"You can't swing a dead sidekick here without hitting a supervillain!" - Trickster
Starting off the week, Karate Kid gets a digital checkup from Oracle, with Una by his side. There is no good news, and the bad news is that Karate Kid has a virus that tracks to nowhere else in the world, or even in the known universe. However, there is one chance: the biologist Elias Orr, who may be able to help, if Kid and Una can track him down.
Elsewhere, Zatanna takes Mary Marvel home with her to Shadowcrest, her father's house and the hiding place for some of the most powerful magic in the known universe. Here, Zee promises she'll help teach Mary, though Mary's unquenchable lust for power is likely to bring a grand halt to all of that, and in a very spectacular and dangerous way.
In the Nanoverse, the Challengers come across a group of wizards that informs the group Ray Palmer has moved on from this place, though it seems that Ray was aware of the impending "Great Disaster" and has in some fashion instructed those he met along the way. The wizards leave, and while the team makes new plans, they are assaulted by some very large insects.
In Gotham, Piper and Trickster are in luck, as they find an abandoned greenhouse replete with good fruit. Arms loaded down with their find, the two eat and be merry, up until the point they discover the greenhouse is far from abandoned. The new tenant? Poison Ivy, and she's hardly happy about what the boys are doing on her turf.
Holly and Harley discuss Athena's plans, with Harley seeming to be very, very excited for Holly's upcoming training. Meanwhile, in Metropolis, Jimmy Olsen tries to figure out a way to get into the uperhero community's good graces. He suddenly realizes --without knowing how-- that his buddy Clark Kent is actually the hero known as Superman. Jimmy confronts Clark and demands a place on the Justice League.
If you've been following the Twilight of the New Gods as closely as we have, you might want to check out "Outsiders: Five of a Kind" #3, also on sale this week. In this issue, we eliminate a major contender for Killer of the Gods. Also on sale is "All-New Booster Gold" #1, which is a beautiful companion piece to "52." The adventures of Jimmy Olsen continue in "Action Comics" #854, which also features a giant radioactive monkey. And finally, you can follow the return of Wally West in "The Flash" #231.
JE: A future virus, it seems, plagues the Karate Kid. But we at least have him wandering around the world now on a quest. Cool stuff, though I'm inclined to wonder why he didn't visit Dr. Mid-Nite first.
BE: Because Karate Kid is not from New Earth? That's a possibility, of course. It could also be that the historical record doesn't cover Mid-Nite as extensively as it does Oracle.
JE: Considering that Oracle may have written all of Earth's history before it's said and done, well, hmmm. Jury's still out on this one for me.
BE: The art on this issue was a step in the right direction. Giffen's layouts are perfect and the four-man art crew gave the issue a distinct look. Wonderful job.
JE: I thought it was a little shaky at first, but I was enjoying it by the end. Certain people can draw Karate Kid's costume and not make it look as horrible as it actually is, and some people can't.
BE: The Humpty-Dumpty collar is very important. Who can pull it off besides Karate Kid and Elvis?
JE: Shadowcrest is always fun to visit.
BE: I want a big magic castle named Shadowcrest and a phantom staff of lackeys to go with it.
JE: I'd have to say my lackeys would not look like English butlers, and that's all I'll say.
BE: Another week, another trip to the gutter.
JE: How long do we really think Mary will be able to go without breaking out some dangerous voodoo? What was Zee thinking?
BE: She was thinking what all good Superheroes think when they are in their sanctum: "Nothing can hurt me here."
JE: Good point. Poor, poor, stupid Zatanna. You always get your butt kicked at home. Y'know, if this was a perfect world, this would be a great time for John Constantine to show up.
BE: It would be perfect, but with the firm separation between Vertigo and DC proper, there is little or no chance, sadly.
JE: Twice, the "Great Disaster" was mentioned, first by Una, then the weird wizard girl (high five for the Arion of Atlantis reference, though).
BE: But didn't the Wizard girl remind you of Giffen's version of the White Witch from Legion of Superheroes? I don't think that was coincidental.
JE: Dang. Good eye. I wasn't even thinking in that direction. That's creepy.
BE: Well, we know that the Sorcerer's World of the 31st century is Gemworld. Gemworld was colonized by Homo Magi emigrants from Earth made up of the twelve Atlantean Ruling Houses. So, it's not a stretch to tie these all together.
JE: Your nerd is showing, man. Still, that's damn impressive reasoning, made stunning by the fact that you continually prove to me how little I know about the DCU.
BE: But you have your gutter talk to fall back on.
JE: Have we seen any clues yet, do you think, to our "Great Disaster?" And how does Ray fit into it all?
BE: When I was reading the the part about Ray, I just kept wondering if it had something to do with Ray shrinking and entering the Source Wall, but I'm just spit-balling.
JE: I was in a similar thought process, but then I tried leaning more towards Ray's background as a frickin' genius. Discovering new microverses might be a prerequisite for crossing boundaries into multiverses.
BE: I'm glad you said that. The microverse/multiverse comparison has been running through my head ever since Ray was first mentioned.
JE: Trickster and Piper once again find themselves in an awesomely funny situation. The "dead sidekick" line was awesome.
BE: In a perfect world, someone would give Dini a Piper & Trickster book to write monthly. This stuff is gold.
JE: I'd buy that. I'd be worried that it wouldn't work except in these controlled bursts, but I'd still totally buy it.
BE: They could be the new Booster and Blue Beetle.
JE If and only if they get Justice League membership. Never thought I'd wonder if Harley Quinn had a thing for redheads, but first Ivy and now Holly?
BE: Joker has green hair. Hmm, green and red, maybe it's a Christmas theme.
JE: Something about Harley singing "Jingle Bells" is just so right.
JE: Jimmy Olsen, Supervillain?
BE: If it follows that Jimmy is channelling all of his Silver Age adventures, then yeah, it's possible.
JE: Knew you'd have the answer on that one.
BE: It's a service I provide.
JE: Nice backup feature this week. I like Scott Beatty handling the work, and the art was stellar.
BE: Absolutely. The origins were my favorite part of "52" and it's nice to see them continued here. The art was flawless. I love Stephanie Roux's work.
Panel of the Week
Man, owned by a grade-schooler.