The 52 Steps: Week Three

"It's time for heroes who don't just patrol the world…they change it." - Black Adam

Week Three

Previously in 52...

Ralph Dibny confronted Wonder Girl about hero worship (literally) and the message left on Sue's grave. Dr. Will Magnus and T.O. Morrow shared a discourse on the artificial soul. Skeets' future history records caused Booster Gold some grief, and The Question put Renee Montoya back to work.

The Key Players

Black Adam, Steel, and Booster Gold

Guest appearances

Power Girl, Lex Luthor and Intergang


As week three begins, the body of Alexander Luthor is found by the GCPD, after being unceremoniously dumped in a Gotham alley at the end of "Infinite Crisis." The body is moved to Metropolis, specifically S.T.A.R. Labs, where John Henry Irons (aka Steel) is called to examine it later in the week. During the examination, John discovers that contacts were placed in the body's eyes after death to change their color. As he makes this discovery, our Lex Luthor arrives with the press to show them the body and blame his misconduct of the past year on this doppelganger, drawing Steel into the mix by asking him to confirm that this dead Luthor was actually from another reality.

Booster Gold is still doing his Booster-iffic hero routine, all the while using Skeets to make a mint off of betting on sports and investing in companies sure to be winners (think "Back to the Future Part Two" and you'll be on the right track). Unfortunately, Skeets is only getting things about 50% right, as Booster makes a mint off of a baseball game, but watches his newest corporate sponsor (suggested by Skeets) get arrested for fraud. An angry Booster then goes on a quest for Rip Hunter.

Meanwhile, Power Girl is seen chasing a loser named Terra-Man into African airspace after his attempt to rob a plane. Specifically, Terra-Man makes a bolt for Kahndaq's airspace, prompting Black Adam to arrive and tell Power Girl to step off ,and tell tells her to spread the word that the country is off limits. As the week progresses, Adam is visited by representatives of Intergang, who bring him an offer of a beautiful virgin and two million in gold as down payment to use Kahndaq as a smuggling port into the Middle East. Adam rejects the offer quite violently, and then takes Terra-Man with him to New York, where the Kahndaq embassy is about to open.

As the week ends, Adam arrives at the embassy opening in New York and calls for heroes of the world to join him in ridding the world of villains who would take advantage of the absence of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. To emphasize his point that the world needs a change in heroes, he rips Terra-Man in half, spraying the assembled press, including Lois Lane, in blood as he flies off.

The history of the DCU continues as Donna Troy tries to get grip on the idea of multiple Earths.

Justin's Thoughts and Concerns

  • Total body count of the Crisis: 5,079,432.
  • Nice job, Lex. Wouldn't it be great to be able to blame all your mistakes involving battle suits and Kryptonite-laced Venom drugs on a doppelganger?
  • Yay! Rip Hunter! Don't know why I'm excited, but I always kind of liked the Linear Men.
  • It was refreshing to see a villain admit that Power Girl was going to kick his @$$, but that he just felt like going on with the fight anyway.
  • Good for John Henry Irons putting that uppity niece of his in her place (again). How dare she blow off English class!
  • So Booster Gold signed up to sponsor a company called Akteon-Holt? Since it was Mr. Akteon got busted, I wonder if the "Holt" part of the equation is any relation to Michael Holt, aka Mr. Terrific?
  • What the heck is that cocooned thing in the very last panel? Could it be what lurks within 520 Kane Street?


I look for Black Adam to end up inside the Rock of Eternity safeguarding the Seven Deadly Sins. Yes, I know, Billy Batson / Captain Marvel is doing it now, but it seems to make more sense for Adam to end up there at some point during the year, possibly after some serious tragedy he couldn't prevent. At the very least, look for him to undergo a costume change soon and be the new member of the Marvel family that was featured in the double page shot of heroes in "Infinite Crisis" #7.

Either that, or he'll die very, very painfully. After all, something has to account for the chaos in Kahndaq hinted at in the One Year Later books.

The Daily Planet

Keith Giffen's breakdowns for Week One have been posted in the "Reporter's Sketchbook," and a new feature about Black Adam visiting New York has been added, as well. See for yourself at www.52thecomic.com.

EXCLUSIVE: Captain Marvel Breaks Bad (Really Bad) in 'The Last Avenger'

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