The 52 Steps: Week Thirty-Nine

"What exchange will you make?" - The Helm of Fate

Week Thirty-Nine

Previously in 52...

Renee and Vic were lost in the frozen mountain reaches of the far East, while the Four Horseman were unveiled and Natasha decided to go against the Luthor grain and get her own answers.

This Week's Key Players

Black Adam and Ralph Dibny.

Guest Appearances

The Island of Misfit Scientists, Mercury, Lex Luthor, Natasha Irons, Everyman/Hannibal, The Helm of Fate, Isis and Sobek.


Short Story #1: Ralph and the Helm visit the ruins of Atlantis to find a relic that will aid them in the quest to resurrect Sue Dibny. There, they find a madman that looks an awful lot like Aquaman that guides them to the relic, the Shackles of Arion, of which they need a single link. However, to keep the beast that is bound by the shackles at bay, they replace the link they've taken with a new one: Ralph's wedding band.

Short Story #2:On the Island of Misfit Scientists, the Four Horsemen are shipped off to wreck havoc upon the world. Meanwhile, Dr. Tyme is looking for his missing 52 seconds, Dr. Sivana plays around with suspendium, Morrow gets word of the Red Tornado's final resting place, and Will Magnus chats a little with an old friend, a miniature version of the Metal Man Mercury.

Short Story #3: The Gardens of Isis in Kahndaq begin to rot as a sudden storm picks up. The source is unknown, but Adam and Isis had just been talking about Osiris' guilt over his battle with the Suicide Squad, feeling that the power gleaned from Black Adam has somehow tainted him.

And, finally, the meat of this week's issue…

In Metropolis, Natasha Irons and her boyfriend Jake go hunting for answers, only to see one of Luthor's scientists torch himself and all his information about the metahuman program. Later in the week, the two go hunting deeper, as Jake claims to have more information than he's told Natasha. With that, Jake reveals himself to be Everyman, who's been eating pieces of Jake just for the fun of it, as well as for the ability to impersonate the hero (note how I didn't mention Jake in the opening credits this week).

Natasha decides to take out Everyman, but is stopped suddenly by a meta Lex Luthor, who proceeds to pimp slap the hell out of her, telling her that he's had powers all along, and the doctor that torched himself had just been faking it. Bad news for the young Irons.

Back-up feature

The Origin of Mr. Terrific from Mark Waid and Ethan Van Sciver.

Justin's Thoughts and Concerns

  • Well, well… looks like I'd been right about Everyman / Jake all along, though it might be a bit of a stretch to have named the only cannibal on the team "Hannibal."
  • Does Lex's shirt look ripped in a very Superman-shield fashion? Must be all the rage in Metropolis.
  • Did your cover blurb say something about Montoya fighting a Dragon? I see no Montoya or Richard Dragon this issue.
  • So that confirms it: the original Aquaman became the Dweller in the Deep in Busiek's new "Sword of Atlantis" run.
  • Is mini-Mercury like Mini-Me from Austin Powers? Or are we going to see mini versions of all the Metal Men? That would be cool.
  • Suspendium? Any way we can pilfer that for Rip and Booster to use on Skeets?
  • Ah, that solves it. Dr. Tyme's missing 52 seconds are the same 52 seconds that Rip and Booster used to escape Skeets (see two weeks ago). No one beats the master of time!

Looking Ahead

Remember how we talked about something big last week? Well, it looks like we're going to have it, namely as an addition to the ranks of "52" here around Week 50, as we've now learned that's when World War Three will take place. Personally, I'm kind of ticked that all four issues are going to come out the same week, and that they'll all be tied so deeply into the story we've got here that they'll be must-buys for obsessive-compulsive collectors like ourselves (or, at least, me). And right when I'm supposed to be saving for my trip to the Pittsburgh Comicon…

Panel of the Week

Almost, indeed.

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