Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Week 36: In All Their Grandeur and Monstrosity

Now that's my kind of issue: more Montoya, all the plots we touch on see significant forward motion (aside from Osiris/Tawky Crawky, but hey, that's one page), and we finally see where Rip is and what he's up to. Still, Buddy dies and he doesn't even get the cover (on which we find out that Jones channeling Frazetta looks a whole lot like Simon Bisley)? I'm scratching my chin here.

I'm also wondering about this week's title: anybody have any idea what "How to Win a War In Space" might refer to? It could be that Buddy, Adam and Kory--and maybe even Lobo--might have a secret strategy involving Buddy's apparent death. Buddy does seem to have a plan on page 3: what's supposed to "work"? Consider this, too: how could Buddy's powers save him, since Adam tells him to use his powers on page 11? Well, he can duplicate the abilities of anything nearby. Lobo is nearby. And, as we've seen, Lobo can regenerate his entire body from any fragment of it. There does seem to be quite a lot of Buddy's blood around, too.

Of course, we get one last great tearjerking moment of fourth-wall-breaking from Buddy. That was his greatest value as a character within the confines of DC: not that he was a nice guy and a family man, or even that he was the man with animal powers, but that his awareness of all living things extended beyond the page and into our own world. Grant Morrison already directly extended compassion to him once, and although his "they know how much I love them" seems to refer to his family, it could also mean us: as with the DCU's gods, comic book characters need people to believe in them in order to exist. To paraphrase Alan Moore, the one place superheroes inarguably exist is in our minds.

In other business: Thanks to the vicsage.com folks, we've now gotten a look at J.G. Jones' cover for the 52 novelization. Yes. Novelization. And, of course, it has now been made clear that Jade II and Sierra are two entirely different people. My mistake.

More notes:

Pg. 3: They really do look like clubgoers!

Pg. 5: "The information she needs": so Buddy and Kory actually do know something, which is why there's a bounty on their heads. What do they know that's provoked Lady Styx's "by hook or by crook we will" routine? I have no idea, but maybe we can take a guess based on the corollary to that question: when did they know it? It can't have been after Infinite Crisis, since by the time they ended up on Adon there was already a Styx-commissioned bounty on their heads... and, in fact, Devilance seems to have already been there when they got there. Was the Big Explosion in Space That Did Weird Stuff part of a setup to get them to Adon and Devilance?

Also, where do the shackles go, and for that matter, what's the thing they're putting on Kory's head in panel 5 that makes her say "gzz," and what does it do? She's not wearing it the next time we see her.

Pg. 6: This is where Buddy gets shot, it looks like--and note that a little of his blood has been shot away. Also, either Lady Styx or Fishy is trying to provoke Lobo into action here. Does Fishy speak Styx-ese? And is Lady S. pulling some kind of brier-patch scenario here?

Pg. 7: Lobo did indeed kill Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Even though by then so few people were reading either Lobo or The Authority that the Grand Comic Book Database has no record of it.

Pg. 8: How does Buddy know they're all saying "believe in her," besides the everybody-speaks-English-in-space principle? Maybe from Captain Comet's telepathic transmission; who picked that up, anyway, and how?

Pg. 9: No, not these sun eaters. Or these, although they do look tasty, spider on front page aside. The DCU Sun-Eaters were introduced here, in a story that also involved the Emerald Eye of Ekron and a beloved minor character's death (well, in the next issue). Sun-Eaters also turned up here and in Zero Hour and The Final Night, and in The Return of Donna Troy, a plot point involved a "Sun-Eater factory." (Do things made in a factory migrate...?) And, of course, a small Sun-Eater currently contains this guy's prison, which it doesn't seem to have digested. Do Sun-Eaters eat anything but suns, or are they just solaterians?

Pg. 10: So, as I understand this, Lobo kicks Lady Styx into Ekron's head/ship so hard that they fly into a Sun-Eater? And then the remaining Stygian zombies just kind of hang around and don't pose a problem any more? I'm not sure if this is unclear storytelling or just nonsensical storytelling.

Pg. 13: Charlie's still got a solid command of classic jazz: if "Take Five" is the Dave Brubeck/Paul Desmond piece, "Freddie Freeloader" is probably the Miles Davis piece inspired, I believe, by this Red Skelton routine, and on Kind of Blue along with "Blue in Green." As far as I know, Miles didn't record "How High the Moon," although he used some of its chord changes for "Solar." And the "tell me, butterfly" bit is from The Last Unicorn. Can anybody more versed in the Question than I am tell me if these are references to earlier Question stories too? And while we're at it, what's Charlie doing in a hospital--didn't Renee and Kate decide on hospice care for him a few weeks ago?

Renee, incidentally, is reading an issue of Congo Bill World Travel, which does seem to have a rather National Geographic-like cover design.

Pg. 14: Kate is "Catherine" and lives on a street called Grand Oak, but Gotham City doesn't have a state... and Nanda Parbat may not have any flights or roads going there, but they do seem to have reliable enough mail service that Tot "keeps sending" flowers. And hey--what about that glowing flower that Isis gave Montoya?

Pg. 15: TOOK YA LONG ENOUGH, RENEE.

Pg. 17: Looks like Kahndaq's got a free press--but English, you say? Why would Osiris be reading the English-language edition of the paper? And when did public opinion start reflecting "the truth about what Wonder Woman did" (as Sobek says in a word balloon that looks like it should belong to Osiris)? After she disappeared?

Incidentally, the 52 drinking game now includes bad lorem ipsum, since we haven't seen a sports bra or a teddy bear in a few weeks, and now that we're in the home stretch it's time to start drinking more.

Pg. 18: Ah--here we go. I believe this is the first time we've actually seen Rip Hunter in real-time on panel, and now we know when he is: the present. Rip (and his Chronosphere, also Booster's preferred vehicle for time travel) first appeared here, although the following issue is a little more appropriate to display here, what with its animal/man theme. I love the device of Rip getting distracted and sdrawkcab gniklat, too.

We've dealt with Luthor's Kryptonite gauntlet before. As far as the staffs of the Starmen... well, DC's got a lot of Starmen. There's Ted Knight and his gravity rod/cosmic rod, which first appeared here; there's the staffless Batman-as-Starman from this issue, later retconned; there's the also-staffless Mikaal Tomas, introduced beneath this only slightly less splendid Joe Kubert cover, immediately before the return of the New Gods; there's the Levitz-and-Ditko-created Prince Gavyn, introduced here, although I don't recall whether he rocked a staff much until this swell Starlin-drawn issue; there's Will Payton, who was also staff-free, and apparently died fighting the pre-Jean Eclipso in this issue, guest-starring this week's origin-subject; there are the several younger Knights, w/ staffs, from the '90s series; and then there's the one in this week's issue of Justice Society of America, who was talking about "a star on Thanagar" and "52" in #1. That's not even getting into Stargirl, or the future Starpersons. Wizard has a good overview of the whole dynasty here.

Shadow Thief and his Dimensiometer first appeared beneath this splendid Joe Kubert cover; it is perhaps worth summarizing the completely insane plot of Gardner Fox's story here. After the requisite splash page, we see a two-dimensional shadow robbing a bank and sticking money in its "shadow-bag," then disappearing into a building. Carter and Shiera have heard through their spaceship's "receiviset" that Thanagar's calling them home, but then the police commissioner of Midway City sends them a message via pigeon, and they take off armed with a crossbow and a camera. The Shadow Thief is robbing "the only complete collection of American coins"; Hawkman tries to stop him with tear gas, flames and smoke, but nothing works. Then we see the Shadow Thief return to his trailer, turn off his Dimensiometer, and helpfully recap his origin: a former burglar nabbed when a policeman saw his shadow, Carl Sands became an expert on "shadow facts and legends," then invented a shadow-based color-disc device while in prison--and then one day he was contacted via the color-disc thingie by a creature from "a dimension adjacent to ours" who needed iron filings to power his raygun to free his vessel from a rock, and rewarded his savior with a Dimensiometer (which could shift his body to another dimension) and a pair of gloves that could reach back to his own world. But then the alien told him that "every time you turn on the Dimensiometer, you affect the magnetic lines of Earth! If you use it a few more times, you will cause--another Ice Age!" So Sands smashed the color-disc thingie, since nothing was going to stop him from using the Dimensiometer to steal coins and stuff; back in the present, he announces that "this gimmick and me are going places." But Hawkman and Hawkgirl look at the footage Hawkgirl shot of the Shadow Thief, and identify Carl Sands' profile with the aid of a "mug book." With the aid of the birds they can talk to, the Hawks track him down and haul Sands' trailer into the sky, so he can't escape. He surrenders, figuring he'll get away in shadow form when they set down the trailer, but when he jumps through the door as a shadow, he finds himself falling off a cliff where they've set the trailer; to save himself, he yanks the Dimensiometer off his wrist, breaking it in the process, as Hawkgirl later discovers. "That was close," the other-dimensional creature sighs; if Hawkgirl had turned it on one more time, "she'd have brought on the Ice Age that would have ended all life on earth!"

This, people, was a twelve-page story. You want to know why early-Silver-Age comics are more ripe for reference/callbacks than recent stuff? Very simple: more and weirder plot.

Pg. 20: Now that's a cliffhanger. But I can't believe that the bottle city of Kandor has both a) a miniature red sun and b) a cork. (Kandor, by the way, first appeared here.) Did Rip and Supernova teleport in? Does that mean that they also have access to shrinking technology? Maybe there's something to that Atom theory after all.

The Origin of Power Girl: And speaking of Kandor, Power Girl was born there--or rather the Earth-2 "there." Memo to Adam Hughes: that is not what an infant girl's head looks like. It's probably even more disturbing, though, to see the DC Universe referred to by that name in a story caption. I don't know why. But it is.

62 Comments:

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Did you notice the way that Supernova is holding the silver thing? (Maybe that's the Dimensiometer.) Both times that we see it, he is holding it as if it were a football- especially in the first shot. That makes me think it's a deliberate clue to show Supernova is a former football player-- And they made a big deal about how Daniel Carter was a former star, before he was trapped in the time vortex in Rip Hunter's lab. Still, Booster was a former football star too, wasn't he? My money is on one of the Carters being Supernova.

By the way, though this is my first comment here, I read this blog each week and really enjoy checking in.

 
At 6:29 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

It can't be Daniel because Ralph has no idea who Daniel is.

I am so confused by all the Silver Age elements that have crept back into Superman. When did the Kandor come back? And what was the deal with Supergirl and Power Girl being there?

 
At 6:46 PM, Blogger Paul I said...

So farewell, Animal Man.
You died drooling.
And a bit useless.

When I was 14 or so, I got Brian Bolland to draw me an Animal Man sketch. Did it just go up or down in value?

 
At 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kandor came back in Action Comics #725, as a city in an extradimensional bottle, populated with aliens from hundreds of worlds, whose bodies were exploited by the discorporated villain Tolos. It retained that description fairly consistently for several years, but Michael Turner's "Godfall" and Mark Waid's "Birthright," along with Infinite Crisis and the Supergirl "Candor" arc, have left the bottle adrift without a clear explanation. It may or may not be from Krypton, it's definitely populated by all manner of aliens, and it's in the Fortress of Solitude. I think this is the first time it's been shown with a cork since CoIE, though.

 
At 12:25 AM, Blogger Eric said...

A couple of things:

Amazon has a color cover and a preorder page up for the novelization now. And author Greg Cox dropped by our VicSage.com message board for the first time today. I'm hoping he'll stick around and answer some questions about the translation process.

I have no idea where the Charlie/Sage as jazz fan idea came from, but then again, I've been too bogged down in getting syllabi and course schedules ready to do much comics consideration this week. I'll do some reading in the next week to see where these allusions may have come from.

And the panel where Sobek hands Osiris the apple...have you ever seen anyone in literature give someone an apple and things turn out okay? My thought? Sobek is eeeeeevil. Or something.

The worst part about 52 ending will be the end of 52-Pickup! Find some other allusion-filled comic series so you can keep this going!

 
At 1:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

eric - good catch on that apple thing. They had Tawky Crawky cry actual crocodile tears in his first appearance, and now they have him (a green scaly reptile!) handing a freaking apple to someone? Part of me wonders if they're just throwing this blatant stuff in to mess with fan speculation :)

And honestly, I wouldn't mind at all if Crawky turned out good and Osiris stayed alive in spite of the foreshadowing. I like those two; Osiris is full of all the enthusiasm and wonder that the Marvel Family is missing these days, and Sobek is icing on the cake. Doubt it will go down that way, but yeah.

 
At 7:10 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

Recall that Tawky Crawky was found in Sivana's lab, which was where the Mr. Mind cocoon that we haven't heard from since. Was Mr. Mind's metamorphosis simply being used as an allegory for change, not to be referenced further?

"Why would Osiris be reading the English-language edition of the paper? " Osiris has the power of, um, SHAZAM, which gives the wisdom of, uh, SOME GOD, which likely conveys anti-Babellium.

Rip Hunter is likely Daniel Carter and Supernova is Booster. Supernova doesn't seem technologically adept enough to be either Ray Palmer (The Atom) or John Henry (Steel). I'd like to know exactly WHAT that is Supernova is holding. It looks like a helmet; Mento or the Thinker's helmet, perhaps?

Plus, I'm a little surprised you didn't link to the cover that had the post-Zero Hour teenaged Atom with Superman going into Kandor. The cover of Adventures of Superman #547.

 
At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was it just me or were the Lost in Space scenes this week chock full of Return of the Jedi allusions? The translation scene with Fishy as C3PO, the villains getting digested by a large monster, and Buddy shouting to the blind Adam Strange "A little to the left!"

Also, I assume it's just a mistake that Kory was back in Buddy's A shirt when she's been wearing her purple metal bra for the last few weeks.

 
At 7:35 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

She didn't have her bra on this issue; because Adam Strange was busy wearing it.

Adam STRANGE

Going back to Kandor, I was recently told (in a post on Newsarama) that time passes quicker in the post-Crisis Kandor. So, while it was chok-full of aliens, generations passed, then Godfall (which I never read) happened.

The "Supergirl / Power Girl / Ultraman / Saturn Queen" epic happens OYL, alluding to a potential fun "cross-dimensional time battle" about to take place within Kandor. Note the "next week" image where it looks like Supernova and Rip Hunter are in the midst of a Kandor-quake.

 
At 7:42 AM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

I had thankfully forgotten about the teenaged Atom. What an awful idea that was.

Don't get too excited about the novelization of 52. I've been slogging through Cox's Infinite Crisis since it came out it October and still haven't been inspired to finish it. It's too much a transliteration of the series, it's written too simply and it adds no depth to the original material (as the novelization of Kingdom Come did, somewhat).

And why those characters for the cover?

 
At 8:24 AM, Blogger Jamie Ott said...

You know, we only assume that Buddy is dead....no one actually ever comes out and says it. All we get is Fishy's "Oh Dear" and some foaming at the mouth.

And Buddy's shown he's pretty resilient before, so I've no concerns that he'll be back.

As far as Supernova goes, I think that what he may be holding is a hi-tech football such as Michael used in the 25th Century. I know that I've reversed my earlier thoughts about Michael and Dan. Dan is most likely Rip and Michael is 'nova. It's really the only likely possibility for 'nova and any other character would seem a cop-out.

And as far as the recent deaths (or hints of them) go, I think these are happening on purpose...mainly to get the fanboy blood a pumpin'. I think the writers realize how many of the 52 characters (while often times minor) are much loved. I honestly think these deaths are tossed around to distract us (and possibly Skeets) from what's really going on.

Douglas, regarding your recap of page 6, I thought that Fishy translation sequence odd as well. Styx really only said two things but Fishy translated panel after panel to Lobo? I think Fishy purposely provoked Lobo into a fight.

Also, one thing to consider. While we witnessed Supernova's theft of the K-Glove, there's a very good chance that it and the other items Rip is using were taken from the near future....where they would not be missed by the heroes using them. One would think that Courtney would notice the theft of her Cosmic Rod.

Jamie

 
At 8:54 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

The first thing I thought of when listening to Fishy was that Buddy was somehow talking through Fishy. It just felt like Buddy's dialogue.

Definately a set-up for Lobo, but a very confusing battle.

 
At 8:59 AM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

I agree with everything Jamie says above except:

The k-glove and the cosmic rod could have been taken from the present. Batman, of course, is away and the JSA weren't very active during this period (at least until World War III). So maybe Courtney had put it away and Supernova snagged it. Or he could have taken it so recently that she hasn't had a chance to notice it being gone.

And did we notice that Rip breaks a cosmic treadmill when he throws the k-glove?

Also, the definitve revelation of who Starman is in JSA #2 possibly sheds some light on one of the objects in Rip's lab.

 
At 9:11 AM, Blogger Jamie Ott said...

Squashua,

I definitely got that vibe about Fishy as well. Has Buddy ever exhibited similar powers before?

And Raphael? I wasn't trying to imply that I thought they weren't from the present, as they very well could be. In truth, they most likely are from the present.

Jamie

 
At 10:08 AM, Blogger David C said...

"The first thing I thought of when listening to Fishy was that Buddy was somehow talking through Fishy. It just felt like Buddy's dialogue."

That does make sense! I remember thinking, "Huh, Fishy's really bringing the snark, didn't know he had it in him." The translated dialogue didn't seem to fit Styx at all, and while I could potentially see it fitting Fishy, it seemed like Fishy was dissing his own religion, which was odd. But Buddy, yeah, I think you've got it.

 
At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

another left-field comment from me: Rip Hunter "living backwards." Any other prominent characters of myth and legend that did that?

Merlin!

What does this mean for 52? Probably not a damned thing.

As for Buddy understanding the language -- perhaps since he's channeling fishie's powers, he's bequetherd the "babelfish" aspect as well? Would fit with the Buddy speaking thru Fishy theory as well. Fun!

Some of the other threads in 52 present death as a journey or state of being (Dibny, Superboy Cult, even Vic) rather than the end -- I hope that means Buddy's apparent demise is a step toward a plot development rather than a heroic (yet hardly epic) death. The river styx can be crossed both ways. Maybe Lady Styx wants to cross as well? Perhaps it's Buddy, in touch with life like no other, who has "the knowledge she needs?"

More on that: what would the implications of be of the zombification of a man that is in touch with all organics on a morphogenic field-level?

Last note: Jack's Starman staff could be from the past; I seem to recall him losing or destroying one; doesn't necessarily have to be the one in Court's possession.

 
At 11:02 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

I have not been reading Omega Men, but from what I heard, Lady Styx is in it in some capacity. Does this mean that she didn't just die by being eaten by a Sun Eater?

Hey, Lady Styx may just have died. Is she considered a space-borne hero to someone?

Yeah, I am reaching a bit with this speculation.

Adam STRANGE

 
At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no idea what "How to Win a War In Space" refers to, but it certainly doesn't refer to any plan with Buddy's "apparent death", as you'll see next issue (which will also explain why Buddy didn't get the cover here--personally, I think 37 has the best cliffhanger in the series so far).

Buddy's 4th-wall panel is the best part about this issue (though to be honest I think Jamal Igle could have drawn it better--but that's being a bit nitpicky).

Pg. 3: I'm fairly sure that when Buddy says "I hope this works" he means whatever plan they have involving letting Lobo take them to Styx so that they can just ambush her there (Lobo's lines on page 5 before Fishy provokes him seem to corroborate this, as does his line on page 3 before Buddy says that), though the ending of 35 (and the beginning of 36) is badly written in that it looks like Lobo is really turning them in for the Bounty. I dunno.

Pg. 5: What Styx wants to know from them is clarified (kinda) in Week 37 when Lobo asks Strange what "everyone wants ta know" at Buddy's impromptu funeral.

The thing they're putting on Starfire's head is an "inhibitor" according to the script. Really it's just a plot device to keep Starfire out of the fight so that Buddy dies, if you ask me.

Pg. 6: According to the script Fishy is deliberately provoking Lobo, though as shown on earlier pages he DOES speak Styxese, though in this case he's acting on his own.

Pg. 9: I think the cube that Superboy is in protects him from the sun-eater (as in, if he breaks out of the cube the Lanterns keep him in, the SUn-eater, uh, eats him). Sun-eaters can eat stuff other than suns though, as this issue of 52 shows.

Pg. 10/11: According to the script what actually happens is that Lobo is holding Styx, but then the Head of Erkon crashes through the building/ship and hits Styx, carrying her into the sun-eater. Jamal Igle drew it so that Lobo tosses her up so that she can be hit.

Pg. 13: According to the script, Montoya is reading "whatever was... the magazine that Montoya talks about in lieu of National Geo. [in week 26] ... The magazine should look very similiar in trade-dress, etc, to National Geographic." (I rearranged the wording a bit) So yeah.

Pg. 18: According to the script what Supernova is holding here is an Absorbascon.


Also, they do have shrinking technology (shown in Week 37 when Supernova fights Skeets). The cover to Week 37 gives away who Supernova is (though it's blacked out on the preview slot on the last page of this issue, as you might imagine). So yeah.



Wheeeee


(this is "the maverick jester", though I forget if I've commented here before--thing forced me to make up a name to post this, dunno why)

 
At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And since I didn't read the comments before commenting myself...

Buddy isn't speaking through Fishy.

From the script:

Page 5 Frame 5: "Fishy Takes matters into his own hands...He frowns."

Page 6 Frame 1: "...Fishy is improvising wildly. Animal Man is fighting off Necro[ton]s as they shoot him."

There's a bit more, but that's really all ya need. So yeah.


Also:

At one point in Starman, Jack either loses his staff/it's destroyed/or it's just replaced, because there IS a point where Ted Knight gives him an upgraded one.

I don't know what the deal with the cosmic treadmill is, but that is what it is.

As I said, Supernova is holding an Absorbascon, supposedly.

I do like Rip's conceit here, but I think that's ACTUALLY Rip. Unless Rip is retconned to being Daniel, but I doubt that'll happen. I hope.

 
At 12:27 PM, Blogger Eric said...

Another thing:

Can't you just see Buddy using Animal Man's regenerative powers, but tweaking them somehow so that an army of Buddies come to life in a manner reminiscent of the brooms coming to life from the splinters in the Sorcerer's Apprentice from Fantasia (sorry for the string of prepositions).

And also, re: By hook or by crook, did you know they're Making a new Prisoner TV show for AMC?

 
At 12:57 PM, Blogger Squashua said...

1) There's a script? How'd you get a copy of it?

2) Eric, I'm sure you mean Lobo's regenerative powers.

3) IIRC, Lobo's regenerative powers (the ability to generate himself from a drop of his own blood) isn't a racial power; it's a super power. It's not natural.

It's not like Animal Man adapting Kryptonian physiology; it would be more like Animal Man adapting The Flash's powers, which AFAIK, he can't. I don't see Buddy regenerating from this one.

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger Douglas Wolk said...

ZC/Maverick Jester, thank you for joining us, and thank you for using your script-possessing powers for good (explanations/teases) rather than evil (spoilers)!

An Absorbascon! And a Cosmic Treadmill! How'd I miss those? Maybe they'll show up again with a Time Pool...

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger Squashua said...

Hmm, conflicting reports online say that (a) regenerating from blood is a Czarnian racial power and (b) Lobo created the power for himself.

Historically, Vril Dox removed the regenerative ability from Lobo, but when he was magically turned into Lil' Lobo, the ability was given back to him. When Lil' Lobo died on Apokalips, one Lobo (current Lobo) survived to adulthood and one Lobo (Slobo) hid and eventually started degenerating.

Darkseid ended up banishing Slobo to the DC 1 Million future, where he resides as his own monument statue in the Young Justice 1 Million HQ.

 
At 1:52 PM, Blogger Jamie Ott said...

Douglas,

A lot of people missed the Cosmic Treadmill, mostly because it wasn't mentioned and had a greyish, blue tinge to it in the background of one panel.

Just like many of us missed Buddy actual being shot. I totally missed this.

I don't know about the rest of you but I'm looking really forward to next week's installment.

Jamie

 
At 2:01 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

I second Douglas in welcoming zc and in his using his powers wisely.

So can someone catch up me and Squashua on what's going on in Mystery in Space and Omega Men vis a vis Lady Styx?

 
At 2:03 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

Oh and where have they shown the absorbascon before? Obviously it's been referenced by Hawkman many times but I don't ever remember seeing it depicted before.

 
At 2:04 PM, Blogger Eric said...

I totally meant Lobo. Thanks for the correction, Squashua!

I hope that in the end, Supernova uses the Cosmic Treadmill to come to Earth-Prime to save whichever 52'er is supposed to die, knocking out Dan Didio and drawing in the page ala Duck Amuck.

 
At 2:31 PM, Blogger Squashua said...

I only need to know Omega Men, myself.

Mystery in Space is very good. I highly recommend it. Starlin is much better here than he was with Hardcore Station.

Essentially, the series begins with the death of Captain Comet in some sort of ill-defined explosion. His psychic presence hits another psychic presence in space, and both presences make their way to Hardcore Station.

Captain Comet's psychic presence goes to his personal headquarters and AFTER MUCH TIME, his innate psychic abilities combined with new abilities from the presence he encountered in space somehow rebuild his body as a younger self. He then survives multiple assassination attempts.

His investigations lead him to some sort of corporate cult that employs psychic-based assassins. It is strongly hinted that these assassins are clones created from using the dead body of Captain Comet.

The other presence is "The Weird", last seen in his own miniseries. He re-forms using Comet as a template, and explores Hardcore Station, but in a more existential manner than Comet. The All-New Weird is tricked into joining the corporate cult and it is obvious that he will eventually be put at odds against Captain Comet.

So you have (1) Captain Comet, reformed in a new body based on himself, with new powers. (2) The Weird, in a body designed on the original Weird combined with Captain Comet. And (3) the corporate assassins who are obviously made as clones based on Captain Comet's body.

There is really not much mentioned regarding Styx.

I took the initial explosion to be the explosion at the end of Infinite Crisis that separated all the heroes, but I guess it's Comet ejecting his presence from his own body in 52.

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

Hmm, I had thought Styx had a part in MIS. Maybe I was just extrapolating from the events of 52.

So who's reading Omega Men?

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

And thanks, squashua.

 
At 2:48 PM, Blogger Squashua said...

So who's reading Omega Men?

I think that is precisely the problem, Raph. ;-)

 
At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, I had thought Styx had a part in MIS. Maybe I was just extrapolating from the events of 52.

In the most recent issue of MIS, we learn that Styx has appropriated a number of Darkstar suits and given them to a number of loyal (still-living) minions. She sends several of them after Comet to finish him off, but he overcomes them.

 
At 8:01 PM, Blogger Emmet Matheson said...

Those Darkstar uniforms showed up at the end of Omega Men #3, being worn by the old Omega Men (and a few others), who are, of course, dead!!!
Omega Men picks up threads from lotsa DC space stuff, including the second last Kyle Rayner story in Green Lantern (with the grown-up baby Guardian who stabs him). There's the Spider Guild, Vril Dox II from L.E.G.I.O.N., Ryand'r (Starfire's Tamaranean brother, now calling himself Darkfire), and of course, Lady Styx. I had to reread the first issue to be sure, and even still, I'm not positive WHEN this takes place (I think OYL, but there's a "One Year Ago" flashback sequence that sort of muddles things).
It's actually a really entertaining and awesomely drawn (Flint Henry riffs in a sort of Bisley/Sienkiewicz frenzy) comic, and a lot better than it has any right to be.

 
At 6:25 AM, Blogger Jamie Ott said...

Basically, both MIS and Omega Men tie into Lady Styx via the Eternal Light Corporation, although it's not really called that in OM. The story starts out when the Omega Men appear in the Phillipines to save the grown up Guardian/Zamoran (Liana) mentioned earlier from the Kyle Rayner series.

They are trying to save the Guardian from the Spider Guild, who seem to be acting under orders of the ELC...i.e., Lady Styx. It seems that Liana has a powerful artifact that was created during the Big Bang. There are four or five of these artifacts, called Heartstones, one of which is providing R'yandar with his newfound powers. At the end of the latest issue, the Spider Guild captured Vril Dox (sent to bring the OM back in) and Earth's heroes are left wondering what the heck is going on. A third artifact stands revealed, which the SG gains possesion of.

The most obvious tie to Styx is obviously the use of the Darkstars, which was mentioned earlier as many dead OM show up to bring 'convert' Tigorr and the Lianna. I recall that she was mentioned in the first issue but I don't remember in what capacity.

I'm certain that this series, Ion, and MIS are all leading to the next big event, much like the Adam Strange mini led into IC. At one point in issue two, a silouette of what looks to be a Monitor (the one in Anti-Monitor armor) is shown.

Jamie

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger Jimmy said...

Could Supernova become the Starman in the new JSA? I mean a Supernova is a star right? That might also explain why "he" hasn't yet appeared in any OYL issues. Just a thought (love this site BTW)!

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Squashua said...

He certainly could be Supernova, but there's no precedent for it, so it's highly doubtful, IMHO.

 
At 2:13 PM, Blogger Douglas Wolk said...

Fairly massive clues to Supernova's identity here, friends. Although, curiously, if it's who it pretty obviously seems to be, it's not somebody who's appeared in 52 before.

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

I knew it! My stance has wavered as I was swayed by some well-thought out theories but I always thought this answer made the most sense.

But they better have a helluva good explanation for it.

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger Jamie Ott said...

Except for the silouette with the hair parted much like Michael's.

I don't buy that it's you-know-who.

Jamie

 
At 2:57 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

But you-know-who is the perfect candidate to be Rip's assistant since he has experience with time travel.

 
At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the true ID is indeed revealed next week, that'll be swell, but a bit disappointing . . . all the stupid speculation has been awfully fun.

To me, the preview solidifies that it's NOT . . . the guy whose usually identified with that special effect. Wouldn't that be giving away the store too early? Someone else (whose been more directly involved in 52) is pretty well known for using other peoples' gadgets. Well, I hope it's him, even though it's been the most obvious all along.

Cuz, seriously, after all this wouldn't it be a hoot if the reason for Supernova's chest symbol was sponsorship from the Galazy Broadcast Corp? Too funny . . . the the leapoard can only change his spots so much

 
At 8:31 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

Jeremy, you're right about Booster using the tech of others. And Supernova's suit is filled with circuitry, just like Booster's was. And it would be a hoot if he had GBS sponsership.

But I just want it to be Ray. I always hated the way he was unceremoniously dismissed at the end of Identity Crisis. I'd love to see him back in a role in the DC Universe.

Has everyone read about the World War III one-shots?

 
At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

indeed, Mr. Raph -- very excited. Also about Ostrander's new Suicide Squad . . . the old series is one of the few complete runs I own (albeit in horrible condition, cuz comics are for reading, IMO)

 
At 9:24 AM, Blogger Douglas Wolk said...

Okay, now that is cool. Plus: do I detect the presence of Anarky?

 
At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sponsorship from the Galaxy Broadcast Corp idea is brilliant. I lol'd because that clue was right in our face all along.

 
At 12:31 PM, Blogger jonni said...

Douglas Wolk said; " Okay, now that is cool. Plus: do I detect the presence of Anarky?"

I thought it was the first Marvel/DC crossover of the new millenium myself...

Awesom cover mind.

 
At 1:14 PM, Blogger Eric said...

I certainly detect a bit of Montoya in that picture.

Anarky would have been an interesting foil for the Question -- in the later of his appearances, he was less of an anarchist and sort of a Randist libertarian. You know...like the Question started out as under Ditko.

 
At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To randomly note, the "butterfly" thing with the Question applies to the nickname Richard Dragon calls him, which is based on a story, where a man wakes up from a dream he has as a butterfly -- then realized, maybe he's a butterfly dreaming as a man.

But yeah, anyway, long story short, Richard Dragon calls the Question "butterfly", but I wouldn't be surprised if it connected with "The Last Unicorn", either.

 
At 2:50 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

We need a stencil right now.

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger creativename said...

Yeah, not buying the sneak peek as a clue to the real identity...

I mean the All-New Atom suggests that there are size belts all over Ivy.. and the Rip/Nova team have already scarfed other artifacts of the heroes (why else mention the Starman staves?)... and, let's face it, unless I missed something while I was away from comics Rip Hunter isn't normally teensy weensy... so he also has a size belt most likely.

It could be that Boosternova has been using the size belt exactly as others have hypothesized Ray might be, so it it helps, you guys won't have been exactly wrong if that turns out to be...

 
At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buddy's got the easiest-ever resurrection.

Maxine Baker: Mommy, I sure do miss Daddy. I wish he wasn't dead.

Ellen Baker: Daddy lives on in our thoughts. Remember the time we went on that picnic?

[The next panel is a flashback to the picnic.]

Buddy Baker, reaching out of the picnic flashback panel: Hi, Maxine. Hi, Honey. Here, take my hand and pull.

[Maxine and Ellen pull Buddy into their panel.]

Maxine: Welcome back, Daddy!

Ellen: What kept you?

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

Supernova Revealed SPOILERS!

 
At 3:08 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

Y'know, that's actually possible considering that character's power and his costume has been shown having circuitry throughout.

Maybe that shirt really was a clue.

 
At 3:18 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

And Supernova was conspicuously absent from issue #24.

 
At 11:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised nobody caught this error in your post yet: The original Starman was NOT Jack Knight, it was TED Knight - as referenced in your cover link.

Oops?

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger Douglas Wolk said...

Oops. Fixed it; thanks for the catch, acespot.

Squashua, that's really funny.

 
At 10:33 PM, Blogger Douglas Wolk said...

Weirdly, my switchover to the new Blogger system has anonymized a few regular commenters. Not sure why. I'm also experimentally setting this so you don't need a Blogger account to post; if there are unwanted comments of any kind, including flames, I'm switching back.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger Jeremy said...

Hey! I was anonymized! And I really want credit for my "Supernova is sponsored by Galaxy Broadcasting" joke. I'm only funny like twice a year.

 
At 9:46 AM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

I've given it much thought this morning and it's probably going to turn out to be Booster. As much as I'd love for it to be Ray, Booster makes more sense in terms of the internal logic of the story. Although that would mean the scene between Supernova and Ralph was essentially miswritten to not give the secret away (and that scene was the biggest basis for me thinking it probably wasn't Booster). We'll see tomorrow.

It would be so awesome if it were Ambush Bug.

 
At 10:11 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

Actually, that guy who gets the issue early every week already posted tomorrow's issue of 52 to the DC boards (and subsequently was reposted to Newsarama and a few other boards as well). Totally spoiled it.

I already read the first two sentences and know what the cover reveals. That was my only intent. I accidentally read cross-posted info on another forum thread that revealed (ruined) additional information.

Suffice to say, don't spoil yourself. I only attempted to find out who was on the cover and succeeded. I suggest staying away from additional info; from the tidbits that were accidentally spoiled to me (I know about 20% of the issue) this one is a biggie.

Oh, and "poop". :-)

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger Squashua said...

Has anyone mentioned yet that the original classic "gigantic" Monster Society of Evil, as led by Mr. Mind, had a race of Crocodile Men within it's ranks?

Tears indeed Tawky Crawky, tears indeed.

 
At 10:28 AM, Blogger acespot said...

as far as former football stars, you forget guy gardner and john henry irons.

 

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