Review: Black Adam #6
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Artists: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira
Color Artist: Matt Herms
Letterer: Willie Schubert
Reviewed by: Bryant Lucas
Two titans clash in this week’s Black Adam #6, as Teth Adam trades blows with none other than the Dark Knight himself.
Despite having joined the Justice League, Black Adam hasn’t completely changed his ways. Specifically, he’s still a monarch that rules over the people of Kahndaq with a lightning-laced fist. Batman, being the American Capitalist wonder boy, takes issue with the lack of democratic institutions in Kahndaq.
So, what does a disgustingly rich American billionaire superhero do when his teammate is a fascist dictator? Apparently, the answer is two-fold. First, you fund a democratic insurrection, second, you put on your Bat-themed Powersuit, (ya know – the one from The Dark Knight Returns) and pick a fight with a character that literally has the powers of multiple gods. Seems sensible. In short, the entire issue is Batman and Black Adam throwing punches. Oh, and BTW, this issue takes place before Justice League #75.
Sometimes creators give you things you never knew you wanted. Did I know I wanted a twenty-one-page slugfest between Batman and Black Adam? No. But I’m sure glad that I read this issue. Black Adam #6 is friggin fantastic from start to finish. Amid the stunning Eddy Barrows panels is an interesting character study, as Batman and Black Adam are painted as foils. Both suffered trauma, but one inherited privilege while the other had to take his privilege by force. The comparison works well, as each of these brooding alpha males uses both their might and their wits to fight each other.
As far as Christopher Priest scripts go, the one for this issue is fairly straightforward. There is a surprise twist at the end of the issue, which looks like a setup for some interesting things to come. In many ways, this issue felt like a major departure from the storyline of issues #1-5, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Priest has spilled a ton of ink exploring theological and philosophical ideas in previous issues and, while much of this was interesting it was incredibly heady. Black Adam #6 strikes a nice balance of punch-’em-up and chin-stroking.
I don’t have much to say in the way of negatives as the issue is solid from start to finish. However, I guess one could argue that this issue feels disjointed when read in the context of the entire run. There’s nothing in this book about Mesopotamian gods or White Adam as these plotlines were put on hold, so we could all watch Black Adam and Batman beat the cr@p out of each other. So, if you were digging the aforementioned storylines, I guess you might be upset about this detour. I, however, have a sneaking suspicion that those who would object to this issue will be few and far between. Seriously, what DC fan doesn’t want to watch Power Suit Batman and Black Adam brawl?
Black Adam #6 is by far the best issue of the series so far. Priest does away with much of the pretense and convolution and simply writes an epic fight scene. As for the art… I mean, Eddy Barrows is Eddy Barrows. I don’t think I need to explain the wonders of his work. The dude is a well-established artist with a well-earned reputation for quality. If you like anything mentioned in this review, (the titular character, Batman, Priest, Eddy Barrows, punch-em-ups, etc.) you will enjoy this issue.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment