How to bring a man-god down


Last week Black Adam discovered the Mads of Oolong Island were behind The Four Horsemen project that resulted in the death of his wife and brother-in-law. Having the power of seven gods should be enough to make anyone mess his lab coat, but not these crazy bunch of bastards.

01.jpgAs Black Adam rockets his way to Oolong Island, chaos inside the compound escalates as some of the scientists are able to handle the situation, while others freak out. Dr. Sivana is cool as a cucumber, while Dr. Cale’s breakdown over the terror she helped unleash increases. Will Magnus continues his “work”, and Dr. Morrow is busy trying to win Red Tornado in an online auction.

One of the things that struck me from the beginning of 52 was how similar the events taking place on Oolong Island mirrored the 50’s and the Red Scare period. The retro robots, threat of an attack from outside forces, hunkering down in a bunker, and rampant paranoia only serve to further that feeling.

One by one Black Adam destroys the defenses set up by the inhabitants of Oolong Island. He is able to easily survive Dr. Death’s acid rainstorm, he smashes through Egg Fu’s perimeter force field, he rips through Dr. Rigor Mortis’s Super Hood Mark 2 robot, and Baron Bug’s Insectrons slow Adam down, but only serves to make him angrier.


The final crisis huh? If you have been paying close attention to the other titles in the DC pantheon lately, you have seen many of 52’s characters and themes starting to appear, which seems to be wrapping up the lose ends between One Year Later, World War III, 52, and the upcoming Countdown series. Veronica Cale mentions the Apostles of Anti-Life, which struck me as a direct nod to Darkseid and his continuing quest for the Anti-Life equation.

All this talk gets Veronica hot and bothered, causing her to tear off her clothes and throw herself at Will. In their post love glow, Veronica continues to spout her regret for everything she has done, and picking up a gun, walks out of the room.

All signs point to suicide, as Cale opens the blast doors to the compound, the last line of defense, and confesses to the approaching Black Adam. Instead of taking her down, he passes right by, causing even more confusion on Cale’s part. The last shot we see of Cale in this issue (and perhaps the series) is a classic long shot of Cale walking away, head down, with her gun on the ground.

Considering Black Adam has taken down every line of defense, it is time for Dr. I.Q. to rally the troops and go on the offensive. He “suggests” Doctor Cyclops use his Null-Light Lens Gun to blind Adam, giving Dr. Time enough time to use his suspension ray to slow Adam down. Then it is time for T.O. Morrow to take him down.


And nonchalantly, Morrow goes back to his auction. While Black Adam is down, the geeks finally get their revenge on the super-jock by kicking him when he is down. To fully take him out of commission, Komrade Krabb places his Neuro Crown on Adam’s head, rendering him completely useless.

Remember all of those old comics where the hero was suspended above an acid bath? That is exactly what Dr. Sivana plans to do with Black Adam as the Monster Society (?) drags the limp body away.

The huge battle ends with Morrow winning Red Tornado for a mere $14,000. Ever the villain, Morrow hacks into the seller’s bank account to pay for it all. Of course Morrow’s smugness doesn’t go unnoticed, to which he responds.


Yeah, don’t count those old guys out. I have a feeling Morrow will be using his years of battling the JLA to train a new group villains in the coming months. The battle takes up the bulk of the issue, and I loved every minute of it. This is the kind of teamwork that should make everyone super hero quake in their boots.

Before the week ends, we check in at Metropolis, where Lex Luthor is being lead away in chains for fear of being a flight risk. Ya-think? Luthor’s quiet demeanor doesn’t sit quite right with Clark Kent, who puts two and two together and smells a set up. He quickly gets the attention of Steel and the police chief and urges them to follow him into Lex Corp. Tower. Having earned her right to put back on her armor, Natasha is told to stay behind to keep an eye on “Lex”.

Clark leads everyone to a lead lined room, telling Steel to smash it open. When he does, they discover Lex Luthor sitting inside. Ooops… that means the Lex Luthor outside can be none other than


Guess we’ll have to wait a while longer to find out how he survived the multi-story fall, and makes a nice tie in to the most recent issue of Manhunter, which I won’t spoil here, but you should really check out.

Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Wildcat, and Jay Garrick have made their way to Bialya hoping to find survivors, instead finding over two million dead. There is a really good discussion on how heroes and organizations have changed, and Alan suggests perhaps it is time for the JSA to evolve too. Ted laments on “those kids today”, an argument we’ve heard hundreds of times throughout this series, which causes Jay to suggest they teach them the right way to be heroes. This is the perfect line to come from Jay as he was one of the many members of the Flash family tasked with teaching Bart Allen how to control his powers and be a hero. These two pages tie directly into the mission of the new JSA series, and why they are inviting younger heroes and family members to join the team.

The three finally come to the conclusion they should do something about Black Adam, at which point who should appear?


The Good

  • The entire Oolong Island battle
  • T.O. Morrow smarter than everyone
  • Atom Smasher back on the JSA?
  • Clear tie-ins between 52 and regular continuity (finally)

The Bad

  • Why is Everyman alive again?
  • Clark Kent “finding” Lex is going to be really hard to explain
  • Why did it take six weeks for Lex to be arrested as a flight risk? He should never have been bail to begin with.

With all of the dread and despair happening these last couple of weeks, Week 46 was one of the most fun reads this week. Granted, Black Adam was captured, and things don’t look good for him, but the Oolong Island battle was brilliantly put together. For the last forty plus weeks, we’ve seen all the scientists testing and building their implements of war, and it has been really fun trying to figure out who was who, and how their unique abilities might be put into use. This issue answered everything. Almost everything. Each scientist brought onto the island had a specific part to play, which they did on cue. Everyone that is except Will Magnus. What kind of fallout will befall him?

Since we haven’t seen Black Adam post OYL, I am interested to see what Sivana and the others have in mind. It would be interesting if Mr. Mind came into play here ala Kingdom Come’s Captain Marvel brain washing, but I think that little guy is somewhere else.

52 – Week 46 earns a well deserved 4.5 out of 5 Stars.


Parting Shot


About Author

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...

1 Comment

  1. Matthew Peterson on

    Who’d have thought that T.O. Morrow, Thaddeus Bodog Sivana, and Ira “I.Q.” Quimby had any chance of of being threatening in the 21st Century? It’s moments like this that make you realize exactly what this series does well that Civil War didn’t: using the existing tenets of the characters in new and exciting ways, rather than amplifying one character trait to ridiculous extremes.

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