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Adam is the First Angel and overarching antagonist of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Created billions of years ago by the First Ancestral Race, Adam was sent in White Moon to Earth in order to create life on the planet. However, other Seed of Life, Lilith, has crash-landed on the planet in Black Moon spaceship. Because two Seeds of Life cannot co-exist on a single planet, Spear of Longinus, which every Seed of Life is accompanied by, was used to deactivate one of them. Since Lilith's Spear of Longinus was apparently destroyed in crash, Adam was the one put dormant by Spear of Longinus. This allowed Lilith to populate the planet with his own kin, including humanity.
Adam was discovered by Katsuragi Team at the end of 20th century at the South Pole, inside an iceberg. Unaware of its origins and properties, Spear of Longinus was removed from Adam's body, whereas Adam's core has become an object of studies.
Due to Contact Experiment in which human's DNA was fused with Adam's, Giant of Light has been awakened 13th September 2000. Deploying Anti-AT Field, Adam immediately killed members of Katsuragi Expedition Team alongside all life on Antarctica. Adam then manifested four transparent wings, opening Doors of Guf and giving souls to its offspring. However, before Adam could put an end to Lilith-based life on Earth, its S2 Engine went out of control and caused it to explode. While Adam's body has been reduced to early stage of fetus, its actions caused undeniable catastrophic changes to Earth's climate. Antarctica has become an uninhabitable wasteland where not even microorganisms can survive, shifted Earth's axis, raised sea levels all over the world and caused global conflicts, all of which resulted wiping out half of human population.
Adam's DNA was later used by organization called Gehirn to create Evangelions, giant artificial lifeforms, whose sole purpose was fighting off the Angels, Adam's offspring.
Human Instrumentality Project
In 2015, Adam's embryo was stolen by inspector Ryoji Kaji and transported into Japan through UN Pacific Fleet. There, it's handed over to commander Gendo Ikari, who fuses with Adam.
After Adam's kin is killed by Evangelions, Gendo heads over to Terminal Dogma with Rei Ayanami, intending to create forbidden Adam-Lilith hybrid. However, Rei betrays Gendo, absorbing his hand when he tries to merge with her, before merging with Adam and leaving Gendo to bleed to death.
Fused with Lilith, Adam turns every single living thing down to the smallest viruses into LCL, finally succeeding his life-long goal of wiping out life on Earth. But Adam's victory is cut short when Shinji Ikari uses Evangelion Unit-01 to tear out of hybrid's eye, which causes Adam's part of hybrid to fell of, ultimately killing Giant of Light.
Adam's role in Sadamoto's manga series remains the exact same as in TV series. The only difference is that Gendo swallows Adam's embryo whole instead of simply fusing with it like in TV show. This also gives him an ability to project AT field from his hand.
Rebuild of Evangelion
Unlike TV show and the manga, Adam in movie series Rebuild of Evangelion is portrayed as multiple beings, commonly known as "Adams" or "Giants of Light". They first appear in second installment of the series, Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance. It is revealed that Adams created four crosses above the center of South Pole during the Second Impact, which still exist even fifteen years later. Also, the Second Impact in the movie series caused seas to turn crimson red in color.