- It's time for heroes who don't just patrol the world... they change it.
- -- Black Adam
Appearing in "52"
- Adam Strange
- Animal Man
- Black Adam
- Booster Gold (Michael Carter)
- Elongated Man
- Question (Vic Sage)
- Renée Montoya
- Starfire (Koriand'r)
- Steel (John Henry Irons)
Synopsis for "52"
In Opal City, Ralph Dibny's house has been destroyed. As he sifts through the wreckage, he briefly speaks with Fire on the telephone.
Former Gotham City detective, Renée Montoya reflects upon recent events in her life. She drowns her sorrws out at a local bar.
Ruminating over his late wife Sue, Ralph Dibny contemplates taking his own life. Suddenly, he receives another phone call and learns that someone has defaced Sue Dibny's tombstone.
In France, Steel helps out with emergency efforts, then returns to Metropolis to have an argument with his niece, Natasha. Natasha wants to join the Teen Titans, but Steel doesn't feel that she is responsible enough. He uses a remote control to disengage Natasha’s armor.
In Metropolis, Booster Gold fights and defeats Mammoth. He is less concerned about stopping a dangerous criminal, than he is about playing up his reputation before the TV news crews. A fully reconstructed Skeets aids him in improving his PR. Booster knows that today is fated to be the day that Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman usher in Earth’s greatest era of heroism. However, none of the three heroes can be found.
In Kahndaq, Black Adam addresses his people. He promises to become his country's ambassador of justice. A terrorist tries to disrupt the assemblage with a suicide bomb, but Adam swoops down and pulls the man high into the sky. The bomb explodes, severely injuring the terrorist, but nobody else is harmed.
A large assemblage of heroes gather together for a memorial service in Metropolis. A large bronze statue commemorating Superboy's heroic sacrifice is placed next to the statue of Superman. Clark Kent is present among the press corps, but no longer appears to possess his Kryptonian powers.
In Gotham City, detective Renée Montoya returns to her apartment after a night of heavy drinking. She finds a note from her lover, Daria, stating that she is leaving her.
The Question arrives in Gotham. He removes the bat-shaped vellum from the bat-signal and replaces it with a large question-mark. He shines the "Question-Signal" at Montoya's apartment.
Ralph Dibny goes to his late wife's tombstone to snap pictures of the recent vandalism. He briefly speaks with the groundskeeper and commits himself to solving this new mystery.
Booster Gold takes Skeets to Doctor Will Magnus. He's concerned over the robot's recent systems glitch in Metropolis. Magnus runs a few diagnostics until Skeets appears to be functioning properly again. He then travels to Haven to speak with scientific colleague, Professor T.O. Morrow. Morrow tells Magnus that several scientists of note have disappeared in the past several days.
In Gotham City, the Question breaks into the apartment shared by Renee Montoya and her girlfriend, Daria Henderson. Montoya wakes up and fires her gun into the Question's chest, but he disappears. Montoya finds that he left behind an address written on a sheet of paper.
Booster Gold returns to Metropolis. Skeets tells him that a jetliner is scheduled to crash, so Booster arrives to save the day. Skeets' information is faulty however, and the jetliner nearly collides into Booster. Gold threatens to bring Skeets back to Will Magnus.
In the evening, Montoya goes to 52 Kane Street in Gotham City. The Question meets with her and offers to hire her as a private detective.
In San Francisco, Wonder Girl erects a Superboy memorial shrine at Titans Tower. She broadcasts a Kryptonian prayer over a live web cast. The Elongated Man arrives and shows her a photograph of Sue Dibny's gravestone. Someone spray-painted an inverted "S" symbol (in the style of Superman) across the stone. Ralph believes that Wonder Girl may know something about it.
Detectives for the Gotham City Police Department discover a corpse in an alley. Maggie Sawyer and Renee Montoya inspect the body and are shocked to discover that it is Lex Luthor.
Meanwhile, Power Girl battles with the Terra-Man over the skies of Kahndaq. Black Adam intervenes and prevents Power Girl from apprehending the villain. He tells her that she has no authority to conduct business in Kahndaq. Terra-Man returns with Black Adam to his palace.
At the Steelworks, Natasha Iron argues with her father over her grades. John Henry tells her that he has signed her up for Summer school. Natasha storms out of the building. Moments later, John receives a telephone call from S.T.A.R. Labs. They need him to come in and identify Lex Luthor’s body.
In Kahndaq, two representatives of Intergang named Noose and Rough House arrives at the presidential palace. They offer him the "most beautiful virgin in all of Egypt" in exchange for safe passage through Kahndaq for their criminal affairs. Black Adam responds by crushing Noose’s face in his hand.
In Metropolis, Booster Gold makes a showy display of beating up on a b-list super-villain named Shockwave. Skeets manages to bilk the event for all that it is worth, propelling Booster’s celebrity status to new levels. He later malfunctions however, as he incorrectly gives Booster some stock tips that fail to meet his expectations.
John Henry Irons examines the corpse of Lex Luthor. He discovers that a pair of colored contact lenses placed over the body’s eyes. This is not the real Lex Luthor. As if on cue, Luthor barges into the lab with an entourage of reporters falling in behind him. He presents the dead impostor and declares that the duplicate has been responsible for all of the negative deeds attributed to Luthor over the years.
At the Kahndaq embassy in New York City, Black Adam and Terra-Man addresses the press corps. Black Adam elects to put forth an extremely effective message regarding those who would seek to cross him. He grabs Terra-Man and tears him in half, spraying blood and gore all across the masses.
At the behest of the Question, Renee Montoya begins the third week of a stakeout in front of a warehouse on 350 Kane Street in Gotham City.
In outer space, several astronauts and the former Outsider known as Halo attempt to lock onto ambient Zeta beam energy emissions. A brilliant burst of energy flares up outside of the shuttle, and the astronauts contact the President.
In Metropolis, Booster Gold saves six-year-old Thaddeus Star from falling from an elevator platform. Fire criticizes Booster for marketing his heroic activity.
The Question meets up with Montoya and they share information.
John Henry Irons begins suffering from hallucinations at the Steelworks. There is an explosion in his laboratory and he suddenly finds that his hand has transformed into organic steel.
Ralph Dibny approaches the Cult of Conner and learns about Kryptonian resurrection ceremonies. Cassie Sandsmark convinces Ralph that submersion in the Striped Waters of Memon may grant visions of the afterlife. He reluctantly agrees to partake in the ritual, but when he awakens, he finds that his wedding band is missing.
Montoya and the Question witness a large hulking mass entering the Kane Street warehouse. They go inside only to find a green-scaled monster that attacks them. During the struggle, Montoya knocks over a crate of super-advanced weaponry. She uses a hi-tech firearm to destroy the creature.
The Zeta Beam lands in Western Australia depositing several missing super-heroes including Green Lantern, Herald, Bumblebee and Hawkgirl. Green Lantern is bleeding from his left eye, Herald has a piece of shrapnel embedded in his chest, and Hawkgirl is over fifty-feet tall.
Ellen Baker is taking down a banner welcoming back her husband, Animal Man. Green Lantern arrives and gives her the news that her husband went missing in space. She still holds onto the hope that he will come back.
In Metropolis, LuthorCorps announces plans to offer ordinary people super-powers, named Everyman Project. Around the city, people are shown watching the news broadcasts.
Steel is asked to come to St. Camius to figure out what happened to the heroes that have returned from space. He meets Green Lantern and Dr. Mid-Nite. Hawkgirl is 25 feet tall. Cyborg and Firestorm are fused together, and Mal Duncan is in a coma with a part of Red Tornado fused to his chest.
Green Lantern reveals what happened before he found himself back on earth. He was a part of a group of heroes that went to close the hole that was developing in space. Only, Hawkgirl, himself, Cyborg/Firestorm, Bumblebee, and Mal Duncan returned. Supergirl, Animal Man, Starfire, Adam Strange, and Red Tornado are missing. Mal Duncan goes into cardiac arrest.
Maggie Sawyer pays a visit to Renée Montoya to gets some answers as to what happened a few days ago. Renee refuses to give any answers as she doesn't work for the GCPD anymore. Maggie warns her to stay out of trouble. Renée pulls out the gun she picked up in the warehouse and says "Don't worry about that."
At the hospital, the heroes go into cardiac arrest. Steel attempts to revive Mal Duncan who awakes, but utters only two phrases:
"It's coming! 52! 52!" Red Tornado's last words.
On an unnamed planet, three of the missing heroes are discovered alive and living in paradise. Adam Strange has lost both of his eys. Starfire relaxes and Animal Man begins to worry as he starts to sense something on the planet and that something looks on....
Booster Gold just putting down Manthrax and then meets with him to pay him the money he owes him for doing it.
In China, Hal Jordan amd John Stewert attempt to apprehend Evil Star, but is stopped by China's super-hero team, The Great 10.
Will Magnus once again pays a visit to T.O. Morrow who says that someone is watching their conversation. It is shown that indeed someone is watching their every move.
Back in China, the Green Lanterns finally apprehend Evil Star, but not before getting attacked by Black Adam who announces that China is apart of the Freedom of Power Treaty. The Rocket Reds show up and stop Black Adam from taking Evil Star with him and allow the Green Lanterns safe passage through Russia.
Booster Gold and Skeets finally discover Rip Hunter's lab in Arizona. Skeets hacks into the system and Booster Gold goes inside and discovers a message on a blackboard: Time is Broken with several other messages spread across the board and around the room. Including one pointing to him and saying, "It's all his fault".
Adam Strange is attempting to fix a Thanagarian warship to get them all home. Starfire refuses to help as she is quite content where she is. Adam realizes that the fruit that she has been eating has been altering her mind. She flies off to clear her head.
Renee Montoya sits at home trying to figure out the mystery behind the warehouse she has been staking out on Kane Street. It finally dawns on her where she can get that information when she sees a headline about the Kane family charity galla.
Ralph pays Booster a visit to ask for help in investigating The Cult of Connor. Ralph remembers that Skeets and Booster are both from the future & attacks Booster asking why he didn't warn him about his wife's death. He wants Booster to prove that he really is doing all these things to be heroic and not for profit.
Renee pays a visit the Kane home & asks Katherine Kane to help her in figuring out what is going on at that warehouse. Katherine refuses at first as they had a previous relationship, but then tells her she will look into it.
Booster puts out a fire in Metropolis after an explosion. Lois starts to question Booster about his thoughts on Luthor's Everyman program. He berates it at first, but then remembers that Luthorcorp sponsors most of his sponors, but when he starts to brush it off Manthrax shows up & exposes him for the fraud he is, saying that he was paid for the attack last week, but the check bounced. Booster flat out denies it, but is later exposed for all the things he's done for publicity.
Starfire is flying around the alien world and comes across the power source Adam detected... and Devilance the Pursuer.
Natasha continues to forge her own suit of armor, but the task is not without great difficulty. She asks her uncle John if she can enroll in Lex Luthor's Everyman Project, but John won't allow it. As John Henry walks away, patches of his skin begin transforming into stainless steel.
In Star City, Green Arrow and Ralph Dibny survey the dilapidated ruins of Star City. Ollie takes trips up an overpriced grocer with an arrow, while Ralph talks about his investigation into the Cult of Conner. They find one of the cult's empty safe houses and Ralph explains that they claim to know a ritual that can resurrect the dead.
John Henry Irons visits Kala Avasti's office at S.T.A.R. Labs. She takes a sample of his blood and he tells her how Luthor injected him with something that triggered his Metagene. Suddenly, the vials containing John's blood samples explode.
Back in Metropolis, a new super-hero emerges on the scene, saving lives of innocent civilians.
More scattered reports circulate of a masked hero rescuing people from certain disaster. Booster Gold is furious that this neophyte hero is stealing his press time. As reporters gather around Booster, Clark Kent telsl him that he plans on discovering this new hero's identity.
Natasha Irons receives a telephone call from Kala Avasti and learns that John Henry has been infected with Luthor's Everyman formula. Natasha mistakenly believes that her uncle underwent the process voluntarily and is now furious at him. When he comes home, she rails at him for his presumed hypocracy. John tries to explain, but Natasha won't hear it, and storms out of the cellar.
On an unnamed planet, Adam Strange and Animal Man search for Starfire. They find her suspended in a net hanging from a tree. When they try to free her, they fall into a trap set for them by an immense being known as Devilance.
In Metropolis, Natasha visits Lex Luthor and volunteers for the Everyman Project. Luthor waives her lack of parental permission in light of the fact that she is the niece of one of his many adversaries. Natasha undergoes the treatment.
Lex Luthor is holding a party in honor of the Everyman Project. Steel crashes the party and demands to know where Natasha is. Natasha appears with powers along with a few new friends. Natasha and Steel fight and Steel is tossed into the Metropolis river.
On an unnamed planet, Starfire, Adam Strange, and Animal Man are held captive by Devilance the Pursuerer. They learn that he has been hired by unknown parties to hunt them down for what they saw at the centre of the universe. They escape their captor & take his lance to power their ship. Devilance watches them leave.
The Question meets with Renee at a gay bar and Renee is surprised to see him without his faceless mask. He then reveals that Gotham is being attacked... by Intergang. Batwoman looks on in shadows.
Black Adam gathers a group of heroes and villains to get them to join in the Freedom of Power Treaty. Adrianna escapes her captors and attacks Black Adam spitting in his face
Perry White tears a strip off Clark Kent for not getting the scoop on Supernova before the Daily Star did. Perry hands Clark his termination paper. Clark shocked pleads his case and spots Supernova in the background. So he jumps out the window and Supernova catches him. Clark asks for an interview.
Adrianna Tomaz is thrown back in her room. Adam tells her that she is not a prisoner and is free to leave, which she does, but before she does she turns around and tells Adam the he will fail in changing the world. Adrianna attempts to convince Adam of changing his ways. He seems to consider it.
Lois tears a strip off of Clark for what he did to get an interview, which Clark finds rather amusing as she did the same thing to get an interview from him. He tells her what happened when he attempted to interview Supernova when he saved the lives of many people when a terrorist cell attempted to steal a new armored vechicle. Clark still has no idea who Supernova is.
And neither does Booster, who is still mad at Skeets for having no information on Supernova as they are from the future, but he points out to Booster that the present has altered the future so he has no record of Supernova. So Booster goes to investigate his identity himself.
Will Magnus pays Morrow another visit and tells him that he went into Sivana's lab to find out what he was working on. All he found was a coccon.
Ralph Dibny is hunting down members of the Cult of Conner and comes across some kids with symbols of the Cult so he attacks them and discovers one is just a little girl. He then receives a message from a caretaker of his storage shed and reveals that someone broke into it.
Renée and The Question meet with Kate Kane and discover that her family does indeed own that building, but it now is being used by another company. The Question realizes who that company belongs to and so he and Renée go off with no explantion to Kate about what is going on.
The Question asks Renée about her relationship with Kate. Renee flat out denies any involvement she just doesn't want anymore of her friends dying on her, but the Question points out that she feels guilt over the death of her partner, Crispus Allen at the hands of Jim Corrigan, Jr. Renée sits and ponders what he just said. The Question discovers that Whisper A'Daire and a man named Kyle Abbot owns the company and they decide to break in and investigate. Batwoman listens from afar.
That night, they break into the company and discover that Intergang has weapons coming in from Kahndaq. The Question and Renée are attacked by shape-shifters, Whisper and Abbot. Batwoman comes along to rescue them and Renée realizes who she is. Batwoman leaves and asks them not reveal her to the police.
Ralph goes to the storage garage of his that was broken into and discovers that a suit that his wife wore was stolen by the Cult.
The Cult of Conner create a "mannequin" of Sue and they prepare to resurrect her.
Renee Montoya waits outside of a GCPD precinct for Maggie Sawyer so that she can quiz her about Intergang's dealings in Gotham City. Sawyer lectures her about getting involved after quitting the force. She returns home, where she and the Question decide they need to follow Intergang to Kahndaq.
Meanwhile, Black Adam helps a needy Kahndaqi village by changing the course of a river to provide them with water at the suggestion of Adrianna Tomaz, who felt that he was using his power to deal with things away from his country. He takes Adrianna down a secret passageway that connects to the Rock of Eternity, where they encounter Captain Marvel, who has taken Shazam's place as its guardian. He has been driven mad by the voices of the Seven Deadly Sins. Adam shows Marvel the scarab that had imprisoned him for centuries, and tells him how the power of another hero was also contained within. He tells Marvel of his intent to give that power to Adrianna.
In Philadelphia, Cassie Sandsmark returns home to find Ralph Dibny sitting on her couch. He tells her how he was able to track her down and what he knew about the Cult of Conner and their robbery of his late wife's possessions from storage. Cassie tells him that the cult had wanted to try to resurrect Sue as a trial run before trying to restore life to Superboy. Instead of being angry, as she expected, Ralph offers to help.
Marvel agrees to give the power of Isis to Adrianna. She is hesitant at first, but she relents, and is born anew as Isis. She agrees to help Adam change the world, but not before finding her brother.
The Cult of Conner attempts a ceremony to bring Sue Dibny back to life. Ralph Dibny has brought Gree Lantern, Green Arrow, Metamorpho, and Zauriel along with him, hoping that the four of them might have special insight on the process of resurrection, having all cheated death themselves. The five heroes communicate telepathically via Green Lantern's ring during the ceremony, most of them believing it all to be an elaborate con put on by the cult's leader, Devem.
Isis and Black Adam break up a child slavery ring in southwestern Asia. Isis successfully convinces Adam not to kill the children's captors. These were just some of the many children the pair had freed in Isis's search for her brother Amon.
Ralph becomes convinced that the ceremony is an elaborate hoax, and the five heroes begin tearing the place apart. Cassie Sandsmark is furious at Ralph for having used her to gain entrance into the cult, but she is quickly subdued by Green Lantern. The place quickly erupts into flames. All of a sudden, Ralph hears his late wife's voice, saying his name. The effigy of Sue used for the ceremony is crawling towards him, pulling on his robe. Ralph realizes the error he had just made, that the ceremony had in fact been genuine. However, it is too late. The heroes are barely able to get everyone out of the burning build in time before it collapses.
Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Metamorpho, and Zauriel inspect the ruins of the collapsed building for the remains of Ralph, who has gone missing. They find nothing.
Meanwhile, under a nearby bridge, Ralph clutches the burnt remains of his wife's effigy as a mysterious figure watches from the shadows.
- 52 was a weekly, fifty-two issue limited series chronicling the events taking place between Infinite Crisis and the One Year Later event. It wass written by Mark Waid, Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, and Grant Morrison and edited by Stephen Wacker. J.G. Jones provided the illustrations for all fifty-two covers.
- This trade paperback reprints the followings issues of 52:
- 52 Week One
- 52 Week Two
- 52 Week Three
- 52 Week Four
- 52 Week Five
- 52 Week Six
- 52 Week Seven
- 52 Week Eight
- 52 Week Nine
- 52 Week Ten
- 52 Week Eleven
- 52 Week Twelve
- 52 Week Thirteen
- No trivia.
- Write your own review of this comic!
- Discuss 52 (Collections) Vol 1 1 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the 52 (Collections) series
- Images from 52 (Collections) Vol 1 1
Links and References
- 52: The Comic
- 52 article/interview with editor Stephen Wacker
- 52 series index at the Grand Comics Database