Black Adam #4 – Priest, Writer; Rafa Sandoval, Artist; Matt Herms, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: If there’s one thing Priest comics are always capable of, it’s surprising me. This comic threw us from a loop right from the start by revealing that Black Adam was dying and that he had chosen young Malik White to be his successor. But even that turned out to be a feint, as Adam has been through the wringer but is very much still a part of this story. He’s returning from space this issue as part of a complex series of events, and is briefing his attache and confidante on exactly what’s happened to him—and it involves a series of ancient Egyptian Gods who may have been watching and testing him since his initial fall from grace thousands of years ago. While there are some heavy mystical elements here, his friend manages to cut through much of the subtext and reveal what’s been haunting him ever since his fateful decision—and it makes all the magical elements of the story fall into place.
While Black Adam’s story is very mystical, Malik’s is down to Earth. He’s spending his time torn between his new responsibilities as the bearer of the power and his duties as a medical resident. If that wasn’t enough, his sister lives with him and has a tendency to drop her baby off for him to watch with no notice. Some lines about her behavior indicate that something worse may be going on there, but Malik doesn’t have time to dwell on it—because Etrigan is hanging around and looking to test himself against the new bearer of the lightning. By the end of the issue, Malik’s laid-back approach to his new powers is out the window, and he may be following in the footsteps of his predecessor in terms of being the world’s most wanted. It’s chaotic fun, but more importantly it seems to be very interested in exploring the long legacy of Black Adam and what his ties to ancient Egypt actually mean for the character.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.