coverpicon.jpgThe House of Mystery Mystery

A locked door, a dead detective, and Dr. Fate’s helmet. The solution to this mystery can only be solved by a great detective. Batman’s out of the country, so the next best on the list is Ralph Dibny.


The mystery opens at the House of Mystery, home of the Croatoans. Haven’t heard of the Croatoans? Don’t worry, neither have half of the DC readers out there. The Croatoans are a secret group of detectives that have solved cases for years in the DCU. The members making up this club are Edogawa Sangaku, Timothy Trench, Ralph Dibny, Detective Chimp, and Terri Thirteen. Some names we know, others are brand new. Timothy Trench was created by Denny O’Neil in the 1960s, Ralph and Detective Chimp we know from the events of Infinite Crisis, but who the heck are Edogawa Sangaku, and Terri Thirteen? We’re told we’ll find out more about them in future 52 installments, but if you do some work, you might discover something on the Internet.

“Rampo Edogawa is a Japanese mystery writer, Sangaku are also ancient Japanese geometrical puzzles. Sangaku – and Sankaku also mean triangle. Edogawa is the name of one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, and “Edogawa Rampo” is the Japanese pronunciation of Edgar Allan Poe.

Rampo Edogawa wrote a short story called Sankakukan-no-Kyohfu (The horror of Triangular Mansion).”
From a post on the newsarama.com forums.

Anyway, Terri and Edogawa arrive to find Timothy Trench in a locked room, wearing the Dr. Fate helmet. When touched, Trench turns into a puddle water. In order to help solve the mystery, Detective Chimp tracks down Ralph Dibny, who has been staying at a resort under the name Alvin Burgson. And we all know who he is.

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Geez Ralph, how obvious can you get?

Ralph tells Bobo that in order to solve the mystery, they’ll need the help of magic. And more importantly the group Detective Chimp has been hanging around with lately – Shadowpact.

But wait? Isn’t Shadowpact supposed to be inside a red bubble trapped away from the rest of the world? Bill Willingham has admitted to messing some things up in the Shadowpact storyline. However, it looks like 52 will attempt to clear much of this up. In fact the cover of this week’s issue even has the question “When is the Shadowpact?” Lots of crossover stuff happening in this issue to be sure.

Shadowpact and Dibny meet up in Egypt, the origin of Fate, to try and communicate with the helmet. Communication does happen, but only with Ralph. Dr. Fate’s helmet tells Ralph the new Tenth Age of Magic has new laws and order, but they don’t come without a price. If Ralph travels down the path he can get all the answers he seeks…if he is prepared to sacrifice. And he is, taking the helmet and walking off; no one else is able to hear the conversation.

Meanwhile, Renee is having difficulties dealing with killing the suicide bomber, and fails to show up when Black Adam honors the two at a ceremony. Black Adam flies off in anger, only to discover her drunk and in bed with a hot Kanhdaqi girl.

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Even though Renee is depressed enough to allow Black Adam to take her life, Isis and Charlie step in to address the real issue – stopping Intergang, to which Black Adam agrees.

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This week also marks the funeral of Michael “Booster Gold” Carter. Unfortunately he isn’t getting the hero’s funeral he deserves. Instead D list heroes like Beefeater, Honest Abe, and Mind-Grabber Kid have been enlisted as pallbearers. One even got the gig by responding to an ad on Herolist. Not really a way to honor Gold’s career to everyone in the DCU. Even worse than the poor sendoff, is the coincidental appearance of Daniel Carter, who “had a feeling” he should show up to the funeral for something. Skeets does a quick DNA match, and of course, it is a direct match to Booster’s. Looks like Danny boy is a descendent of BG, which explains, in part, the cover to next week’s installment. Yup, Booster Gold is coming back. Or is he? Different name same tune. If this is the case, what was the point of killing Michael Carter? Couldn’t they have had him simply change his ways? Still not satisfied with the way the Justice League characters from the Giffen/DeMatties era are being dealt with.

The Good

  • Ralph appears to be stable – but for how long?
  • Renee getting caught in the act
  • Black Adam and The Question teaming up
  • Booster’s funeral. Yes, even though it sucks he’s dead, the funeral is a great look at the pecking order of heroes.
  • Nabu’s helmet

The Bad

  • Shadowpact continuity is still confusing as heck, and yet I still read it.

Wild Speculation

  • Is it just me, or do you get the feeling Earth-2 is back?

Next week, we’ll have to examine Rip Hunter’s lab and see how Booster (old or new) fit into everything that is happening.

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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