Black Adam #8 – Priest, Writer; Eddy Barrows/Eber Ferreira, Montos, Artists; Matt Herms, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: This has been one of the most intriguing series out of DC these days, but it’s even more ambitious than Priest’s usual stories. It hops through time and perspectives, with multiple main characters, and that can sometimes be its undoing. You never know exactly what kind of issue you’ll be getting, and that makes it always intriguing—and sometimes frustrating. A new major villain, the demon representing War, descends on the city this issue and promptly terrorizes two major supporting characters. And Malik White… is nowhere to be found, barely clinging to life after last issue’s events. This is one of the few things that gets under Black Adam’s skin, and you can tell he’s boiling over with rage. In the last issue, we saw some glimpses of his past life in Khandaq, and much of this issue is a large flashback told at Malik’s bedside—with guest art from newcomer Montos.
Black Adam has always been a complex character since Geoff Johns revamped him back in the early 2000s. He went from being a petty criminal to someone with thousands of years of experience as a warlord, a villain, and a hero. I’m not all that fond of the current origin, where he murdered his nephew to gain the powers, but Priest does a good job of explaining how that secret shame motivates him. The flashback focuses on a time when he served as the right hand and enforcer of a sadistic Pharaoh who would casually raze kingdoms just to get one good of theirs. But eventually, even a loyal right hand can be pushed too far. With only four issues left, it’s a little odd just how unclear the main central plot of this series is, but despite that it’s always compelling. Priest is at his best writing fatally flawed antiheroes, and this is a fascinating follow-up to his massive run on Deathstroke.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.