52 – Week 33 – The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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picon.jpgreviewbubble.jpgHappy Holidays

It’s a winter wonderland in the DCU. Carolers are caroling, snow is falling, gifts are exchanged, and it is generally a good moment for all.

01.jpgAll is not quiet in the Keystone City Flash Museum. Ralph Dibny and Dr. Fate’s helmet are looking for something. Before the floating helmet and Ralph teamed up, Ralph had donated all of his things to the museum to be included in the Elongated Man wing. What is he looking for? Something with the tag “Anselmo Case, 1995”.

The item in question is in fact the gun that first made its appearance during 52 – Week 1. There has to be something important about that gun. If Ralph just wanted to kill himself, he’s going through an awful lot of trouble just to get a gun that he could pick up in any gun shop.

In an interview at Newsarama, 52 editor Michael Siglain said it was an important clue.

Do a search of “Anselmo Case” and “1995″ and you will discover the case name was brought up a lot on the television series Moonlighting. But Moonlighting was a show from the 80s. Combining the year in the search will lead you to the Internet Movie Database for the television Murder One.

Check out the image tag used for the show, then compare it to the cover for 52 – Week 34.

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Coincidence? In order to understand what happened that night in the Ambassador Hotel, Ralph is going to recreate the scene of the crime. Perhaps this time, he does pull the trigger, and the question on the toe tag to next week’s cover is not Vic Sage.

Question: If Ralph has been drinking Gingold all this time instead of the alcohol, and he’s all rubbery again, would he be able to blow his brains out with a gun?

High on the rooftops of Gotham, Batwoman is approached by Nightwing who gives her a gift of a real Batarang. We’ve seen Batman, Robin, and even Nightwing discourage newcomers to the superhero scene from getting involved, so this is an interesting turn of events. Looks like Nightwing is taking a moment to thank Kate for the work she has been doing in fighting Intergang.

Christmas does bring out the worst in people; particularly kids who are so used to the “gimme, gimme, gimme” of the holidays. This is really apparent with Infinity, Inc. Lex Luthor, as a nice gesture, has given each member of the team a brand new luxury sports car, and even made arrangements to close of several streets in Metropolis so the kids could go tearing about town. Not a single one of the made monsters even thought of giving Lex a gift (not that they could afford anything he needs), and even pushed him to the floor in their haste to get to their gifts.

This little show is a perfect cap to the argument made by the older superheroes who think these younger Luthor creations don’t have the heart to be true heroes as they are always thinking about themselves instead of others.

The real thing Lex wants for Christmas is to be a participant in his own Everyman project. Unfortunately, as we have seen in previous weeks, something in his genetic makeup prevents him from qualifying. But there is a spark of hope, in a Lex sort of way. One of the Everyman participants had a bad reaction the first time he fired up his powers. Since then, he’s been struggling to survive. When one of the doctors tells Lex the boy has recovered, Lex promptly tells the doctor to kill the boy, and harvest every part of his body to find what made him pull through.

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Vic Sage doesn’t look like he is going to pull through. As the cancer continues to win, he begins hallucinating people from his past. You can find out more about the people Vic is imagining, by reading the Dennis O’Neill run of the Question (1987 – 1990).

The strain of seeing Charlie go has taken a lot out of Renee, but luckily tonight, Kate is staying indoors.

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A holiday story wouldn’t be complete without a montage of what is going on in the rest of the universe, and in a two page spread, we get to see a lot of holiday cheer.

Here is the big problem I have with 52, there are so many stories to tell, that we may never find out everything that happened during the missing year. We get the hint Bea is being called up to work for Checkmate, and we see Commissioner Gordon welcomed back to the GCPD. But HOW did Gordon, and Bullock, get their jobs back? Seems there are a lot of missing stories that can only be told in a 52 sequel or through a series of summer annuals. I’m hoping DC does bring back the annuals this year and spend 80 or more page covering each of the titles missing time.

There’s actually another way I would have handled the One Year Later titles. Instead of #555 taking place before One Year Later, and #556 (released the following month) take place after, I would have had the first issue of One Year Later numbered #567, with a twelve issue gap in numbering. This way DC could go back at anytime and tell a year’s worth of stories filling in the missing issues. I know, kind of a gimmick, but it works when you think about it.

Finally, we have the problem of Black Adam. He’s definitely one who deserves a lump of coal in his stocking. Isis has convinced him, the only way to prove he has changed, and not someone to be feared, is to show his true identity to everyone gathered outside the Kahndaq embassy.

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But the simple act of showing you are no better than regular people, hasn’t convinced Amanda Waller and her Suicide Squad. Under the leadership of Atom Smasher, it looks like the Black Adam Family is about to get a little visit for the New Year.

The Good

  • The Elongated Man Wing of the Flash Museum
  • Alfred’s appearance
  • That kiss
  • Lex really is heartless

The Bad

  • Dive into those back issue bins to find the answers to the Question
  • Too many stories to tell, so little time
  • Someone is going to die, but is it who we are expecting?

I’m a sucker for holiday stories. This one week out of the year always brings up stories of the good people are trying to do. For the heroes in 52, this is the one week where everything seems to be a bit quiet for a change. I have a feeling 2007 is going to kick off with a bang!

I’ll give this week’s 52 a 4 Star rating. It is the holiday after all.

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Parting Shot
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Discuss this issue in the Major Spoilers 52 forum.