|“||The world has not changed as much as you believe, Sivana. Pharaohs still live off slaves.||„|
|~ Black Adam|
Black Adam is a supervillain in the DC comics and one of the main enemies of Captain Marvel (alongside Doctor Sivana and Mister Mind). Though his origins vary between versions, in all that he is depicted as the former champion of the Wizard Shazam who was corrupted by his power, resulting in him becoming a villain and an adversary towards the Marvel Family. In recent years, however, he has frequently been depicted as a more neutral or anti-villainous character.
The story of Black Adam begins in thirteenth century Egypt. Teth-Adam, a noble and brave prince of the land of Kahndaq, was recruited by the wizard Shazam to be his champion of good. Endowed with the powers of six Egyptian gods, Teth-Adam became Egypt's greatest protector. But nothing lasts forever; when his wife and children were murdered by his enemies, Teth-Adam was seduced and corrupted by Shazam's daughter, Blaze, and became the very thing he fought. Seeing his failure, Shazam renamed Teth-Adam "Khem-Adam" (Arabic for Black Adam) and banished his soul to the Amulet of Greed.
Eons later, Teth-Adam's descendant, Theo Adam, found his ancestor's tomb and took the amulet, killing his partners, C.C. and Marilyn Batson, in the process. Returning to America, Adam encountered Captain Marvel (in reality Billy Batson, the son of his victims), and learned of his past life, which granted him access to Teth-Adam's powers. After his first defeat at the hands of Captain Marvel, Black Adam has repeatedly fought the Shazam family, and even tried the path of the hero again, but went back to villainy. He is currently trapped in a stone form.
Circa 1200 BC, Shazam became a high priest to the pharaoh Ramses II of Egypt. As the wizard grew older, he sought a champion worthy to inherit his powers. The young prince Teth-Adam of Kahndaq (Ramses' son) impressed the wizard with his fairness and decency. But before Shazam could bestow his powers, his daughter Blaze made a deal with the god Set. When Teth-Adam spoke the name "Shazam," instead of gaining the wizard's powers, he was blessed with the power of six Egyptian gods: Shu, Heru, Amon, Zehuti, Aton, and Mehen.
Although Adam speaks the name "Shazam," he does not draw power from the wizard. Teth-Adam served Egypt for many years, but this duty drew him away from his wife and children in Kahndaq. While he was away, the mad priest, Ahk-ton ravaged Kahndaq and killed Adam's family. The priest was powered by the "Orb of Ra". Adam could not apprehend Ahk-ton, so he entombed his family and returned to the court of Ramses. There he served as Egypt's champion alongside another great wizard, Nabu. Mighty-Adam was a success as a hero for Egypt, but his service kept him away from his wife, Shiruta, and his sons Gon and Hurut.
Adam's homeland was destroyed and his family killed by the evil priest Ahk-ton using the Orb of Ra. A disparaged Adam continued to serve in Rameses' court and allied himself with Prince Khufu (later Hawkman). At this time, he met three travelers from the future: Hawkgirl, Mr. Terrific, and Captain Marvel. Adam felt relieved that his legacy would continue through Marvel and thought highly of his future counterpart. With the help of these visitors and the wizard Nabu, Adam was able to capture Ahk-ton, whom he killed as retribution for murdering Adam's family.
Adam returned to Kahndaq and forcefully overthrew the government present there, and appointed himself ruler. The wizard Shazam was made aware of all of these events and, thinking Adam had been corrupted by Blaze, unleashed a powerful spell. He trapped Adam's soul and powers within a powerful scarab rendering Adam's de-powered body, now several hundred years old, into a withered corpse. Shazam then buried both the body and the scarab in the tomb of Ramses II, where he had planned for it to remain for all eternity. In death, the former hero was referred to as "Khem-Adam" ("Black Adam"). Disillusioned by what he perceived as Adam's betrayal, Shazam went several millennia before appointing a second champion to fight evil in his name.
Years later Rameses II's tomb was excavated by the Batsons under the orders of the Sivana Federation. A colleague of the Batsons, Adam's descendant Theo, murdered the Batsons after finding the scarab. Suspecting something was odd, his sister, Sarah, had Mary Batson adopted by the Bromfields to keep her away from Theo.
When Theo saw Billy Batson as Captain Marvel, he realized the power and said "Shazam" and "Black Adam." The two battled, with Shazam temporarily removing Adam's ability to speak. This was undone by the evil Blaze, and Adam later spent time in deep space.
Black Adam joined the JSA after claiming he had rid himself of Theo Adam's evil influence. Captain Marvel joined the JSA as well, wanting to keep an eye on him. Johnny Sorrow removed a malignant brain tumor in Adam's head, and Black Adam joined the Injustice Society. He soon betrayed them so the JSA could defeat them.
Black Adam left the JSA after Kobra was allowed to live. He formed his own team, executed Kobra, and once again overthrew Khandaq's government. The JSA intervened. After a battle, Black Adam was allowed to retain control of Khandaq as long as he stayed within its borders. He and the Feitherans began to rebuild the war-torn country.
Black Adam joined the Secret Society of Super-Villains to protect Kahndaq, or so he claimed. During the Spectre's attack on magical beings, was killed, but Adam was able to revive him with magical lightning.
Adam was part of the group that set a trap for Uncle Sam and the rest of the Freedom Fighters. However, Adam himself was betrayed by the other villains as Alex Luthor sought 'a Marvel' to use as part of his plot.
Adam was given Adrianna Tomaz as a gift from Intergang. She was meant to be used as a slave to his pleasure, in return for allowing Intergang to use Khandaq as a base for their criminal activities. However, Black Adam executed her captors. Her wisdom helped him to focus on using his powers for the benefit of the people of Kahndaq. He granted her the power of the Goddess, Isis, and the two were married. When Adrianna's younger brother, Amon, was found a prisoner of Intergang, Adam granted him a portion of his own power and he became the hero, Osiris.
Adam finally felt as if he had a true family. Isis had a tremendous influence on him, and she managed to dampen Adam's otherwise violent temper. As an act of good will, Black Adam and his family went to the United States and participated in several events including a holiday parade and a charity dinner at the Sivana estate.
Not long after, Adam's brother-in-law, Osiris, befriended a shy talking crocodile which he named Sobek He brought Sobek back to Kahndaq with him and he became a part of the colloquially named Black Marvel Family. Sobek's presence eventually proved to be the undoing of the Black Marvel Family, however.
Black Adam soon discovered that Sobek was, in fact, the Fourth Horseman known as Famine (Yurrd the Unknown). Sobek caused a massive blight that swept across Kahndaq ultimately killing Isis. He also turned against Osiris, savagely biting him in half and consuming the remains. Black Adam came upon Isis' body as she lay dying. Her final words were a plea of vengeance against those who brought this tragedy upon Kahndaq.
Adam next attacked Sobek, killing him by hyper-extending his jaws. He then tracked the First of the Horsemen, Death (Azeuz) to the nation of Bialya and engaged in a massive battle with him. Black Adam's thirst for vengeance wasn't sated with merely defeating the Horsemen, however. He lashed out against the entire country, killing every man, woman, and child in Bialya, even sterilizing the earth. This genocide empowered Death, who believed he would be able to defeat Black Adam in battle. He was soon proven incorrect.
World War III
The world at large watched in horror as Black Adam continued blazing a trail of devastation across the globe. His next target was mainland China, whom he suspected was responsible for financially backing the Oolong Island experiments that resulted in the creation of the Four Horsemen. China's mega-hero team the Great Ten attempted to stop Black Adam, but they proved ineffective. The Chinese government issued a proclamation that no other country was to interfere in China’s affairs, even on their own behalf. Such an action would be interpreted as an act of war, and China would retaliate with nuclear weapons. An assemblage of heroes led by the Justice Society of America set up a beachhead on China's borders. Many of them wanted to ignore China's warning and fight Black Adam, but they maintained their vigilance for fear of aggravating a new war.
When Black Adam defeated the Great Ten, the Chinese government asked the Western world for aid. Dozens of super-heroes including the JSA, the Doom Patrol, and the Teen Titans mounted an attack against Black Adam, but his fury was so intense that nothing seemed to stop him. One of the casualties was the former Teen Titan, Terra, whom Black Adam slew by punching his fist through her chest. The Teen Titan, Young Frankenstein, also fell to his fury.
Captain Marvel petitioned the gods of ancient Egypt to take away Black Adam's powers, but they refused. In fact, they even advocated Adam's actions. Marvel then sought the aid of the mystical community and worked with Zatanna in a desperate attempt to defeat Black Adam once and for all.
Captain Marvel and Adam fought one another, and Marvel spoke the magic word "Shazam", summoning the mystic lightning that grants them their powers. He channeled the lightning into Black Adam, forcing him to transform back into the mortal Teth-Adam. Through Zatanna's spell, Captain Marvel managed to change the magic word so that Teth-Adam would be unable to turn back into Black Adam.
As the war came to a close, Teth-Adam escaped justice and fled back to Kahndaq. He was last seen wandering the streets of Shiruta incognito, attempting to learn the new magic word that would bring his powers back.
Black Adam: The Dark Ages
The still-powerless Teth-Adam orders his remaining loyal servant to savagely beat his face in order to alter his physical appearance. Effectively disguised, he leads the group to Kahndaq to retrieve the bones of Isis, while the JSA is in Bialya searching for him. Adam and his men are attacked by unidentified soldiers (who are also searching for Teth-Adam) while leaving the tomb of Isis and Osiris. Adam's followers sacrifice their lives so that he can escape with his wife's remains. Adam then travels to the frozen Himalayas, where he eats the corpse of his last remaining henchman after running out of food. Finally reaching a secluded cave, Teth-Adam resurrects Isis using a Lazarus Pit.
Coming to realize she is no more than a decaying reanimated dead body, he is forced by the realization to kill her. He then takes her bones and goes on a pilgrimage to the Tower of Fate. Using a small piece of the Rock of Eternity, he reveals the Tower of Fate's location and enters. Expecting to find Doctor Fate so that he may get back the Amulet of Isis, he is surprised to find the doctor not in and Felix Faust has been trapped there with Neron, due to a spell cast by the deceased Ralph Dibny. Apparently, Neron found a way out and left. Faust, in order to gain freedom, joins forces with Adam and helps him cast a spell to transfer residual magic from Isis's bones to him to allow him to transform into Black Adam.
In retrieving the first part of the amulet, Teth-Adam encounters Hawkman. The two have a savage battle in the sky, leading to Hawkman's serious injury. After the fight, the Justice League is notified and the team begins trying to find Black Adam. Meanwhile, while resting at a riverbank and contemplating his mission to bring back his wife, Teth Adam is shot down and badly wounded by members of the same organization that attacked him in issue one. He is, however, strong enough to speak the magic word "Isis" and transform into Black Adam. After promptly dispatching the assassins with extreme prejudice, he visits a veterinary hospital to have his wounds repaired.
After leaving the hospital, the doctors who save Teth-Adam's life are attacked by the assassins. Teth-Adam sees this happening, saves the two doctors, and kidnaps the two assassins. He kills them both, one by striking him with lightning and one by flying him up into the thermosphere, after getting information from them. The Justice League talk to the two doctors as part of their hunt for Teth0Adam and learn about his heroic act of saving them from the assassins. This further develops Teth-Adam's anti-hero character, as it is one of his first acts of heroism since the events of World War III.
The miniseries ended at issue six, instead of the previously anticipated issue eight. Black Adam arrives at Fawcett City and accidentally discovers that the new transformation word Captain Marvel changed back in 52 was in fact "Chocolate Egg Cream". With his original power returned, he flies to Fate's Tower and confronts Faust. Faust attempts to resurrect Isis, but the resurrection fails, and Isis' bones crumble to the floor. Faust blames Black Adam for using Isis' power too much, and distraught, Black Adam flies away, ending up in the Kahndaq embassy in Gotham City. It is revealed that the bones that Faust showed to Black Adam belonged to Ralph Dibny, and Faust resurrects Isis successfully. With her under his power, he exits the tower.
Adam having secretly taken up residence in the abandoned Khandaq embassy in Gotham City. Mary Marvel stumbles upon him at the embassy and finds that he has killed several others that have had the misfortune to find their way in there. It appears that Adam is very angry with Mary as well but with the uttering of "Shazam", he transfers all of his powers to Mary. Before leaving, he tells Mary to tell Billy that he is 'Sorry'. In transferring his powers to her he is now an average mortal and powerless, what he has decided is better than the burden he bore for so long as Black Adam.
Later, Black Adam is once again empowered Mary Marvel seeks to join forces with him in a new Black Marvel Family, but he dismisses her as arrogant and childish, leaving her entirely alone.
Later he resumes living in his family shrine, sleeping in his coffin and mourning his dead family. He reveals that the whole meaning of his power transfer to Mary Marvel was the hope that her innocence would eventually force Mary into surrendering back his power to him but changed enough to allow Isis' rebirth. This attempt fails, Adam returns to his state of mourning and anger, until he discovered a bloodied flower in his shrine, believing it a sign from Isis.
Justice Society of America
Isis later managed to use her powers to create a trail of flowers to lead Adam to where Faust has been holding her captive. After following the trail to find Isis and free her from Faust's control, Black Adam then journeyed to the Rock of Eternity and battled the newly-appointed wizard of the Rock of Eternity, Billy Batson, using the same scarab necklace that once imprisoned him to strip Billy of his powers with help from Isis sending lightning at Marvel and use them to take control of the Rock of Eternity. Isis planned to use the power of the Rock to "cleanse the earth" of all humankind, which she saw as irredeemably evil. Black Adam and Isis were able to convince Mary Marvel to join their crusade and soon challenged by the Justice Society, who came to the aid of the powerless Billy Batson when he was trying to summon Freddy. During the course of the fight, the combatants end up in Kahndaq, where the people praised Black Adam's return.
However, Isis proceeded to kill several of the followers, claiming that they were tainted by the Earth. Black Adam attempted to protect his people, only to be attacked by Mary and Billy, who had been tainted by Mary's power. At that point, Jay Garrick (who had earlier been thrown by Isis into the mists surrounding the Rock of Eternity) appeared with the spirit of Billy's father, and the wizard Shazam, whom the two had recovered from the Rock of Finality, where he had been imprisoned in a statue. Adam was convinced to return his power to Shazam so that he could save Isis from her corruption. In turn, Shazam - who was furious at the misuse of the power he bestowed to his champions - took the power from Isis, Billy, and Mary, and transformed Teth-Adam and Adrianna into statues. Sometime later a shadowy figure appears in a bolt of lightning, gloating that Shazam has given him new champions to play with.
Black Adam was last seen inside Osiris' chambers known as the Labyrinth still trapped and powerless as a statue while Isis was freed and eventually returned to Kahndaq as its queen.
Teth-Adam was a slave in Kahndaq, where almost the entirety of his family was killed by the dictators — all except his nephew Aman, whom Adam eventually managed to contact and help escape from imprisonment, being mortally wounded by guards in order to buy him time.
Aman, however, refused to abandon his dying uncle and rescued him. Together, while escaping the underground prisons, they found themselves magically transported into the Rock of Eternity, where they were greeted by Shazam. The wizard, deeming Aman pure, offered him the role of his champion, giving him the task of freeing Kahndaq — which Aman accepted on the condition that Shazam healed Adam. Explaining that the gift bestowed upon him could be shared with his family, Shazam gave Aman his powers, healing and empowering Adam in the process.
Being returned to Kahndaq, Aman and Adam contemplated how to use their powers in order to free their people. While Adam was willing to destroy the dictators and exact revenge for their dead family, Aman wanted to save them and give them peace, stopping all bloodshed. Fearing that Aman's method would not work, Adam killed him and seized his powers for himself, seeing it as a necessary sacrifice for the greater good.
Black Adam is known in legend for having defeated the dictators and the Seven Sins, successfully freeing Kahndaq. Though myth says he merely disappeared, Black Adam actually turned against the Council of Eternity and murdered all its members but Shazam — the wizard, however, managed to overpower and seal Black Adam away.
Powers and Abilities
Like Captain Marvel, Black Adam gains powers from six mythological figures of a specific mythos:
- The Stamina of Shu: Superhuman Endurance and Self Sustenance.
- The Swiftness of Heru: Super Speed and Flight
- The Strength of Amon: Vast Super Strength
- The Wisdom of Zehuti: Superhuman Intelligence and Omnilingual
- The Power of Aton: Transformation, Magical Resistance, and Power Enhancement
- The Courage of Mehen: Superhuman Inner Strength, Telepathic Resistance, and Invulnerability
- Accelerated Healing: Chosen ones if for some reason they are harmed by their unique physiology allows their physical wounds to heal and at an accelerated rate. They can regenerate any damage to their bodies given time. They can use their lightning to heal others and themselves from any damage or imperfections.
- Clairvoyance: Chosen ones are clairvoyant to all situations. They can understand situations from many angles including futuristic and past consequences to actions. Also understood as superhuman awareness with such clarity that chosen ones can see into the future of their actions.
- Divine Grace: Chosen ones have innate luck and divine guidance in a largely unseen way. Mostly a psychological ability. Their grace allows for seeming finesse in their actions and situations.
- Eidetic Memory: Chosen ones have a photographic memory. They can remember each piece of information they learn. They can study situations and reevaluate them as required.
- Energy Projection: Chosen ones can project their transforming lightning bolts as offensive weapons.
- Energy Resistance: Chosen has immunity to all magical attacks and can take such attacks full on without sustained damage, such as; being hit with spells from magical opponents, even the magic of other chosen ones.
- Enhanced Intellect: Chosen ones are given superhuman brain activity, & provided by counsel and guidance when needed. They are also granted knowledge of all languages, warfare, mathematics, and other scholarly knowledge.
- Flight: Chosen ones can soar into the skies through an act of sheer will. They can hover completely still or effortlessly achieve sub-orbital levels and travel across the planet and space in blinding speed at high speeds through an act of sheer will.
- Hypnosis - Chosen ones can control/command any objects and/or organisms. Able to manipulate opponents or allies.
- Immortality: Chosen ones can live indefinitely, cannot age, wither, or degrade. It is virtually impossible to die.
- Indomitable Will: Chosen ones have limitless amounts of vitality, virility, and willpower. Their willpower allows them to fight on despite overwhelming odds. Their willpower is in excess of their innate nature of good will.
- Invulnerability: Chosen ones have incredible amounts of durability, invulnerable to most if not all forms of physical/mental/spiritual/ conceptual damage. It would require one as powerful as them to hurt them physically.
- Magic: Chosen ones have limitless amounts of magic. Called the Power of the Gods, chosen ones choose to use their magic through lightning bolts. Used for transformations resistances, enhancements, healing, and other spells.
- Multilingualism: Chosen ones are omnilingual and can read, write, speak and understand all languages. With this, they can communicate with even electronics, aliens, and other lifeforms. Black Adam can speak several languages including ancient Egyptian, Arabic, Kahndaqi and American English.
- Self-Sustenance: Chosen ones can survive indefinite periods of time without sleep, food, water, or air. They can easily survive in any harsh conditions such as deserts, tundras, the void of space or gaseous zones of other planets. Possesses a perfect body, even without training muscles are brawny and body shape remain's perfect no matter how much calories he intakes.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Chosen ones have increased physical reactions and attribute to allow for their feats. They react more quickly in fights, perceive & process the world as if it is in slow motion, make quick mental decisions. reflexes are entirely involuntary, can be used for attack/counter/defense, feints and illusion are useless.
- Superhuman Senses: Chosen ones have supernaturally acute sight, taste, hearing, touch, smell, and instinct.
- Superhuman Speed: Chosen ones have incredible amounts of speed which allow them to move, react, and easily move at speeds far exceeding Mach 10. Utilize other uses of their speed aside from running and flying.
- Superhuman Stamina: Chosen ones have limitless stamina and endurance. They are able to fight on forever and survive without sustenance. If they were ever harmed their limitless metabolism would heal all their damage.
- Superhuman Strength: Chosen ones have incredible physical strength, enough to lift at least 100 tons. They can effortlessly bend steel, punch through walls, and lift massive objects. They've also been seen able to crack the crust of planets, physically hold off multiple heroes and tear humans apart.
- Teleportation: Chosen ones can teleport to locations such as the Rock of Eternity with but a thought and an action.
- Egyptology: Egyptian history and lore, Egyptian mythology, Egyptian magic.
- Class 100+ - Adam has the strength that is generally accepted to be sufficiently strong to lift 100 tons with ease. His Strength is in the megaton range matching the likes of Superman and Captain Marvel, among others.
- Magical Vulnerability: Only significant magic can affect him, such as the mystical abilities of the Spectre.
In Egyptian Myth
- Shu is the sky-god and father of Geb and Nut, the parents of Osiris, Seth, Horus, Isis, and Nephthys.
- Heru is Horus, the sun-god, brother of Osiris and Seth.
- Amon is the Ruler of the Egyptian Gods, son of Atum-Ra and brother of Trivia.
- Zehuti is Thoth, the god of learning and magic and the husband of Ma'at.
- Aton is the disk of the sun, and an aspect of Ra.
- Mehen is the snake-god who coils around Ra.
DC Universe Online
On the Heroes Side, Black Adam has enlisted the assistance of Felix Faust to bring his wife, Isis, back from the dead at Gotham University. You must battle your way through the undead hordes surrounding the university and stop the ritual.
On the Villains side, he's is the PVP Arena mentor.
Injustice: Gods Among Us and Injustice 2
Black Adam is a playable character and major antagonist in Injustice: Gods Among Us and Injustice 2. He is classified as a Power User and uses magical powers derived from the Gods of Ancient Egypt.
In both Story modes, Black Adam is one of the major antagonists, where he is a member of Superman's Regime.
Television & Film
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
In the show Batman: The Brave and the Bold Adam appears in the episode "The Power of Shazam". In this version, Teth Adam was Shazam's first champion but after he uses his powers for evil, he was banished. Doctor Sivana is able to summon him to Earth where he fights Captain Marvel and Batman. Sivana brings him to Shazam to get revenge, however, he tricks Adam and steals his powers. However, Batman and Captain Marvel are able to defeat Sivana also. In this show, he is voiced by John DiMaggio.
In the show, Young Justice Adam appears in the episode "Revelations". He appears as a member of the Injustice League he is mostly the muscle of the group. He is undefeatable until the League and the team stops the Injustice League and all the villains are captured.
DC Extended Universe
Black Adam will serve as the titular main protagonist and anti-hero of the DC Extended Universe film, Black Adam and a minor/mentioned antagonist in the 2019 superhero film, Shazam!. In Shazam!, Black Adam's origins are mentioned by the Wizard Shazam when he summons Billy Batson to the Rock of Eternity (though he is not mentioned by name). According to him, Teth-Adam was chosen to be his champion to protect Earth, but instead, he released the Seven Deadly Sins on Kahndaq which killed millions, also using the Sins to eliminate the other members of the Council of Wizards, leaving Shazam as the only survivor. Eventually, the Sins would be imprisoned again, although Black Adam's fate is left uncertain.
- He was created by the late Otto Binder, and the late C.C. Beck
|Justice Society Villains|
Adolf Hitler | Black Adam | Blackbriar Thorn | Brainwave | Darkseid | Demons Three | Doctor Destiny | Doctor Polaris | Eclipso | Evil Star | Extant | Felix Faust | Fiddler | Gentleman Ghost | Gog | Icicle | Injustice Society | Johnny Sorrow | Key | Kobra | Kulak | Major Force | Mekanique | Mirror Master | Monocle | Mordru | Onimar Synn | Per Degaton | Plasmus | Psycho-Pirate | Roulette | Secret Society of Super Villains | Solomon Grundy | Spirit King | Sportsmaster | Ultra-Humanite | Vandal Savage | Weather Wizard | Wizard
|Extended Universe Villains|
|One Earth Regime|