Overview

52: Week Seven

Review

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52: Week Seven

Credits

  • Words: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid
  • Art: Keith Giffen and Ken Lashley
  • Inks: Draxhall
  • Colors: Alex Sinclair
  • Story Title: Going Down
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.50
  • Release Date: Jun 21, 2006

Booster’s charade is exposed to the world and Montoya visits an ex who may hold the key to her mysterious case.

Ralph Dibny, still investigating the pseudo-Kryptonian cult that may have defaced his wife’s grave, pays a visit to his old teammate Booster Gold. Though he is ostensibly seeking Booster’s help, Ralph also calls him to task for failing to make better use of his knowledge of the future, knowledge that the recently widowed Dibny was in dire need of. Before the night is through, Booster’s sins come crashing back at him as "Manthrax," the actor he hired to play super-villain, returns to expose the hero for what he truly is. Meanwhile, Renee Montoya, still investigating the bizarre happenings of 520 Kane St., seeks answers from the source—Kate Kane, wealthy socialite whose family owns the Kane St. site…and who shares an intriguing history with Montoya herself.

In Week Seven of DC’s 52-part comic experiment, the various plotlines set up in previous issues begin their convergence. The Dibny and Booster storylines collide here with explosive results as the two former friends run a gamut of emotions. Ralph is really proving to be a breakout star in this book, having traded in his superhero togs for straightforward, plainclothes detective work. Some may lament the seeming deficiency of lighthearted fun in today’s DCU (and I must admit, a balance to the darkness is always needed) but I find the Elongated Man as a grizzled, hard-boiled detective on a mission to be an interesting direction for the character. His mix of sadness and righteous indignation in this issue provides a strong emotional through-line for the story and I imagine many readers are connecting with the character in ways they never have before.

And speaking of emotions, the Montoya plot delivers this in spades with the much-hyped return of a character no one expected but everyone is talking about. Kate Kane’s forthcoming pointy-eared alter ego has been getting quite a bit of mainstream press and controversy lately (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, yeesh, what media-impaired rock were you under recently?). Again, I find the writers’ decision to be an interesting direction to take this largely forgotten heroine, so long as it truly is a story direction and not just a publicity stunt. Only time will tell but so far, the writing team has established some excellent tension and repressed tenderness between Kate and Renee, giving us sufficient reason to care about a character who’s been little seen or referenced in the past thirty years.

This time around, the art is provided by Ken Lashley who maintains a near uniform look with previous illustrators on the book. The style continues to be detailed realism with wonderful fantasy flourishes and the transition from Joe Bennett’s art to Lashley’s work is made with only subtle differences. Lashley is a bit rougher in patches than his predecessor but a talented artist nonetheless. He handles the emotional nuances and facial expressions well and contributes a stunning final panel that will have (literally) huge implications for the lost space heroes.

52 continues to hint at intriguing developments and take its characters to unexpected places. Connecting the dots was never this much fun.

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