The 52 Steps: Week Six

Sun, June 18th, 2006 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Justin Eger, Guest Contributor

"52" Week Six
"I think they're the good guys, John." - Hal Jordan

Week Six

Previously in 52...
The space heroes make a return, though not everyone made it back in one piece, or even back to Earth. Renee Montoya talked with her old boss, and Lex Luthor announced that he could create superhumans.

The Key Players
Booster Gold and Black Adam.

Guest appearances
Hal Jordan, John Stewart, the new Chinese metas, The Rocket Reds, Doctors T.O. Morrow and Will Magnus

Highlights
Only two (well, three) significant events arose out of Week 6, as the Chinese unveil their own superheroes, who immediately attack John and Hal in their pursuit of Evil-Star through Chinese airspace. Though Hal tries to explain that this isn't an American infraction, but something done for the safety of the whole planet, as the Green Lanterns are wont to do. As the battle continues, the Chinese are backed up by Black Adam, who announces that he has joined with the Chinese and other foreign nations in a coalition of metahumanity. As Adam trounces the GL's, the Rocket Reds arrive to back them up, though Adam professes it's only a matter of time before Russia joins with his country to make sure the United States stays at home.

There is a brief return to the meetings between Will Magnus and T.O. Morrow, where we learn that a total of 15 scientists have been declared missing and are presumed kidnapped. However, this comes as Morrow's cell is newly outfitted with a video camera to keep an eye on him, though who is actually doing the watching remains a mystery.

Lastly, it comes down to Booster Gold. It's all his fault, you know. During this issue, following a successful attempt to drive his stock up by hiring an actor to play a super villain named "Manthrax," he and Skeets finally track down the last known location of Rip Hunter. When they arrive at Hunter's secluded Arizona bunker, Booster enters to discover the laboratory a wreck, with notes scrawled everywhere about how time is broken, all highlighted with the number "52" circled as a seeming answer to some riddle. In addition to the scrawls, one wall is covered in graffiti saying "It's all his fault," all framing pictures of Booster himself.

Justin's Thoughts and Concerns
I hate to start at the end, but take a look at all the graffiti in Hunter's lab. I won't get into it all, but there are references to Superman, Steel, The Question, Blue Beetle, the New Gods, Vandal savage and more. There's also a note on the ground that reads "520 Kane Street."

You know, some of the Chinese superhumans look an awful lot like Avengers, except, well, you know, Chinese. Go figure.

Manthrax? Seriously? You're threatened (however falsely) by a guy named Manthrax? That one just reeks of Grant Morrison.

Predictions
Not much of a prediction, but for more about the Chinese metahuman program, check out "Checkmate" #3, which also came out this week.

For real predictions, it certainly looks like Booster Gold just walked onto the set of "Back to the Future, Part II," only he's missing his Doc Brown. You'd think that, for a hero with all of history at his disposal, Booster might have taken a second to rent that one from the video store, since what he's doing now pretty much happened there. Though I don't expect Lea Thompson will show up with a boob job in "52," look for Booster's quest to take him on a path to try and save time itself. Judging from all the damage in the lab, Rip Hunter is one of the captured scientists Magnus and Morrow are concerned about, and he probably won't be in much shape to help.

Discuss this story and all things "52" in CBR's Infinite Crisis/52 Forum.

Previously:
Week Five
Week Four
Week Three
Week Two
Week One

 
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