The Revolution enjoyed the last issue of 52 even if I felt the slaughter of the Black Marvel Family wasted some good characters and plenty of potential for future storylines. The one fun part about DC killing off Isis and Osiris is that we are in store for plenty of Black Adam carnage and action. 52 #45 is going to consist of pretty much nothing else other than Black Adam wreaking some serious damage in his quest for vengeance. I’m confident that 52 #45 is going to be another good read. Let’s do this review.
Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid
Pencils: Chris Batista & Jamal Igle
Inks: Rodney Ramos
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Week 45, Day 3: We begin with funeral services for Isis and Osiris. Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel, Jr. and Mary Marvel are present and help carry the caskets to the tomb. Captain Marvel places a consoling hand on Black Adam’s shoulder. Black Adam jerks away from Captain Marvel. Black Adam flies off in one direction and the Marvel Family flies off in the opposite direction.
We cut to Black Adam at his palace. Renee Montoya enters the room with Vic Sage’s trench coat and hat. (Urp. I just threw up a little bit into my mouth.) Renee tells Black Adam that Vic is dead. Renee tells Black Adam that she knows what it feels like to lose people you love. That she knows all about self-loathing and guilt at being the one who survived. She knows about the rage of not being able to prevent what happened. And the shame from feeling that you failed your loved ones.
Black Adam snaps and grabs Renee’s face and is about to crush it. Black Adam says that Renee presumes too much. That they are not friends. However, Isis was Renee’s friend and that reason alone is why Black Adam is going to spare Renee’s life. (Nooooo! Damn you, Black Adam!)
Black Adam tells Renee that he doesn’t need her help or her pity. Black Adam tells Renee to go back home. That Black Adam is going to hunt down the last of the Four Horsemen that has fled to the country of Bialya. The government of Bialya has been bought by Intergang and is a safe haven for Intergang activity.
Week 45, Day 4: We zip over to Bialya and more specifically to the President’s palace. The President of Bialya is talking with Mannheim of Intergang. The President tells Mannheim that he promised that Bialya’s support of the Four Horsemen would remain a secret. However, Death is now hiding out in Bialya and that Black Adam is now on his way here.
The President says that Oolong Island is on lockdown and is no longer accepting incoming communication. Mannheim replies that it appears that they both have problems to deal with. Mannheim has a double agent in Oolong Island so his problem isn’t as grave as the President’s problem. Mannheim wishes the President good luck in dealing with Black Adam.
Suddenly, Black Adam comes crashing through the wall. The President begs for mercy. Black Adam responds that a quick death is mercy and promptly kills the President. Black Adam then proceeds to unleash unholy hell on the forces of Bialya. One of the soldiers cries out “Where is the Horseman? Where is Death?” Black Adam responds “Here” as he continues to lay waste to everything in his path.
We shift to the White House where Alan Scott, Mr. Terrific and Sash Bordeaux of Checkmate all are discussing the fact that Black Adam is in Bialya and if they don’t act immediately then there will be no Bialya left.
We cut to Amanda Waller and Atom Smasher. Waller says that her new Suicide Squad will require one hundred members if they hope to take down Black Adam. Atom Smasher tells Waller that he isn’t going to be a part of this mission. That he will go after Black Adam, but not with Waller and the Suicide Squad.
Waller responds that Atom Smasher is still an inmate of Belle Reve and can’t leave. Atom Smasher responds that Waller will give him the pardon that she gave Boomerang or Atom Smasher will tell Alan Scott and Checkmate about Waller’s new Suicide Squad. Waller concedes the issue and Atom Smasher leaves.
Week 45, Day 5: We cut back to Bialya and the inane amount of wreckage that Black Adam has wrought on this country. Black Adam hears the spirits of Isis and Osiris demanding that Black Adam avenge their deaths. Black Adam screams out for the Horseman Death.
Week 45, Day 6: We shift to China where the Great 10 are preparing to deal with Black Adam. Reports state that over the past thirty-six hours, Black Adam has reduced the nation of Bialya to ashes. That the casualties are in the millions. Thundermind and Accomplished Perfect Physician both state that Black Adam has his family purposely murdered. That Black Adam was provoked. That Black Adam is not a threat to China.
They both question how much the Chinese government knew about this plan to attack Black Adam’s family. Socialist Red Guardsman and the August General tell Thundermind and Accomplished Perfect Physician that their jobs are to follow the orders of the Chinese government without question.
We cut back to Black Adam standing among the scorched earth and ruins that once was Bialya. A murder of ravens appears and the Horseman Death follows. Death tells Black Adam that with every murder and with ever death of every man, woman and child that Black Adam has committed the past couple of days has only served to make Death stronger. Death says that he knew that Black Adam’s rage would lead to great death and carnage and help boost Death’s powers. Death says it is Black Adam’s time to die.
Black Adam responds that the Horseman is no longer Death. That Black Adam is Death. With that, Black Adam proceeds to whip Death’s ass. Black Adam impales Death to the ground and tells Death that he is going to tell Black Adam who sent him. And then Black Adam is going to spend the rest of the night slowly killing Death.
Week 45, Day 7: We shift to Oolong Island where the scientists there are peeing their pants over the thought of an enraged Black Adam heading their way. Only Sivana is excited. Sivana happily exclaims that he has been waiting for this for a long, ling time. The Black Marvel himself at his mercy. We see a pissed off Black Adam streaking toward Oolong Island.
The Good: Damn! 52 #45 was one kick ass read! There really are few things as enjoyable as watching an enraged Black Adam lay down some serious death and destruction. It satisfies the primal side of me. 52 #45 was an intense and emotional read. This issue was well paced and plotted. It started off slowly before boiling over with Black Adam’s attack on Bialya and it was a runaway train from that point on until the end.
I loved the opening scene. I dig that there was no dialogue. No words at all. Just silence in order to convey the deep sense of mourning that Black Adam is going through. I liked that Captain Marvel placed his hand on Black Adam and Black Adam pulled away. Seeing the Marvel Family fly off one way and Black Adam the other signified the split that remained between them.
Black Adam, with his new family, seemed to be coming around to the Marvel Family’s view on life. That is officially over. Black Adam has fully retreated from the values and way of life that the Marvel Family embraces. This scene is the quiet resignation by Black Adam that he simply can’t have the kind of existence that Captain Marvel enjoys.
The scene with Black Adam and Renee Montoya was a nice transition scene between Black Adam’s quiet acceptance of who he is and his loud announcement of his new role in life as Death. Renee certainly was the perfect character to talk to Black Adam about loss and the anger, pain and shame that comes along with being the only survivor who couldn’t protect their loved ones.
This scene was very emotional and had a nice impact on the reader. However, Black Adam just isn’t your normal person like Renee. Black Adam is a creature of magic and is fighting forces bigger than Renee has every dealt with before.
The writers then deliver the final not so quiet transformation of Black Adam into the incarnation of Death. I dig how Black Adam informs the Horseman that he is not Death. That Black Adam is. Black Adam finally embraces his rage and anger. These are emotions that Black Adam has struggled with his entire life.
The Black Adam we saw in the JSA was a tragic anti-hero who was struggling to “do the right thing” and follow the path of Captain Marvel. That path failed and Black Adam finally realized that only his harsh style of vengeance is the only method that works in dealing with criminals and crime in general.
However, we saw in the beginning of 52 that Black Adam took another step in the evolution of his character with the addition of Isis. Black Adam finally had a true love and a sense of peace in his life. Isis taught him a more benevolent way of life in dealing with trying to make the world a better place.
And with the addition of Osiris, Black Adam finally had what he had so desperately wanted. Black Adam finally had what he was so jealous of Captain Marvel. His own family. For the first time, Black Adam felt complete. He was at peace. We saw the birth of a brand new Black Adam that was much more along the lines of the Marvel Family.
However, in a cruel twist of fate, all of it was taken away from Black Adam. And now we have Black Adam stripped down to the core of his being. And at the core of his being is nothing but pain, rage and anger. And Black Adam has finally fully embraced who he is. Black Adam is Death.
This story shows that a man cannot fight his destiny. Black Adam has never been destined to be a super hero like Captain Marvel or Superman. Black Adam has always been destined to be a furious engine of destruction. Black Adam has always personified the primal urge for vengeance on criminals who victimize the innocent.
And what is the deal with Sivana and Black Adam? Sivana is positively giddy over the fact that Black Adam is headed toward Oolong Island. I noticed that Sivana called Black Adam “Black Marvel.” That is a name you don’t hear to often. People just usually use Black Adam. I’m really curious to see what the connection is between Sivana and Black Adam. What in the world does Sivana have planned for Black Adam?
I know that in the pre-Crisis DCU, that Sivana summons Black Adam from the netherworld by an inter-dimensional transport device. In the post-Crisis DCU, an archaeological aide named Theo Adam is at an archaeological dig financed by the Sivana Foundation to excavate the tomb of Rameses II. That is where Theo Adam comes across a scarab that transforms him into Black Adam. They are later found to be two separate individuals.
Is it possible that the writers have some tweaking planned for Black Adam’s origin in the wake of Infinite Crisis and this new DC Universe? This Sivana-Black Adam plotline definitely has my interest and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
It was cool to see the Great 10 in this issue. I really dig those characters and wish that DC would give them their own mini-series. I know that many people can’t get into their odd codenames, but I absolutely love them.
The Bad: The writers got my hopes up and then dashed them. I was really hoping that Black Adam would crush that puta’s head like a grape.
Overall: 52 #45 was a great read. I love what the writers are doing with Black Adam’s character. 52 has been a wonderful vehicle to really grow Black Adam’s character and to increase his position and impact on the DC Universe. I just hope that Black Adam makes it out of 52 alive. Killing off this character would be a huge mistake. Of course, the fact that Black Adam is not a white male really helps him a lot. It appears that it is only open season on white men in the DCU.