The 52 Steps: Week Eight

"Now why don't you tell me who you really want to be?" - Lex Luthor

Week Eight

Previously in 52...

Booster was outed to the world! Ralph helped it come true! Kate Kane! The space borne heroes met Devilance! Damn!

The Key Players

Booster Gold, Ralph Dibny, Steel.

Guest appearances

Starfire, Adam Strange and Animal Man, Lex Luthor, Natasha Irons, Clark Kent, and last but not least, Green Arrow.


So where were we? Ah yes, week eight, which begins with Ralph Dibny paying a visit to his old friend Green Arrow, who displays the devastated remains of Star City to our intrepid detective, and while that's still important, Ralph is hot on the trail of the Cult of Conner, the Superboy resurrection cult. After finding a lair in Star City, the two heroes examine the abandoned building, with Ralph realizing that, since he's hanging out with a guy who came back from the dead, maybe what the cult believes isn't so much bull$#!% after all.

Steel and his niece Natasha share more than a few tense moments, as Natasha gets back to work on her own Steel armor, while John Henry figures out that Lex Luthor infected him with a tailor-made metagene, one that is turning him into living stainless steel (think Colossus or the movie version of Dr. Doom). Unfortunately, when Natasha finds out, she goes to get her own metagene from Lex, just like hundreds of other participants. Seeing the opportunity to make a slave out of someone his rival cares about, Lex moves her to the front of the line in the experimentation process.

But what about that new process? Well, it seems that Metropolis already has a new hero thanks to it, a teleported who has already saved dozens of lives. Hot on his trail is Clark Kent, who ends up confronting a very irate Booster Gold in an effort to track this new mystery man down.

And for our far-flung space heroes, Adam and Animal man go searching for the missing Starfire, only to end up captured themselves.

Justin's Thoughts and Concerns

So, the groundwork is laid for Oliver Queen's quest to become the mayor of Star City. My only problem is that this seems to be in direct conflict with what's going on over in "Green Arrow," what with the coming flashbacks and all, but only time will tell.

Look over Ollie's shoulder as Ralph comes to the realization that his buddy also came back from the dead. Does that look like the same container that was holding Mr. Mind (who was named to me by several astute readers) waaaaay back when? I believe it does, and nothing says cult lovin' like a worm in your brain.

I like the idea of a completely metallic Steel. So sue me.

I wonder if the new mystery man is someone we already know with powers provided by Lexcorp, or if it's just some random man on the street. I hope for the former, but expect the latter.


I don't think the metagene enhancements are permanent, thus paving the way for Luthor to make "slaves" of the people he gives powers to. Maybe the gene adjustment will include an addiction strand, or Lex will simply prey on the weak wills of those who want power so desperately. After all, if the enhancements were permanent, why wouldn't Lex give himself powers?

Panel of the Week

Mighty tempting, isn't it? To leap tall buildings, to be stronger than a locomotive? To have really tight pants? And when you're told you're not allowed to have powers, even when everyone else is getting them, what's a teenager to do?


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