“I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger!”

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There is a cliché in every action movie where the hero loses his loved one(s) and goes on an angry rampage seeking vengeance until he reaches the big boss. Black Adam takes on that cliché this week as 52 reaches a dark turning point in the DC Universe.

The week starts off on a somber note with the Marvel family helping Black Adam bury his family. The country of Kahndaq is in morning and the rain hasn’t stopped since her death. According to the locals, the rain is really Isis’s tears over the loss of the country. Instead of accepting the sympathy of those closest to him, Black Adam brushes everyone off.

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The first couple of pages of this issue feature some amazing character artwork that I really like. Unfortunately, a couple of pages later some of the faces get a little wonky and it falls apart.

Renee Montoya is also in Kahndaq hoping to help out any way she can. But if Black Adam is strong enough to push away Captain Marvel, Renee doesn’t have much of a hope of surviving. Renee tells Black Adam she understands about loss and the guilt trip that goes with losing someone, but by offering sympathy, she is bringing an immortal down to her human level, and that is something you just shouldn’t do.

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01.jpgBlack Adam doesn’t kill Renee, which, considering the rest of the issue, is something he could have done very easily. Is he showing his honor towards friends? Is this why he and Billy are not trying to wipe the floor with one another? Could this be a telling conclusion to Black Adam’s actions?

He ends up releasing Renee, telling her to go home. As much as I’ve liked Renee’s transformation into The Next Question, I really want to see her in action. The only place that is going to happen is back in Gotham.

When Death fled, it headed off to the neighboring country of Bialya to seek refuge. Bialya, as we quickly discover, is one of those countries Intergang bought. And we aren’t the only ones who know – Black Adam is heading there too. The president of the country is desperately trying to get in contact with Oolong Island to find out what is going on, but it appears the complex is on lockdown, so in a desperate he contacts Bruno Manheim.

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On cue Black Adam strikes like a bomb, killing the president and anything and everything in his path. Black Adam smashes tanks, Black Adam destroys building, Black Adam kills the men, women, and children of Bialya without blinking an eye. In less than 36 hours, Black Adam obliterates the entire region.

Honestly, what would you do if you were one of the most powerful beings on the planet, given the power of the gods, and you can’t even save your family? You’d probably go a little wacko too. So while I can’t condone genocide, I can see why he is going off the deep end.

It is also interesting that throughout this series, there have been constant references to young heroes with powers not being able to control themselves, and yet we see the same thing happening with Black Adam who has been around for over 3000 years.

Don’t think Black Adam’s actions have gone unnoticed. The Pentagon is worried, the President of the U.S. closes all embassies in the region and is ordering citizens out. Checkmate is informed and is told to contain the situation. Amanda Waller thinks her Suicide Squad can handle it. China and its superpowers are put on alert. In other words the players are in place and a world war is about to break out.

In all the chaos, Death has become even more powerful and by the end of the week, comes out of hiding to take on Black Adam. Using every trick in the book – including the oft used lighting strike trick seen in Kingdom Come and Justice League – Black Adam is able to bring Death to its knees and begins to slowly torture the monster to discover who sent it.

Which brings us to Oolong Island and the end of the week.

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Damn! If Sivana isn’t worried, then this is going to be one hell of a fight.

The Good

  • World War III is set up in a very logical way
  • Renee and Black Adam’s exchange
  • Atom Smasher is going after Black Adam with his own team
  • Who is the Squad member blocked by Waller (Fire?)
  • The dialogue between The Great Ten over going to war

The Bad

  • If Black Adam is able to take Death so easily here, why wasn’t he able to do it last week?

When an outside force attacks the planet, everyone seems to band together to fight, but when there is no extraterrestrial conflict, countries are more than willing to turn on each other. World War III is just around the corner everyone, and I felt this issue set the entire conflict up very well. In a world filled with super powers, I’m surprised something like this hasn’t happened before. I was pleasantly surprised at how this issue turned out and give it a 3.5 out of 5 Star Rating.

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Parting Shot

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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6 Comments

  1. Stevo
    March 20, 2007 at 9:57 am — Reply

    Maybe Black Adam was able to defeat Death because he now has all of his powers back after Isis’ death.

  2. March 20, 2007 at 10:21 am — Reply

    Judging from the hair, I wonder if the blocked face isn’t Jewelee, seen as a Squadder in Checkmate One Year Later… I also thought it might be Cluemaster, but, isn’t he dead?

  3. Mark I.
    March 20, 2007 at 12:14 pm — Reply

    Jeez, looks like DC’s going to clean house on some low-rent villains. Icicle, Tattooed Man, bronze Tiger…nice knowin’ ya. Metallo…get ready for a new body. And someone’s losing a limb…maybe Captain Cold. Still I like where this is going.

  4. March 20, 2007 at 12:56 pm — Reply

    Tattooed Man died a few months ago in Checkmate (this issue, remember, takes place in the past), and the Icicle is actually interesting. Bronze Tiger seems to be a central figure in the proposed Suicide Squad series that’s upcoming…

    But we have NOT seen Captain Cold One Year Later, have we?

  5. Mark I.
    March 21, 2007 at 10:32 am — Reply

    Good point. I’m not entirely up to date…I only buy one or two books a month and loiter at Borders to read the rest, so I miss a lot. Still, if Superboy can take out a handful of Weenie Titans mostly by accident, I imagine Black Adam’s going to be punting D-grade villain heads left and right.

  6. March 21, 2007 at 12:20 pm — Reply

    I’m afraid so. Metallo, we hardly knew ye… :)

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