Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Week 49: Of Course You Realize

Ah, if only this issue were as good as its cover. "Eve of Destruction" has the right hint of not-there-yet-folks anticipation--although "Dawn of Correction" might be more like it. Despite the goofy Magnus action, this is really a week of moving pieces into place: Adam in a general snit, the Plutonium Man in play, the remaining members (I hadn't thought there were any, but there you go) of Infinity Inc. II cheerfully lining up for their inevitable slaughter next week.

Adam's out for revenge on the people who "orchestrated the murder" of his wife and brother-in-law; that might be the Chinese government, or it might just be Chang Tzu, or, if you go up a level or two, it might be Intergang (whose boss already took one in the back last week) or Darkseid et al. So why he's going after whoever it is he's going after is unclear. Or, rather, it's perfectly clear: there has to be a big fight with everybody against Adam, after he's had six days or so to regroup. But has it occurred to anyone to consider why "they" might want a war?

Also: Glad to see the prophecy of "dead by Lead" fulfilled, but that's one dangling plot thread down and... quite a few to go. 82 pages left to wrap it all up! (As others have noted, the cover of Checkmate #15 suggests that he's been de-Humpty Dumptified, too.) Really, even beyond all the little danglers, there are some elements of this series that desperately require dramatic closure--the Booster/Rip Hunter/Daniel Carter plot, the Adam/Kory plot and the Buddy/yellow aliens plot, most notably, each of which seems to demand a solid issue worth of exploration--and given that next week is Kaboom Unlimited, it's starting to feel like any kind of wrap-up those stories get is going to be compressed into two or three pages of exposition, tops. I'd also like to see some kind of extended coda for the Ralph plot and another one for the Montoya/Question plot, but at this point I'm suspecting that a Darick Robertson issue apiece was all we're going to get.

Not much else to say this week, and I'm sure there'll be a lot to talk about next week, so I'll keep it short. Also, I've got Death Note vol. 11 sitting here waiting for me to finish this post, and I know I've talked about it before, but the OMIGOD I NEED TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT factor of that series is off the charts. Light Yagami's got a little in common with Black Adam, come to think of it: he's scary as hell, very few people oppose him and live, and he believes himself to be not only inarguably in the right but personally in charge of creating a better world. He's a lot smarter than Adam, though.

Giffen Layout Watch: will we ever move past Week 39?

More notes:

The caption on the cover: "Mini-Metal Men Missiles" is a reference to this issue, cleverly enough. And, in fact, DC's first (and, I believe, only) James Bond comic was this one--published one month earlier! "But you haven't another moment"--you just don't see diction like that on comic book covers any more.

Pg. 1: I'm not sure we've seen "hypno-goggles" before at DC, other than in ads in the '60s. They seem like more a Marvel thing. (Q. Why not X-ray specs? A. It's Power Girl; what's left to the imagination?) (Q. for real: do we know who this guy is?)

Pg. 4: I hate to say it, but Chang Tzu is right: it is easy to see why Magnus's colleagues thought his ideas were atrocious. You know, if you have lead present in your body, it's not going to represent a "stubborn refusal to quit." What he's describing here is actually fairly close to the "pathetic fallacy" (not the one in here).

Pg. 5: And the monitors would certainly have shown e.g. the little Metal Men who've been hanging around the lab.

Pg. 7: Nice touch of science, but it'd have to be a pretty high room temperature for cesium, francium, gallium and rubidium to melt--the lowest melting point among them is francium's 300 degrees Kelvin, which is 80.6 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, Oolong Island is pretty tropical.

Pg. 9: I thought there was something funky about the numbering of the Ten. Let's see. Accomplished Perfect Physician, August General in Iron, Celestial Archer, Ghost Fox Killer, Immortal Bald-Man-in-Armor Man in Darkness, Mother of Champions, Raekwon the Chef, Seven Deadly Brothers, Socialist Red Guardsman, Thundermind. And the Shaolin Robots seem to be their enemies, although it was clever to include a sketch of them with the original Nine.

Pg. 10: A "particle wave pistol" isn't something that generally exists outside of a few games, but it's a cute concept, playing on the old wave/particle duality routine in physics--especially the "I have no idea what it might do to you" bit a few pages later. Also: Omnibot. The only other reference to something of that name at DC I can find was actually a few months ago in this issue, which involved Booster Gold and an unusual metal...

Pg. 12: Thoughtful of Sivana to put Adam's boot back on after doing his work with the "thunder pliers."

Pg. 13: Alan's eyes shining green through the eyepatch?

Pg. 20: I guess World's Finest really struck it rich with those "artistic nudes,", since they now seem to be a hardcover periodical--not many of those around other than Acme Novelty Library these days.

The Origin of the Justice Society of America: Just as promised, Don Kramer gets to wow us in 52! Technically. Interesting that this seems to tease what happens next issue--although we already knew that from the new JSA #1. But Wildcat grabbing Adam's arm? Has he gotten bored of his limbs? The big image on page 1 is, of course, homaging this cover, with Jay taking the place of the perpetually continuity-indeterminate Black Canary. I'm amused that, in the final image, Alan Scott and Jay Garrick seem to be going by "Alan Scott" and "Jay Garrick," though.

And one detail that makes me very happy from the thumbnail of next week's cover: could that be Ystin?


At 10:03 PM, Blogger Keith said...

I expected more out of #49, but it's the lull before the extravaganza next week I suppose. Loved seeing Doc Magnus not go to the dark side without his meds. His line "I told you I do Crazy things without my meds!" is gold, pun intended.

Is Chang Tzu hollow? DC likes to show human guts spray in every direction, but a giant yellow egg just shatters.

JSA Origin: Does Stargirl still go by Star Spangled Kid? I also thought that of all the origins, this one had the most "but they left out...." feeling to it, though it is summarizing tens of people.

At 1:01 AM, Blogger raphaeladidas said...

On page 16, there appears to be an egg inside Chang Tzu.

At 7:05 AM, Blogger Squashua said...

Chang originally seemed to be a bit more put-together and egg-like only in appearance. I'm surprised at this revelation. I wonder how they'll reconcile it in Checkmate.

Fairly unfulfilling issue all-around. I need my Booster Gold fix.

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Rob S. said...

Daniel wrote:

On page 16, there appears to be an egg inside Chang Tzu.

Good catch!

So he's not Chinese after all, but a Russian nesting doll?

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Will Staples said...

What are the "tablets" Morrow was referring to?

At 2:40 PM, Blogger Keith said...

filby: just magnus' medicine I think

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Rob Pugh said...

Yeah, the "Alan Scott" and "Jay Garrick" bits struck me as odd. Alan, maybe, just maybe, since he ends up heading UN org Checkmate, his ID might be public and and common knowledge, but Jay?

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

Wasn't there a time when all the Flashes' IDs were public? I mean, it's not like Jay Garrick is going to be fooling anybody what with being an 80-something running around with the body of an EXTREMELY fit 50-yr-old.

At 5:44 PM, Blogger acespot said...

the past two weeks have had the most amazing covers of the entire series.
p.2 "I am the Socialist Red Guardsman of the Great Ten of the Chinese People's Republic" - besides the fact that his group has been previously called the "Great Wall", and that the country is commonly referred to in English as the People's Republic of China, how can he not start laughing upon hearing such a ridiculous sounding statement coming out of his mouth? Instead of wearing an eyepatch, why doesn't Alan Scott just leave one eyehole of his mask closed? Or wear a glass eye?
p.3 This is the first time IIRC that the group of mad scientists on Oolong has been called the "Science Squad", and the first time it's been implied that Egg Fu does NOT work for Apokolips, but is, in fact, a freelancer, an entrepreneur.
p.4 Our bodies have very little gold in them, and, hopefully, NO lead - if I recall my Bio courses. Likewise Mercury, which isn't mentioned here. And, of course, no Titanium, Platinum, Tin, or Plutonium. So either Doc Magnus is bullshitting Egg Fu (which he probably is), or WTF???
p.10 Interesting revelation, that in fact, Chang Tzu (Egg Fu) IS a member of Great Ten.
p.12 When was the last time we saw Billy's talking tiger?
p.14 As ridiculous as SRG's statement on p.2 was, Will Magnus's here is AMAZING "I have a particle wave ray gun and bipolar disorder!"
p.15 Why does Egg Fu seem green inside? Is he a rotten egg? HAH! I kill me.
p.16 panel 5: I see Thunderbolt, but I never saw Jakeem. Huh?
p.22 Summoned from where? Without a knowledge of the Ragnarok battle, this makes no sense!
p.23 Have the events in panel 2 happened yet?
Which Wildcat is this? I or III? Yeah, why don't Green Lantern and Flash get to keep their superhero names?

Alan Scott's eye could shine green through the eyepatch, because it's a residual effect of the Starheart magic of Jade...remember when he said that though he lost an eye, he brought some of her back with him? Am I making this up? Do I win the baldy?

At 7:48 AM, Blogger CandidGamera : said...

I don't think that's an egg inside Chang Tzu - if you believe otherwise, well - the yolk's on you.

At 2:22 PM, Blogger acespot said...

It does look like a yolk to's possible that he may be able to regenerate from that little remnant.

At 8:38 PM, Blogger Will Staples said...

besides the fact that his group has been previously called the "Great Wall"

Uh... no they haven't. They've been the Great Ten from the start. Their headquarters is located at the Great Wall.

This is the first time IIRC that the group of mad scientists on Oolong has been called the "Science Squad"

Third, actually.

and the first time it's been implied that Egg Fu does NOT work for Apokolips, but is, in fact, a freelancer, an entrepreneur.

I don't believe a definite connection had been made between Chang Tzu and Apokolips at all, aside from his possession of the Crime Bible.

When was the last time we saw Billy's talking tiger?

At Adam and Isis's wedding.

At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a crazy question, but maybe you all can help... there's been talk on here before about finding comics (like Miracleman) online to read... where do you go to find them? it seems a little beyond my friendly neighborhood Limewire...

Michael B.

At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the real question is: do the Chinese have a giant mutant chicken that lays "Egg Fu"'s?
I say yes.

At 4:56 AM, Blogger Nyctotherion said...

"I think the real question is: do the Chinese have a giant mutant chicken that lays "Egg Fu"'s?"

They have a female human who gives birth to 'champions'. The nature of the beings spawned has not yet been established.

It would be kind of boring if she Mothered only a single flavor of Champion, though.

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but did anyone realize that, besides the "dead by lead" phrase, there was another big prophecy which was given meaning this week?
Remember what Will Magnus was saying about the metals: Lead is refusal to quit, and gold symbolizes strong moral fiber.
Te = Au + Pb.

At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could've made that a bit clearer.
See--if we go with the idea that Tellurium (atomic number 52) is 52, then the equation can be interpreted to read:

52 = stubborn righteousness.

At 12:52 AM, Blogger acespot said...

As opposed to 52 = stupid ridiculousness?

Cute theory though.

At 5:35 AM, Blogger CandidGamera : said...

Stubborn righteousness, eh? Sounds like Superman.

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

Might be a little cute, but it's the kind of twee little notion we've come to expect from the 52 team.

Superman, or the reaction of the other heroes in Superman's absence.

At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hm. Apparently, I had it a bit off.
It's actually 52 VERSUS stubborn righteousness.
I guess I could explain this as supporting my theory about 52 being an actual entity.


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