The Players*
Mary Batson/Mary Marvel
Teth Adam/Black Adam
James Olsen/Superman's Pal
Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman
Jason Todd/Robin II/Red Hood
Donna Troy/Wonder Girl/Troia
Lightray of the New Gods
Thom Kallor/Starman
Val Armorr/Karate Kid
*previously appearing characters are linked in earlier columns


This week opens on Mary Marvel at the mercy of Black Adam in his new digs - the abandoned consulate offices of the Middle Eastern nation of Kandaq, where he was once ruler. Few answers to Adam's return to power are answered, but it is quite obvious that he does have them back. Meaning, somehow, Teth Adam learned the secret word that Captain Marvel chose for him at the end of WWIII. Also, from the preview of next week's cover, it looks like Black Adam is about to make Mary Marvel the latest member of the Black Marvel Family! That can't bode well for Mary considering what happened to the last two members of Black Adam's family - Isis and her brother, Osiris.

The story continues with a look at Jimmy Olsen back in Metropolis at the offices of the Daily Planet, after his harrowing and unexplained transformation during his attack by Killer Croc at Arkham Asylum. It's still unclear if his use of his former Elastic Lad powers is something he doesn't know he ever had, or somehow something he never really did have on this New Earth, post-Crises.

When a battle breaks out above the clouds of Metropolis, Jimmy races outside to get the pics - and again, somehow kicks in with new meta-powers (superspeed) to save a doomed family from falling debris. Before he can even think about where all these extraordinary powers are coming from, though, Lightray of the New Gods crashes to the streets.

Before dying in the crater that he landed in, Lightray speaks a single word to Jimmy - "infinite." Encapsulated in a mass of light/energy, Jimmy emerges unharmed, but Superman poses the question: "What does it mean for the universe when a God dies?!" The Man of Steel might want to amend that to "universes."

Karate Kid again appears in this issue - still a prisoner of the Justice League of America on their space station - this time talking to fellow time-lost Legionnaire, Thom Kallor a/k/a Starman! The slightly crazy future Starman has been hanging out in the pages of the relaunched Justice Society of America lately and only recently remembered that he was from the 30th Century and a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Not much new information is revealed from their exchange, but the Apokalytian villain Dr. Impossible is mentioned and mysteriously referred to by Starman as "she" - the character's previous (and only) appearances in Justice League of America presented the villain as a man. Hmmmm . . .

Finally, this issue again touched on the Jason Todd/Red Hood storyline, following him to the Teen Titan's memorial service for Duela Dent/Joker's Daughter. Todd has a conversation with the Titan's Donna Troy (the former Wonder Girl and then more recently Wonder Woman, and now back to Troia of the Titans of Myth) revealing to Donna what the Monitors who killed Joker's Daughter said to him. It seems Jason is trying to ally himself with similarly seated cosmic anomalies. Both characters have died and come back, and in a very real sense, do not belong on New Earth.

Much speculation and mystery still surrounds this title. Now through its first month, the book promises to answer some of those questions soon, but the answers will most likely lead to more questions. While Issue 48 did seem a bit light on new developments, the inclusion of one of Jack Kirby's New Gods in such a dramatic role certainly fills in for a lack of forward movement.

Death in the DCU has become pretty commonplace in the last few years and while many a fan can't get behind it, here at Rundown HQ we're down with anything that moves a story to a new place and treats the characters with respect.

The recent death of The Question in the pages of 52 resulted in an outcry from angry fans of the Steve Ditko creation. However, it had been years since the character was used so prominently or written so well. It can be argued that the character had been creatively dead since his much-acclaimed series in the mid-80s and his recent resurrection was a swan song that any Question fan should be thankful for.

Next Week: Issue 47 - Black Mary??!!