Black Adam is a male comic supervillain that features in DC Comics.
Long ago, the wizard Shazam had sought a champion and empowered a mortal for this role who he named Mighty Adam. However, he turned to evil and committed many crimes leading to the wizard renaming him Black Adam who was then banished from Earth. He was then sent to the farthest star though this was not enough and Black Adam made his way back to the planet though the journey took him many centuries. Shazam knew this and came to prepare a new champion to confront his former warrior who would return by the modern age. (Marvel Family v1 #1)
Teth-Adam was the son of the Pharaoh who lived during the reign of Rameses II where he was one of his fathers many offspring. At the time, the Shazam was serving the Egyptian ruler as high priest and became impressed with Adam's fairness along with his decency. The wizard intended to find a successor for his role as he had grown tired of his duties and intended to join the pantheon of his gods. Thus, he forged an alliance with the Egyptian god Set and managed to endow Adam with the powers stolen from the Egyptian pantheon. By uttering the name 'Shazam', Teth-Adam was transformed into a powerful being known as the Mighty Adam and was expected to carry on the wizard's good work. Under Shazam's watchful eye, the Mighty Adam saved hundreds during a flooding of the Niles and even arranged a major treaty with the Hittites that were enemies of Egypt thus earning the Pharaoh the highest of honours. (Power of Shazam v1 #10) He eventually came to be an advisor of Prince Khufu of the Theban Dynasty with him working alongside Nabu the Wise. (JSA v1 #20) By the 15th Dynasty, he had been married where he had a wife named Shiruta with two sons called Gon and Hurut though his family were later killed by Ahk-Ton. (JSA v1 #44) During the 19th Dynasty, he accompanied Khufu when they discovered a speedster from the future named Jay Garrick with Teth-Adam helping him return to his own time. (JSA v1 #21) After Pharaoh Rameses II's death, Shazam had left Egypt with him believing that the Mighty Adam could continue on his work. Afterwards, the demoness Blaze took the form of a fair maiden in distress where she bewitched Teth-Adam. She managed to convince Adam that he should rule as Pharaoh with her ruling by his side. Upon learning of Adam's betrayal, the wizard returned and dispatched him with powerful magic with the attributes that made him the Mighty Adam being drawn out into a powerful scarab amulet. With his powers stripped from him, his body naturally aged causing him to become a desiccated corpse where he was called Khem-Adam. He was entombed in Rameses temple at Abu Simbel where he was sealed in a sarcophagus with the scarab amulet. (Power of Shazam v1 #10)
Black Adam came to develop a brain tumour that weakened him to the point that it allowed Theo Adam to gain control of his mind. He then returned to Earth in Midtown where he was confronted by the newly reformed Justice Society of America. Despite their number, Black Adam was able to overpower them with the heroes unable to defeat him. However, Doctor Fate took Hourman and Hawkgirl back in time to the point he first gained his powers from the Wizard. Fate then channelled the magical lightning so that it would strike Black Adam in the present thus turning him into his mortal form of Theo Adam who was then knocked unconscious and arrested. (JSA v1 #6) He was later recruited by Johnny Sorrow to join his Injustice Society as they waged an attack against the Justice Society of America with the promise of curing him of his cancer. Black Adam complied though Sorrow was not aware that he had bargained with the Teth-Adam persona rather than the criminal Theo Adam. He participated in the attack where he seemingly fought Wildcat though in reality he took him to the side in order to offer his aid in defeating Johnny Sorrow. Together, the pair travelled to the Rock of Eternity in order to petition the Wizard in calling upon the aid of the Spectre to defeat the King of Tears with the Spirit of Vengeance already present and willing to take part in the battle. (JSA v1 #19) Unable to stop the King of Tears, the Justice Society decided to stop the entity's link to the physical world which was Johnny Sorrow though they were unable to fight him as he was intangible. Mr. Terrific offered namely for Jay Garrick to travel at light-speed and striking at Sorrow. To accomplish this, Black Adam lent the kinetic energy from his speed to Garrick who successfully destroyed Sorrow's form thus banishing the King of Tears back to its realm. (JSA v1 #20) In the aftermath, Black Adam requested to join the ranks of the Justice Society though Sand was reluctant in recruiting a former supervillain. (JSA v1 #21)
He left the Justice Society over their handling of Kobra and departed alongside Atom-Smasher. The two recruited others to their cause as they formed a new team that took more extreme measures in eliminating threats. This saw them striking at the Kobra Cult's Himalayan headquarters with Black Adam murdering the Kobra leader to prevent him from killing anyone else again. (JSA v1 #51) Black Adam then recruited Alex Montez who had imprisoned Eclipso within his body and intended to use his power to do good in the world. (JSA v1 #52) He and his allies then struck to eliminate the Council and recruited Nemesis Soseh Mykros as another recruit for his team. (JSA v1 #53) With his band of superhumans, they made their way next to free the nation of Kahndaq from the tyrant Asim Muhunnad whereupon Black Adam assumed control of his country. (JSA v1 #56)
Carter battled Black Adam where he was empowered by his wounded colleagues with him using Teth-Adam's slain family as a means of stopping the battle. It only ended when Captain Marvel and other imprisoned heroes arrived at the scene where the champion of Shazam offered a resolution to end the fight. He suggested that Black Adam was a hero to Kahndaq for freeing its people from tyranny and thus could serve as the country's leader as well as protector. However, he was to abandon any plans for the rest of the world with Black Adam agreeing to these terms and he allowed the Justice Society to depart whilst he re-buried the bones of his family. (Hawkman v4 #25)
As part of his efforts, he orchestrated the Freedom of Power Treaty where he formed a coalition of many nations that sought to stamp out intrusions into their territory. Kahndaq, North Korea, Myanmar and China all joined into this coalition with Black Adam aiding his allies in the Great Ten when members of the Green Lantern Corps intruded on Chinese airspace. The battle was stopped when the Russians deployed their Rocket Red Brigade in assistance of the Green Lanterns with Black Adam backing down as he did not wish to start hostilities but warned that other nations were joining his coalition that aimed to fight back against American interference in their respective lands. (52 v1 #6)
Following the Flashpoint, a new version of reality was created with a different history of events.
Long ago, Adam was a man who lived in the lands of Kahndaq where he came to have a wife named Shiruta and had a nephew named Aman. In that time, their home was raided by an army led by Ibac whose men took them as slaves for the mines with Shiruta being killed in the process. A badly wounded Adam was reunited with his nephew Aman who was similarly captured where during this time they were accidentally transported to the Rock of Eternity. Before the Council of Eternity, Aman was chosen to be the Wizard's champion and gifted the magic of the living lighting that could flow to family members. Adam asked his son to help take revenge against Ibac though Aman refused as he wanted to save the souls of people from evil. As a result, Adam murdered his nephew in order to claim his part of the living lightning for himself as he became Black Adam. (Justice League v2 #20)
Many centuries ago, during his rule Kahndaq came under attack from the Paling who were led by the Pale Bishop. Black Adam did not know of their intention and believed they threatened his kingdom where he battled them leading to a confrontation with the Pale Bishop who was apparently killed with his body mummified in a tomb in Kahndaq. Though defeated, the Paling survived and continued their inquisition's elsewhere in space with Black Adam unaware that the Pale Bishop was a rogue fallen Guardian of the Universe. (Sinestro v1 #17)
Whilst in Kahndaq, he received reports of Lex Luthors actions in arming supervillains, the rise of Leviathan and that a change had come over Billy Batson turning him into a darker version of himself caused by the Batman Who Laughs. The villainous Shazam then attack the city with Black Adam eventually intervening but he was beaten though he had made sure that his followers enacted a magic through prayer. This encased Shazam within a magical barrier and stripped him of his magic temporarily. Wit him defeated, Black Adam allowed him to depart after being humiliated in order to serve as a message that the people of Kahndaq bowed to no one. (Black Adam: Year of the Villain v1 #1)
Personality and attributes
In ancient Egypt, he was married where he had a wife named Shiruta and two sons named Gon and Hurut. They lived in the lands of Kahndaq until they were murdered by Ahk-Ton with their souls passing into the afterlife. (JSA v1 #44)
After falling from the Wizard's grace, he came to be called Khem-Adam or Black Adam as a mark that labelled him evil. However, Adam himself came to regard black as a representation of a deeper level of consciousness that included a banishment of evil and negativity. (JSA v1 #56)
Powers and abilities
Through the Wizard, he too was empowered with the magic of the Living Lightning. (Justice League v2 #20)
- Black Adam was created by Otto Binder and C. C. Beck where he made his first appearance in Marvel Family v1 #1 (December, 1945).
In other media
- In The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam!, Black Adam appeared as a villain in the animated television series Shazam! segment in the episode "Black Adam's Return" where he was voiced by actor Lou Scheimer.
- In Justice League Unlimited, Teth-Adam was mentioned in the DC Animated Universe series episode "Ancient History".
- In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Black Adam appeared as a villain in the animated television series episode "The Power of Shazam" where he was voiced by actor John DiMaggio.
- In Young Justice, Black Adam appeared as an antagonist in the animated television series in the episode "Revelation" where he had a non-voiced role. He was shown as being a member of the Injustice League and fought the Team where he was defeated.
- In Justice League Action, Black Adam appeared as an antagonist in the animated television series episode "Shazam Slam" where he was voiced by actor Gary Cole.
- In Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, Black Adam appeared as a villain in the animated film where he was voiced by actor Arnold Vosloo
- In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Black Adam appeared in the video-game as an antagonist and was a playable character where he was voiced by actor Joey Naber.
- In Injustice 2, Black Adam appeared as a playable character in the video game sequel where he was voiced by actor Joey Naber.
- In DC Legends, Black Adam: Khem-Adam appeared as a playable character in the iOS video game. His biography mentioned him as being Teth-Adam who was empowered by the gods where his family were killed by the mad priest Ahk-ton where he murdered him in retribution. As punishment, he was imprisoned inside a mystical scarab until freed in the modern time.
- In DC: Unchained, Black Adam appeared as a playable character in the setting of the mobile video game.
- Marvel Family v1:
- Captain Marvel v1:
- JSA v1:
- Hawkman v4:
- 52 v1:
- Black Adam: The Dark Age v1:
- Justice League v2:
- Sinestro v1:
- Doomsday Clock v1:
- Black Adam: Year of the Villain v1: