52 Week 050-1

52 #50 Review

The creative team did a good job rebounding with the last issue of 52. This week, the story hits overdrive with 52 #50 as well as four WW III issues. I fully expect 52 #50 to be a great read. Let’s not waste any time and go ahead and hit this review.

Creative Team
Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid
Pencils: Justiano
Inks: Walden Wong

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: Week 50, Day 2: We begin in Egypt with Black Adam beating the crap out of Captain Marvel, Marvel Jr., and Mary Marvel.

Week 50, Day 3: We cut to Australia. The chance say is investigating the aftermath of black atoms rampage through Sydney. Atom Smasher refuses to believe the Black Adam would hurt innocent people. The other JSA members accuse Atom Smasher of taking Black Adam’s side.

Week 50, Day 4: We shift to Italy where Black Adam is taking out the Doom Patrol.

Week 50, Day 5: The JSA arrives in Italy. Wildcat comments that there is a global curfew until Black Adam is caught. Power Girl comments that Black Adam has been kicking ass on everyone who’s been able to come into contact with him. Wildcat retorts that the JSA will take him down. Mr. Terrific then comments that Checkmate just found Black Adam in China.

Week 50, Day 6: we see the Chinese Air Force attempting to stop Black Adam. Black Adam takes down the fighter planes easily. Thunder Mind comments on how Black Adam has reached Beijing. And that he knows the role the Chinese leaders played in his betrayal. August General in Iron retorts that the Great 10 will stop Black Adam.

The Great 10 then attacks Black Adam. Ghost Fox Killer, Seven Deadly Brothers, and Socialist Red Guardsmen take on Black Adam.

Week 50, Day 7: We see a huge army of heroes gathered on the border of China including the members of the JLA and the JSA. Guy Gardner exclaims that they have to enter China or else they will all die like the people in Bialya. Alan Scott comments that they have been warned that if they make one move into China then the missiles will start flying. Alan Scott says that they will hold the line until he gives the signal.

We see Black Adam standing over the fallen bodies of Ghost Fox Killer, Seven Deadly Brothers, and Socialist Red Guardsmen. Shaolin Robot then attacks and is quickly dispatched by Black Adam. We cut back to the Great 10’s headquarters, where August General in Iron is refusing to admit that the Great 10 is not enough to stop Black Adam.

We cut back to Beijing and see Black Adam killing the Great 10 member named the Yeti. We shift back to the Great 10’s headquarters. Thundermind tells August General in Iron that with communications from Beijing severed that August General is now in charge. Accomplished Perfect Physician urges August General in Iron to allow the JSA into China. August General in Iron grudgingly allows the American superheroes to enter China.

We cut to the massive force of superheroes converging on top of Black Adam. During a brawl, Atom Smasher asks Black Adam if it was the Horseman who killed everyone in Bialya. That Black Adam does not kill to kill he does what’s right. Black Adam retorts that he does what he needs to do.

We shift to the rock of eternity. We see Zatanna, Zatarra, and Phantom Stranger in the rock. Captain Marvel comes crashing down through the rock. Captain Marvel tells the other heroes that the Egyptian gods refused to sever their ties to Black Adam and refused to make him mortal again.

We cut back to Beijing, where Steel and Natasha are ready to fire their newest weapon called the thunder missile. Steel comments that once the missile hits Black Adam that he’ll inhale the A.I. nanites inside then they will work their way to his brain and fuse onto his neurons and short-circuit his motor functions. Suddenly, Booster Gold appears and perhaps the weapon and tells steel that he needs it for something more important and that it wasn’t going to work anyway. Booster Gold then suddenly disappears again.

We see Alan Scott asking the members of Infinity, Inc. to help take down Black Adam. The members of Infinity Inc. say they aren’t going to go anywhere near Black Adam and the members then turn tail and run. Alan Scott says that they are going to do with the JSA has always done and that’s keep fighting.

Zatanna contacts Flash with a plan to take down Black Adam. Alan Scott and Power Girl grab Black Adam and haul him up into the sky. We see Captain Marvel moving into the location to intercept them. Captain Marvel says, “Shazam” and a massive bolt of lightning strikes him.

We see Zatanna, Zatarra, and Phantom Stranger casting a spell to keep Billy protected from the lightning. Zatanna says that if they can’t force Black Adam to call down the lightning and they will have to bring the lightning to him. We then see Captain Marvel casting the magical lightning directly at Black Adam. There is a massive explosion. We see Black Adam in his mortal form falling from the sky frantically shouting the word “Shazam” over and over again. Atom Smasher catches Black Adam before he can hit the ground.

The Flash races around yelling if anyone has seen where Black Adam fell. Atom Smasher comments that the light and the shock wave blinded everyone. And that no one saw exactly what happened. Captain Marvel tells the Flash to relax since Black Adam is no longer a threat.

Captain Marvel is now guarding the magic and even though he couldn’t get Egyptian gods to rescind their gift of power to Adam, Captain Marvel did the next best thing, he changed Adam’s magic word. Captain Marvel says he will never tell another living soul, the magic word.

We cut to Adam stumbling through a Middle Eastern town saying various words, including Shazam, Captain Marvel, Kahndaq, Osiris, Isis, Batson, and Eternity. None of the worst work.

Week 50, Day 7: We cut to the Rocky Mountains. We see Morrow landing the Omni-Bot. Morrow exits the robot with Red Tornado’s head in his hand. Morrow wrote enters his secret lab. Morrow begins work on Red Tornado’s head. Red tornado keeps repeating the word 52.

Morrow looks into Red Tornado’s head and says let’s have a look at what Red Tornado saw. Morrow sees what Red Tornado saw and is stunned and speechless. Suddenly, Brewster Gold and rip Hunter appear and tell Morrow to come with them because they are already way out of time. End of story.

We get a two-page backup story on the origin of the Justice Society of America. End of issue.

The Good: Nice! 52 #50 was a blast to read. We got tons of excellent action and plenty of Black Adam goodness. The only sad part of this issue is that the Black Adam plotline officially comes to an end and we won’t get to see this ass-kicker in action anymore.

I absolutely loved the Black Adam plotline in 52. It was certainly one of the best plotlines that the creative team gave us on 52. It was wonderfully constructed and plotted. Black Adam began as his typical egotistical and proud leader who refused to bow to The United States and its allies and believed that criminals should be killed. We then saw what we never thought we would see: a kinder gentler Black Adam.

The addition of Isis and Osiris were well-done literary devices used to transform Black Adam’s character. This transformation to a kinder and gentler Black Adam was necessary in order to make Black Adam’s fall to grace even more dramatic. Black Adam doesn’t return to how he was prior to Isis and Osiris coming into his life.

Black Adam transforms into something much worse. Black Adam becomes an engine of destruction. Black Adam becomes the very embodiment of hate. He is rage personified. Black Adam represents all the dark aspects of mankind.

The action in 52 #50 was brutally violent. There really isn’t anything else as entertaining to watch as an enraged Black Adam just laying waste to everything and everyone that is in his path. All of this action made 52 #50 a quick-paced issue that was a fast and entertaining read.

I love the Great Ten and it was cool to see them in action. I’m bummed that the creative team killed off several members. All these members are so interesting and have plenty of potential. I would much rather see them treated as something more than just pure cannon fodder. I mean, c’mon! Shaolin Robot! That is pretty cool. And I noticed how Shaolin Robot resembles a Dominator. That was a neat touch.

I also liked the reluctance of August General in Iron in allowing the American heroes to enter China. August General is a very proud and patriotic character. Seeing him have to admit defeat and call in the American heroes was a sign of weakness that wounded his pride.

I dig how you have the pro-Communist China members like Red Socialist Guardsman and August General in Iron balanced against the anti-Communist China members like Accomplished Perfect Physician and Thundermind. It makes for some nice drama and conflict.

I love how the JSA takes the lead in this climactic battle. This was a brilliant move by the creative team to move the JSA into a central role in the DC Universe as the premier super team. The JSA has always been the red-headed stepchild of the DC Universe. The JSA has largely been ignored or relegated to a secondary role to teams like the JLA and even the Teen Titans.

Not anymore. DC’s concerted effort to establish the JSA as a critical and central part of this new DC Universe is a wise move. The JSA has an incredible history and deserves to be viewed as the source of inspiration for all masked heroes.

The creative team did a nice job contrasting the heroic JSA with the cowardly teens in Infinity Inc. The members of Infinity Inc. have been insulting the JSA ever since they first appeared in the pages of 52. It was satisfying to see the “old men” of the JSA shows how they are true heroes while the “next generation” of Infinity Inc. are nothing more than egotistical fakers and cowards.

And of course, Alan Scott is a total stud and is the logical choice for the leader of this massive group of heroes. Very few characters command the respect that Alan Scott does. I’m glad that DC is placing Alan Scott in his rightful place at the top of the hierarchy of heroes within the DC Universe.

I loved how the creative team handled Atom Smasher’s relationship with Black Adam. Atom Smasher has a truly strange loyalty to Black Adam. Despite everything Black Adam has done, Atom Smasher still has faith in him. Atom Smasher cannot believe that Black Adam could have slaughtered so many innocent people. These two characters shared a special bond when Atom Smasher left the JSA in order to hold Black Adam in his homeland. It is hard to accept when someone so close to you has turned evil.

And having Atom Smasher save Black Adam and then hide him was a cool move. Nobody suspects Atom Smasher of helping Black Adam to escape. It should be very interesting to see what happens when Atom Smasher’s old JSA teammates find out that Atom Smasher saved Black Adam and helped him escape.

Captain Marvel and Zatanna’s plan to stop Black Adam was fantastic. It was very creative and provided a nice dramatic ending to the brawl. And Captain Marvel’s sneaky move of changing Black Adam’s magic name was pure genius. I loved it!

And seeing Black Adam wander around as a mortal while trying to guess his new magic name was a great scene. The proud god has been reduced to a mere mortal. It is probably a fate worse than death for Black Adam.

I’m really glad that the creative team didn’t kill off Black Adam. Instead, they wisely took Black Adam out of the game but left open the possibility of him regaining his powers once more. This is much like what they did with Superboy-Prime during Infinite Crisis. Quality monster villains are hard to come by and I’m glad that DC is keeping the possibility of both these characters making a return at some point. And we are certainly in store for an entertaining storyline whenever Black Adam does regain his powers.

Booster Gold’s appearance during the massive battle was cool. We haven’t seen much of Booster and his plotline has been dangling for quite some time. It is nice to see the creative team working Booster Gold back into the mix.

The writers deliver a great hook ending with T.O. Morrow finally seeing what Red Tornado saw out in deep space. Clearly, it had a massive impact on Morrow. The sudden appearance of Booster Gold and Rip Hunter certainly grabbed my attention. Booster’s plotline is the only remaining plotline left to resolve. I cannot wait to finally find out what Red Tornado saw and to find out what Booster Gold and Rip Hunter have been plotting.

The Bad: I have no complaints about this issue.

Overall: 52 #50 absolutely kicked ass. The conclusion to the Black Adam storyline was well done and quite satisfying. The creative team has kicked this title into overdrive as we only have two issues left. There is still a lot of ground to cover with the Booster Gold plotline so these final issues should be pretty wild.

2 thoughts on “52 #50 Review

  1. Great read.
    My only real complaint with this event is it all takes place in one week. I think it would’ve been better if this had been a little more fleshed-out. It just seems a little rushed, even with the four specials. To have both the beginning and the end of this main event to occur in the same week takes the wind out of the story’s sails just a little.
    Anyway, this was a really well-done book. From a line of heroes waiting on the Great Wall, chomping at the bit to get a crack at Adam, to Alan Scott’s character showing maturity in both wanting to help China, but also being diplomatic enough to respect its borders. I love how he educates the entire team assembled how it would be wrong, not to mention political suicide, to illegally hop over the Great Wall, without being condescending or belittling the Great Ten, and its government. The writers know Alan’s voice very well. This helps build up his role with Checkmate, as well, however short-lived it might have been.
    The Booster cameo was great and horrible at the same time. His presence is always welcome, but the time that has elapsed since we last saw him and Rip is just unforgivable. Theirs was the story I was most interested in, yet after Week Fifteen, it was almost like they had cameo appearances until their re-emergence in Candor (sp?), which only really lasted one issue.
    I’m dying to know what they’re planning to do with that ‘Thunder Bomb’ procured from the Steels. I can only hope with the final double-sized issue they’ll have plenty of space to bring this entire story to a satisfying conclusion. Definitely looking forward to BG’s ongoing, though.
    As for Black Adam, what a way to bring him down, huh? Captain Marvel gets a majority of the credit (catching the lightning, then pulling a Zeus? Priceless), and Adam loses no ‘threat status’, as Jay points out he just has to say his magic word. Unfortunately, with his word changed by CM, that could take a while. Good news is Adam has already been confirmed by DC to be getting his own limited series detailing what happens to him through One Year Later, after losing his powers. Sign me up.
    Adam has been built up to be DC’s Doctor Doom, except without all of the wily machinations. He’s been broken down to a machine of pure rage. I love Amanda Waller, but no one can save her ass if her role in this is ever exposed.
    Bring me to Booster!

  2. >> I love how he educates the entire team
    >> assembled how it would be wrong, not
    >> to mention political suicide, to illegally
    >> hop over the Great Wall, without being
    >> condescending or belittling the Great
    >> Ten, and its government.

    The two Green Lantern Corps members would have been within their rights to have crossed over without waiting. As Jordan pointed out to the Russians elsewhere, when he wears the uniform, he’s not acting as an American, but as a cop whose jurisdiction spans a whole space sector.

    On a different subject, the DCU’s version of the Chinese government is the entity that masterminded the attempt to snuff out Black Adam and his family in the first place. Why worry about “belittling” this fictional DCU government after the millions of deaths that it directly or indirectly? Surely the oceans of innocent blood that Black Adam and the Horsemen spilled “belittle” this government more than the entry of any number of superhumans, or foreign military forces, or foreign medical teams, could ever do.

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