The 52 Steps: Week Thirty-Two

"That kid would get his ass kicked on my Earth." - Talon

Week Thirty-Two

Previously in 52...

It was a war in space, with the losers being the Green Lanterns and Captain Comet. Back home, Ralph Dibny continued his quest.

This Week's Key Players

Ralph Dibny again. The space-lost trio of Animal Man, Starfire and Adam Strange makes a brief appearance.

Guest appearances

An assortment of Teen Titans, two Chinese Metahumans, Osiris and a Helm in a pear tree.


Short story Number 1: The Teen Titan's hold a recruitment drive, with dozens of potential members showing up, many of whom are products of Luthor's Everyman program. Osiris makes an application, only to be turned away by Captain Marvel, Jr. At least until he can prove he's out to help the world, not harm it.

Short Story Number 2: Out in deep space, Animal Man, Lobo, Adam Strange and Starfire make plans to take on Lady Styx and her armada in an effort to defend the rest of the galaxy and her most likely target, Earth.

Long story? You got it. Ralph Dibny arrives on the outskirts of Nanda Parbat, only to be savaged by a rogue Chinese meta. While there, he's helped by the other Chinese meta, who is seeking to reign in his teammate. Denied a chance to talk with Rama Kushna about life and death, Ralph and the Helm of Fate go on a yeti hunt with their new friend.

Upon capturing the meta, Ralph's aid earns him the right to speak with Rama, and he goes in search of answers. We see a discussion between Rama and Ralph, though the final answer is denied us. What we are left with is Ralph's cryptic discussion about the beginning of his quest: Marseilles.

Back-Up Feature

The Origin of Blue Beetle, as told by Mark Waid and Cully Hamner.

Justin's Thoughts and Concerns

  • So, Talon? Owl-Man's partner on Earth 2? That would be kinda cool and the costumes match.
  • We could play "Count the Titans," but why would we?
  • Would you really wear your name on your costume if you were a superhero? Espeically if you were Pulsar, man of the Nissan hatchback? My first car was a Pulsar and it was a hell of a lot cooler than that guy.
  • All roads are pointing us back to France, it seems, with one of the world's greatest detectives on hot pursuit. But what is the actual answer?
  • Rama talked a lot about time. Could Ralph be heading towards a time paradox in an effort to resurrect Sue? Could this finally mean the appearance of Rip Hunter? Could Ralph actually be Rip Hunter's true identity? I doubt it, but it's fun to speculate.

Looking Ahead

Take a quick jump a year ahead and you'll see who was in and out of the Teen Titans during the missing year, as the most recent arc over in "Teen Titans" covered most of that ground, I believe. I missed a few of those issues, but I'm sure there's some lovely tidbits there. Still the most interesting seemed to be Talon, the Robin wannabe in red and black. But, then, I'm a Bat-fan.

And, at this point, we know that Ralph's quest most likely won't lead to him donning the Helm of Fate, but who will? DC looks to be planning an answer, as the Helm will be making plenty of guest appearances early in 2007. Stay tuned.

Panel of the Week

Look! It's Teen Killer Croc! Teen Croc? Anything?


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