"Thief": Night 1
- This isn't Metropolis, Ralph. It's not even Gotham. Tonight, you're in my city. Like what I've done with the place?
Synopsis for "Thief"
Natasha Irons 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's response: "Hell no." 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 the city. Ollie trips up an price-gouging grocer with an arrow, and Ralph talks about his investigation into the Cult of Conner. They find one of the cult's empty safehouses. Ralph explains that the cult claims to know a ritual that can resurrect the dead.
John Henry Irons visits Kala Avasti's office at S.T.A.R. Labs. After she examines a sample of his blood, John realizes that Luthor has probably injected him with something that triggered his Metagene -- or infected him with one. Suddenly, the vials containing John's blood samples explode.
Back in Metropolis, a new super-hero emerges on the scene, saving the lives of innocent civilians.
More scattered reports circulate of a masked hero rescuing people from certain disaster.
There are still more reports, and Booster Gold is furious that this neophyte hero is stealing his press time. As reporters gather around Booster, Clark Kent tells 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 hypocrisy. John tries to explain, but Natasha won't hear it, and storms out.
Back on the unnamed planet on which they are stranded, 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 the Pursuer.
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.
Appearing in "Thief"
- Adam Strange
- Animal Man
- Booster Gold
- Natasha Irons
- Ralph Dibny (Elongated Man, not in costume)
Synopsis for "History of the DCU, Part VII of X"
- The formation of the JLA in its most powerful incarnation
- The Final Night event
- The wedding of Clark Kent and Lois Lane
- Connor Hawke taking over the mantle of Green Arrow
- Superman's temporary shift to energy-based powers
- The formation of the second generation of Teen Titans
- The No Man's Land event
- The formation of Young Justice
- The reformation of the Justice Society of America
- The reformation of The Titans
- Hal Jordan becoming the Spectre
- Lex Luthor becoming the president of the United States
- The Our Worlds at War event
- The Batman: Hush storyline
- The "death" of Donna Troy
- The Titans and Young Justice disbanding and reforming as the Outsiders and Teen Titans
- The resurrection of Hourman
- The death of Spoiler
- The appearance of Supergirl
Appearing in "History of the DCU, Part VII of X"
- Donna Troy (also as Troia in flashback cameo with the Titans)
- The following characters appear in flashbacks
- Clayface (see Notes)
- Doctor Mid-Nite (Note: does not appear as part of Justice Society of America)
- Elongated Man
- Green Arrow
- Hourman (Rex Tyler) (Note: does not appear as part of Justice Society of America)
- Justice Society of America
- Lex Luthor
- Lois Lane
- Queen Hippolyta
- Spoiler (also as Robin)
- Sue Dibny
- Superman (also appears in "energy form," a form that was a brief shift from his normal powers and looks)
- Superman robot
- Teen Titans II
- Teen Titans III
- Argent (also as part of the Teen Titans II)
- Arsenal (also as part of the Outsiders)
- Cyborg (also as part of the Teen Titans III)
- Jesse Quick
- Nightwing (also as part of the Outsiders)
- Starfire (also as part of the Teen Titans III)
- Troia (also as Donna Troy in "present day" framing story)
- Wonder Woman
- Young Justice
- "Thief" is reprinted in 52 Vol. 1 of the 2007 4-volume edition, 52 Volume One of the 2016 2-volume edition, and 52 Omnibus.
- In the "History of the DCU" flashbacks, it is not completely clear which Clayface is posing as Jason Todd. This detail is further muddied by later story events that indicate that Jason Todd was present when this scene occurred. However, the specific scene in the flashback corresponds to the Clayface version of Jason Todd.
- The ticker-tape on the bottom of the cover reads, "Ralph runs into Green Arrow... Act Now!..."