The 52 Steps: Week Seven

Sat, June 24th, 2006 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Justin Eger, Guest Contributor

"52" Week Seven
"Thing is, I know I'm missing something." - Renee Montoya

Week Seven

Previously in 52...
Black Adam began taking over the world through politics, not powers, someone was watching Magnus and Morrow, and Booster Gold found out that what's coming is all his fault.

The Key Players
Booster Gold, Ralph Dibny, Renee Montoya.

Guest appearances
Starfire, Adam Strange and Animal Man.

Highlights
This week is all about Booster getting what's coming to him. After fielding a call from a loan shark, he meets up with Ralph Dibny, who is looking for help tracking down the Cult of Conner for some answers. Booster, however, is too wrapped up in his own affairs to bother, though Ralph, ever the detective, finds out that Booster has been using Skeets to "prevent" historical conflicts for his own personal gain.

Incensed, Ralph nearly takes on Booster, understandably upset that Booster didn't bother to warn him about Sue's death. Booster claims he was just a poor history student, but Ralph simply contends he's a poor excuse for a hero. In an effort to prove him wrong, Booster attempts to diffuse a tanker truck fire at Lexcorp, only to be confronted by "Manthrax," the actor Booster paid to take a dive as a super villain last week. Lo and behold, Booster's check bounced like a basketball, and the actor outs what Booster has been doing in front of the world press, with Ralph only adding fuel to the flames, blaming Booster for the deaths of Ted Kord and Sue Dibny.

Meanwhile, Renee Montoya finds a connection between recent events and her past love affair with a woman named Kate Kane, daughter of a wealthy family that owns a string of warehouses in Gotham. Renee confronts Kate, and it is revealed that Kate is still in the closet to her family, but out of respect for the love they might have shared, she will aid Renee in finding out if her family owns the warehouse at 520 Kane Street.

Lastly, on a planet far, far away, Adam Strange attempts to get himself and his cohorts Starfire and Animal Man off of the alien planet before it's too late, though the group still has no idea what it is they face that causes the upset in the plant's life force. Starfire and Animal Man, however, are caught up in eating some really good fruit, and they don't want to help. Adam convinces Starfire that the fruit is messing with their heads, and recruits her to find the power source of the planet as fuel for the Thanagarian ship Adam is repairing and escape.

That power source? Devilance.

Justin's Thoughts and Concerns
So, the infamous Kate Kane makes her first appearance. I'm conflicted, as it's cool to see her introduced, but unless she shapes up really fast, she's just going to be yet another Gotham vigilante with a chip on her shoulder.

Two, count 'em, two potential allegories for the Adam / Starfire confrontation. While I immediately thought of Odysseus and the Lotus Eaters, my girlfriend, after reading the above, noted a serious biblical learning, especially between a guy named Adam and a chick with some funky fruit.

And back to the tale of our castaways (who're here for a long, long time), I'm concerned about the passage of time on this weird planet in elsewhere. Note that on the pages with the castaway heroes, there are no date markers as there are in the rest of the book, and while a week may have passed on our world, it seems that not even a few hours have yet passed on the planet. And yet Adam has a full beard by the time of this issue, though he was only stubble last issue, if I remember correctly.

And speaking of beards, check out the grunge on Ralph Dibny. He almost looks like a homeless person in a donated suit. That saddens me a little bit.

Note the secondary headline on the paper Montoya is reading. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but this seems to be the first mention of what Catwoman has been up to during the missing year.

Predictions
Obviously, we'll be seeing more of Kate Kane, but I'm more interested in the backstory behind this Catwoman headline. It seems a little too much to just be background filler, but then again, what do I know?

And maybe this week will be what finally snaps Booster out of his funk and gets him back on the right track. While the revelations of last week would be hell on anyone, I'd like to think that, if I were a hero, I'd be trying to figure out what the cryptic notes meant and how I could save history.

The Daily Planet
Weeks One through Six now have available sketchbooks, and there is a fine editorial featuring the debate of whether or not heroes should be willing or able to sell their services to corporate sponsors. While playing the devil's advocate, the article does make a fine case for promoting Booster Gold, though after this week, that's not a stock I'd pick up. All that and more at www.52thecomic.com.

Panel of the Week
Brought to you from a suggestion by our ever-faithful coordinator Jonah Weiland, it's the first addition to The 52 Steps. Each week, we'll take a panel, dissect it if we want, or just look at the pretty pictures. This week, it's the appearance of the much-awaited Kate Kane.

That's a damn fine dress.

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

 
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