Shazam! has been infected by the Batman Who Laughs and is going to invade Black Adam’s country. Find out what happens in that explosive confrontation this week in Year of the Villain Black Adam #1 by DC Comics!
BLACK ADAM: YEAR OF THE VILLAIN #1
Writer: Paul Jenkins
Artist: Inaki Miranda
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Editor: Mike Cotton
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 23rd, 2019
Previously in Year of the Villain: Lex Luthor has been granting people super abilities and changing the balance between heroes and villains. When Shazam! Is infected by the Batman Who Laughs, he looks towards his enemy Black Adam in Khandaq. Will Black Adam be able to save his subjects or will he fall to the evil Billy Batson?
A REVERSAL OF ROLES
Black Adam sits in meditation as his advisors approaches to inform him about the events of Lex Luthor in the world. Black Adam is also informed that after Shazam! fought both Batman and Superman it is believed he is on the way to Khandaq. Black Adam begins to mobilize his army and prepare for the battle. Shazam arrives and begins to preach that he will be a better ruler for the Khandaq people but is met with the army and Black Adam. Shazam seems to have the upper hand and throws Black Adam outside the city. As the fight continues, Black Adam spreads dialogue about how Billy Baxton is a child and doesn’t understand how to lead a nation. When Shazam seemingly wins the fight he notices the people of Khandaq observing the fight and praying. Through prayer, the people are able to summon a huge lightning strike that turns Shazam back to his child form. Winning the battle, Black Adam let Shazam leave without further punishment. The story ends with Black Adam reflecting on the fight with his military commander and ponders the power of his people.
A BRILLIANT BALANCE
There are so many good things about the writing here. This story is action packed but each panel has meaning and progresses the narrative forward. The dialogue between Shazam and Black Adam presents some really strong ideas. First and foremost, Black Adam spends a lot of time encouraging his people that they can make a difference even if their weapons do not hurt Shazam. The encouragement shown from Black Adam reveals how and why he is a good leader to his people. Secondly, his conversation into Shazam shows the age difference between the two characters. Shazam is clearly a kid and is often gloating without realistic ideals on what he wants or an awareness of his actions. Lastly, he says an interesting line to Commander Wahl, “I overestimated my power, and I underestimated yours.” This shows he is not a tyrant like his predecessor and has a sense of humility. For someone who has the power of a god, he certainly has a level head.
The contrast between Shazam and Black Adam was staggering because Black Adam is often viewed as the anti-hero and even a straight up villain at times. However, he is the more relatable character in this issue. He sits on his throne like Dr. Doom but acts with incredible wisdom. Shazam is arrogant and acts like a god among men and I love the contrast here. This twist on my expectations made this book go from good to great.
BOTTOM LINE: ACTION PACED BUT NOT OVERWHELMING
I really enjoyed this story. While the art wasn’t amazing, it did its job and gave way to excellent writing. This makes me want to read more about the characters and even if this was a one-shot in a huge crossover event; I’ll be following up with the writer wherever he may be assigned. 4.5 out of 5 for Black Adam: Year of the Villain.
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Black Adam: Year of the Villain #1
Black Adam is often viewed as the anti-hero and even a straight up villain at times. However, he is the more relatable character in this issue.