. to take on the outfit for a couple spins.

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Filby said...

Perhaps the Atom and Booster Gold?


At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep wondering if Supernova staring at the kryptonite glove has anyting to do with the whole Blue Beetle (Kord) missing kryptonite/KordCo thing from Countdown, yet I can't seem to recall what that situation exactly was -- only that it established BB's strong feelings (of awe and inadequacy and caring for) regarding Superman. And BB, not so close to Bats, but he sure was pretty close to Robin (Tim Drake) not so long ago, as well as Babs.

Unlikely, but could Supernova (ha, or "Supernovae) be the ultimate Giffen era JLU fanboy easter egg -- somehow a synthesis of Booster and Beetle (the long-awaited Blue and Gold series, at last). The BB gun was rather light-centric.

Dead by lead = BB shot.
Does the next reference to lead, which is lead+gold, point to this combo? It may fit into the life after death themes were seeing linked to the Ralph story

I state this only to stew the juices; I don't actually believe it . . .

Oh, btw -- great blog. Some comics-related post-52 project would be awesome if you care to keep doing it

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Squashua said...

"Dead by Lead" and involvement by Will Magnus made me think that the Metal Man named Lead is going to take someone out in this series.

At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since you asked, Things I'd Like To See More Of: I loved your (much) earlier list of dangling plot threads. As we approach the two-thirds mark, it would be great to see you check back in with the status of things on that list, and see if there are new threads to add to it (I'm sure there are).

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Andrew Dowdell said...

FYI, the whole Damage/Zoom fight referenced in Justice Society of America #1 occurred in Infinite Crisis #1...the battle between the Freedom Fighters and the Society.


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