Justice League of America #7.4: Black Adam
Story by Geoff Johns and Sterling Gates
Script by Sterling Gates
Pencils by Edgar Salazar
Inks by Jay Leisten
Colors by Gabe Eltaeb
Review by Mike Duke
Here’s the problem with Villain’s Month in a nutshell: there have been four books associated with Justice League and four more tied to JLA, and none seem to be assigned with any kind of consistency or logic. The character Black Adam, for instance, has not been associated with the Justice League of America in the New 52 whatsoever as far as I recall. And, at the end of the book, the story clearly leads into Justice League #24, not JLA #8. The reason why I’m making a big deal out of this is because Black Adam is the first book I’ve read from DC this month that is not just good, but great. And, for whatever reason, it was shifted over and associated with JLA, possibly alienating readers who have been enjoying the character elsewhere.
The story in Black Adam takes place almost entirely in the modern day, but this is not Metropolis or Gotham. This is Kahndaq, the city of Black Adam’s birth, as we saw in the excellent backups that ran through the first 20 or so issues of Justice League. Modern day Kahndaq is in turmoil of a type recognizable by anyone who follows the news. They have a corrupt president who was installed by the American government, and revolutionary groups are common among the people. We get to see two of these groups up close in the issue: one a peaceful protest group who use social media to spread their message, and the other The Sons of Adam, a radical terrorist group who are searching for Black Adam himself to free them from oppression. The story is really something special, mixing modern technology and social commentary with ancient magic and universal themes of freedom and duty.
Art by Edgar Salazar and company is dynamic and serves to help convey a lot of information in ways that don’t get boring. And when it comes time for the action, they do not disappoint.
The book does little to tie directly into Villain’s Month, but when it does so in the last couple of pages, I nearly cheered out loud. It served as the perfect ending to a damn good comic book.
Buy it. This really is the best that Villain’s Month has had to offer. Johns and Gates have kept the back story and the exposition to a minimum, told a fascinating and engaging story about the character on the cover, and teased what looks to be an awesome story in the future. Why did it take four weeks to get a book this good?