The 12 Best Black Adam Comics, Ranked

This issue opens up with Black Adam suddenly appearing in a busy city to cause some trouble until he’s interrupted by Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr., who are surprised by how similarly dressed he is to them. Black Adam disappears, prompting Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. to revert to their civilian identities as Billy Batson and Freddy Freeman, respectively, and contact the wizened wizard Shazam for answers. Shazam tells them that Black Adam was once a student of his and, believing him to be a good man, he bestowed Black Adam with superpowers. Unfortunately, these new abilities contaminated Black Adam’s character, and he developed an unstoppable hunger for power. To stop this from happening, Shazam exiled Black Adam to a distant star, only for him to return to continue his megalomaniacal quest.

For such an old comic book that was intended for young readers, there are some surprisingly dark elements in this issue. For example, when Black Adam first arrives in the city, he’s this close to snapping a police officer in half until the Marvel Family arrives to stop him. The ending also sees Black Adam stripped of his powers, only to return to human form and instantly age 5,000 years into a rotten corpse (only for him to return later on, obviously). Still, the comic introduces a lot of elements that continue to typify Black Adam and his relationship with the Marvel Family, so it’s worth reading for that alone.

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