The 52 Steps: Week Twenty-Seven

"Are we both nuts?" - Eclipso

Week Twenty-Seven

Previously in 52...

Family was the name of the game, as the Black Marvel Family and the brood of Dr. Sivana united to find the missing madman. Renee met her new teacher, and Osiris met a new friend.

This Week's Key Players

Renee Montoya and The Question and Ralph Dibny.

Guest appearances

The Helm of Dr. Fate, the Spectre, Eclipso, Richard Dragon, Aristotle Rodor, Waverider and the villain of our piece, Skeets.


Okay, gang, I'm feeling a little under the weather today, so this will be a quicker one than usual.

First up, this week's big moments centered around everyone's favorite elastic hero, Ralph Dibny, minus the elastic and some sanity, of course. During his quest with the Helm of Dr. Fate to discover a way to resurrect his murdered wife, Sue, Ralph comes before the great hand of judgment himself, The Spectre. Not bound to a mortal, the Spectre finds himself in need of a way to punish Eclipso for the events of "Day of Judgment." However, he needs mortal hands to do God's work, so enter Ralph.

The deal is simple, if Ralph uses the Spectre's power to punish Eclipso, Spectre will resurrect Sue. Simple enough. What makes it even easier? Ralph didn't know, but Eclipso is bound to the mortal that killed Sue, Jean Loring. Eager to mete out retribution, Ralph takes Jean, purges Eclipso from her, and takes her back to the exact few minutes that she killed Sue, intending to trap her in those monments endlessly, forced to watch Sue's death again and again and again…

But Ralph, ever the hero, fails to live up to his end of the bargain. The Spectre takes his power back, and Ralph decided to get the hell away from the monstrosity that is Spectre. His next stop: Nanda Parbat.

Wait, did someone say Nanda Parbat? Why, what a coincidence! After all, Nanda Parbat is the home of our next story fragment.

In the city without time that is Nanda Parbat, Richard Dragon works to train Renee and bring her to a better understanding of herself, while Rodor examines the tome of crime that Vic sage took from the legions of Intergang a few weeks ago. Inside, he discovers prophecies that pertain to the city now called Gotham, and the death of the daughter of the world's first murderer, Cain. Of course, as with all prophecies, the words got a little jumbled in translation, and the sacrifice is actually meant to be Kathy Kane, currently calling herself Batwoman.

And did I mention that Vic Sage has cancer, and he's not long for this world? No, yeah, well, I wish I hadn't read it either.

Finally, in the span of a second, Waverider is confronted by Skeets, who is searching for a way to kill the ever-elusive Rip Hunter. Skeets tortures Waverider, but to no avail, as Waverider knows not where the time-traveling hero may be.

The Back up story features Black Canary's origin, as told by the badass team up of the year, Mark Waid and Howard Chaykin.

Justin's Thoughts and Concerns

  • No Green Arrow in Canary's backstory? Uncool.
  • Yeah, Vic's got cancer. I can only imagine my friends over at vicsage.com are having as much of an attack as I am right now.
  • I was wondering when he'd get back to Kathy Kane. Hell, it's been weeks. Lots of weeks. Lots and lots of weeks, and she was supposed to be the next big thing for DC's minority heroes. Awfuly absent to make a statement, hasn't she been?
  • Ralph and magic still just freaks me out, especially since they took the time to revisit "Identity Crisis" so well, something I still haven't done since the time it came out.
  • Missing some backstory? Sure you are, and that's what made this issue a little upsetting. No offense intended, but if you haven't read the "Crisis" books of last year, this seemed a far too opportune way to convince people to go get them.
  • Look! Renee's rose from last issue is still around!


Enter Deadman! After all, it's not Nanda Parbat without Boston Brand. Or at least it better not be.

Maybe Vic isn't sick after all. Heck, Richard used to pretend he was a parapalegic to teach lessons, so why wouldn't Vic take a little extra acting to get Renee off of her @$$ a little faster. And how does all that tie into what happened to Vixen in the new "Justice League of America" series? Especially since she was drawn to an ambush by "The Question."

Panel of the Week

Cue the "Dum dum DUM!"


"Howard the Duck" #9 Shines a Spotlight on Lea Thompson, Stays True to Gerber's Vision

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