52: Vol. 2

Halfway through the 52 series and I still have no idea where all of this is going.  That being said, I’m dying to find out, so kudos to the writers for keeping me engaged with a drawn-out storyline that doesn’t focus on any single hero or group.  This wouldn’t generally be the type of comic I’d think I’d like, but damn, it’s just too awesome.

The only downside to this storytelling technique is that it makes it really difficult to sum up what all’s been happening.  Since the list format worked so well with Vol. 1, we’ll stick with that again.

  1. Luthor has created his own super-powered team, Infinity Inc, and is orchestrating plenty of press time for the group.  They’re incredibly loyal and grateful to him, and unfortunately Luthor is the puppet-master in more than name only, as he has the ability to cut off their metahuman powers with the flip of a switch.  He proves he’s not above doing so when he cuts off aTrajectory’s powers, allowing a villain to kill her.  Being Luthor, he uses the situation to his advantage, playing up to the press how brave she was and how she gave her life to save people.  He’s terrifyingly cold and intelligent, proving to be a dead combination. How does the entire world not see that already?

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2.  With the help of The Question and Renee Montoya, Isis finds her lost brother, though he’s been badly beaten.  Black Adam gives the boy some of his own powers, transforming him into Osiris.  The little family seems complete now, with each core member of the Marvel family now having a Black Adam counterpart.  It’s an interesting development, and I like seeing the Marvel and Black Adam families getting along…at least for now.

3. On the same note, towards the end of this trade Osiris stumbles across what may be the sweetest, most polite crocodile in existence. He’s so friendly and scared that I just want to squeeze him and make him feel better. Then I remember he’s a crocodile and would probably eat me.  Still, Osiris makes a friend, yay!

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4.  Lobo makes a surprise appearance, rescuing Kory, Adam Strange, and Animal Man from imminent death in space.  Towing them to a refuge planet, Lobo reveals that he’s found religion, in a sense, and is trying to turn over a new leaf.  The fact that he’s surrounded by the requisite talking space-dolphins makes this scene a million times more entertaining.

5.  Wonder Girl confronts Supernova, believing him to be Conner in disguise.  This seems a little too easy of an explanation, even though a part of me would love to see Conner come back.

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6. This thing.  Labeled “Egg Fu” in the trade notes, I don’t even know what to say about this odd creature.  He’s in all of one panel in this trade, but clearly he’ll be a big player moving forward.  Also, who are the four horsemen???

7.  In a bizarre and unexpected twist, Dr. Fate’s helmet has found a new owner: Ralph Dibny.  Ralph and the helmet spend this trade traversing the universe, so that Ralph can learn that all magic has a price that must be paid.  I never would have expected this twist, but it seems pretty fitting. After all he’s been through, Ralph deserves to begin the next chapter of his life, and becoming Fate feels right.

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8. In the biggest shock in this trade, poor Booster Gold dies in action. What’s more, it’s revealed that his wisecracking robot sidekick, Skeets, is evil.  What?? Again, this was a pretty cool twist I didn’t see coming, and I’m excited to see how Skeets’s diabolical plan unfolds, whatever it may be.

There are still so many unknowns in this comic.  Why do characters keep remarking, “52”?  What is 52?  I’m sure this will be revealed in due time, but I’m too damn curious. This comic continues to impress me with how it seamlessly weaves together seemingly disconnected stories.  The characters in each vignette don’t really interact with one another, but we know they’re all connected. My guess is that all of these smaller stories will collide at some point, uniting the characters across the trade as something big is revealed.  What that will be, I don’t know. I’m dying to find out, though.

-Jess

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