This week’s issue “concludes” the Ralph Dibny/Helm of Fate storyline. Other than that, Renee Montoya sees her reflection sans a face. But, really, the main thing we’re here for is Dibny’s story, and it doesn’t disappoint. Much.
Y’see, I’m somewhat torn over this conclusion. Having Felix Faust be the villain behind this entire Helmet of Fate rouse is pretty cool. That’s not my complaint. I’ll tell you my only complaint about this issue at the very end of my post. So keep reading!
First, let’s talk about how cool this is. For the past forty weeks, we’ve watched Ralph Dibny slowly descend into alcohol fueled depression. We’ve been dealing with a man at the end of the road, desperate to resurrect his wife Sue, who died at the hands of Jean Loring way back in Identity Crisis. As Fate would have it, though, Ralph’s been playing along with the Helm this entire time, and after casting the spell of binding, he reveals that Faust has been behind the whole scheme, hoping to escape Hell by giving Neron the soul of Ralph Dibny in exchange for his freedom. Ralph also reveals that he’s been kicking back on Gingold these past few weeks, and he delivers a long-needed Grade-A ass-whoopin’ to Faust. At this point, Neron, DC’s resident devil, shows up and tells Ralph to go away, as he’s taking Faust and heading back to Hell. Ralph objects, Neron shoots Ralph through the heart with his own wedding ring, only to come to the realization that that was part of Ralph’s plan all along. Since Dibny’s no longer alive to undo the spell of binding, Neron and Faust are stuck in the Tower of Fate for the rest of eternity.
Only, that’s not true. If this is the end of Ralph Dibny’s story, then the rest of his appearances in 52 were a big waste of time. This is the type of thing that’ll make me sour to the series as a whole, if this is the last we see of him. Because, hey, guess what? Neron and Felix Faust are no longer in the Tower of Fate OYL. That’s right! Faust shows up in JLA, and Neron shows up in Teen Titans.
So, as cool as this issue could’ve been, it can’t be the end for Dibny.
If it is, well, then it’s really stupid.
See ya in seven.