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Saturday, November 18, 2006 

Jean Loring continues to be spat upon in 52 #27, and the hammer effect still keeps a-comin'

This is becoming really sick. DC Comics character assassination alert:
Outside Earth's dimension, Ralph Dibny tells Fate he is calling on someone to help him. They find themselves on the hand of the Spectre. Spectre tells Ralph that he can resurrect Ralph's wife, Sue. He takes them into space where Jean Loring as Eclipso has been trapped by Shadowpact. The Spectre gives his power to Ralph and tells him that if he punishes Jean for her crime of murder (killing Ralph's wife) then he will bring Sue back to life. Jean and Ralph struggle and he takes her away through a portal.

[...]

Ralph has taken Jean back in time to the period when his wife Sue was killed. He removes the darkness and mental imbalance from Jean and plans on forcing her to watch her kill Sue over and over again as punishment. Just before witnessing her murder Ralph returns to the present with Jean, unable to watch his wife be murdered. The Spectre takes his power back. Ralph tells Fate to take them to Nanda Parbat to seek out help.
This reminds me of Geoff Johns' last arc in The Flash: he had the neo-Reverse-Flash drag Wally West into a time-warp and forced him to watch the villain's attack on Linda repeatedly. Let me guess: Johns wrote this too? (Update: it was Mark Waid, who's lost my respect too.)

What this sounds like is basically an assault on the audience's senses, by clubbing the readers over the face with scenes and ideas, with enough force to break their noses. And nobody with common sense deserves that. Yet, that's what Johns was doing in the Flash, under the cover of "self-commentary".

And aside from that, what's really sadistic here is the continued defamation of Jean Loring: the Spectre wants her to be punished, and the synopsis implies that she's still being viewed as guilty, by the Spectre and probably the writers/editors too.

Now in fairness, it could be that we'll end up finding out in time that Jean is innocent and that even the Spectre was insance himself (several years ago, that was what happened, in fact, in Day of Judgement), and that Ray Palmer was too. But it isn't enough, and I'm not holding my breath. For now, the problem is that they're continually smacking readers over the face with an unbearable storyline, basically harrassing the readers to the point of agony. If Jean is to find exoneration, why does it have to take so long? Oh, right, moneymaking, of course.

Ralph, by the way, is also being spat upon due to the fact that he's being forced into a depressing role of being depicted plummeting into insanity. That may be the intention of the writers (sadly), but does that mean that we the audience want to or have to see that either? Please. He is ill-suited to this kind of a story, and it doesn't do him any real favors, or even his fans.

Continuity Error sums it up very well what the problems are.

I can't predict where this is going to go, and am certainly not wasting my money on this, even if it comes out in trades. But I do get the feeling that this is going to be leading nowhere, which is why I'd strongly urge anyone buying 52 to keep away from it.

As another synopsis I read noted, Jean even tells Ralph that he's only punishing himself if he's going to go through with this Spectre induced journey through a time loop. Must you as the customer make the same mistake?

(Could it be that I've found another "self-commentary" hidden within?)

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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