Black Adam #2 Review

Writer: Priest
Art: Rafa Sandoval and Matt Herms
Letters: Willie Schubert
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $4.99
Release Date: July 19th, 2022

In Black Adam #2, Teth-Adam, having been blasted by Darkseid’s Omega Beam while in his Black Adam form, tries to continue running Kahndaq, even as his body slowly dies.  And not even speaking “Shazam” can save him. Black Adam will have to do the unthinkable to preserve his kingdom of Kahndaq.

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The Story

Malik White, the young medical student introduced last issue, takes center stage in Black Adam #2, as he’s whisked to Kahndaq via teleporter, where Black Adam lays dying.
We got a brief look at Malik’s character last issue.  He’s a fast-talker who always has an arsenal of comebacks and smartass remarks locked and loaded.  But despite the fact he doesn’t like authority (especially old people in authoritarian positions), he takes his code as a medical student and future M.D. seriously, even helping save a skinhead’s life when he was dying.

This issue, when he arrives in Kahndaq, he tries to treat Black Adam. In one scene, Malik hilariously has to deal with Black Adam’s advisors, who don’t believe in medicine or science.   These guys still view the world as if they’re still living in ancient Egypt, and don’t even understand what “examination” means.
As I read it, I was mystified.  Why wouldn’t Adam surround himself with more modern help?  He has various allies in the Intelligence Agencies, why not have people in his inner circle who have basic medical knowledge?

Black Adam has a solution to the problem that will have a huge impact on Malik’s future and forces it on him, but Malik is too stubborn to accept that Black Adam’s solution is the only one, which leads to a whirlwind last few pages. The scenes with Malik and Shep (Black Adam’s contact in the State Department) show that there’s an immediate bond between the two.  Their dialogue and Shep’s gentle guidance to Malik give the duo an Alfred/Bruce Wayne-type dynamic that will be fun to watch in the future.

Though there’s not much action in this issue, there’s a lot of human drama broken up with comic moments, and Malik is set up to be an even more major player in the book in future issues.

The Art

Rafa Sandoval has a sketchy style reminiscent of artists such as Denys Cowan on Black Adam #2. The art style doesn’t fit the story, though the characters are drawn expressively enough to convey the heightened emotions that occur during the issue.

Black Adam’s deterioration has the boldest rendering, as a splash page and a few large panels show Black Adam basically being eaten alive from inside-out by the remnants of Darkseid’s energy.  His flesh takes on a scaly pulsating red color akin to crackling lava.

Final Thoughts

Black Adam #2 has some major developments that will impact at least the next few issues.  The new character Malik is a fun character to read, a brilliant young medical student who refuses to take any garbage from anyone. I only hope he encounters Batman in the future and gives Batman an earful of attitude.  That would be fun to see!


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