Even though he only killed off Black Adam like 2 months ago, Geoff Johns is already bringing him back to life. I don’t really mind though, as this issue was very enjoyable, and it actually surprised me. I thought that, after touching Pandora’s Box and having his costume turned black in Trinity War, that Billy Batson was going to be corrupted and turned temporarily into the new Black Adam, but nope, Johns and Sterling Gates have actually bought back the original, and that’s fine with me, Captain Marvel needs his arch-enemy.
This issue was actually surprisingly current and political for DC, who normally leave that kind of stuff to Marvel. Kahndaq is currently under the rule of a brutal dictator, Ibac, and we see various ways of people trying to do their own ‘Arab Spring’ and rebel. The ‘Sons Of Adam’ are a terrorist/freedom fighter group that want to bring Black Adam back and win violently, whilst we also see people attempting to change things peacefully, though social media and the like. The central characters here are a brother and sister, the brother is a historian who is helping the Sons Of Adam, and the sister is one of the peaceful twitterers. The Sons Of The Adam are just about to resurrect Black Adam (his ashes are scattered in the desert), but the forces of Ibac attack, killing the brother. The sister is radicalised by this, and finally utters those famous words… SHAZAM! And Black Adam is back, bitches.
We then see the sister pick up a gun and begin to fight back, which is weird, I know superhero comics are all about solving problems through violence, but it was weird to read a comic advocating what some would see as terrorism, especially since this issue implies that Ibac has the backing of the USA.
Black Adam carves a swathe through the bad-guys, and at the end of this issue, he’s killed Ibac, and has sworn to protect Kahndaq, but then, Forever Evil kicks in, and a convenient iPad that was lying on the floor now starts flashing the now familiar ‘THIS WORLD IS OURS’ message. Black Adam doesn’t exactly take kindly to this, and says that the world belongs to nobody. It’s interesting that Johns has set-up Black Adam as an anti-hero again so quickly, after he was an out and out villain in the Shazam back-ups, but some of Johns’ best work involved Black Adam as a member of the JSA and a quasi-hero, so I’m excited to see how this all plays out with him fighting against the CSA.
This event has actually done quite a good job at setting up a fair amount of villains as people you want to root for agains the CSA, Lex Luthor, Black Manta and now Black Adam, it’s weird having them as heroes, but it works. Edgar Salazar’s artwork was also a solid contribution here, with just that little bit of scratchiness that reminded me of Gary Frank.
This was the last Villain’s Month book I read, and it has left me with a decent feeling about this whole shebang, yes, it was a logistical screw-up, but there were some very good comics in the mix, and this was one of them.