Justice League of America 7.4
Special “Villains Month” Title: Black Adam 1
Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates, Edgar Salazar
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
The last of the Justice League of America (or Justice League) tie-ins to Villains Month and Forever Evil, features the legend (and return) of Black Adam. Geoff Johns oversees writer Sterling Gates and artist Edgar Salazar as they tell the ultimate tale of life, death, and rebirth. I had never taken Shazam! (or any of the other former Captain Marvel family or villains) serious before Johns came on the scene in the pages of J. S. A. back before the relaunch of the DC Universe, but the characters (Black Adam chief among them) slowly became fan favorites not just for me, but for the rest of the comics-reading world at large. So it was no surprise to me that I loved the new and updated versions of these characters (also under the guidance of Johns) when they made their appearance and took the spotlight in the pages of Justice League. The only issue I had with that story was the defeat and seemingly instantaneous death of Black Adam. But that was all fixed in this issue.
The story of Ibac and his lineage of dictators is told through the point-of-view of peaceful noncombatant journalists Arianna and Amon (who are no doubt destined to become more). The four thousand year struggle against oppression is reaching its height when suddenly, in the heat of a firefight battle, Arianna yells the magic words, “Shazam!” and the ashes of Black Adam collect themselves and reform his body. He then takes it upon himself to take the kingdom of Kahndaq back, by force, and return it to the people. But before anyone can even react to the brutal and savage nature of his “dethroning” of their former leader, the Secret Society’s worldwide message is delivered, even to the farthest reaches of the Middle East. “The world is ours.” Which leads to one of the best endings in recent one-shot history, showing Black Adam proclaim that “This world belongs to no one!”
Spend the extra dollar for an amazing fancy cover. You’ll thank yourself. And don’t miss this issue if you’re planning on getting Justice League (any of the three) titles or the main Forever Evil event or crossover issues. Or, you know, if you just love a good anti-hero story. That’s right, I’ll be the first to say it: Black Adam is not a villain. He’s certainly not a hero (although some people might see some of his acts as heroic at times), but I’d argue that he’s an anti-hero. And I, for one, cannot wait to see him kill a bunch of bad guys in the upcoming months.
My Rating: 5/5