I have returned from my meditation in the desert.

*Key enlightenment: a scorpion is not a housecat, and should not be treated as one.

*Follow-Up Dept: I’ll put this right up top since I know you’re all still teetering on the edges of your seats over the cataclysmic Golgo 13 mystery journey of the other week. Chris Butcher (as I’m sure you all know) was at the NYCC last weekend, and, well -- since the people from VIZ were there and all -- the answer to the million dollar question is that editor Carl Horn is indeed hand-picking all the material in VIZ’s current Golgo 13 run. So I guess Dan Coyle gets a million dollars, which he can contact the United States Department of the Treasury about (this site is huge with the Treasury, trust me). Thanks Chris!

*52 Dept: Ah ha ha ha haaa, that fellow got his entrails eaten! Detailed in three delicious panels, one of them a full-page splash, with a special bonus coda panel of drippy plasm oozing from diner's jaws! I am willing to presume the red hues were intended to moot the impact of the sequence, though I got quite the opposite effect, actually. Combine that sequence with the bloody 'giving birth to HORROR' passage and the pervading thematic migraine of killing's power trip, and this week's 52 is pretty much a half-dozen exposed genitals and 1700 extraneous words away from being an issue of Faust. I'd better see Black Adam belting out James Brown lyrics whilst sawing Egg Fu in half in a couple weeks.

These things don't bug me so much on all-ages funnybook morals level -- I know damn well I'd have been going apeshit over this when I was 14 -- but they're collectively another telling illustration of the running 52 conflict between the silly bits of the DCU and the (sorry) gnawing darkness that's been around for an awfully long time, members of the writing team seemingly conflicted between the two impulses and the series reflective of that tumult. It almost makes me hope that this issue's big revelation is merely a certain character falling under the influence of greater approaching forces rather than being one of those forces incarnated - it'd make for quite a fine illustration of this series' macrocosmic tug-of-war, though it'll be damn tough to beat last week's image of Ralph Dibny putting a magical wishing gun to his head and firing. I mean, shit - that's pretty much the thrust of the thing right there, as jarring as it might be on other levels.

Thank god for implications, eh? At this point I'm interested enough in how the writing team is going to resolve all this (if anything is truly resolved, although 52 does have a pretty big out in that department - it has to stop at One Year Later, which relieves it of the burden of feeding onrushing continuity that something like Civil War has to shoulder these days) to stick around till the resolution, even when confronted with superhero angst as warmed-over as this issue's Osiris material. At least that seems to have concluded...

*Enough for tonight. More tomorrow morning.

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