Black Adam's Biggest Flaw Could Actually Kill Him in DC Comics

Warning: contains spoilers for Black Adam #2!

Arrogance is one of Black Adam’s biggest character flaws, and it may prove to be his undoing. The monarch of Khandaq, and one time foe of Shazam, is dying, and in Black Adam #2, when his “successor” tries to give him potentially life-saving medical treatment, readers learn Black Adam’s arrogance led to a crucial mistake–one that might cost Adam his life.

A former champion of the wizard Shazam, Black Adam was corrupted by the wizard’s power, and was banished to the depths of space. Over the years, various creators have redefined Black Adam as a brutal anti-hero, and a benevolent dictator of the nation of Khandaq. Now, Black Adam is dying and in issue one, chose Malk, a medical student who is seemingly Adam’s descendant, as his replacement. Malik would rather save Black Adam’s life, but in issue two, he learns that will not be possible–all thanks to Black Adam’s arrogance and hubris. The issue is written by Priest, illustrated by Rafa Sandoval, colored by Matt Herms and lettered by Willie Schubert.

Related: Black Adam Reveals a Secret Superpower Fans Never Knew He Had

Black Adam has become infected with a sickness that is killing him, and after a fight with Darkseid, is even worse for wear. Malik finds Adam in his chamber, dying on his bed, attended by his “physicians.” Malik asks for Adam’s medical chart, or any kind of information that could save his life. One of Adam’s physicians is puzzled by Malik’s attitude, asking why one would “examine a prophet,” referring to Black Adam. Finally, Malik asks if Adam’s palace has an infirmary, and readers learn that in his arrogance, Adam never set one up, feeling it unnecessary in light of his power and intellect. After finally accepting Shazam’s power, Malik teleports Adam to an American hospital, where Adam is pronounced dead.

The issue ends on that note, leaving readers waiting until next month to see if Black Adam returns from the dead–but it is clear his arrogance and hubris led directly to his death. These are Adam’s worst qualities, the ones that led to his downfall thousands of years ago, and these traits persist to the present day. Adam is so sure of himself, so confident in his abilities, that he did not deem a medical facility of any kind a necessity. Adam’s arrogance will not allow him to comprehend defeat, thus there was no need for an infirmary–a decision that would cost him his life. Black Adam’s decision to forsake an infirmary for his palace, while in line for him, runs counter to his mission as a protector for the people of Khandaq; since his palace lacks medical facilities, any of his people who are injured there would thus be deprived of life-saving care.

Black Adam’s arrogance continues to be one of his defining characteristics, one that he has been unable to work through for thousands of years, and as seen in last year’s Future State event, it continues to haunt him into the 853rd century. Now, this flaw has proven fatal, as it has indirectly contributed to Black Adam’s death.

Next: Black Adam's Immortality Gives Him One Power No Hero Knows About

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