The 52 Steps: Week Thirteen

Mon, August 7th, 2006 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Justin Eger, Guest Contributor

"You'd be surprised how often this happens when someone lets me into a church." - Green Arrow

"52" Week Thirteen
Week Thirteen

Previously in 52...
Adam and the Family Shazam granted some pretty powerful, uh, powers to Isis, while Ralph Dibny agreed to Sue's resurrection. Really, that's it.

This Week's Key Players
Ralph Dibny, Black Adam

Guest appearances
Green Lantern (Hal), Green Arrow, Metamorpho, Zauriel, Wonder Girl and Isis.

Highlights
Picking up from the end of last week's lengthy story following Isis and Adam, this baker's dozen week sees the powerful pair tracking down some children kept in slavery. After freeing them, but not finding the brother of Isis, the two almost share a moment before deciding that they need to free all the children of the world in the quest for her brother.

But, really, the focus was solely on one story this week: The resurrection of Sue Dibny at the hands of the Cult of Conner. Ralph was on hand to watch the proceedings, and he brought along a little help in the form of Hal Jordan, Metamorpho, Zauriel and Green Arrow. As the ceremony begins, the team communicates through telepathic earpieces whipped up by Hal, and Ralph asks them, not if they'll help him take the cult down, but if he thinks that they can actually pull off Sue's resurrection.

You see, each of the members of the team has had some hefty experience with the great beyond, and if anyone would know if Devem's mad plan would work, it would be these guys. The team, they initially dismiss the plan as a load of hooey, especially considering Devem's cheap theatrics to make the stunt look a little bit larger than life, but overall, the idea isn't completely insane. In the end, it's up to Ralph to make the decision, and his friends promise to back him, no matter what.

With a straw Sue Dibny laid out on a table, the cult begins to pass around what Devem called "blood Kryptonite," and they each bled a little on the big hunk of rock. It's Ralph's turn, and the hero in him returns, leading the team to take the cult apart bit by bit, trashing the Kyrptonite and starting a large fire in the process. The heroes make some evacuations, though Devem bails with Wonder Girl. As Ralph aids in the evacs, the straw Sue crawls at him and calls his name. Realizing that he might have made a huge mistake, he curls up with the figure, fully believing it is his dead wife. After the fire, the other heroes cannot find Ralph's body among the debris. He has made his way away from the rubble, cradling the haystack that was to be Sue and weeping over it, saying that they can try again.

Backin' that baby up is the origin story of (you guessed it) Elongated Man, as presented by Mark Waid with an assist from Kevin Nowlan.

Justin's Thoughts and Concerns

  • Creepy all around, team. Just plain creepy. As if the straw Sue wasn't enough, it crawling around like a zombie was just a little too much for me.

  • And who is that mysterious figure watching Ralph and the straw body at the end of the issue? Bets, anyone?

  • I honestly cheered seeing the heroes go into action as old friends. It felt good amidst all the recent heroic sadness, and any excuse to see someone bring up Kanjar Ro's Gamma Gong is a good one for me.

  • Blood kryptonite? Wha?

Crisis Continuity with Brian Eason
Did you know Supernova was once Superman's alter-ego? Or that Devem was the original Kryptonian bad boy? Neither did I. After all, I'm only one man, and I never saw much pre-Crisis DC. Enter Brian, who emailed me with some interesting tidbits about life pre-Crisis: interesting enough for me to ask him to join the ever-mutating THE 52 STEPS every now and then with interesting tidbits. This week, he brings us these interesting tidbits: First, Kanjar Ro's Gamma Gong appeared in "Justice League of America" #3 (1961), "The Slave Ship of Space." Ro himself is the dictator of the planet Dhor and was constantly at war with three other planets. Kanjar used his Gamma Gong to enslave the JLA to battle his enemies (which happened to be three other nasty dictators). The League broke free and defeated him and imprisoned all four dictators on a small planet. Interestingly enough, Metamorpho was not in that issue. Ret-con, anyone? Lastly, Elongated Man joined the JLA in 1973 in issue 105. Brian did not recall Hal putting forward his membership (as stated this week), since he had been a regular guest star since JLA #100 and the Seven Soldiers of Victory storyline.

Predictions
I still call hoax on the resurrection of Sue. Tricks of the mind played by Devem. We already know he's slick enough to have brainwashed Wonder Girl (though maybe that isn't saying much). However, Ralph believes it, so look for him to go on a Kryptonite hunt to get back in the Cult's good graces.

Panel of the Week

Ew, man. Just totally freakin' ew. That's enough to put me off of hayrides for a lifetime.

 
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