Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Power of Shazam! #48

“Rest in Peace”


Writer: Eric Wallace

Penciller: Don Kramer

Inker: Michael Babinski

Editor: Brian Cunningham


Synopsis


In Kahndaq, Osiris rises to find that his family is gone and his former home is in ruins. When his “old friend” Sobek confronts him, he finally gets the chance to use his powers for good and be a hero…


Notes


Pages 1-3: The Power of Shazam! ran from issue #1 in 1995 until issue #47 in 1999.


A recap of the life and death of Osiris, including his involvement with the Marvel Family and the Teen Titans.


Confession time – I hate Osiris. Hated him the whole time I was reviewing 52, I hate him now. Mainly for the same reason that I hate Superboy-Prime – he’s a whiny, sniveling twit and he gets on my nerves. Yeah, I have some real hatred for the kid, and honestly wasn’t too sad when he was killed.


So, needless to say, this wasn’t my favorite Blackest Night tie-in issue, but I annotate and move onward.


Page 4: Osiris, real name Amon Tomaz. First appeared in 52 Week Twenty-Three. Killed in 52 Week Forty-Three. Has a portion of Black Adam’s power, including superhuman strength, speed, endurance, flight and invulnerability.


Page 5: “Adam and Isis” refer to Black Adam, the former king of Kahndaq, and Isis, Osiris’ sister.


Page 6: “What happened to Kahndaq?” Kahndaq has fallen upon hard times. The Four Horsemen attacked the Black Marvel Family, and then Black Adam proceeded to declare war on the world. He was taken down by the combined forces of Earth’s heroes, leaving the country without its king. Things are bad, here, really bad.


“That poor man” is showing fear.


Note that, unlike pretty much every other Black Lantern who has risen thus far, Osiris is acting pretty much like himself. No mad rampages, no killing sprees, no hearts getting ripped out of the chests…boring, actually, like Osiris when he was alive.


All joking aside, does this have to do with Osiris’ mystical nature, which is preventing the Black Lantern power ring from taking him over so completely?


Page 7: Billy and Mary Batson were formerly known as Captain Marvel and Mary Marvel, but in Justice Society of America (second series) #25 they were stripped of their powers by the wizard Shazam.


On the previous page, when Osiris is hovering above Kahndaq, there’s nary a soul to be found. So who exactly is filming him so that Billy and Mary can watch it in real-time online?


“He used another part of his powers to restore Amon’s body.” Presumably, this occurred before Osiris’ burial as seen in 52 Week Forty-Four.


Page 8: Sobek, also known as Yurrd the Unknown. First appeared in 52 Week Twenty-Six. Killed in 52 Week Forty-Three. Possessed superhuman strength as well as the ability to generate a wave of widespread hunger which affects him as well.


Other Sobek notes – in 52 Week Fifty, Teth Adam is seen wearing crocodile-skin boots made from Sobek’s flesh. And Yurrd the Unknown returned in the 52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen mini-series, but it was in his “true” hyena form, not as Sobek, which begs the question, were Sobek and Yurrd two different entities? Did Yurrd just take control of the Sobek form?


Page 10: Shazam stripped Black Adam and Isis of their powers and transformed Teth-Adam and Adrianna Tomaz into stone in Justice Society of America (second series) #25. Spiteful wizard, that Shazam is.


All these poor people of Kahndaq are feeling fear.


“Feast.” Sobek’s presence nearby is casing Osiris to “feel” hungry, urging him to feast.


Page 11: This young girl is feeling love, compassion and hope, while her mother is feeling rage.


Page 12: “I don’t want to hurt anyone!” Yeah, yeah, yeah, so why don’t you stop hurting people, you whiny little you-know-what? Man, he’s totally going Superboy-Prime on us right now.


Page 13: “Wait…I remember now…I became human again…I was weak…and then you…” Sobek convinced his good friend Osiris that the best way to atone for the misuse of his abilities was to stop using them. Osiris then spoke Black Adam’s name and transformed back into the mortal Amon Tomaz, at which point Sobek promptly ate him.


“I’m dead…” Really, someone should have given this poor kid a mirror so he could have come to this realization like, ten minutes ago.


Page 15: “I had no c-choice! My mind wasn’t my own!” Now then, perhaps there is some truth to this matter. It is possible that Sivana created Sobek from a bio-engineered crocodile, and he existed as his own, distinct persona that was soon taken over by the Yurrd entity and corrupted. Maybe, at one point, Sobek was Osiris’ friend, and he was too weak to fight the creature inside him.


Or, maybe he’s just lying. Who knows?


Osiris is feeling hope and compassion.


Hey! What gives?!?! Since when can a Black Lantern actually “feel” an emotion? Is this, once again, a quirk due to Osiris’ mystical nature?


“I…don’t wish to be alone.” Sobek is playing upon Osiris’ fears about being alone in the world.


Page 16: “I was hungry.” It was a running joke/gag/scene in the pages of 52 that Sobek was always hungry, no matter what he ate. After Sobek attacked, killed, and ate Osiris, he said, “I’m not so hungry anymore.”


“I wasn’t trying to kill the Persuader! I was trying to protect my sister!” In 52 Week Thirty-Four, the Suicide Squad attacked the Black Marvel family in an effort to show the world that they are a threat. The Persuader nearly killed Isis, until Osiris flew right through the villain, killing him.


Page 17: Osiris is feeling rage. He’s going all Superboy-Prime again.


These poor, suffering residents of Kahndaq feel fear.


Page 19: “I just need your heart.” As previously mentioned, this is the first time in which one Black Lantern has gone after another for their heart.


Osiris is feeling fear, and then hope.


Page 20: By speaking Black Adam’s name, Osiris calls down the mystical lightning that transforms him. In this case, it severs the connection that Osiris and Sobek have to their Black Lantern power rings, destroying them.


Page 21: It’s interesting to note that, unlike other Black Lanterns who pretty much explode and vanish after their connection to the Black Lantern power ring is severed, Amon Tomaz’s body is still intact. It looks like hell, but it’s intact.


Page 22: Well, it looks like Osiris got what he wanted in the end, to be seen as a hero.