Top 10 Darkest Things Black Adam Has Ever Done
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: David Foster
This character is not afraid to go to some seriously dark places. For this list, we'll be looking at all those terrifying feats of brutal strength and horrific acts of mental and physical terror that Teth-Adam, known to DC fans as Black Adam, has committed over his long history. Our countdown includes “Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam", “Black Adam: The Dark Age” Vol 1. #2, “World War III” Vol. 1 #3, and more!
Top 10 Darkest Things Black Adam Has Ever Done
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Darkest Things Black Adam Has Ever Done.
For this list, we’ll be looking at all those terrifying feats of brutal strength and horrific acts of mental and physical terror that Teth-Adam, known to DC fans as Black Adam, has committed over his long history. Given that he’s a complicated man, we should point out that though his methods are dark, his outcomes might not be wrong. Maybe we should rename him “Morally Gray Adam…”
Are you looking forward to seeing Dwayne Johnson’s portrayal of Shazam’s nemesis? Sound off in the comments!
#10: That Dam Plan
“Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam” (2010)
It isn’t long after returning to Earth that Black Adam begins causing trouble in this short film. In fact, with little time to spare, the film gives a good indication of just how troublesome the ancient champion can be by having him take on both Superman and Captain Marvel at the same time. At one point, an almost beaten Adam destroys a dam wall in a bid to flood Fawcett City. As Marvel grabs him and demands to know why, his militaristic tactics are eerily disturbing. It almost works too, as he didn’t count on the Kryptonian’s powers. But the darkest moment is in how little Adam values anyone’s life. In fact, in the end, he’d rather die than surrender, which he does.
#9: Black Adam Comes for Death
“52” Vol. 1 #45 (2007)
They say death comes for us all, but on this occasion it’s Black Adam who comes for Death. Or at least, the last surviving of the Four Horsemen of Apokolips known also as Azraeuz. An earlier battle with them had cost Adam his wife Isis, otherwise known as Adrianna Tomaz. With three dead by his hand, and a promise to avenge Isis’s life, Adam goes after Death to finish the job. Despite counterproductively charging Azraeuz to full strength by leaving a trail of corpses for Azraeuz to devour the energy of, Adam coaxes his target out of hiding, and takes on the Horseman. But Adam quickly overpowers even him by barraging Death with lightning, and then tortures him for information until he slowly bleeds out.
#8: Mary Marvel’s Heel Turn
“Countdown” Vol 1. #47-49 (2007)
For as long as she’s been around, Mary Marvel has been a true paragon of goodness in the DC universe. She’s powerful but also measured, much the girl scout of the Shazam Family. However, for a time, Mary was without her magic abilities and felt powerless, both literally and figuratively. At the same time, Black Adam – now a recluse – had grown tired of his abilities and wanted out. A chance meeting between the two allowed Adam the opportunity to talk Mary out of some of the values she holds dearest and give in to darker ideas. He then gives Mary his powers, turning her into a more powerful version of herself than she’d previously been but at the cost of her morals.
#7: Til Death Do Us Part
“Black Adam: The Dark Age” Vol 1. #2 (2007)
After the events of “World War III,” Adam was powerless and alone. His wife was avenged but it did little to soothe his pain – the only thing that could help was if she could come back. And then Adam has a plan. For the uninitiated, the Lazarus Pit is a rejuvenating bath that keeps characters young and healthy, but takes part of the user’s sanity with each use. With his wife decayed into mere bones, Adam embarks on a trek to find a Lazarus Pit and use it to revive her. He’s successful at first, but this very quickly proves to be worse. Isis’s newly formed body quickly disintegrates, leaving her in pain. Adam then kills his wife in an act of mercy.
#6: Sacrificing His Nephew
“Justice League Vol. 2” #20 (2013)
The origin of Black Adam has been revised once or twice throughout the various eras of the comic books. At one point, he even killed Billy Batson’s parents, although this was sharply retconned. In 2013, we finally got a definitive story of how Teth-Adam gained his abilities, and why he should never have had them in the first place. Recalling the story to Captain Marvel, Adam tells of how he and his young nephew Aman received powers from the wizard in exchange for healing. With their new found abilities, they disagree, with Aman wanting to convince their oppressors of a better way and Adam wanting vengeance. In a sickening twist, Adam kills his nephew, thus becoming the sole, unopposed powerful being and begins his revenge.
#5: A Terra-Fying Tear
“52” Vol. 1 #3 (2006)
It’s often said about some members of the DC Universe that their stance on crime and criminals is a little lacking. Most have some form of a “no killing” rule that’s arguably created more victims than it’s saved. Black Adam, on the other hand, doesn’t honor a moral compass that points towards reform. In order to make a point about how the Justice League's version of, well, justice doesn't go far enough, Adam holds a press conference in front of the Khandaq embassy. He then nonchalantly pulls the ecological warrior Terra-Man into the air and tears him in two as part of a very public execution. Given that Terra-Man had just been granted asylum by Adam, it’s incredibly cold.
#4: Manipulating the Martian Manhunter
“World War III” Vol. 1 #1 (2007)
As Black Adam finally snapped under the weight of losing so much, war became inevitable. But for some members of the Justice League, there was still hope. J’onn J’onzz stepped up to Adam in a bid to talk him down, and when things got violent, the Martian Manhunter stood his ground. The battle was fierce, with J’onn on the back foot readying to pull out one more trick: link their minds telepathically. Remember, the Martian Manhunter is no pushover, but Black Adam is so full of rage, and yet somehow so cold that he’s able to reverse J’onn J’onzz’s telepathy and show him all the people he killed. The shock of so many dying cries sends J’onn into retreat, leaving Adam to his killing spree.
#3: Disarming Young Frankenstein
“World War III” Vol. 1 #3 (2007)
For most of “World War III,” Black Adam is virtually unstoppable. But that doesn’t deter the young - and perhaps naive - metahuman groups from trying to end the reign of terror. Unfortunately, one such effort leads to more tragedy as Young Frankenstein meets a horrific end at the hands of a destructive Adam. In attempting to save his fellow Teen Titans, Frankenstein tries restraining Black Adam from behind. Instead, poor Frankie has his arms ripped off for his trouble, later dying from a severe loss of blood. It was further proof that Adam needed not only to be stopped but quickly. Don’t feel too sorry for Young Frankenstein, however – in true comic book fashion, he returned months later.
#2: Powerless, Yeti Is Still Dangerous
“Black Adam: The Dark Age” Vol. 1 #2 (2007)
After the attempt to revive his wife using the Lazarus Pit failed, a powerless and frustrated Adam exited the cave, alone. But it wasn’t long until he encountered his first opportunity to let off some steam. A yeti, who was intending to protect the pit, stood in his way. Though Adam apologizes, he easily rips open the creature with nothing but his natural strength and a knife to help. His brutality doesn't end there, as he uses the Yeti’s intestines as rope to descend the mountain – without at least killing it first and prolonging the creature’s agony. What's particularly horrific about this show of brutality is that the Yeti is actually Hu Wei, shapeshifting Chinese superhero and reserve member of the Great Ten.
#1: Revenge by Genocide
“52” Vol. 1 #45 (2007)
Earlier, we spoke of how Adam, fuelled with rage after losing his family, goes on the hunt for Death via a trail of corpses. What deserves its own mention now was how that came to be. Black Adam knew he needed to get Death’s attention, and did so via destroying the entire nation of Bialya. Without any care as to who his next victim was, Adam burned and fried any and everything he could. Completely inconsolable, definitely unhinged and certainly deranged, Adam killed anyone who crossed his path–regardless of whether they were civilians or not. Burning white hot, he scorched the place to oblivion and when the dust settled, the casualty count was in millions.