The 52 Steps: Week Forty-Five

"You are death no longer. I am." - Black Adam

Week Forty-Five

Previously in 52...

The Black Marvel Family was torn asunder by the Four Horsemen, leaving only Black Adam alive, filled with a black, black rage and an urge for vengeance. Meanwhile, Renee Montoya found that her destiny needed her to visit Kahndaq.

This Week's Key Players

Black Adam and Renee Montoya.

Guest Appearances

Captain Marvel and his clan, Amanda Waller, Atom Smasher, Alan Scott, Mr. Terrific, Sasha Bordeaux, the Chinese metas, Dr. Sivana and a few of the other crazies on Oolong Island


Following the burial of Isis and Osiris, Black Adam shrugs off the silent offer of family aid from Captain Marvel, going to brood inside his palace, though he's not exactly alone. Renee Montoya pays him a visit, and, while her intentions are good, Adam makes his point very clear: he needs no one else and he will have his vengeance.

Cut to the neighboring country of Bilaya, a country that has accepted Intergang and the religion of crime with open arms. Here, Intergang has sent the final living Horseman, death, to hide, against the wishes of the country's ruling party. However, politics mean nothing to a man like Black Adam, and he begins tearing the country apart in search of the monster that murdered his wife.

The carnage carries on for three days.

Around the world, country's respond to Adam's aggressions. In the U.S., Amanda Waller tries to recruit more people to her Suicide Squad, though Atom Smasher resigns his post, hoping to find a way to stop Adam without resorting to manipulation and violence. Waller threatens to throw Smasher back in jail, but he counteroffers, warning Waller that he'll go to Checkmate and rat her out if she doesn't hand him a pardon. Speaking of Checkmate, the U.S. asks the spy organization to develop some sort of containment plan, much to the disbelief of those in charge. In China, that country's metas make similar arrangements.

But, really, it's all for naught, as Adam slaughters Bilaya from end to end. Unfortunately, all the deaths were just a part of the plan, as each time Adam snuffed out a life, Horseman Death just grew stronger, and as the country sings it's final song, Death strikes, lashing out at Black Adam.

And it falls, quickly and painfully, though not before telling Adam who has been behind all the madness, and where they are located.

Next stop: Oolong Island (much to the glee of Dr. Sivana).

Justin's Thoughts and Concerns

  • Doesn't Renee look a little more "Indiana Jones" than "Vic Sage?"
  • I'm getting a little sick of the "lightning attack" everyone with "Marvel" in their name uses. It was cool the first time (in "Kingdom Come") but now it's getting a little old. Personally, I'm just waiting for the day one of the Marvels tries it against a speedster and gets left without powers just before they get hit in the face at 400 miles an hour.
  • Black Adam is just scary, by the way. Everyone has always wondered what would happen is Superman went off his rocker and started taking everyone out. Now, you have the result.

Looking Ahead

World War III is coming, and it's coming fast.

Elsewhere, though, we've gotten word from this week's Wizard World LA convention that our very own Booster Gold will get his own series, likely as a part-time member of the Time Masters, if I read the reports correctly.

Joining him will be John Henry Irons on a new "Infinity, Inc." ongoing series. Who would have thought that, hm? Oh, yeah… me. (Check back a few weeks and you'll see what I mean).

Also, Black Adam may get his own mini from what I hear. Might we see a resurrection of his own version of the JSA that featured Atom Smasher?

Another book in the "Maybe" column is a series featuring the Chinese Metahumans. Personally, I'd give kudos to someone who could write a book where all the characters call each other "August so-and-so without tearing out his eyes, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Panel of the Week

Do I really even need to comment? Beware the mad wrath of the gods…


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