52: Vol. 4

After 52 weeks (okay, more like 3 days) I’ve finally reached the end of 52!  Let me just say: Holy hell, Batman. A lot goes on in these pages.

  1.  The biggest news is that Black Adam’s family quickly implodes.  Osiris feels that he’s to blame for the recent disease and death plaguing  Khandaq.  Vowing to leave the country in the hope that it will improve peoples’ lives, Osiris says his spell and changes back to his human form. Unfortunately, he does so in front of Sabek, who it turns out is not such a friendly crocodile.


In a gruesome scene, Sabek devours Osiris, leaving his body for Black Adam and Isis to find.  This sets Black Adam off (obviously), but not as much as when Isis is later killed trying to defeat the Four Horsemen.  Crazed with grief, Black Adam goes off on a killing spree (but more on that in a later post).

2.  Then there’s good old Ralph Dibny.  Ralph’s been going on this spiritual journey with Doctor Fate’s helmet, hoping to find a way to revive his wife.  I actually wondered briefly if he would succeed, until it’s revealed that the helmet is actually being controlled by Felix Faust.  In an epic yet heartbreaking confrontation, Ralph challenges Faust and refuses to give up his soul (something Faust needs to present to Neron in order to pay a debt).  Neron shoots and kills Ralph, but not before Ralph ensures that Neron and Faust are trapped for a good long while.  I was so upset that Ralph died, especially given the past year he’d had.  I was incredibly happy, though, to see that there’s a silver lining, as we see Ralph and Sue reunited in ghost/spirit form.  Yay happy ending!


3.  This may be my favorite portion of the whole series.  Seeing Montoya finally adopt the Question persona made me soooooo happy.  I love that Renee has finally been granted a “superhero” title, and I can’t help but think back to her earliest appearances in Batman comics. Oh how far she’s come. Her transition felt natural, and I can’t wait to see what she does in this new role. If there was ever a “Renee as The Question” spin-off comic, I know what I’m looking for at NYCC in a few weeks.

4. Bonus reunion! Buddy Baker and his wife, Ellen are finally reunited after months apart. This part made me so excited, especially when Kory shows up on their doorstep, not realizing Buddy is alive (although this entire scene also sort of annoyed me, with Ellen referring to Kory as a stripper and Buddy’s son asking to keep her…just weird).

5.  All hell broke loose at the end of the story as Booster Gold and Rip Hunter join forces to bring a stop to Mister Mind. It turns out evil Skeets was being controlled by him, and after having transformed, Mind is a huge threat.  At this point we finally learn what 52 is referencing: it’s 52 parallel universes that were created during Infinite Crisis.


These worlds were all identical, but as Mister Mind kept chomping on them, they were each changed in unique ways.  Mind is defeated, but now we’re left with 52 individual universes.  Yep, the multiverse is back.

And my head officially hurts.

So much goes on within these pages, and yet so much is left open.  Bruce Wayne seems to have shed his Batman persona.  Clark Kent remains powerless, yet seemingly happy in his human role.  Diana Prince has shed her Wonder Woman identity, as Donna Troy adopts that title (not sure how I feel about this).   There’s a new beginning for any number of characters, and while it’s exciting, I’m also left wondering how everything will be resolved.  52 is very much an open-ended series. That being said, it’s also quite the undertaking, and it was handled incredibly well. The stories tie everything together quite nicely, and we get to see a brand new crop of heroes emerge from the ashes of Infinite Crisis.  I enjoyed watching this story unfold, and continue to be excited to work my way through “the shelf” and find out what becomes of all of our heroes.


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