The 52 Steps: Week Twenty-Five

"Happy Halloween, Judeo-Christians!" - Osiris

Week Twenty-Five

Previously in 52...

We saw Black Adam change his ways with his new family, the Martian Manhunter made his appearance after so many missing months, Checkmate was reformed by the United Nations, and a new JLA hit the streets.

This Week's Key Players

Black Adam and Ralph.

Guest Appearances

Isis, Osiris, Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr., Sabbac, a motley bunch of Gotham villains, Felix Faust's soul, the Helm of Fate, Infinity Inc, Icicle and Tigress, Alan Scott, Mr. Terrific, Will Magnus, T.O. Morrow and Chang Tzu. Sheesh.


This week, we've got a whole lot to cover, but much of it we can get through pretty quickly (didn't you hate it when your teachers said that back in school? I did).

First off, Intergang makes its solid play for Gotham, as Bruno Mannheim wraps a tight, cold fist around the underworld of the city, killing any who think they should oppose him, or, truly, anyone he thinks isn't worth his time. Mr. Mannheim will return shortly.

It's Halloween in Boston, and Sabbac decided to get some reaping in before the holidays arrive. Mary Marvel and Junior try to slow him down, but they seem to be lacking a little bit of that extra punch they hoped Billy Batson would bring. The punch does come, but it's Black Adam, Isis and Osiris to the rescue. The battle is swift and decisive, earning the rapture of the children saved from Sabbac, who continue their trick-or-treating, but only if they get to dress up as the Black Marvel family.

In planes beyond our own, Ralph Dibny learns a lesson from the Helm of Fate, who shows him the worthlessness of a soul tarnished by too much magic, the soul of Felix Faust, who bargained his soul so often it lost all its value. This served as a warning to Ralph, but he remained undeterred from his quest.

Icicle and Huntress are stopped by Infinity Inc., and the whole row is witnessed by Alan Scott, who finds Mr. Terrific and asks him to come with him to join the new Checkmate. Alan needs someone smart and strong to advice him and help him keep problems like Luthor's metagene program down before they get out of hand.

Lastly, Mr. Mannheim returns, seeking aid from the Island of Misfit Scientists to get Intergang in control of Kahndaq. Chang Tzu plans to assist, but Dr. Magnus is reluctant to aid the madmen, leading Dr. Morrow to plot against him and the pills that keep him sane.

Busy, busy, busy this week, made no less so by the talents of Mark Waid and the gorgeous artwork of George Perez as they bring us the origin of Nightwing.

Justin's Thoughts and Concerns

  • Black Marvel Family, huh? Guess the writers didn't like the Addams Family jokes floating around.
  • Wow. The Nightwing origin gave us more information than the first six months of the Nightwing comic OYL did at all. Thank God for Marv Wolfman.
  • I like Tigress. So sue me.
  • Ah, Ralph, what madness you bring upon yourself.


Well, we've seen the arrival of the new Checkmate already One Year Later. If you haven't checked out Greg Rucka's "Checkmate," get on it, fool!

Look for Icicle and Tigress to get named to Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad that's heading for Kahndaq. Also look for that mission to get clustered by the arrival of Tzu's Four Horsemen, I have a feeling. Add to the mix the Question and Renee Montoya all tied up in the middle of it, and you've got one hell of a war brewing for that little dust ball of a country.

Panel of the Week

Tread warily, my friend...

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