Just when you think you have a spare moment to sit down and write a well thought out review, some little thing you place in the back of your mind and forgot about pops up demanding attention. Thus I missed last week’s 52 review, but I’m making up for it now. Maybe I should have made this a Major Spoilers Retro Review…

Week 39 is a scorcher of a week, quite literally when Natasha and Jake go a snooping where they shouldn’t and walk into Dr. Laughlin’s laboratory at the very instant he decides to blow everything to kingdom come.


01.jpgFortunately, their powers keep the duo from sustaining any serious damage; it’s just too bad the force field couldn’t have been extended to include the good doctor. Way to go heroes.

Before they can make it out of the lab, Mercy and her team arrive on the scene to put the fire out and recover whatever documents they can. Jake and Natasha are able to stay out of site by hovering(?) near the ceiling. While Team Damage Control sorts through the rubble, Mercy finds something very interesting.

As much as I like the concept of the Everyman Project, each and every time this storyline pops into the foreground, I can honestly say I am quite bored. Not because the idea of activating the meta-gene in anyone who qualifies is boring, but the pace of this story has been excruciatingly slow. It is only toward the end of the year that it picks up to what we can assume will be a logical conclusion.

A far more interesting story is the one involving Ralph and the Helmet of Fate. Ralph’s quest to reunite with his wife, while learning the ins and outs of magic has lead them to the crushed remains of Atlantis. Until the Helmet mentions it, I totally forgot the Spectre had crushed the underwater city during Day of Vengeance, which should tell you something about that tie-in.

The two are in search of the Shackles of Arion, and more specifically, a link from the chain. If Ralph breaks the chain, a great beast will be released upon the land, so Ralph exchanges his wedding band.


Is it just me, or is the Helmet just a tad too aggressive in obtaining this quest item? I get the feeling Ralph is being played by another force seeking to achieve its goals instead Ralph’s.

Last week, we were introduced to the Four Horsemen, but for some reason they haven’t been deployed just yet. This gives the mad scientists plenty of time to finish work on other projects, or to generally get on each other’s nerves. As readers, we know there are 52 missing seconds floating out there somewhere, but until Doctor Tyme mentions he is looking for them, I was under the impression everyone (but Rip Hunter) was oblivious to the situation.


Suspendium huh? Sounds pretty cool. I wonder if it has anything to do with creating alternate realities, or if it is a key ingredient to something that has yet to be revealed?

While Tyme and Sivana continue to bicker, T.O. Morrow casually asks about Mister Mind, who has been mysteriously absent since last seen hatching from his cocoon. Sivana claims he used the caterpillar in his Suspendium experiments to see what would happen.

Well that can’t be a good thing at all. Since Suspendium is encapsulated time, exposing a small twisted villain to it is probably about as smart as using gasoline to stoke a fire. There are two theories floating around the net as to where Mr. Mind could be. One group thinks Mr. Mind is controlling Sobek, while the other group believes Mind is controlling Skeets. I’m going to go with group two and speculate that Suspendium threw Mr. Mind into the future where he was able to get inside Skeets and run him from the inside. Of course there is also a group on the Interweb that believes Skeets is the fourth horseman, but I’m less inclined to believe that.

Morrow wanders off to find what Will Magnus is up to, and as I speculated last time, it does appear Magnus is gathering components to build his Metal Men.


A-Ha, Magnus hasn’t turned to the dark side, and it looks like he is going to work the system from the inside out. It also looks like Magnus has been experimenting with nano-technology to make really tiny Mercury. I find it interesting Mini-Mercury looks a lot like the classic devil figure that sits on your shoulder telling you to do things like accidentally losing that report your co-worker has been working on, or taking a week off from reviewing the latest issue of 52? I wonder when (or if) the angel will show up?

Egg Fu has fully deployed the Horsemen, and the mystery of where they are deployed is quickly revealed when things begin to die in Kahndaq. This isn’t good at all.


The week ends back where it began at Luthor Corp. While Mercy and Luthor prepare the lab for another Everyman inductee, Jake calls the spying Natasha away to show her something.



Hannibal killed Jake weeks ago and has been impersonating him ever since. We also quickly discover that Hannibal has acquired a taste for human flesh (and Fava beans). Dang we should have seen this coming, after all, his name is Hannibal. This scene is probably the most shocking and disturbing shot in the entire series, and even beats out the skinned alive Captain Atom and exploding Suicide Squad member from week’s past.

As expected, Natasha, who also should have seen all of this coming, unleashes her anger and hatred on the villain as only a woman scorned can. However, she’s stopped short of obliterating this loony by Lex Luthor. The big secret Dr. Laughlin was trying to destroy were Lex’s real lab results – his meta-gene can be turned on giving him super powers.


Nice torn shirt Lex, but I think your man boobs pale in comparison to Powergirl’s.

With the big reveal, Lex uses a few pages to beat the snot out of Natasha.

The Good

  • Mini Mercury
  • Suspendium

The Bad

  • Helmet of Fate misleading?
  • Natasha is sure dumb for a scientist/superhero
  • Hannibal
  • Lex is Superman

If this issue were released under the old Comic Code Authority, the violence, cruelty, and cannibalism, would have prevented this issue from seeing the light of day. With the exception of the exchange between Drs. Magnus and Morrow, this installment of 52 was just so-so for me, causing me to give this issue a low 2 out of 5 Stars.



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. Matthew Peterson on

    Suspendium is actually an old-school reference… Pre-Crisis, the re-appearance of the Marvel Family (and the explanation for their missing decades) was that Sivana had invented Suspendium, and accidentally trapped his family (and the Marvel family, when they tried to save them) for two decades in suspended animation.

    Time didn’t pass in the bubble of suspendium, so the Captain Marvel and company who exited the bubble were unchanged from the way they were last seen in 1953 (when, ironically, DC forced Fawcett Publications to cease publishing).

    And that’s… One To Grow On!

  2. Matthew Peterson on

    It’s what we do. Now, ask me what Black Adam’s SHAZAM stands for… :)

    Granted, it’s not as cool when you can just google it…

  3. I know it doesn’t stand for the same thing as Captain Marvel’s SHAZAM!
    I’m too lazy to read the wiki right now, so tell us oh great and powerful OZ!

    p.s. I just finished reading the first issue of Monster Society of Evil, and I think I would like to change my statement about Mr. Mind being inside Skeets ;)

  4. IS IT ME, or does Grant Morrison favour characters who are bald, muscular and vaguely semblant of himself? There’s Greg Feely/Ned Slade (of ‘The Filth’), Professor X (of ‘New X-Men’)…and now Luthor. And what’s more, this Luthor is jumping in a business suit toward the viewer…when I saw this I thought Morrison had gotten himself into the comic…

  5. Matthew Peterson on

    I hadn’t noticed that, but it’s an interesting point…

    And Black Adam has the stamina of Shu, strength of Hershef, power of Amon, wisdom of Zehuti (former lead singer of Zehuti and Zeblowfish), speed of Anpu, and courage of Menthu.

    Zehuti is apparently another name for Thoth…

  6. “Zehuti and Zeblowfish?”

    I give that one big SUPER-LOL (just for your gutsiness in using that pun)!!!

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