Review – Black Adam #3: The Master of Death

Comic Books DC This Week
Black Adam #3 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Black Adam #3 – Priest, Writer; Rafa Sandoval, Artist; Matt Herms, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: One of the unique appeals of Priest’s comics is that you never know where they’re going to go. The first issue of this book set up Black Adam and his alter-ego Theo Adam as the main character—only for him to be felled by a mysterious curse and pick a young man named Malik White as his successor. White was skeptical about this to say the least, but was forced into this devil’s bargain by a violent ambush. Black Adam died not long after this—or did he? Much of this issue focuses on White and Adam’s long-time friend and handler Yigal Blaustein bickering over their next move and trying to figure out what killed Adam—and whether he truly is dead. The hospital scenes are a lot of fun, with Blaustein in particular continuing Priest’s tradition of having an irascible old man in almost every one of his runs to tell off obstructive characters and basically comment on the events.

The hunters. Via DC Comics.

But as interesting as this plot is, the real meat of the issue is in the extended segments in what might be the afterlife—or might be some sort of extended test. Adam wakes up and faces off against Desaad—only for it to turn out to be something else entirely. Desaad is soon replaced with a pair of evil women who test and bewitch Black Adam, and he’s only pulled out of the vortex by the arrival of another enemy—the sorcerer Sargon, who has been a fixture of the DC magic world for decades now. The earth-based segments are leisurely and filled with clever dialogue, while Black Adam’s segment is action from beginning to end. I’m not sure it entirely meshes together, as the two segments both deliver a lot of plot without really answering too many of our questions. This is an experimental comic, one that seems interested in exploring a lot of deeper questions under the surface of Black Adam’s story, and I’m definitely interested to see more.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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