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Comic Book Review: DC Comics’ 52, Week 40

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Steel returns to his old costume to bring the pain to one Lex Luthor. For months, the Steel story has only been faintly interesting, and this week in 52 you get something of an ending to Steel’s post Infinite Crisis journey.

His niece, Natasha Irons, has also gone through a lot since the day her uncle decided that she should become her own hero. She has gone from a hero who fights with the aid of a suit built with technology to someone who has benefited from Lex Luthor‘s everyman project, allowing her to have superhuman abilities. Either way, she hasn‘t really become a hero in her own right. Making the wrong choices is what has gotten her into the situation she is now, a hostage of Lex Luthor.

Natasha did not believe her Uncle John until it was too late, and not only does she have to depend on him for help, but John Henry Irons has to go through a metagene enhanced Lex Luthor to save her. That looks like a job for superman, but Steel busts into Luthor’s offices with younger heroes like Beast Boy and Raven. Steel does most of the dirty work, knocking down every remaining member of Infinity Inc. with no problem. They try to halt John Henry Irons, but he’s come with a game plan.

The fight is pretty much one-sided until Steel finds Luthor, who has as many abilities as Superman. The fight is brutal and somewhat bloody, but you cannot call it unsatisfying. It’s finally time for John Henry Irons to shine after so many weeks of his storyline not being terribly fulfilling. This is a great payoff; it’s good versus evil, with the good guy appearing to be the underdog. Many who have been reading 52 have been clamoring for this story to bear some sort of fruit, and it has, in an incredibly strong issue.

Steel going to rescue his niece takes up 99% of the issue, with just two pages about Osiris and his crocodile friend Sobek. It’s a dark rainy day in Khandaq, and it could only mean that Black Adam has a terrible mess to sort out in his kingdom.

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