The Secrets of New Black Adam in DCs

The Secrets of New Black Adam in DCs ...

This article contains spoilers for Black Adam #1 from DC Comics.

You think you know Black Adam? DC''s brand new Black Adam series may have a meaning to it. This year, Christopher Priest and Rafa Sandoval might well well be the best one issue of superhero comics available. Black Adam #1 is a mix of Christopher Priest and Theo Adam as the head of state of the DC DC fictional nation of Khandaq, but it offers a sense of humor in this context.

With equal ease, Priest is able to form any of the most famous characters from Shazam''s predecessors, notably with his fantastic Deathstroke series from a few years ago. Unlike the previous one, the man who redefined Black Panther for the modern era has gone on the front row. Apart from that, Priest is not shy away from bending all of the usual conventions you commonly associate with Shazam-related characters to tell a completely new story.

In a recent episode of DC Standom, we discussed a topic with Priest. The following are select answers from the interview, edited for length and clarity, but you may also see the full episode here.

Den of Geek: Let''s start with the title Theogony, which implies that you''ll be dealing with a slew of gods in this tale.

Christopher Priest: I wanted to have Black Adam interact with some gods but there''s so much continuity wrapped up in the Egyptian gods. I would have liked to have borrowed Jack Kirby''s New Gods, but thats never going to happen. I know, every type of company, whether its Marvel, DC, or Image, there are all these little fiefdoms. We cannot use the Egyptian gods, and we decided to make ourselves ourselves.

I see Black Adam as a bigger than life, ancient guy. He talks the big talk. Its not quite Thor talk, but Thor talk. In his Black Adam form, he is boastful. I really wanted him to have an Asgard, an Odin, and people that he can talk to, and I just couldnt find them. So I said, I said, please roll our own. Here, we are birthing our own gods.

In the opening debate with the fake Darkseid fight that, of course, gets Adam into such a mess, you did at least get to play around with Jack Kirbys New Gods. Was this just your usual way of saying yes to what you initially wanted?

I think it''s my intention of causing red meat to the crowd. If you had thought about the same thing, you would have met with other senators during the Senate hearing and then hes walking around and theres his murder mystery and then on page 22 you get into something. I''ve said yes, and I''m glad we have to get right to some cosmic stuff going on.

The first three issues will be dividing back to that and piecing them together. We walked into the middle of the fight. In issue two, we see how the fight ends and where it leads and what it means, and how it blossoms into this eogony, this birth of the gods thing. However, we wanted to see what readers want, but they also want to have substance. In issue one, we hope we deliver that.

He''s even more eerie as Theo than he is as Black Adam, and that''s something we''ve never seen with him before. I think Theos should be thoroughly explored in the modern world.

It''s funny, because you should say that, because I am having to use a lot of restraint rather than writing 22 pages of Theo laying around doing things. When you first meet him, you meet TChalla, and he''s in a business suit, he''s got a shaved head, and he appears like Captain Sisko from Deep Space Nine. I prefer to write characters from the inside out.

Because I didn''t see how many people would add to the DC Universe that DC didnt already have, I''ve been just pooping the idea that every time Shazam arrives hes scowling and he''s punching people. What is the point of the misunderstanding? What would they say about the Fawcett characters?

Paul Kaminski, an editor who Ive known for a long time, is so grateful that he has put up with my things, but we ended up having two or three discussions. And finally, I said to him, in an effort to get rid of him, I said, look, im not the author you want for this. If I wanted to write this book, I would do something like this. And I outline the chapter and verse of what I would do.

I''m really surprised that this book is coming out, starting with this Theo identity I believe is very interesting and underdeveloped. He is from Khandaq, and we are making that connection to Ancient Egypt. Now, this is a head of state, you know, but in America, he is just another Middle Eastern guy walking around, and is subject to the same kind of ignorance and stupidity that people from that part of the world are routinely subjected to. I just figured that this book will not happen. I

Stick on to your hat as a blessed day. I really hope that this finds an audience and we keep going. I would really be disappointed if we were closed at 12 issues. I just hope that there are enough readers out there who will support it and keep us going.

Rafa Sandoval''s career best work shows you what you were working with, and how has that changed your vision for the book? Theo is an even more striking visual than Black Adam!

I was initially very dissatisfied with Rafa for this to take on the big action level, and I wanted it to perform on the Black Panther level. This guy is ahead of state, and I just so enjoy it. So I was incredibly pleased when not only does Rafa deliver this massive cosmic fight that opens the book, but when we enter the nuances of just the guy sitting there in a Senate chamber, he''s capable of doing the big stuff. On every level, he has delivered exactly what

DC Comics has released Black Adam #1.