Black Adam Comics Reading Guide

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Welcome everyone to the Black Adam comics reading guide!

Black Adam is set to hit theaters in less than two weeks, so now is a good time to get to know more about the latest hero in the DC live-action universe. This article has everything you need to know about Black Adam, the JSA, and how important both Black Adam and the JSA are to the DC Universe. Have a great reading experience!

Black Adam Comics Quick start:

Black Adam and the JSA:

  • Marvel Family (1945) #1
  • JSA (1999) #1-4, 6-7, 16-37, 40-45, 51-59, 61, 65-77, 81-82
  • Black Adam: Rise and Fall of an Empire (2006)
  • World War III (2007)
  • Black Adam: The Dark Age (2007)
  • Justice Society of America (2009) #23-25
  • Black Adam – The Justice Society Files (2022)
  •  
  • Extra Black Adam:

  • Injustice Gods Among Us – The Complete Collection (2013)
  • Doomsday Clock (2018) #1-12
  • Shazam! (2019) #1-15
  • Endless Winter (2020)
  • Justice League (2018) #58-75
  • Black Adam (2022) #1-4

Extra JSA: 

  • Atom Smasher: All-Star Squadron (1983) #25
  • Cyclone: Justice Society of America (2006)  #1-17, 19-33, 41, 43, 48-50
  • Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson): Doctor Fate (1987) #1-4
  • Hawkman: Hawkworld (1989) #1-3

Black Adam vs. Superman:

  • All-New Collectors’ Edition (1978) #C-58
  • DC Comics Presents (1982) #49
  • Action Comics (2005) #831
  • DCeased: Hope at World’s End (2021)

Black Adam has been in the works for almost 15 years. That’s how long Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has wanted to play the famous anti-hero of the DC Comics world on the big screen, and as we will see in the coming days, he has finally achieved his goal.

The comic books presented here were chosen based on what we know about the movie from trailers, public information about the plot of a movie, and from The Rock himself. There are also some more comics that are meant to expand the stories of characters but they might not be crucial to the story of the movie.

Black adam jsa justice society of america


 

Black Adam: Pre-Flashpoint (1945-2010)

Teth-Adam (“Black Adam”) is one of the oldest characters in comics, having made his debut in 1945 in Marvel Family #1 by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck. Although the character appeared irregularly, he has become a very popular and recognizable villain over the years.

He was originally a slave in the ancient city of Kahndaq, but after a pharaoh killed everyone close to him, he became enraged, seeking justice at all costs. It was then that the wizard Shazam gave him his powers. But when Adam began to abuse those powers, the wizard sent him to the farthest star in the galaxy.

Adam’s early stories were very straightforward, as all he did was fight Captain Marvel and the Marvel family, and would inevitably lose each time. When later writers in the 1990s and 2000s made him an anti-hero defender of Kahndaq, readers were shocked, but this has become a definitive part of the character ever since. Adam has also teamed-up occasionally with the Justice Society or even the Justice League, but in the end, Adam will always do what is best for him and his people.

For those interested in the comics behind the upcoming Black Adam film, check out JSA: Black Reign.

  • Early reading (Earth-S):
    • Marvel Family (1945) #1
    • Shazam! (1973) #8, 28
    • World’s Finest (1979) #257, 264, 267
    • Adventure Comics (1982) #497
    • Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985) #9-10
    • Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe (1986) #15
    • JLA in Crisis Secret Files and Origins (1998) #1
    • Superman and Batman: World’s Funnest (2000)
    • Shazam! and the Shazam Family! Annual (2002) #1
    • Infinite Crisis (2005) #2
    • Convergence (2015) #6
    • Convergence: Shazam! (2015) #1

 

Black Adam (Post-Crisis):

  • The Power of Shazam! (1994) #1
  • The Power of Shazam! (1995) #5, 7-12, 16, 25-26, 44-48
  • JSA (1999) #1-7, 16-37, 40-45, 51-59, 61, 65-77, 81-82
    • #6, 16-32, 35-36, 40-45, 51-53, 56-58, 66, 70, 73-76, 81 feature Black Adam
    • #21 Black Adam joins the JSA
    • #39-45 introduces a new Black Adam origin story, first mention of Kahndaq (“Savage Times”)
    • #56-58 crosses over with Hawkman (2002) #23-25; a major Kahndaq story (“Black Reign”)
    • #73-76 is another major Kahndaq story (“Black Vengeance”)
  • Villains United (2005) #1-6
    • Infinite Crisis (2005) #1-7
    • Infinite Crisis Special: Villains United (2006) #1
  • 52 (2006) #1-10, 12-16, 18-26, 29-34, 36-40, 43-50, 52
    • #1-3, 6-10, 12-16, 18-26, 29-34, 36-40, 43-50, 52 feature Black Adam
    • #2, 4-5 feature Hawkman
    • #8, 24, 33-34, 45-46, 49-50 feature Atom Smasher
    • #49 feature Cyclone
    • Continues after Villains United and Infinite Crisis 
    • Collected as “Black Adam: Rise and Fall of an Empire”
  • World War III (2007) #1-4
    • Continues after 52
  • Black Adam: The Dark Age (2007) #1-6
    • Continues after WWIII
    • #1-6 features Black Adam
    • #1-2, 4-5 feature Atom Smasher
    • #3, 6 feature Cyclone
  • Countdown (2007) #38, 41-42, 45-49, 51
    • #38 features Cyclone
    • #41-42, 47-49, and 51 feature Black Adam
    • #45-46 feature Hawkman
  • Justice Society of America (2007) #15-16, 19, 23-25
    • Continues after Dark Age
  • Trinity (2008) #23, 28, 32, 39-42

 

Extra reading:

  • History of the DC Universe (1986) #1
  • War of the Gods (1991) #1-4
  • JSA Secret Files and Origins (2001) #2
  • JSA: Our Worlds at War (2001) #1
  • JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice (2002)
  • Hawkman (2002) #19, 23-25
  • Action Comics (1938) #828, 830-831
  • Adventures of Superman (2006) #649
  • JSA Classified (2006) #8
  • Superman (2006) #657
  • Action Comics Annual (2007) #10
  • Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes (2007) #35-36
  • Final Crisis (2008) #1-6
  • Justice League of America (2010) #44

Black adam


 

Black Adam: Post-Flashpoint (2011-2022)

Flashpoint changed many things in DC Universe, even Black Adam’s history. In the new timeline on Prime Earth, Teth-Adam began as a prisoner slave in Kahndaq. His entire family was killed by dictators ruling the city, except for his nephew Aman. While escaping from their prison they found a way to the Rock of Eternity, where the wizard Shazam gave Adam’s good-hearted nephew the power of Shazam. In the process, some of it went to Adam.

When they returned to Kahndaq, Adam disagreed with Aman’s peaceful means of judgement and killed Aman, taking the full powers for himself to ensure every guilty person would die for their crimes. From that day he became the legendary myth known as Mighty Adam. However, as his own grievances escalated, the wizard Shazam eventually banished Adam, rebranding him “Black Adam.”

During Doomsday Clock, it was revealed that the government of the United States was creating metahumans on a massive scale. Black Adam took advantage of the opportunity to create an army, offering sanctuary for all metahumans to live with him in Kahndaq. 

  • Justice League (2012) #0, 10-11, 14-24, 29
    • Justice League of America (2013) #7.4: Black Adam
    • Forever Evil (2013) #1-7
  • Doomsday Clock (2018) #1-12
    • #5-12 feature Black Adam
    • #8-9, 11-12 feature Hawkman
    • #12 feature Atom Smasher
  • Shazam! (2019) #1-15
    • #4-14 feature Black Adam
  • Year of the Villain (2019)
    • DC’s Year of the Villain Special (2019) #1
    • Black Adam: Year of the Villain (2019) #1
    • Justice League (2018) #28-30
  • Endless Winter (2020)
    • Justice League: Endless Winter (2020) #1
    • The Flash (2020) #767
    • Justice League (2018) #58
    • Teen Titans: Endless Winter Special (2020) #1
    • Justice League Dark (2019) #29
    • Black Adam: Endless Winter Special (2020) #1
    • Justice League: Endless Winter (2020) #2
  • Justice League (2018) #58-75
  • Justice League 2022 Annual (2022) #1
  • Justice League vs. the Legion of Super-Heroes (2022) #1-6
  • Dark Nights: Metal (2018) #4-5
  • Dark Nights: Death Metal (2021) #5, 7
  • Infinite Frontier (2021) #0
  • Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths (2022) #1-5
    • Prelude: FCBD Dark Crisis Special Edition (2022) #0
  • Black Adam (2022) #1-4

 

Extra reading:

  • The New 52: FCBD Special Edition (2012) #1
  • Justice League of America (2013) #7.4, 14
  • Sinestro (2015) #16-21
  • DC Comics Encyclopedia: All-New Edition (2016)
  • Justice League (2018) #5, 39
  • New Year’s Evil (2019) #1
  • Justice League Dark (2019) #9
  • The Flash Giant (2019) #1-7 
  • Adventures of the Super Sons (2019) #6
  • Blue & Gold (2021) #1
  • DC Comics Encyclopedia: New Edition (2021)
  • Wonder Woman (2021) #780
  • Action Comics (2020) #1028, 1033, 1035
  • Deathstroke Inc. (2022) #6
  • Batman: Urban Legends (2021) #11, 16-17
  • Naomi: Season Two (2022) #1, 6
  • Nubia: Queen of the Amazons (2022) #1
  • Strange Love Adventures (2022) #1

Black Adam


 

Justice Society of America: Post-Crisis (1985-2022)

First appearing in 1940, the Justice Society of America is the first-ever superhero group in the comics, long before there was a Justice League or Avengers. The original Justice Society was created by Atom, Doctor Fate, The Flash (Jay Garrick), Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Hawkman, Hourman, Sandman and The Spectre.

Over time DC Comics changed members and remixed them into a new team called the Justice League of America. Although the Justice League has become more mainstream than the Justice Society, the editors at DC Comics have never forgotten their roots and the JSA has almost always stayed relevant. In the comics below we’ll focus mainly on the adventures of the JSA following Crisis on Infinite Earths.

  • Crisis On Infinite Earths (1985) #1-12
    • #4-5, 9-10, 12 features Atom Smasher and Hawkman
  • Last Days of the Justice Society (1986) #1
    • Features Hawkman & Doctor Fate
  • JSA (1999) #1-87
    • #1-4, 6-15, 21, 24-32, 34, 37, 40, 45, 51, 56-58, 65-77 feature Atom Smasher
    • #1-4, 7, 14, 47-48, 56, 58, 61, 63, 66, 82 feature Doctor Fate
    • #2, 4, 7, 11, 18, 23-37, 40, 43-51, 54-59, 61, 67-69, 71-77, 82, 86 feature Hawkman
  • Justice Society of America (2006) #1-54
    • #1-17, 19-33, 41, 43, 48-50 feature Cyclone
    • #1, 23-28, 42-43, 53-54 feature Atom Smasher
    • #29-33, 34-40, 44-49 feature Doctor Fate
  • Justice League of America (2007) #5, 8-10
    • #5 features Hawkman
    • #8-10 feature Cyclone

justice society of america jsa

Doctor Fate

Before he became Doctor Fate, one of the most powerful beings in the universe and a founding member of the JSA, Kent Nelson was an archaeologist. He became Doctor Fate when a cosmic Lord of Order named Nabu arranged the killing of Kent’s father in order to gain a new host.

After wearing the helmet over a period of time, Kent learned to cooperate with Nabu to do what was necessary in the fight against evil. There have been many other hosts of Nabu, but Kent is the most traditional iteration of the character.

  • All-Star Squadron (1985) #47
  • The Immortal Doctor Fate (1985) #1-3
  • Doctor Fate (1987) #1-4
  • Justice League International (1987)
  • Kingdom Come (1996)
  • Crisis on Multiple Earths (2000) Vol. #1-2
  • Justice Be Done (2000)
  • Doctor Fate (2003) #1-5
  • The Helmet of Fate (2007)
  • Dr. Fate: Countdown to Mystery (2008)
  • Injustice Gods Among Us – The Complete Collection (2013)
  • Black Adam – The Justice Society Files: Doctor Fate (2022)

Hawkman

In most continuities, Carter Hall is the reincarnation of the Egyptian Prince Khufu. He has special armor and weapons that are highly resilient and can inflict heavy damage on his enemies. Hawkman has the ability of reincarnation, making him almost immortal, though he doesn’t always keep his memories.

Among other versions of Hawkman is an alien cop named Katar Hol from a planet of bird-warriors called Thanagar.

  • Hawkman (1964) #1-27
  • Action Comics (1967) #350, 365, 443, 480-481, 483, 489-491, 514-515, 522, 534-535, 546, 588, 596-597, 600
  • DC Comics Presents (1978) #4, 10-11, 26, 30, 74, 95
  • Justice League of America Annual (1983) #1-2
  • Hawkman (1986) #1-17
  • Legend of the Hawkman (2000) #1-3
  • DC Comics Presents: Hawkman (2004) #1
  • Convergence: Hawkman (2015) #1-2
  • Black Adam – The Justice Society Files: Hawkman (2022)

Atom Smasher

Al Rothstein received his metahuman powers from his supervillain grandfather Cyclotron. His powers include super strength and the ability to control his molecular structure. Rothstein is able to change the size and density of his body, even making himself resistant to bullets, lasers, and almost any kind of weapon. These abilities make Atom Smasher a useful teammate in very dangerous situations.

  • America vs. the Justice Society (1985) #1-2, 4
  • JLA: The Ultimate Guide to the Justice League of America (2002)
  • World War III (2007) #1, 3-4
  • Justice League (2015) #40
  • Infinite Frontier (2021) #0, 2-6
  • The Other History of the DC Universe (2021) #2
  • Dark Crisis (2022) #3
  • Deathstroke Inc. (2022) #2
  • Black Adam – The Justice Society Files: Atom Smasher (2022)

Cyclone

Maxine Hunkel is the granddaughter of the robot hero Red Tornado, and her powers are similar to his. She is one of the youngest members of the Justice Society of America, which had been a dream of hers since the day she found out she had powers. Maxine had always admired her family’s ties to the JSA and was very proud of her grandparents.

When she was young, she was kidnapped by the creator of Red Tornado, who infected her with the nanobytes that gave her powers. Her powers are based on aerokinesis, which basically allows her to manipulate wind, summon cyclones, and whirlwinds, and create tornadoes. She is also able to control sound currents by gathering and sending sound waves.

  • Final Crisis: Requiem (2008)  #1
  • JSA vs. Kobra (2009) #1-6
  • JSA 80-Page Giant (2010) #1
  • Justice Society of America Special (2010) #1
  • Black Adam – The Justice Society Files: Cyclone (2022)

JSA justice society of america


The story of Black Adam and the Justice Society of America and its members is one of the most interesting in the entire DC comics universe. Hopefully, you make good use of this guide and the upcoming film will do “justice” to these characters.

Did you know the story of Black Adam? What are you reading today? Let me know on Twitter @Eridrexalkee and remember to follow the site @MyCosmicCircus for more about Man in Black!

Black Adam

If you’re looking for more about DC comics, check out our Blue Beetle reading guide!

Blue Beetle reading guide!

blue beetle reading guide

 

All images courtesy of DC

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Big fan of all sorts of pop culture stuff. I also enjoy ambitious cinema. Games, music and graphics are all within my interests. I have a great fondness for the Arrowverse series, especially The Flash.
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