Thursday, March 25, 2010

Black Adam: The Dark Age #4 (January, 2008)

After having been shot in his human form by a black ops team, Adam dreamt he was being dismembered by Dr. Sivana, Captain Marvel, Osiris, and Isis while members of the JLA and JSA (including both the classic and conehead Martian Manhunter) looked on. Afterward, Coneheadhunter offered a smile and a golf clap.

Adam woke up, called down the lightning, and slaughtered his pursuers. Thanks to a spell cast by Felix Faust, Black Adam was able to temporarily siphon the residual magic he'd bestowed upon Isis from her bones, but his human form remained vulnerable. Black Adam forced workers at a veterinary clinic to tend to his wounds, donating their own blood  to mix with his agreeable O+ type to insure he wouldn't someday go after their families.

After Adam departed, the black ops team arrived at the clinic, having tracked the radioactive bullets the vets had dislodged. Black Adam returned to repay his debt to the vets and kill all the operatives, though not before an interrogation. Adam learned the JSA had developed a means to track his lightning via satellite.

A group of investigators including the Martian Manhunter, Superman, Wildcat, Batman and Dr. Mid-Nite showed up at the vet clinic too late, as Black Adam had left for space, and destroyed the JSA satellite.

Coming in so late, I had a difficult time figuring out exactly what was going on. Once I did, I realized it was much ado about nothing. There are quite a few near-silent pages devoted to mood and murder, and this is at heart a drawn out affair to allow Black Adam to "earn" his powers back with the audience. From what I could tell, you could fit this whole story into a one-shot easily, but the art by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy, as well as the coloring of Nathan Eyring, is really nice. Peter J. Tomasi's story is violent but lightweight, which are his trademarks. He's another one of these guys who can nail the sophisticated veneer of the '80s British invasion, but lacks the the intellectualism to offer any real structure underneath.


LissBirds said...

This is one spinoff from 52 I haven't read. I'm trying to decide if it's worth it. Dr. Midnite + Martian Manhunter might make it worth it just for me.

Diabolu Frank said...

Not much of either here, I'm afraid.