THERE IS NO REDEMPTION FOR BLACK ADAM.
Thousands of years ago, did Black Adam inadvertently create a powerful race who’ve modeled themselves after the Akkadian pantheon of goddesses and gods?
Or is he being gaslighted, taunted by illusions, by one of his many enemies?
Theo Teth-Adam finds only more questions when he is lured to the Akkadian Hightower and given a cryptic message.
Meanwhile, Adam has dispatched Etrigan the Demon, an unlikely ally, to either train his youthful successor or kill him.
Geek DadIf there’s one thing Priest comics are always capable of, it’s surprising me. This comic threw us from a loop right from the start by revealing that Black Adam was dying and that he had chosen young Malik White to be his successor. But even that turned out to be a feint, as Adam has been through the wringer but is very much still a part of this story. He’s returning from space this issue as part of a complex series of events, and is briefing his attache and confidante on exactly what’s happened to him—and it involves a series of ancient Egyptian Gods who may have been watching and testing him since his initial fall from grace thousands of years ago. While there are some heavy mystical elements here, his friend manages to cut through much of the subtext and reveal what’s been haunting him ever since his fateful decision—and it makes all the magical elements of the story fall into place. While Black Adam’s story is very mystical, Malik’s is down to Earth. He’s spending his time torn between his new responsibilities as the bearer of the power and his duties as a medical resident. If that wasn’t enough, his sister lives with him and has a tendency to drop her baby off for him to watch with no notice. Some lines about her behavior indicate that something worse may be going on there, but Malik doesn’t have time to dwell on it—because Etrigan is hanging around and looking to test himself against the new bearer of the lightning. By the end of the issue, Malik’s laid-back approach to his new powers is out the window, and he may be following in the footsteps of his predecessor in terms of being the world’s most wanted. It’s chaotic fun, but more importantly it seems to be very interested in exploring the long legacy of Black Adam and what his ties to ancient Egypt actually mean for the character.
DC Comics NewsBlack Adam #4 maintains the high-quality writing and art from the previous three issues. Priest brings all of the desired intelligence and wit to the script, while Rafa Sandoval really knocks it out of the park with the art. If these two and the rest of the creatives on this issue keep up the good work, then Black Adam will most likely become a modern-day classic.
ComicBook.comPriest's comics almost always pay dividends upon early investments in character and mystery; that wealth is already becoming obvious in Black Adam #4. The issue continues to pull on various threads in both the mundane and divine realms. Introducing a pantheon of gods tied to Adam's origins and his recent ventures through space creates a fascinating inflection point and a much-needed counterpoint to Adam's ancient perspective. This is also reflected in the expansion of Malik's family with roots in D.C. that resonate with classic young superhero tropes and reflections of 21st century America. There's an excellent balance of dense grids unwinding these introductions and new concepts alongside splashes that display the sense of power and awe that comes with gods (or godlike beings) walking the earth. Even in exploring the interstitial elements of this narrative, Black Adam never misses a beat and delivers one of the most engaging new takes on an old character at DC Comics in years.
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AIPTThis issue wasn’t nearly disappointing enough to sway me from my feelings for the book at-large. I think it was meant to be a kind of transitionary moment as they built the world up around the two Adams. However, it mostly felt like a misstep as the team tried to set the stage but got distracted with weird tangents and guest stars. I have confidence the book can leap forward with poise and grace, but this issue just felt like a series of missed opportunities paired with some solid, slightly insubstantial upswings in momentum and interest. Next time, I just need more thoughtful character interactions and succinct storylines if my “like” can ever truly be “like like.”