picon.jpgreviewbubble.jpgParting is such sweet sorrow

The halfway point in the incredible weekly serial is upon us, and it is time for teams to part to complete their leg of the journey. But parting is never the end of the book, but the beginning of the next chapter.

01.jpgWeek 26 begins with the Black Marvel Family flying The Question and Renee though the Himalayas. Through inner dialogue, Renee marvels at the events that have transpired over the recent months to take her places she never dreamed of seeing.

But this isn’t the team up adventure readers have been expecting. Instead, Renee and Charlie are parting company with the Marvels. Black Adam, Osiris, and Isis have their own duties to attend to, while Charlie has something else in mind. As they say goodbye, Isis gives parting wishes to the duo, “blessing” Renee so she may find the answers to the questions she seeks.


The middle of nowhere they have landed is actually a meeting point for Charlie and Renee’s new teammates. Tot has been referenced many times, and we finally get to meet him here. Accompanying him is none other than Richard Dragon. The Kung-Fu master was last seen in his own series where Lady Shiva used her Leopard Claw move to kill him. Dragon was subsequently resurrected by Neron (a passing reference to Neron was made last week).

The first half of the Richard Dragon series was pretty good, but fell apart during the whole “kill Lady Shiva and keep your life” storyline. In the run, it is mentioned Dragon has trained many heroes in the DC Universe including Batman and Nightwing. The heroes that are totally ignored in the 2004 series are The Question and The Huntress. In order to tie The Question and Richard Dragon together, one has to read The Question series from the 1980s, when Dragon trained Vic Sage. The Question later took Helena Bertinelli to Dragon for martial arts training as well (Huntress: Cry for Blood).

Richard Dragon’s appearance in 52, places the 80s run back into continuity, and it appears as if The Question has brought Renee to Dragon to get her own martial arts training. Now, Richard Dragon may be a martial arts master, but it takes years and years to become a skilled fighter. It will be interesting to see if the writers magically compress Renee’s training time so the new team can take on Intergang.

The Creeper’s alter ego Jack Ryder has a very popular television series called You Are Wrong. This week, Ryder is trying to find blame for the horrendous loss of life that occurred two weeks ago when Skeets went wacko killing heroes left and right. Is it a third string J.L.A, Lex Luthor, or the missing heroes? His guest this week is John Irons, who is trying to make everyone aware that Lex Luthor’s Everyman project is not what it appears to be.

It’s obvious Ryder’s show is a hot topic O’Reilly Factor-esque show that is only looking to stir controversy to garner ratings. However, during the debate the question of what makes a hero a hero is brought up. Can anyone with powers be a hero?


On cue, Ryder brings in Starlight, much to Steel’s surprise, and the two continue the argument of what it takes to be a hero. Before the argument can reach a chair throwing climax, Starlight is off to attend to an emergency.

Cut to a new day and a new storyline. At the home of Doctor Sivana, we are (re)introduced the Sivana family; Sivana’s ex-wife Venus, and the Sivana children. As gene’s go the family is pretty split in who got what; Beautia and Magnificus have received their mom’s beauty, while Sivana Junior and Georgia, got their dad’s looks and brains.

Junior and Georgia are in the basement lab, playing with their father’s Suspendium Globe. The duo thinks they can travel back in time to fix events that transpired in their lives that lead to their current place in life. However, before the Suspendium Globe can be calibrated, the teens capture something unexpected.


The appearance by Waverider, another time traveler, is certainly an interesting development, and does prove that time is the key to unraveling what 52 is all about.

Before anything else can be revealed the Globe collapses on itself, and the two are called to dinner by their witch of a mother.

It is here that we find where the Black Marvel Family was headed. Because of a twenty million dollar donation to the children’s hospital of Kahndaq, the Black Marvels feel obligated to show up for dinner. Mrs. Sivana asks Black Adam to look for her husband and bring him home unharmed. Adam says they will consider it…

Having his fill of flying around the world doing what he considers nothing, Osiris angrily leaves the table citing his need to find something more. He already has a family, and a purpose, now he needs friends. Is this the event that sends Osiris to join the Teen Titans?

Before anyone can really react to the situation, a giant crocodile monster bursts into the room begins eating all the food on the table, before busting through the walls and escaping.

In the Sivana family gardens, Osiris and the croc come in contact with one another. As the croc begins speaking, it is clear this isn’t Killer Croc, but rather a Sivana experiment left alone in the basement. This pathetic creature is just looking for food and his place in the world, and even a friend…

Hey, Osiris is looking for a friend too!

Fortunately, we’ve been told by the DC honchos that this yet unnamed creature is not a mirror of Marvel family’s Mister Tawky Tawny, although it doesn’t come across that way in this issue.

The cover title of this issue is The Beast Who Came to Dinner. Having seen the Sivana family interact, it isn’t the crocodile that is the monster, but the Sivana family – especially the ones on the mother’s side. They are completely racist!


Finally, a quick check at the happenings at Oolong Island. While the mad scientists have access to all the beautiful women they want, their misogynistic attitudes dictate women are beneath them. Things are sure to get interesting over the next several weeks as Dr. Veronica Cale is brought on board to use her DNA expertise to fix the Four Horsemen Project.

The Good

  • Richard Dragon
  • Jack Ryder
  • Waverider
  • The Sivana robots constantly blowing up and falling apart

The Bad

  • Racism
  • Tawky Crawky
  • A lot of new introductions

As I wrote earlier, this week had the closing of old chapters and the beginning of new adventures. Unfortunately, the new adventures need setting up, so a lot of this week was spent in exposition of events to come. While the artwork was good and the issue moved at a fast pace, at this point in the story, I think readers are getting antsy for some real answers to their burning questions. Because of this, I give 52 – Week 26, a solid 2.5 Stars.


Parting Shot


Discuss this issue in the Major Spoilers Forum.

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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  1. November 6, 2006 at 5:41 pm — Reply

    So, backstory question.

    I just finished reading the JSA:Princes of Darkness TP, in which Black Adam and a few other Society members break off to form their own little anti-hero group. Is Adam still playing kill-’em-all boy, or has he reformed and learned to play nice by now?

  2. November 6, 2006 at 6:49 pm — Reply

    Adam has calmed down quite a bit since getting married. Guess that will do it to you. Providing Isis lives past 52 (ain’t gonna happen), expect Adam to get fat and lazy…

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