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> 52 Roundup
‘52’ ROUNDUP
Your weekly guide to one of the most ambitious events in comics history

By David Paggi, Kiel Phegley and Robert Taylor

Posted May 2, 2007  3:45 PM

 >Week #52: It’s the end! Plus: Geoff Johns and Mark Waid!
 >Week #51: Homecomings and hero meetings get us all misty in the penultimate chapter of the epic series!
 >Week #50: It’s World War III! Do you need any more prompting than that?
 More >
EDITOR’S NOTE: Wizard Universe will provide a weekly rundown of ‘52,’ the 52-week DC Comics project that features an array of creators, including Geoff Johns, Keith Giffen, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid. Check back here each week for highlights, hidden gems and analysis of this week’s issue of ‘52.’—RM

52 #52
Written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid
Art Breakdowns by Keith Giffen
Pencils by Mike McKone, Justiniano, Eddy Barrows, Chris Batista, Pat Olliffe and Darick Robertson

PREVIOUSLY IN ‘52’

- A crisis of infinite proportions rocked the DC Universe. Heroes lived, heroes died, and nothing will ever be the same again. At the conclusion of the battle, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman seemingly disappear, leaving the world to wonder what has happened to their heroes.

THIS WEEK IN ‘52’

- Booster Gold and Rip Hunter find themselves racing through the beginning of a new multiverse full of 52 parallel Earths, and must stop Mister Mind from eating them all and destroying time itself.

- Supernova stops in to help out, and he’s Booster’s descendent/ancestor/whatever from Metropolis that appeared to die when Skeets threw him into time earlier in the series. Apparently the Mister Mind-infected robot had the poor guy trapped in the repeating loop of 52 seconds.

- The threesome find themselves visiting dozens of the universes as Mister Mind chomps through time and space, changing each Earth in drastic and unpredictable ways.

- The remains of Skeets might be the answer, and may be able to contain Mister Mind once again, but first they need to be retrofitted with suspendium and supercharged. To do that, Booster stops over to meet one last time with his fallen friend, Blue Beetle, shortly before they first met after the original Crisis.

- The threesome return to Rip Hunter’s time lab to find Mister Mind waiting for them. Booster traps him in Skeets once again and says goodbye to his friend before throwing Skeets through time all the way back to the beginning—week 1, day 6…

- …where Dr. Sivana finds Mister Mind (once again a worm) and traps him, ensuring Mister Mind will never turn into a “beautiful butterfly” again.

- Meanwhile, across the DC Universe, the world begins to move on. Kahndaq is still reeling from Black Adam’s rampage as a mysterious stranger finds the amulet of Isis, Steel and Natasha are moving on with their work, the Question makes the Bat-signal work again…oh, and Ralph and Sue are back as ghost detectives! Hell yes!

- The End.

CHARACTER OF THE WEEK: THE BOOSTER GOLD BLOODLINE

The saviors of the multiverse have been revealed! In the final week of 52 Booster Gold and his ancestor Daniel, decked out in Supernova attire, use a suspendium-enhanced Skeets to defeat the terrifying interdimensional butterfly Mister Mind. Remember when Booster died saving the day the first time around, and we decided he’d redeemed himself? Well, if that didn’t really take for you before, then this time he really redeemed himself. It’s been a fantastic journey for these characters, and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead for them.

PANEL OF THE WEEK: GHOST DETECTIVES!
 

 
We should have known that you could never keep a good detective down, and turns out you can’t. Ralph and Sue Dibny might be…well…dead and stuff, but that doesn’t mean that they still can’t live happily ever after, as ghost detectives! It’s the perfect ending/new beginning for two characters who have been through such hell for so long. Our nose is twitching too thanks to the most unexpected and insanely cool twist to the mystical side of the DCU since the introduction of Tim Hunter.

Attention DC: miniseries now. Please and thank you.

WHAT THE?!!: THE DC AUDIBLE

 

 
So Booster and Daniel saving the multiverse is a really cool, admirable aspect to their characters and 52 itself, but did we really need the football motif while they were doing it? We realize that they were both football stars and whatever, but it seems kind of a goofball move considering the end of existence is at hand. Get your head in the game, Booster—you’re the real deal now!

LINE OF THE WEEK

“I never thought I’d leave this world as a weapon, but if I must…then let me be a Pulitzer.”—Skeets

The two best friends sharing a tearjerker moment as one guy sacrifices himself for the greater good. It’s a staple of a good adventure story ending and we’ve got it here in the form of Skeets and Booster Gold. There’s even a little lightheadedness as Skeets mistakes the words Pulitzer and Howitzer, a little inside joke between them. Skeets then bravely offers himself up to be used as a weapon against Mister Mind and saves everyone, leaving not one dry eye in the house…er, time lab…er, whatever.

HOLY SH--!: THE MULTIVERSE!

Sure, the beans got spilled on the twist ending of 52 a while ago, but this issue still had our heads spinning from its myriad teases of the classic counter-Earths that haven’t been a part of DC Comics since 1986. Although with a clean slate in terms of the characters of the “core” DCU not having crossed into other worlds yet, the most exciting aspect of the 52 parallel Earths idea is that there’s a lot of ground to be covered. To that end, we called up 52 co-writers Geoff Johns and Mark Waid for their take on the behind-the-scenes moves that made the new multiverse possible.

“I think it’s just important because it’s one of the things that makes [the DCU] different than Marvel, and it really opens up the idea that the DC publishing line is a world where an infinite number of ideas can exist,” said Waid. “It’s a world of infinite possibility.”

“When we suggested the idea, we said it’s not about breaking down the DC Universe,” added Johns. “It’s about opening it up and making the DCU a bigger and more wondrous place. You can have any type of adventure you want from Gotham Central adventures to a war between parallel Earths.”

Yet even with the storytelling opportunities presented by a multiverse, the idea of multiple Earths was not a slamdunk with the DC brass at the start of the process. “It was a very difficult sell,” admitted Waid.

“There was some resistance to bringing the multiverse back from the boss, but we felt that it was more about the idea that we would keep our Earth intact and doing something new instead of going backwards,” expounded Johns. “You could do lines and specials and miniseries about what these other universes are like. For example, Mark’s a big proponent of thinking the Marvel Family works best in its own reality. And now I want to see him do that.”

And while the teases featured in 52 #52 mean that fans could possibly be treated to solo adventures of the classic Marvel Family or the original Charlton line of comics characters, older properties aren’t the only elements that can play a role in the future of the multiverse.

“Some of it is just completely from scratch,” said Waid. “We tried to get wilder and wilder as we went along. We sat down and mapped out a lot—not all 52, because we thought it defeated the purpose. We were actually asked at one point that we lock in what all 52 are, and we said, ‘That’s infinitely stupid. That defeats the entire purpose of opening it up to an infinite number of ideas and realities if you’re going to come along and catalogue them.’ So we won that fight, but we mapped out a lot more than we could use.”

“We know a bunch of other [worlds], but don’t go and find them all now,” concluded Johns. “You want to explore this, but not all at once. Again, the key is not to overwhelm, but to introduce.”

And with that, we introduce you to the known elements of the new DC Multiverse…

EARTH-1 The so-called “new Earth” is pretty much the DCU we’ve known since the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths with a few key tweaks (Wonder Woman as a JLA founder, etc.).

EARTH-2 The Earth where Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were part and parcel with the Golden Age heroes of the Justice Society, and now their sons and daughters carry the crimefighting torch. Although, check out the newspaper in the Earth-2 panel.

 

 
The Kryptonians of this Earth are missing. We’re going to assume that Kara is our Power Girl, but what of Earth-2 Superman? Is this the hero who died in Infinite Crisis, or is there another Man of Steel running around the multiverse right now?

EARTH-3 The classic home of the Crime Syndicate of Amerika rather than the antimatter universe introduced by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely in JLA: Earth 2. From the looks of it, though, this new Syndicate will retain the look of the newer versions, but check the wicked cool addition of an evil Martian Manhunter to the team…

 

 
EARTH-4 The long-revered characters of Charlton Comics live on here, including the original versions of Captain Atom and the Question. Rejoice, Vic Sage fans! He’s still kicking it in all of his Objectivist glory!
 

 
EARTH-5 Fans of Jeff Smith’s Monster Society of Evil series should be happy to see this take on the Shazam set, which falls more in line with their lighthearted Fawcett Comics roots. And if you didn’t notice, the numeral 5 makes for a convenient stand-in for the letter “S” as the Fawcett Earth was known as “Earth-S” in the original pre-Crisis multiverse.
 

 
EARTH-10 What’s the new twist on this Earth populated by Quality Comics characters Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters? Rather than simply being stuck on a world where the Nazis won World War II (ala the pre-Crisis Earth-X), they’re stuck on a world where those victorious Nazis have the Justice League on their side. Yikes!
 

 
EARTH-17 Earth-17 seems to be a post-apocalyptic world serving as home to the Atomic Knights, but the real question is whether this Earth will hold the secrets of classic Jack Kirby DC characters such as Kamandi the Last Boy on Earth, as the original Earth-17 was hinted at holding.
 

 
EARTH-22 A Kingdom Come Earth? AHHHHHHH! We’re not even sure what’s going on here, but damn does it look cool!
 

 
EARTH-50 Drawing sister company WildStorm a bit closer to the DCU proper, this Earth has already made a cameo post-52 in the pages of Ron Marz’s Ion series. Even more conveniently, the introduction of the WildStorm Earth as part of DC’s multiverse synchs up pretty nicely with the WildStorm U’s own rejiggering in the pages of Worldstorm.
 

 
THANKS FOR TAKING THE RIDE

Well, that’s it folks. 365 long days, over. We’ve had some laughs, some cries, a whole lot of excitement and more than a few headaches prepping this column for everyone over the past year, and we hope you had a good time too! For some reason, we’re crazy enough to be trying this again over the next 12 months as we debut our new feature, “Countdown Catch-all,” next week on the new wizardworld.com. See you there!

 
More 52 Roundup >
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