picon.jpgreviewbubble.jpgHeroes Will Fall

Week 27 is a bad one for 52. Not in the storytelling, but rather in the tragedy of the heroes’ lives. After following the events of this week, including another of my Crack Pot Theories of the Week, you’re going to sit up and say “Whoa!”

01.jpgThe week begins with Ralph and the Helmet of Fate on their way to meet with someone – the most powerful being of creation, The Spectre. After the weeks of lessons, Ralph is willing to use his new found knowledge to make a deal with the Hand of God.

Ralph asks The Spectre if he can bring his wife back, and The Spectre agrees. The spirit transports everyone millions of miles from home to the “imprisoned” body of Jean Loring, the person who murdered Ralph’s wife.

During Day of Vengeance, Loring had been possessed by Eclipso. Since Eclipso’s power is not effective in direct sunlight, she was placed in orbit around a sun. The Spectre makes a deal with Ralph, if he will avenge Sue’s death, he will bring her back to life.


Before you freak out thinking The Spectre is Crispus Allen, remember at the end of Infinite Crisis, The Spectre told Crispus he had one year to decide if he wanted to merge. 52 takes place during that year, so no, this Spectre is not Allen.

Ralph transports himself and Loring back in time to Week -84, Day -2, the day Sue Dibny is murdered. Ralph plans to punish a now sane and remorseful Jean in a time loop so she can watch herself kill Sue over and over again for all time.

As time begins to move forward to the inevitable conclusion, Jean pleads and begs with Ralph not to let this happen. Even though he has part of the Spirit of Vengeance in him, Ralph can not bear to watch the most horrible day of his life play out.


I’m not sure I would have it in me to forgive the person who killed my wife, yet somehow Ralph finds that mercy in himself. Ralph is a much better man than most of us.

Upset The Spectre “tricked” him; Ralph now knows he can bring Sue back somehow. He knows who can help him, and that person is located in Nanda Parbat.

Nanda Parbat, the “home” of Deadman, a mystical city that just so happens to be the current location of The Question, Renee Montoya, and Richard Dragon. Last week I questioned how Renee was going to receive months and years of training in just a few weeks. The writers counter this week by indicating time stands still in the mystical city.

While Renee has been progressing in her martial arts studying, Charlie’s health is slipping away. All the years of smoking have caught up with him and his cancer doesn’t leave much time for him to live. Charlie is going to die.


Seven months – just a couple of weeks before the events of 52 began. All along Charlie has been preparing Renee to take over his job as The Question. The last panel of Week One seemed to be a question for the reader, but in reality it was really asking Renee if she was ready to begin her journey. If it were intentional, The Question symbol a panel before wasn’t used to get Renee’s attention, but foreshadowing what she may become.


Even the cover to Week 25 could be seen as a clue to what is reveled this week.


Also making an appearance this week is The Crime Bible. Tot has been pouring over the pages since the group’s arrival in Nanda Parbat, and has come across an interesting passage.


Renee is able to interpret that the passage to mean that the daughter of Cain is really Kate Kane – Batwoman, and that she will be killed in Gotham very soon. The passage read by Tot says, “the eighteenth beyond All Saints”, which puts the date at November 19th. Since week 25 was Halloween (All Saints Day is November 1), then that means Week 28 is where the prophesy will play out. Further, the Apostle staking his bloody claim could very well be Bruno Manheim, who as we have seen, is a follower of the Crime Bible.

Excited yet? It gets better.

Time stops at 5:25:20 a.m. and Waverider knows something is terribly wrong. Time Commander appears in obvious pain and trouble. Apparently he and the rest of the Time Foes were promised a reprieve for messing with time and becoming the new Time Masters if they did what Waverider instructed.

As time runs out (literally) on Time Commander, Skeets appears. Still on his rampage to find Rip Hunter, the key to everything, he is willing to torture Waverider to get the information.


Once again, Skeets sends shivers up and down my spine as one of the most sinister villains currently in the DC Universe.



The Good

  • Evil Skeets
  • Now that I’m gone, I tell you: Don’t smoke, whatever you do, just don’t smoke.*
  • Time Travel
  • Ralph doesn’t have a black heart
  • Will Renee use her “rose” received from Isis as a way to cure Charlie, or save Batwoman?

The Bad

  • You’re Waverider, surely you saw this coming
  • How come we are only finding out about the Crime Bible in 52?

*Extra points if you know where that is from

Crackpot Theory of the Week

The 52/25 Cover Connection – It’s all a paradox!

I’ve already speculated Rip Hunter will be one of the Carters (Dan or Michael), but as we know, no one knows where and when Rip Hunter was born or grew up, thus causing Skeets no end of trouble.

Look back to the cover of Week 25. The boy dressed as Booster Gold, could he be Rip Hunter? Could the connection between Booster Gold and Rip Hunter begin here? Skeets did say in this issue that history is fertile ground THIS year, could this be the year Rip Hunter begins a much longer journey? If Rip Hunter is actually alive this year it does shoot my previous Crackpot Theory out of the water, but I could still be correct; we are after all dealing with time travel.

We also know, via advanced solicitation information, that by the end of the year no one has filled Fate’s helmet, which further puts credibility toward this cover giving us many clues to the events ahead.

Further, if the cover does indeed lead us to believe Booster Gold/Rip Hunter and Renee as the Question, what does the kid dressed as Steel tell us? Will Steel be back to his old self before too long?

This only leaves the cat, which I believe represents Schrödinger’s Cat. If you aren’t familiar with Quantum Mechanics, well, it is a little complicated to get into here. But to give away the ending, as long as the cat stays in the box, and we don’t look, the cat exists in two states; both alive and dead. Quantum Mechanics is one of the key ingredients to making parallel dimensions work. Parallel dimensions equals parallel worlds, and makes my Crackpot Theory on Earth 2 being back, that much stronger.

Since the cat is looking at Booster, does this mean Booster Gold is both alive and dead? The gears in my head are still grinding away trying to figure it all out.

I didn’t have very high expectations this week, but I ended up reading this issue four times back to back – it was that good. Week 26 was the halfway point, answering many questions, and ending particular chapters in the journey. Week 27 is the beginning of the next leg of the journey, and it leaps out of the gate, earning it 4.5 out of 5 Stars.


Parting Shot


Discuss this issue in the Major Spoilers Forum.


About Author

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...


  1. “Now that I’m gone, I tell you: Don’t smoke, whatever you do, just don’t smoke.”

    John Constantine?

    j/k. That’s Yul Brynner with a chillingly effective PSA from beyond the grave.

  2. This issue was a chilling one for me… And I’m both saddened and excited about events regarding The Question. Vic Sage is one of the great psychotic Ditko absolutist characters, and it’ll be a shame if he bites it. That said, DC is in the process of adjusting/replacing some classic characters with shining colors, (The Spectre, Mr. Terrific, Doctor Midnight, while the jury is still assessing the new Freedom Fighters).

    As a old dude who bought Booster Gold #1 off the stands back in the day, seeing eeevil Skeets is definitely a shocker, though they’re breaking one rule here. In the old school carnival wrestling tradition, you have to be careful when you have a heel (bad person) attack someone to prove they’re evil. If they attack the wrong person, you can ruin their heat (the hatred of the crowd) when the crowd hates the attacked person and gets behind your heel. Skeets attacking Waverider (who can be seen as emblematic of Armageddon 2001 and the crop of 90’s comics) almost made me cheer. Thankfully, the dialogue was so menacing that it overcame it.

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