What should I have for lunch today?

*52 Dept: If you’ll recall my comments from last week, you’ll know that those last few pages did not come as much of a surprise, though I guess there could be something else going on - who knows which of many paths ‘life’ might take, especially in a series like this, which seems to thrive on upending its own twists in the space of a few weeks/issues. Another luxury that only a weekly series of this sort can really pull off - you need expediency for stuff like this to come off as more amusing than annoying.

Anyway, most of this issue is a big fight between Supernova and Skeets, including the 'really way more obvious than anyone entirely expected' reveal of his secret identity, which admittedly hinges around an apparent character death that nobody seemed to be taking seriously in the first place, least of all the series’ creative team. It’s not the most elegant issue of the run in storytelling terms -- Supernova needs to distract Skeets, so he flies around a lot and, er, narrates his entire backstory -- and I’m pretty sure not all of that explanation actually explains things as much as signals that such concerns are now officially off the storytelling table, but I’ll confess I found the whole thing entertaining in a lumpy, old-school talk ‘n fight way. The best part for me was Skeets’ means of attacking the bottled city of Kandor - continuingly bumping it with his nose.

Also: a remarkably simple code in the back reveals something I wasn’t entirely aware was still a secret, which is maybe the theme of the issue.

*Elsewhere, Wisdom (#2) continues to be a surprisingly fun series, albeit one close enough in tone and conception to Warren Ellis’ Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. that I occasionally undergo flashes of déjà vu. Something about a poorly-mixed team of superheroes tossed together to encounter archly ridiculous threats at a lightning pace - not that there’s anything special about that, but the two series seem particularly joined in tone as they run together in the current Marvel catalog, especially as contrased against much of the rest of said catalog. Or maybe it was the Red Bull joke that writer Paul Cornell cracked this issue.

Anyway, Wisdom is a bit more weighted and cerebral, a little more willing to run with extended Beatles references, and metaphors (loud and rumbly as they are) for the English unconscious. Lots of regional references. This issue also sports one of the better page-by-page depictions of a dreamstate I’ve come across lately, jumbled and random enough you’ll probably have to read the book twice to understand certain parts, though it all hangs together very nicely upon reflection. Impressive, though I wonder if Trevor Hairsine’s art isn’t enhancing the comedic surrealism by remaining so heavily realist - we’ll see if the tone changes with the visual switchover next issue.

And there's still no reason for that MAX rating, other than jacking the price up to $3.99.

*And Zombies vs. Robots #2, the ‘final’ issue, does indeed include many sequences of zombies fighting robots, as drawn by Ashley Wood, while the plot skates through several different premises in the course of a single comic, finally settling down as the introduction to its own sequel, which will presumably be done when its done. The very opposite of substantial, but there’s just something about a book that’s this keenly aware it’s a disposable artist’s showcase, the artist in question having raw ability to burn…