Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Week 38: See Also Mary Hopkin

If somebody told you they were reading a really good comic involving a bunch of scientists on an island creating doomsday creatures, a "pale horse" reference, an unstable, slovenly fallen hero eating cold beans from a can, a touch of psychic nosebleed Zen, and a Ditkovian character ripping off his face-concealing mask as he prepares to die in a snowstorm, what comic would you guess they were reading? Shall we add Watchmen allusions to the 52 drinking game?

Terrific Montoya/Question scenes this issue, even though a couple of them are effectively the same scene (I'm trying to save his life because I need him/how do we get where we're going again?/I knew I should've taken that left turn at Albuquerque). The really ripe-for-discussion business, though, is the introduction of three of the four Horsemen of Apokolips, which of course leads us back to the non-crime Bible and Revelation 6. And before I get into it, I feel compelled to quote the mighty Half Man Half Biscuit:

If you're going to quote from the Book of Revelation
Don't keep calling it the Book of Revelations
There's no "S," it's the Book of Revelation
As revealed to St. John the Divine.

(Relatedly: "Those Were the Days," miscredited.)

So. Revelation 6. The first horse (do the Horsemen other than Azraeuz have horses? what's Azraeuz's horse, anyway?) is white, and ridden by someone who has a bow and a crown, "and he went forth conquering, and to conquer" (in the King James translation). The horseman is traditionally named Pestilence, although he's not actually named in the Bible. This useful page indicates that he's occasionally been interpreted as the Antichrist, as Christ, or as a Parthian archer.

The second horse is red, "and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword." Its rider is traditionally War, and Roggra here rules the Age of War.

The third horse is black, and "he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand"; his rider, usually called Famine, is charging outlandish prices for staple food, although he's still making luxuries available too. "The Age of Fevers"? Doesn't quite fit the template. Yurrd's "Hunger" is more like famine--and the fact that we don't see Yurrd here (and that J.G. Jones notes that he's "already in place") makes me wonder if he's got some kind of connection to Hannibal.

The fourth horse is a color that's usually translated as "pale," as in Red D'eath's band--we see that again with Azraeuz's "pale steed"--but the actual Greek word is "chloros," meaning the pale yellow-green color associated with, say, zombies. "[H]is name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth." The rider, Death, is the only one of the riders actually named. (And "the fourth part of the earth" resonates nicely with "Fourth World," for which see more below.) As for Azraeuz's "black dawn," that phrase has been been used for a couple of previous DC stories.

Various comics have dealt with the Four Horsemen before, like this one and this one and, uh, this one. (This version, which supposedly included some visual design by Simon Bisley, doesn't appear to have seen the light of day, at least in comics form; can anyone tell me more?) My favorite comics reference to them, though, fits the Revelation template even more loosely, and I alluded to it last week: the Four Dark Judges, Death, Fear, Fire and Mortis, who appear in some memorable Judge Dredd stories. That right there is some character design. Speaking of which, the design of Roggra vaguely reminds me of some character from ABC Warriors, maybe a minor one, but I can't for the life of me think of which.

In other news: For those who didn't see it, Mark Waid helpfully explained the "two keys" thing at Newsarama (the other one was the giant key to Superman's Fortress of Solitude--although can someone please point me to a post-Crisis issue where we've seen it before Week 37? Was that the Antarctic Fortress? I love the giant key). And Keith Giffen's "reporter's sketchbook" at the official 52 site hasn't been updated in a couple of weeks, although a few other things have (like changing "succeeds" to "secedes" in a headline); hope it comes back soon.

Can I just say again how much I'm enjoying all the comment discussions? You folks rule.

More notes:

Pg. 1: You'd think she'd have figured out the route to Nanda Parbat before she left. You'd also think that Kate, as rich as she is, could've sprung for a GPS, but that's another thing.

Pg. 3: Prof. Morrow's "war effort" line is a nice cue: Magnus is indeed stockpiling useful metals--although he may not have the ones he thinks he does. Thermometers, for instance, are generally no longer made with mercury--these days, they've got other liquids in them, or they're digital. (The days when kids were encouraged to play with something called SlikSilver are long gone.) And if he thinks eating all those beans is going to get him a significant amount of tin, he's wrong--although the lids might be tin-plated steel, the rest of the can is probably aluminum. The lead shielding, though: that might help. Ditto the gold watch he swiped back in week 29.

Pg. 4: The first Plutonium Man appeared in this issue, which is turning out to be a pretty important reference point...

Pg. 5: I know of no previous references to Yurrd the Unknown, Roggra, Zorrm or Azraeuz, although they all look like Blogger verification words or the names of pre-Fantastic Four Lee/Kirby monsters. "The Terror of Yurrd the Unknown!"

Pg. 6: This may be--and please correct me if it's not--the first time the Kirby-at-DC-associated term "Fourth World" has appeared within a story. (It initially appeared on the covers of the fourth issues of three of his series--and his... seventh issue of Jimmy Olsen. And remember, kids: "alienation turns a happy place into hell.")

Pg. 7: Since when does Dr. Cyclops have two eyes?

Pp. 8-9: "Shoot you in the head... dump your body...": basically what happened to Charlie at the end of the first issue of his 1987 series; the "butterflies" bit, here and later, is (as others have noted) a reference to the second issue, whose title is "Butterfly," and in which Richard Dragon tells the recuperating Charles Victor Szasz the original Chuang Tzu's story of the man who "didn't know if he was a man who had been dreaming he was a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming he was a man." That issue also includes a little op-ed by Julia Sabbagh on the inside front cover, which notes that "the titles produced for girls can be counted on one hand" and that "if we want comics to be read by girls we must present girls with the proper visual and imaginative energy they need to grow on." It's followed by a disclaimer: "The views and opinions expressed in this column do not reflect the views, opinions or position of DC Comics Inc." And just over 20 years later, we've got... this week's DC Nation column. Oh dear.

Pg. 12: Is Gabe actually a bot programmed to say nothing but variations on "you have to stop him"? And Brian looks remarkably well-preserved for somebody who got crushed by a beam more than three weeks ago.

Pg. 13: We knew that Natasha was pretty good with tech--she was working on that armor earlier in the series--but building a tiny flying communicator device is awfully impressive. If that is indeed still Natasha and not Everyman.

Pg. 16: You'd think she'd have gotten them both some face protection earlier...

Pg. 17: Scariest image of the whole series so far.

Pg. 20: Now that's a dramatic death scene. But who is that in the background? I mean, I suppose it's the Accomplished Perfect Physician, but it sure looks like the Living Tribunal to me.

The Origin of the Red Tornado: Well, there's an alternate version of this story here, but it's curious that Ulthoon (who first appeared here) is now referred to as being "from a distant star"--it was specifically from Rann! [ETA: No, I'm totally wrong. See comments.] Maybe that suggests a closer tie to the Adam Strange storyline then he's supposed to have for the purposes of 52, though. And Prof. Morrow, by the way, first appeared here.


At 3:17 PM, Blogger Squashua said...

I got nothing for you this week, man. Dude really does look like the Living Tribunal.

At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No speculation on the Fourth Horseman? As I scurried back to get to work on time from my lunchbreak it hit me suddenly:


I've since grown a little more skeptical of my revelation, but it would be a pretty good guess. Then I started thinking about how we've been waiting 38 weeks to see Frankenstein! because, I mean, what exactly was the point of him being so prominent in those opening Earth Fragments in Week One? So, I've since amended my guess:


In other news, wow. And I thought LAST issue was great. Seriously, that's how you kill a character.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Michael Griffin said...

Hi, first time I've commented, but I've been reading for a while. Really enjoy the work here.

Regarding the Horsemen: Anybody notice what they say on page seven? "Blakk Ah-dumm." I felt stupid when I spoke it out. So if Hunger's already ridden out, would he be doing some sort of recon on the Black Marvel family? Perhaps as a hungry alligator? Speculation.

At 5:55 PM, Blogger Keith said...

it's great how 1 issue after the supernova reveal, we have a new mystery: who is the 4th horseman? good storytelling would suggest that we've seen the character already. great guesses so far, i have no clue myself.

i found it morbidly humorous how nat is going in for a look at luthor's room this issue, and next week in 52 she's all messed up. didn't go so well apparently!

and how about some more commentary on the DC Nation column? it sounded pretty misguided and desperate to me.

At 6:23 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

If Skeets is Hunger, that would explain how he could eat the Phantom Zone.

At 6:52 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

It was hard for this issue to hold my interest because all I want is to see what's going on with Buddy.

I like the idea of Skeets as the fourth horseman but Tawky Crawky seem more likely.

As for the DC Nation column, Supergirl has been in a tailspin since Rucka's incomprehensible run so I suppose they are grasping at whatever straws they can.

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Douglas Wolk said...

More commentary on the DC Nation column? How about this, from Rachelle at Living Between Wednesdays?

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Paul I said...

Did the Question actually definitely definitively die this time?

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Mark Fossen said...

benjamin -

I had the same thought coming home. I'm glad I force myself to post my 52 blog before coming here. :)

Skeets is doing an awful lot of eating, ain't he? And these horsemen need "mighty" "constructed" forms to host them ... not flesh.

At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice try, and thanks for playing our game, but Ulthoon wasn't from Rann. He ATTACKED Rann. He was FROM a planet called, I believe, "Xalthor."

At 7:57 PM, Blogger Matthew Perpetua said...

Wow, this issue bored the hell out of me. Too bad, because the last few issues really had me going.

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Steven Hardina said...

Hrm. Blogger ate my last comment (it's the fourth horseman!), let's try this again...

The scythe on the cover is piercing the globe approximately where the real-world Afghanistan is. Anyone know if there's a fictional DCU country in the area? Even if there isn't, that point on the globe is basically the halfway point between the borders of China and Kahndaq. Blakk Ah-dummm is definitely a target of the Horsemen, and also most of Asia seems to get hit on Rip Hunter's WWIII globe, so plopping the Horsemen down right there makes sense.

At 9:25 PM, Blogger Josh-2 said...

Lovin' the Oolong scientists storyline! What's the deal with Veronica Cale? Is she merely the token woman on the island, or does she have a larger role to play? I really enjoyed her throughout Rucka's Wonder Woman run. Given his history with pet characters I think there's more to her appearance than we've seen so far.

As for speculation on the fourth horseman, Tawky Crawky seems way too obvious. I think he's simply an Intergang spy, and not the fourth. This mystery horseman is referred to as 'Yurrd the Unknown, the Hunger Lord.' Sound like anyone we know?

Skeets would make the most sense, but my Skeets theory involves him being Brainiac. For lack of a better guess I'm going to say 'Mr. Mind.' That would be a very hungry caterpillar, indeed!

At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark (Fossen, not Waid [Hi!]),

I've actually switched back to my Skeets guess after reading 38 again and then putting the pieces together, the same ones you did. The constant snacking, the fact that they need metal constructs to house them. Wow. This really is one big awesome story, ain't it.

Now I just have to wonder if it wasn't Magnus himself who precipitated it way back in the first month when he checked out Skeets' weirdness for ol' Booster?

And, Matthew, aw, you didn't like that High Society death scene? That shit was really awesome.

At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and I was flipping through the first month and remembered Mr. Mind's cocoon. Going steady with the whole butterfly theme, I see.

At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also worth noting (can you tell I'm just flipping through the whole series now?), when Mannheim shows up on Oolong, Chang Tzu intruduces the idea of the Four Horseman as a solution to his "problem in Khandaq". So most likely they're programmed to go after Black Adam. Which would mobilize some kind of response. Which could lead to a global conflict of some kind. A "World" "War" if you will.

At 10:09 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

Previews tells us that WWIII is Black Adam v. the World.

At 10:17 PM, Blogger Steven Hardina said...

Black Adam vs. The World... hmm, maybe the Horsemen don't attack him, but make attacks in his name. With all the mistrust the world has for Adam, I doubt anyone would believe him if the Horsemen attacked a country in his name and he said he had nothing to do with them.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

Or maybe the horsemen kill Isis and Osiris.

At 10:35 PM, Blogger Douglas Wolk said...

Thanks for the correction! I think the moral of this story is: do not ever try to second-guess Mark Waid on comics history.

In other comment-related news: anonymous comments flaming other commenters will be (and have been) deleted, and if I get too many more, I'm gonna go back to requiring Blogger logins for comments.

At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ookla the Moc here,
I haven't posted here since the 'teens weeks or so because the site wouldn't accept my password, so I've been reading everyone else here, and posted anonymously about "Don't leave me" last week or so. Me, I'm glad to be able to post without a membership and yet another fookin' password to remember.
Anyway, On page 3 panel two, did it seem at first to anyone else that this was someone other than Doc Magnus, wearing a Kooky Mad Scientist Hat of some kind, some kind of "flying rub my head with a brick" hat? It wouldn't have killed the artist to raise the copter "background element of lesser importance" a few millimeters, but it was funny for a second! This whole island reminds me of the old Tick cartoon episode with the Mad Scientists Fair. "I am Doctor MungMung and this is my creation TongueTongue."
And the thing about the lead shielding did make me think for a microsecond about Metal Men, but Doug ties the hints together nicely with the thermometers, tin cans and even the gold watch from Thanksgiving. Nice catch there!! Looks like it's Metal Men vs. the Horsemen at some point, probably the last moment. If a Platinum blonde character appears, I'm sold.
About the DC Nation article, I think Gaiman's Sandman did more to attract female readers than any comic ever, just by writing interesting stories with female perspectives every other arc (and from girlfriends picking up their boyfriends' copies on re-reads). More female versions of established male characters I can do without, they're pretty much the same kind of stories. I groaned when ol' Nostalgia Byrne created a new unneeded post-crisis Wonder Girl (though they printed my letter in WW #117 Scott K), though as I expected, realistic flat-chested Cassie has by now bimbotized into a typical busty supermodel type, sigh...

At 12:48 AM, Blogger Michael Nicolai said...

Horseman attack Black Adam, conflict spills over into China (who have been shown to be very persnickitty about metahumans crossing their border), Great Ten get involved (drawing Accomplished Perfect Physician and the Nanda Parbat sub-plot into the mix). Who intervenes? I have more questions than answers but, like a jigsaw puzzle that's three quarters finished, the big picture is becoming clear and there's less pieces scattered about.

I thought for a second that the hook was that all the stories could be on different Earths, and they would have to come together like the JSA/JLA "crisis on earth whatever" crossovers. Which makes no sense of course, but I think it's something to keep in mind as many of the major characters come from distinctly diffrent places. Black Adam is from Fawcett (Earth S). Question is from Charlton (Earth 4). Renee Montoya hails from the DC animated universe. The Fortress of Solitude/Giant Key/Bottle City/Phantom Zone projector are all artifacts of Pre-Crisis Earth 1. If all characters created after COIE are from Earth 8, that would include John and Natasha. The original Kathy Kane was from Pre-Crisis Earth 2.

Also of note: Grant Morrison named both Earth 14 and Earth 17 during his run on Animal Man (He didn't know Earth 17 had already been the home of the Pre-Crisis New Gods... or did he?) The original Super-Chief was from a world of western heroes identified in IC as Earth 898.
And of course the whole shebang got started by Alexander Luthor (Earth 3)

At 1:12 AM, Blogger Will Staples said...

On the in-text mention of the Fourth World: I read somewhere that the First World was the time when GodWorld had yet to form, the Second World was the time of the Old Gods culminating in the sundering of GodWorld, the Third World was the time when life rose on New Genesis and Apokolips, and the Fourth World was the time of the New Gods. I don't know if that wasn't just fan-created apocrypha, though.

Nat built a gnat. Hehe.

Why Doctor Cale's nose bleeding, btw?

I don't think Skeets is one of the Four Horsemen, simply because he was around while the others were still a twinkle in Chang Tzu's eye, so to speak. Sobek is a possibility, but I'm not so sure. At any rate, I'm glad we won't have to wait 20 issues to find out, like the last mystery.

On the unveiling of the Four Horsemen, was anyone else strongly reminded of Neon Genesis Evangelion? Megalomaniac scientists create grotesque cybernetic organisms to house the souls of ancient titans in a perversion of religion? Anyone? Pestilence looks an awful lot like Rei's Eva and, hell, Doctor Cale is a ringer for Ritsuko Akagi... Or do I just need to watch less weird foreign cartoons?

At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Re: Who is the fourth Horseman?

CHANG TZU: "No FLESH can bear their presence"

DOCTOR CALE: "The Hunger Lord rode out before the others"

Which pretty much rules out Tawky Crawky (yes I know that looks like fleshy wings and hooves on Azraeuz, but the flesh bit so reads like a clue).

Easy Money on Skeets.

He's metal, he's evil and he's hungry.

And if your argument against is Skeets pre-52 activities, bear in mind we're talking vessels. Re-read the early 52 issues with Skeets' 'malfunctions'.

At 7:28 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

As others have said, sounds like Famine is either Skeets (deployed as a sleeper cell until activated by Booster in the far far future and brought to the past) or Tawky Crawky, who is sometimes shown in the presence of food.

Of course, either could be a home for the Mr. Mind Moth.

I did like Cale's nosebleed, which likely happened to express that the mere presence of these machines can cause damage.

From what we know, Bialya is wiped of the map, so that's where the horsemen are headed, and good call stating that they'll do it in Adam's name.

Nat's gnat - love it!

So was there any significance in the blood-stained snow trail or was that just artistic xpression to show that they didn't travel very far. I believe Nanda Parbat only "appears" to those who truly need to go there, and now that "Charlie" is dead, it appeared for Montoya.

At 7:48 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

Oh, anyone want to toss "Roggra" "Azrauez", "Yurrd" and "Zorrm" together into an anagram generator?

Unlike "Tot Rodor", I suspect these names were made up for the 52 series.

Check my spelling before your do it; I didn't take the names from the original source.

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

Let's play the pattern recognition game.

Which one is the odd man out?

Azrauez <-- This one

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be--and please correct me if it's not--the first time the Kirby-at-DC-associated term "Fourth World" has appeared within a story.

Someplace in Morrison's pre-WWIII run, Metron (so, probably at the end of Rock of Ages) tells the JLA that "As New Genesis is to the Fourth World, so Earth shall be to the Fifth," or something like that. It's definitely in there.

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Douglas Wolk said...


It just occurred to me: why World War III?

Because that's what has to happen before a Fourth World War--!

Michael, very interesting theory.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Holz said...

I'm with the rest of y'all in that Skeets as Famine is either incredibly obvious, or a big red herring (like communism!). Of course, if you think back to all thje Supernova discussions everyone early on said "oh it's just Booster Gold" and then many people thought it was too obvious, and look what happened.

I suppose the Fate helmet could be Famine, but I don't see how the stories could have intersected.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Squashua said...

Well, you have to consider the possibilities:

1) We HAVE SEEN Famine somewhere in 52.
2) We HAVEN'T seen Famine somewhere in 52.

So Possibility 1 is Complete Red Herring - Famine is out there, but we have no idea who or what or where Famine is.

Going with the we HAVE seen Famine, the likely candidates are Everyman, Tawky Crawky (Sobek) or Skeets.

Everyman has the eating thing down, yet seems unlikely as there is just NO connection.

Crawky is already planted in with Black Adam and has the whole "I'm hungry" dealie going. He was found in Sivana's lab, which likely hasn't been accessed by Sivana since Sivana was kidnapped in what, Week 1? Famine as Crawky having been planted since then seems unlikely, but they could have gone back to the lab. Talking Alligators are a reocurring theme in The Monster Society of Evil, which Mr. Mind runs, so Mind might be in Crawky. Or heck, Crawky could be Famine and Mind could ALSO be in him... triple threat.

The final candidate is Skeets and as I said earlier, he's either a sleeper cell or as others have pointed out, he might have been "massaged" since his appearance in Magnus' lab. He is a robot, and he did EAT the Phantom Zone, and his name reflects the pattern used with the other horsement, but then-again, no one has actually cut-up Tawky Crawky to see if he's a Salamandroid.

No other pre-existing candidates come to mind.

I'm of two minds with this; either Skeets or Crawky could be Famine, or we just haven't seen him yet, but if I had to put my money down... ask me later.

Here's hoping Famine will appear in a convex reflection on an upcoming cover.

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Paul I said...


** One of the Horsemen (with the big red eye) kinda looks like Ambush Bug on the single page reveal, y'think?

** Is Black Adam the fourth horseman?

** "Lead shielding's mine. And the beans." I thought this was going to be a set-up for some kind of nuclear-powered fart gag. But that
s probably becuase I once was a British schoolboy.

At 1:29 PM, Blogger zc said...

Black Adam is not the Fourth Horseman. Neither is Everyman. The storyline that Everyman is involved in essentially ends in Week 40. I don't think you see him after that.

"It just occurred to me: why World War III? Because that's what has to happen before a Fourth World War--!"

You know, I never thought of it like that, but it does make sense, dunnit?

Well, except for that whole New-Genesis-isn't-there-anymore thing. What with Seven Soldiers and all.

Stupid Grant Morrison. Heh.

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Rick said...

Has everyone seen the WWIII tease up on newsarama? Some spoilers there perhaps? Anyone want to give a roll call for the characters in that image?

At 3:26 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

Check this out. Make sure you click on the image and check out it's URL.

At 3:27 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

Its not it's. I does knows my grammars.

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

There are some pretty huge problems with that image being a WWIII teaser.

At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there, big fan of the blog. Question for you, Douglas: Have you gotten any feedback on it from DC editors or creators?

Thanks for doing it!

At 4:19 PM, Blogger Eric said...

Hey guys, Mr. Wolk gave me permission to post the following:

The Question / Vic Sage Site will be holding a grand opening event this Sunday, Jan. 28th, from 3-6 p.m. EST, and we'd love to have you drop by.

Along with an increased amount of content on the site, we'll be making a few announcements, holding a live chat for folks to get to know each other, and giving away the following door prizes:

The Question v.2 #2 signed by Tommy Lee Edwards
The Question v.2 #4 signed by Tommy Lee Edwards
The Question v.1 #1 signed by Bill Sienkiewicz (slightly smeared)
52 #2 signed by J.G. Jones and Greg Rucka
Batman/Huntress: Cry For Blood #4 signed by Greg Rucka

Please drop by this Sunday for this event!

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Douglas Wolk said...

Jim: Feedback on the site? A few kind words, and a few corrections of my errors, both of which are gratifying. (I'm in contact with DC publicists every so often for my day job writing for PW Comics Week, Salon and elsewhere, & I read early versions of the scripts for the first five issues as background for an article I wrote for Salon, but otherwise I don't know anything anyone else doesn't know about what's happening in the next 14 weeks. Which is pretty much how I like it.)

As for the "WWIII" image, if that's what it is: the "let the battle cry be heard in the land" line is from Jeremiah 50, and the notable anomalies are somebody in the Red Robin costume from Kingdom Come (as Newsarama notes) and somebody in the Elseworlds Batman costume from Detective Comics Annual #7 (as somebody at Newsarama's forum figured out).

At 5:37 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

And Green Arrow and Wonder Girl's costumes. And Ion having a ring. And which Flash is that.

At 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am currently in love with Holz for the massive 'communism is just a red herring' pop reference. One of my top 10 movies and probably top comedy- ever.

That saids, I gotta agree with the lovely Skeets as #4 being obvious only to us know, hence being the non-obvious choice for the first 30+ issues.

Also, if the ? died, it was a kickass scene.... but then, did he really die?

the newsarama image is my new wallpaper...

why is no one asking why its Mary and not Billy or Freddy?

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Eric said...

I had a friend in college who could quote the entirety of Clue from memory -- including all three endings.

And yeah, this issue after issue of the Question maaaaybe being dead at the end is getting a little frustrating.

Here's a relevant "Butterfly" page from Q# 2:

At 9:06 PM, Blogger Eric said...

Has anyone pointed out that the opposite of famine seems to be Isis, who can make things grow?

And is illegal torrenting of comic books (along with movies and other files) one of the dangerous powers of the four horsemen?

At 9:18 PM, Blogger Michael Nicolai said...

There's a lot going on in that picture. What is that doo-hickey between Max Lord and Jade? Near Blue Beetle's right hand is a round goldish something, and a little above that is a liitle red spoltch. It almost looks like the bloodstain on the smiley face from Watchmen. If it's photoshopped, wherever the original images came from would be significant. I think whatever clue this is supposed to be is in the staging. It's staged like a renaissance painting. And, I mean, I'd probably turn my head away if I saw Supes going all emo like that. But why is everyone looking in different directions? The spires on Miss Liberty's crown are compartmentalizing the heroes. And this could be my imagination but is that a head underneath the blue cloth Wonder Woman is sitting on.

I don't get it. I'm stumped.

At 9:35 PM, Blogger Michael Nicolai said...

Found this line about Jeremiah interesting: Jeremiah is considered by some modern scholars to have written, or redacted much of the Old Testament, as we have it today.

He was responsible for the first retcon.

At 6:14 AM, Blogger Mark Fossen said...

And which Flash is that.
Once upon a time, the trick to separating the Flashes was the belt - Barry's was straight, Wally's was a V shape.

So - this would be Barry.

At 6:52 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

Looks like a head is reflected in Big Barda's brassiere (made from the finest Skeets-parts). Let's take a closer look and beat a dead horse, shall we?

Oh, and Jim, if you'd like to know if anyone important from the 52 creators is reading the blog, simply check the names of the posters in these very comments!

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Emmet Matheson said...

Anybody count how many hidden question marks there are in the Renee/Charlie scenes?

At 1:10 PM, Blogger jonni said...

Comics and Half Man Half Biscuit quotations?

Why Mr Wolk, I think I'm in love.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger zc said...

"...and somebody in the Elseworlds Batman costume from Detective Comics Annual #7"

Despite what everyone is saying, that's not the costume he's wearing. And I'm fairly sure that's Batman, but don't quote me on that. (Personally I think it'd be stupid if he was just wearing that pirate costume, and what he is wearing is far more interesting, I think)

Also, "little red splotch"? Look again.

I've been told, though, that the teaser will be explained at New York ComicCon, among other things.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

Once upon a time, the trick to separating the Flashes was the belt - Barry's was straight, Wally's was a V shape.

Doesn't Bart wear Barry's costume? (I don't read The Flash.)

Have we all seen the giganto teaser? Sucks for The Atom.

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Jeremy said...

(shamefully, this is the first week of 52 I've missed; can't comment on this issue. Crap! I'll catch up next week)

BUT, on the image:

Is it just me, or are there sort of "pockets of space" around where the heroes are gathered? (Under Mister Mirable and B. Barda; under Blue Beetle)? I could be seeing things.

Makes me think the whole chunk of city might be floating around in space or another dimension or something. Cosmic Odyssey Part Deux?

At 6:13 PM, Blogger zc said...

I think that's just Phil Jiminez not completely blacking out his shadows, Jeremy.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Jeremy said...

thanks ZC . . . as usual "it's just me" :)

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fourth Horseman = Mannheim?

We already know he's part of the cult; and didn't we see him kill someone and then send the corpse down to a kitchen?

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Emmet Matheson said...

Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. Didn't we see Mannheim as a GIANT in one of the OYL Superman books?

At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Question's death isn't really up in the air at this point is it? I mean, that was a death scene, and a great one.

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Keith said...

The Question's death is also a big part of the teaser image, and Newsarama's 5.2 confirmed his deadness. Though that column comes with its own salt shaker.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

FYI, 52 at DC updated with Weeks 35 and 36. Nothing really to note other than it was intentional to stick Everyman in the photo behind Natasha and Skyman, Wacker suggested tossing John Henry full-on in the panel before Supernova showed up during the "Rain of Supermen" and Sobek is sketched carrying food.

At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: Statue Of Liberty Group Pose

Some thought provoking appearances.

The Atom among the dead?

A Legion Flight Ring? But to whom did it belong? Booster Gold? Supergirl? Dawnstar? Starman?

Robin from Kingdom Come? The multiverse for sure, but any connection to Nightwing's last minute reprieve at the end of Infinite Crisis?

Ion and Donna Troy? Two of the characters pegged by the mysterious monitors as 'anomalies' (See Ion mini and 'History' back-up in the early 52s).

Black Canary? Like Power Girl, another character with a convoluted back-story. Is this the mother or the daughter?

Big Barda and Mister Miracle. A hint of things to come, perhaps, as the Forth World comes into play.

Sir Bruce of Wayne. ????

And the Flash. Everyone seems pretty certain this is Barry Allen (the eyes and the belt), and a DC Nation a while back flagged the Flash Special that would explore just what happened with Superboy Prime and the Speedsters. Bart wears Barry's costume now, though.

Does the scene feel a little sparse? Are there spaces to be filled later? Mmm?

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Jamie Ott said...

I still haven't read last week's issue (as I was in Orlando last week) but I will comment on the DC Teaser image.

Red Robin is a *ahem* Red Herring. You could easily redraw that RR into a Supernova, which could explain the halo surrounding him.

I would take what we were shown with a HUGE grain of salt.


At 7:50 PM, Blogger zc said...

"You could easily redraw that RR into a Supernova, which could explain the halo surrounding him."

Ehhhh, I think you're reading too much into that, Jamie. If you look at the high-res art, the "glow" just looks like Phil Jiminez not inking up to RR's outline completely. Green Arrow has the same thing going on to a lesser extent, as does Big Barda.

I think Ion and Wonder Girl are the only people who are really supposed to have a glow.

At 3:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether the art was inked by Jiminez himself or someone else, the following stylistic tics should be taken into account:

He likes to create depth by leaving a space between people and distant backgrounds. Which is often confused as a glow or similar effect when used to draw superheroes.

His women all look like transvestites (see Lord Fanny in Invisibles Vol 2), or hormone pumped bodybuilders (see Power Girl in Infinite Crisis).

Please stop reading too much into the strange glows. It only hurts Phil's feelings.

At 6:36 AM, Blogger Jamie Ott said...

It's entirely possible that I'm wrong but it wouldn't be the first time we were shown a different image than what is really there. Justice League #1, anyone?


At 1:18 PM, Blogger Douglas Wolk said...

B-b-but Lord Fanny actually is a transvestite!

Just looking at Invisibles vol. 4, Jimenez-drawn women who don't fit either of those categories: Ragged Robin, Boy... well, Jolly Roger looks pretty buff, but she looks like she comes by it naturally...

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Squashua said...

Are we going to be talking about trannies when we hit post 69 this week?

Latest fun fact from Newsarama Forum: The sum of SOBEK, when turned into English numeric equivalents, equals 52.

Complete coincidence, as Sobek is a traditional Egyptian God/Entity.

At 1:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to stick with my point that Jimenez draws either: masculine women with steroid problems and watermelons stitched to their chests; or feminine women with suspicious packages around the groin area.

But I also point out he may not be inking the image that prompted me to post, and it's here the problem lies in my humble opinion. The lines are scratchy and ill defined, and lack the confidence the pencils deserve. I'd love to see a slick line (like Paul Neary, for example) work his magic on Phil.

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Squashua said...

Alan Scott loses his emerald eyes.

There Emerald Head of Ekron ends up being a Green Lantern and it loses one of it's emerald eyes to Lobo.

And in the lab on Oolong Island? A high-tech emerald eye.

I'm seeing a pattern.

Oh, and speaking of patterns/symbols, this is post 69.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Squashua said...

Oh, and since Doug is taking his time this week:


Fact 1 - Osiris was not visible this issue and has not been seen for a while except by Sobek. According to Sobek.

Fact 2 - Hannibal really is a cannibal.

Surmised Conclusion - Did anyone else notice that Sobek appears really overweight this issue?

At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I thought that WWIII was a bit more complicated than that...

When it comes to Yurrd the Unknown anagrams, the best I could find was "Unknown--hurry, Ted!"

At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny...when I play the anagrams, I get:

drunken unworthy


Hurry Ted, know nun

At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy this column. I only go once a month to get my comics (at Excalibur, which you must be familiar with as a Portlander), so most of the time I'm too far behind in my reading to participate in any discussions. But one of my favorite things to do after I've devoured my month's worth of 52 is to zoom over to your blog.

Tangentially: whoever it was that said they have Clue memorized needs to become my new best friend!


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