Review: Black Adam #4
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Artist: Rafa Sandoval
Color Artist: Matt Herms
Letterer: Willie Schubert
Reviewed by: Bryant Lucas
Black Adam #4: After traversing the Mesopotamian Underworld, Black Adam comes face-to-face with the Mesopotamian pantheon before Malik White (aka “White Adam”) SHAZAMs Black Adam back to life. However, once Teth returns to the ordinary world, he splits from the hospital while Malik sleeps.
Malik wakes from his slumber shocked to find Black Adam gone. Nevertheless, he B-lines it home only to find Etrigan the Demon waiting for him. Once the two throw a few punches, Malik panics. His arm has developed the same magical rot that Black Adam has been dealing with since issue one.
Priest’s new character, Malik, is fantastic. He’s got all of the spunk and charm indicative of Gen Z. I have really come to enjoy reading Malik over the past few issues, and I’m hoping he sticks around.
Often a writer will rely on stock tropes when creating new characters, as they often serve as short-hand for readers to wrap their head around said character. Priest doesn’t do this in Black Adam. He has a way of balancing the likeability of a character while still making them feel intelligent and fresh. Malik is well-rounded and interesting, as he tries to navigate the worlds of science and magic while also juggling being a young adult. He’s funny and genuine, and here in this issue, Malik really shines. Watching him traverse life as a med student, brother/uncle, and superhero is fascinating and fun.
Priest doesn’t hold your hand. It feels like it’s been ages since Black Adam #3 dropped, and I honestly lost the thread on this one. I had to read it twice and reread my review to make sure I fully understood what was going on in this issue. I like that Priest’s attempting to write intelligent, thought-provoking comics, but it would really help if DC would at least give us a brief recap at the beginning of each issue. This would do wonders for me (and others, I’m sure), as I try to navigate this distinctly oblique title.
Black Adam #4 maintains the high-quality writing and art from the previous three issues. Priest brings all of the desired intelligence and wit to the script, while Rafa Sandoval really knocks it out of the park with the art. If these two and the rest of the creatives on this issue keep up the good work, then Black Adam will most likely become a modern-day classic.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment