I’ve been re-reading 52 over the past few weeks. Highlight so far:

My wife, “who’s that chimp in the detective hat on the cover?”

Me: “Oh, that’s Detective Chimp.”

God bless them for bringing back that ridiculous character in Day of Vengeance.

Anyway, there’s a page missing from Week 18, which came out in a recent interview with Greg Rucka (via LitG). Page five was yanked because it was too sexually explicit. In the story, Renee Montoya has had a bit of a relapse. As the series started she had left the Gotham City police force following the murder of her partner, and was spending most of her time drunk and reeling from her decision not to shoot the murderer. Last issue she had to shoot a suicide bomber, so she’s dealing with the conflicted feelings of guilt for killing a would-be mass murderer. So she’s gotten very, very drunk and picked up some girl in Kahndaq. (Despite not speaking the language. I guess they have easy-to-find lesbian bars?) Here is the inked page that was removed:

Missing Page

You can also see Keith Giffen’s original breakdowns for this page here.

You can read the script for that page in this document, which I’ll excerpt here:

One: Caption (Vic): …and she’s defaulted to her standard coping mechanisms as a result.

Zalika: [Arabic]

Montoya (drunk): Okay, I’m drunk and all but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t English…

Two: Caption (Montoya): Irony is the universe’s way of saying you’re its bitch.

Zalika: [Arabic]

Montoya (drunk): Got no idea what y'just said, baby, but I love the way you say it.

Three: Caption (Montoya): I mean, what else can it be?

Zalika: [Arabic]

Caption (Montoya): Why else do the wrong people always end up dead?

Four: Caption (Montoya): I can kill a fourteen-year-old girl…

Zalika: [Arabic]

Caption (Montoya): …I can’t kill the bastard who murdered Crispus

After this, sunlight bursts in, due to the fact that Black Adam has just crashed through the wall on the next page, which was published.

None of this is that crucial to the story. It flows fine with the page omitted, but that’s what was supposed to be there.

Two great resources, incidentally, if you’re reading 52, are JG Jones 52 Cover Blog, in which the cover artist shares his sketches and process for every cover, and Douglas Wolk’s 52 Pickup. It was written as the series was released, so some of it is guesswork, but there are lots of good references and annotations.