"Looking Back at Tomorrow": Day 1
- It's a mystery.
Synopsis for "Looking Back at Tomorrow"
Ralph Dibny goes to his late wife's tombstone to snap pictures of the recent vandalism that occurred there. He briefly speaks with the cemetery groundskeeper and commits himself to solving this new mystery.
Concerned over the robot's recent systems glitch in Metropolis, Booster Gold takes Skeets to Doctor Will Magnus. Magnus runs a few diagnostics until Skeets appears to be functioning properly again. He then travels to Haven to speak with scientific colleague Professor T.O. Morrow. Morrow tells Magnus that several "mad" scientists of note have disappeared in recent days.
In Gotham City, the Question breaks into Renée Montoya's apartment during the middle of the night. He startles her -- and her nearly naked guest -- awake with an odd question. Montoya wakes up and fires her gun into the Question's chest, but he disappears. Montoya finds that the Question has left behind an address, 520 Kane Street, written on a sheet of paper.
Back in Metropolis, Skeets tells Booster Gold that a jetliner is expected to crash, and Booster takes off to save the day. Skeets' information is faulty, however, and the jetliner nearly collides with Booster. Booster threatens to take Skeets back to Will Magnus.
Montoya makes an evening visit to 520 Kane Street in Gotham City. The Question appears suddenly and, after a skirmish, offers to hire Montoya as a private detective.
In San Francisco, we see that Wonder Girl has erected a Superboy memorial shrine at Titans Tower. She broadcasts a Kryptonian prayer via a live webcast. The Elongated Man arrives and shows her a photograph of Sue Dibny's gravestone. Someone has spray-painted an inverted "S" symbol, in the style of Superman's "S", across the stone. Ralph believes that Wonder Girl may know something about it.
Appearing in "Looking Back at Tomorrow"
Synopsis for "The History of the DCU, Part I of X"
On New Chronus, Donna Troy exists as the new Harbinger. She inspects the original Harbinger's orb and learns about the origins of the Multiverse, and the events that led the Maltusian Krona to accidentally create the Antimatter universe. Through the orb, she sees the creation of the Manhunters, and their successors, the Green Lantern Corps.
Donna is not interested in learning the entire history of creation, however. She is more concerned about people – specifically, Earth's heroes. She begins analyzing the events that led to the births of the Supermen of Earth-One and Earth-Two.
Appearing in "The History of the DCU, Part I of X"
- The following characters appear in flashbacks
- Batman (Earth-One)
- Enemy Ace
- Flash (Jay Garrick)
- Flash (Barry Allen)
- Green Lantern (Alan Scott)
- Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
- Green Lantern Corps
- Hawkman (Carter Hall)
- Hawkman (Katar Hol)
- Jonah Hex
- Robin (Earth-Two)
- Silent Knight
- Spectre (Jim Corrigan)
- Superman (Earth-One)
- Superman (Earth-Two)
- Earth-One (Flashback only)
- Earth-Two (Flashback only)
- Krypton (Flashback only)
- New Chronus
- Oa (Flashback only)
- "Looking Back at Tomorrow" is reprinted in 52 Vol. 1 of the 2007 4-volume edition, 52 Volume One of the 2016 2-volume edition, and 52 Omnibus.
- This issue begins a ten-part series called "History of the DCU". It is patterned after the 1986 two-issue limited series History of the DC Universe.
- The death of Superboy, which spurred Wonder Girl's actions in this issue, happened Infinite Crisis #7.
- Doctor Sivana's behind the scenes appearance is in a newspaper clipping.
- Sue Dibny's cameo is a reprise from Identity Crisis #1.
- The close of the first story in this issue contains teaser images from 52 #3. Character cameos include: Black Adam, Lex Luthor and Power Girl.
- Professor T.O. Morrow makes reference to an android known as Red Inferno. The Red Inferno was constructed as an android sibling to the Red Tornado, and will not appear until significantly later in Red Tornado (Volume 2) #2.
- The Gotham City street address, 520 Kane Street, is an homage to Batman co-creator Bob Kane.
- 52 #1-52
- Countdown #51-0
- World War III #1-4
- Booster Gold
- Crisis on Infinite Earths
- Elongated Man
- History of the DC Universe
- Identity Crisis
- Infinite Crisis
- Question (Volume 1)
- Question (Volume 2)