Time to wrap up all the loose ends


Trips across the country to attend conventions, moving to new digs, trips to the hospital, and the rush to get caught back up with Major Spoilers pale in comparison to the traveling around the universe, trips through time and the rush to try and wrap up 52 in a neat and tidy package. This week my 52 review returns just in the nick of time.


With only one week remaining there are a lot of questions that still need to be answered if fans hope to get a reasonable resolution to the whole 52 storyline. I don’t know how you feel, but the previous two weeks which featured the JSA springing Black Adam from Oolong Island, and the god awful WWIII ploy, left me feeling rather flat. I feel this way for a couple of reasons; first during the whole Oolong Island episode we find out Will Magnus is a good guy after all by killing Egg Fu with a bullet made out of Metal Man Lead, fulfilling the “Dead by Lead” prophecy from Rip Hunter’s lab. But unfortunately Will Magnus and the Metal Men get a complete reboot in the most recent pages of Superman/Batman, which kind of defeats the purpose of having the characters appear in 52 at all.

The second big problem with the World War III plot was it really wasn’t a world war, nations weren’t fighting nations, rather everyone was fighting Black Adam, who according to the lame four issue tie-in didn’t attack every country. The upshot of 52 – Week 50 was Captain Marvel changed the magic word Black Adam uses to transform, and promises to never tell anyone what he changed it to. Sounds all well and good, but Black Adam quickly became one of the favorite characters from 52, and to strip him of his powers and having him quietly slip into the night probably doesn’t sit well with readers. But then again, when has DC ever removed a character from continuity and kept it that way? Superman (nope), Hal Jordan (nope), Ice (nope), Green Arrow (nope), Blue Beetle (well… give it a few more years). Plus, if you have been following the news on this site, you know Black Adam is getting his own mini-series soon. So much for Billy being able to keep his fool mouth shut.

Let’s not dwell on the past for this week at least, next week is a whole different story, as you’ll find out in a moment. For now, let’s focus on Buddy Baker. When Buddy was last seen he was once again floating between the panels being shown a glimpse into the near future; a future where it appeared his wife had moved on and was dating one of his friends. We’ve all learned what we see in frame is not always the whole story, and such is the case with Ellen who pretty much shuts Roger down as their evening out ends.

I’d have to let Matthew go into a long winded history of Animal Man, but he does appear to be a fan favorite, so to have him return as one of the bright shining stars of the DCU seems appropriate.


If I am not mistaken, Ellen had begun to accept Buddy would never be returning home, so her shock over his return is expected, but I wonder what is up with the Baker kids. They don’t seem nonplussed by his return, instead asking what their dad brought them from his trip in space. While he didn’t intentionally bring anything with him, readers are allowed to see a conversation between two unknown entities that plan on killing Baker for Lady Styx.

The next day, many superheroes have once again gathered in front of the Superman/Superboy memorial to pay their respects to those who died one year ago, and those who most recently died in the most recent “global conflict”.


In the reveal we get to see Donna Troy as the new Wonder Woman, Fire in her Checkmate outfit, Clark Kent reporting on the event, and a dapper dressed Bruce Wayne hanging it with a bunch of super powered beings. Clark and Bruce exchange a few words, mostly about Diana in her new identity of Agent Prince. There is also an indication that Ralph is indeed dead.

This little scene also serves to tie up many of the one year later threads, such as why Robin changed his costume to simple black and red (“because they were his colors”), Ravenger trying to fit in as a Teen Titan, and the new and improved Kid Devil getting his introduction to the team. I don’t mind this scene at all, it seems like, but like the four World War III issues, many of these loose threads are thrown in as one panel answers to fans burning questions. Yes, I know we don’t need a whole issue devoted to why Robin changed his costume, but the how and why of Diana getting her new position seems like good back story to get readers interested in this person who plays a key role in Amazon’s Attack.

We’ve already seen one of the Heroes in Space return home, and this week also finds Adam Strange getting a well deserved homecoming on what remains of Rann. Better yet, the good Dr. Sardath clones Adam a new pair of eyes so he can see again. What I find really cool is how fast Green Lanterns can travel. Just the day before Jon Stewart was clearly seen at the superhero gathering on Earth, yet the very next day he is kicking it on Rann as the bandages come off. While Adam and his family get reacquainted, Stewart and the other Green Lanterns decide to play nice and defend the city from the latest threat.

What I liked most about the Heroes in Space storyline was the origin of the Emerald Eye of Ekron and Lobo’s obsession with the weapon. By day four, Lobo has returned to the palace of the Triple Fish god to present the Emerald Eye. Turns out Triple Fish god only wanted the eye because it can be used to kill it.


D’oh! What better way for Lobo to get out of his pacifist ways, than by killing the one being who put him on his journey?

To celebrate Buddy’s return, Ellen is throwing a party. But what is a party without a few uninvited guests? At the door are two little aliens who are hell bent on killing everyone to claim the bounty for Lady Styx.


Too bad for them, Kory shows up and blasts the little bastards to oblivion. Kory has flown halfway across the galaxy to show up at Buddy’s doorstep just to return Buddy’s jacket he had lent her when Lobo ripped her clothes off. I only wish MapQuest would give me directions THAT exact. After handing the jacket over, she promptly passes out.

One of the other events that transpired during the last two weeks when I was missing in action was seeing Dr. Morrow escape from Oolong Island and seeking shelter in his Rocky Mountain lair. There, by connecting to Red Tornado’s head, he uncovered the secret to 52 (something I revealed many moons ago) and was approached by Rip Hunter and Booster Gold to help save the universe.


Skeets, looking rather full, wants the map to the multiverse, presumably to satiate his growing hunger. When Rip and Booster show up to take the little bugger down, we discover where Mr. Mind has been these last 51 weeks – he’s been inside Skeets all along going through his transformation.


One word – Eeeeeeewwwww!

Rip realizes they’ve arrived too late, grabs Red Tornado’s head, and Booster, and head into the Time Sphere.



Yeah, I’ve read this page a dozen times, and each time I get chills. Time Travel stories are always really weird and full of plot holes, so I am really interested in seeing how this all wraps up next week. As disappointed as I was in World War III (don’t forget to take the poll!), I’m still having a lot of fun with the Gold/Hunter/Skeets/Mr. Mind story. The big question remains, “Where is the starting point they are returning to?” Is it back to the beginning of 52, where Booster could enlist the help of other super powers? Is it back to before Blue Beetle got his head blown off? Or could it be back to Infinite Crisis where they can put an end to all this nonsense once and for all?

The Good

  • Mr. Mind revealed
  • Triple Fish god getting his comeuppance
  • Buddy returning home

The Bad

  • The seeming return to status quo for the Heroes in Space
  • Continuing to wrap up lingering questions in single panel reveals

Next week could be a huge success or huge failure depending on how DC handles the time travel story. If they’re not careful, everything set up in 52 and the One Year Later stories could easily be undone. Like Superboy Prime’s power punches that funked up continuity and allowed characters like Jason (big mistake DC) Todd to return from the dead, a misstep in time travel could spell disaster for characters we have invested our time and $130 into.

I have conflicting thoughts over this week’s issue. On the one hand I REALLY HATE the return to status quo for Buddy, Adam, Lobo, and Kory, but on the other hand, that darn Booster Gold storyline keeps me entertained like nothing else. For this reason, 52 – Week 51 receives a trepidatious 3 out of 5 Stars.


Parting Shot

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...

Previous post

Nightwing Annual #1

Next post

The Return of the Fun Panel of the Week

No Comment

You know you have something to say, say it in the comment section