In a battle between Magic and Science, who would win out in the end? Teth Adam, also known as the god-powered Black Adam, has realized who has brought death and sorrow to his doorstep, and he has once again reverted to the ferocious being that he was at the beginning of 52. His wife, Adrianna Tomaz, is now dead.
Black Adam knows that he has the most mad of the mad scientists to thank for this. Black Adam’s flying to Oolong Island for a showdown; the ultimate jock vs. some of the biggest nerds alive. While some of these mad scientists are wicked to the core, a few of them, like Will Magnus, are conflicted and aren't bent on cooking up nefarious plans.
There is no simple black and white in this conflict. While some of the inhabitants of Oolong Island, like the egg creature Chang Tzu, embody the classic bad guy archetype, guys like Will Magnus and Black Adam have been portrayed in 52 as people who are not just nuts deserving to be locked up forever. There is a lot more to their story that has to be examined before you can pass judgment.
It is the complexity of characters like these that make 52, a story about characters most DC Comics readers wouldn’t care about, a worthwhile read. I had never encountered any of these mad scientist characters until 52, and in this series, they get to become a central part of a plot and illustrate why being the strongest or fastest is not the only way to get the upper hand. There is not one bulging muscle in this bunch of brains, but they are nevertheless brazen, even with a man who can impale people with his fist knocking not only on — but through — their front doors. You have to be either really confident in your genius, totally insane, or both.
If Black Adam does get the upper hand on these Oolong Island super nerds, he has a lot more to worry about from the Justice Society, the United States Government, and the Checkmate organization. Black Adam certainly has his hands full, in addition to being stained with innocent blood. This is a great confrontation, and a stunning issue that serves to hype up the eventual slobber-knocker that is World War III.
The Back-ups are back, and this one is about the man, the myth, the Batman. If you have avoided thus far to not learn about Batman’s origin and his tragic past, here’s a quick crash course in Bat lore.
To learn more information about 52 check out 52's official site.