Black Adam (DC)(Post Crisis)
Real Name: Teth-Adam
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When Theo Adam says the magic word "Shazam" and is transformed into Black Adam, he is granted the following powers (which are derived not from the same Greco/Roman/Biblical figures as Captain Marvel, but from more ancient Egyptian gods):
S for the stamina of Shu Using Shu's endurance, Black Adam can withstand and survive most types of extreme physical assaults. Additionally, he does not need to eat or breathe and can survive unaided in space.
H for the swiftness of Heru By channeling Heru's speed, Black Adam can fly and steadily run at a top speed of Mach 500.
A for the strength of Amon Black Adam has a phenomenal level of super strength, able to easily bend steel, punch through walls and lift massive objects. Adam's strength is enough that he can hold his own against beings such as Superman or Captain Marvel.
Z for the wisdom of Zehuti Black Adam has instant access to a vast level of scholarly knowledge. The wisdom of Zehuti also gives Adam clairvoyance and provides him with counsel and advice in times of need.
A for the power of Aton Aton's power, besides fueling the magic thunderbolt that transforms Adam, also enhances Adam's other physical abilities and allows for inter dimensional travel. Adam can use the lightning bolt as a weapon by dodging it and allowing it to strike an opponent or target. (In his earliest appearance he could project lightning directly.)
M for the courage of Mehen This aspect is partly psychological, and gives Adam superhuman amounts of inner strength to draw off of, while also making him indestructible to harm like the great snake itself.
Additionally, Adam's senses are acutely sharpened (though not to the extent of Superman's).
Saying the magic word again will change Black Adam back into Theo Adam. However, Black Adam very rarely changes back to his non-powered form. Also, as Captain Marvel shares his powers with the rest of the Marvel Family, Adam's unshared powers are often depicted as rendering him somewhat stronger than the Captain.
In this revised origin (told in Power of Shazam! #10), Teth-Adam was the son of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Rameses II, and impressed one of the high priests, the wizard Shazam, with his good deeds. The wizard had the young prince brought before him, and ordered him to speak his name. Teth-Adam did so, and was transformed into Mighty-Adam, a superhero possessing the stamina of Shu, the swiftness of Heru (Horus), the strength of Amon, the wisdom of Zehuti, the power of Aton, and the courage of Mehen.
Mighty-Adam served as Egypt's champion for many centuries, but became corrupted by the charms of a mysterious woman, revealed to be Shazam's evil daughter Blaze in disguise. Bewitched by Blaze, Adam became convinced that he and his mistress should rule the Egyptian kingdom, so he killed the Pharaoh and appointed himself ruler. Shazam was made aware of this treachery and, as a result, unleashed a powerful spell on Adam. The wizard extracted Mighty Adam's magic powers and encased them in a mystical scarab necklace, 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 Rameses 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.
The original Power of Shazam! graphic novel (which predated the publication of the series by a year) explained how Black Adam was revived and introduced into the modern world. In this story, an unscrupulous archaeological aide named Theo Adam finds himself assigned to the Malcom Expedition, an archaeological dig financed by the Sivana Foundation to excavate the tomb of Rameses II. Adam uncovers Khem-Adam's tomb in a secret passageway, and leads his superiors, C.C. Batson and his wife Marilyn, to the discovery. Upon first sight of Khem-Adam's scarab, Theo Adam became obsessed with the artifact, and killed both Batsons in order to steal it. Escaping Egypt, Theo Adam soon made his way back to America.
The Batsons' son, Billy, had been left behind in the United States, and was soon appointed to become Captain Marvel, the second champion of the wizard Shazam. When Theo Adam first encountered Captain Marvel, he noted both Marvel's identical appearance to C.C. Batson and the lightning-bolt insignia on Marvel's chest that had also decorated Khem-Adam's tomb. Adam therefore had a revelation, and realized that he was a reincarnation of Khem-Adam. Grasping his stolen scarab, Adam spoke the wizard's Shazam's name and was transformed into the super-powered Black Adam. Black Adam revealed himself to Captain Marvel as the Batsons' killer, and the two battled. Captain Marvel emerged victorious by snatching Adam's scarab, and therefore his power, away from him. Marvel brought Theo Adam to Shazam, who wiped Adam's memory and took away his voice, so that he could not access his powers.
Black Adam uses the host body of Theo Adam but maintains full mental control.
First Appearance: Shazam!: The New Beginning (1987) #1
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen (2007)
TPB 52: The Companion (2007)
- '52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen'#1
TPB 52/WW III (2007)
- '52: The Companion'
TPB Action Comics (1938)
- 'DC: World War III'#1
- 'A Call To Arms'#2
- 'The Valiant'#3
- 'Hell Is For Heroes'#4
- 'United We Stand'
Adam Strange Special (2008)
Adventures of Superman (1987)
#649 Avengers/JLA (2003)
- 'Superman, This Is Your Life, Part 3'
#4 Birds of Prey (1999)
- 'The Brave...and the Bold'
Black Adam: The Dark Age (2007)
Blackest Night: Rise of the Black Lanterns (2010)
HC Booster Gold (2007)
- 'Blackest Night: Rise of the Black Lanterns'TPB
- 'Blackest Night: Rise of the Black Lanterns'
#1 Breach (2005)
- '52 Pick-Up, Chapter 1: Secret Origins'#7
- 'Blue & Gold, Chapter 2: O.M.A.C.'D'#14
- 'Stars in Your Eyes, Part 2'
Brightest Day (2010)
Countdown to Infinite Crisis (2005)
#1 Day of Vengeance (2005)
- 'Countdown to Infinite Crisis'
TPB DC Comics Presents: Shazam! (2011)
- 'Day of Vengeance'#4
- 'Monkey Business'
DC First: Green Lantern/Green Lantern (2002)
DC Infinite Halloween Special (2007)
#1 DC Universe Online (2010)
- 'The 13 Stories of Halloween'
DC Universe Online: Legends (2011)
DC Universe: Origins (2009)
TPB DCU: Brave New World (2006)
- 'DC Universe: Origins'
DCU: Legacies (2010)
Final Crisis (2008)
Absolute Edition Firestorm (2004)
- 'Absolute Final Crisis'HC
- 'Final Crisis'TPB
- 'Final Crisis'#4
- 'Darkseid Says'#5
- 'Into Oblivion'#6
- 'How To Murder The Earth'
#17 Flashpoint (2011)
- 'An Unrighteous World'
HC Flashpoint: The Outsider (2011)
- 'Flashpoint, Part Four of Five'
#2 Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint Featuring Wonder Woman (2012)
- 'Part Two: Once Upon A Time In The East'#3
- 'Part Three: Men From Space'
TPB Green Lantern (2005)
- 'Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint Featuring Wonder Woman'
#43 Hawkman (2002)
- 'Blackest Night Prologue: Tale of the Black Lantern'
#19 History of the DC Universe (1986)
- 'Hunting for History'#23
- 'Black Reign, Part 2'#24
- 'Black Reign, Part 4'#25
- 'Black Reign, Conclusion'
Infinite Crisis (2005)
Infinite Crisis Secret Files 2006 (2006)
JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice (2002)
#6 JSA Kingdom Come Special: The Kingdom (2009)
- 'Justice, Like Lightning...'#16
- 'Injustice Be Done, Part 1: Divide and Conquer'#17
- 'Injustice Be Done, Part 2: Cold Comfort'#19
- 'Injustice Be Done, Part 4: Into the Labyrinth'#20
- 'Injustice Be Done, Part 5: Godspeed'#21
- 'Guardian Angels'#22
- 'The Return of Hawkman: Prelude - Lost Friends'#23
- 'The Return of Hawkman: Part 1 - Ascension'#24
- 'The Return of Hawkman: Pt. 2 - Icarus Fell'#25
- 'The Return of Hawkman: Pt. 3 - Seven Devils'#26
- 'Who Do You Trust?'#27
- 'Let the Games Begin, Part 2: Fair Play'#31
- 'Making Waves'#32
- 'Stealing Thunder, Prologue'#35
- 'Stealing Thunder, Part 3: Lightning Storm'#36
- 'Stealing Thunder, Part 4: Time-Bound'#40
- '...Do No Harm'#41
- 'The Unborn Hour'#44
- 'The Tears of Ra'#45
- 'Princes of Darkness, Prologue: Peacemakers'#51
- 'Princes of Darkness, Coda: Justice Eternity'#52
- 'Brand New Day'#53
- 'Black Reign'#57
- 'Black Reign'#58
- 'Black Reign'#66
- 'Out of Time, Part 2'#73
- 'Black Vengeance, Part 1'#74
- 'Black Vengeance, Part 2'#75
- 'Black Vengeance, Conclusion'#76
- 'In Search Of...'
JSA Secret Files (1999)
JSA: Our Worlds at War (2001)
#1 Justice League of America/The 99 (2010)
- 'Part Eighteen: The All-Stars'
#2 Justice Society of America (2007)
- 'Stars Of Tomorrow'#6
#15 Manhunter (2004)
- 'The Good Fight'#16
- 'One World, Under Gog, Part 1: He Came, and Salvation with Him'#19
- 'One World, Under Gog, Part IV: Out Of Place'#23
- 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Part One: The Power of Shazam'#24
- 'Black Adam & Isis Part Two: Family Ties'#24 (Ordway Variant)
- 'Black Adam & Isis Part Two: Family Ties'#25
- 'Black Adam & Isis Part Three: Family Feuds'
#50 Red Robin (2009)
- 'You Killed the Outsiders!!!'
#21 Rogues Gallery (1996)
- 'The Rabbit Hole, Part Three: Sinsanity'
Salvation Run (2008)
Secret Six (2008)
Shazam!: The New Beginning (1987)
#1#2 Showcase '96 (1996)
- 'S is for Wisdom..."H" is for Strength...'#3
- 'A is for Stamina..."Z" is for Power...'#4
- 'A is for Courage..."M" is for Speed...'
#10 Sinestro (2014)
- 'Bibbo vs. Everybody - Ultra Boy - Captain Comet'
Sins of Youth Secret Files (2000)
Sins of Youth: Starwoman & The JSA Jr. (2000)
Sins of Youth: The Secret & Deadboy (2000)
#1 Strange Adventures (2009)
- 'Looking for Trouble...'
Suicide Squad (1987)
Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes (2006)
#35 Superman (1939)
- 'The Quest For Cosmic Boy: E.R.G.Onomics, Part 2 of 2'#36
- 'The Quest for Cosmic Boy Epilogue'
Superman: New Krypton (2009)
Superman: The Journey (2005)
Teen Titans (2003)
#33 The DC Comics Encyclopedia (2004)
- 'The Brave and the Bold'
HC The Power Company (2002)
- 'The DC Comics Encyclopedia: Updated And Expanded'HC
- 'The DC Comics Encyclopedia'
#18 The Power of SHAZAM! (1995)
- 'Part 3: Poison Pill'
OGN HCOGN SC#5 Titans (2008)
- 'Madame Libertine Strikes!'#7
- 'The Balance of Power'#8
- 'After The Fall'#9
- '... The Power of Shazam!'#11
- 'The Seven Deadly Enemies of Man'#12
- 'End Game'#16
- 'And the Worms of Venus'#25
- 'The Times Are Changing'#26
- 'Hero Falls'#37
- 'A Child of Thunder, A Child of Hate'#45
- 'Friends in High Places'#46
- 'Absolute Power'#47
- 'Rest in Peace'
Annual 01 Titans: Villains for Hire Special (2010)
- 'The Methuselah Imperative Part 1 of 3'#25
- 'Darkness Falls'#26
- 'Suffer the Children'#27
- 'Lost and Found'
#1 Trinity (2008)
- 'The Best Laid Plans'
Villains United (2005)
Infinite Crisis Special War of the Gods (1991)
- 'A Hero Dies But One'#1
- 'Villains United, Part One: And Empires in Their Purpose'#2
- 'Villains United, Part Two: A Fire in the Steppes'#2 (2nd Print Cover)
- 'Villains United, Part Two: A Fire in the Steppes'#3
- 'Villains United, Part Three: Privileged to Spill Her Blood'#4
- 'Villains United, Part Four: A Weapon to Unify'#5
- 'Villains United, Part Five: Victims of Aggression'#6
- 'Villains United, Part Six: At the End of All Things'
#2 Who's Who: Update '87 (1987)
- 'The Holy Wars'#3
- 'Casualties of War'#4
- 'In The Beginning... There Was The End'
#1 Young Justice (2000)
- 'All-Star Squadron to Catalyst'
#9 Young Justice: Sins of Youth (2000)
- 'Sünden der Jugend 3'
- 'The Stunning Conclusion'
Black Marvel Family
Justice Society of America (DC)
Marvel Family (DC)(Post Crisis)
Secret Society of Super-Villains (03-Current)
Suicide Squad (DC)(03 - Post Legends)
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"No more silly faces"
"Chocolate egg cream."
"It's time for heroes who don't just patrol the world...they change it. -52; New World Order"
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