The Justice League’s refusal to give Adam up in times of need could be a major turning point in their relationship.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Justice League #74, on sale now from DC.
Whether he’s playing the role of a villain or an anti-hero, Black Adam almost always plays the role of the lone wolf. In his modern incarnation, the ruler of Kahndaq has developed an aloof and independent disposition. No wonder, considering he suffered the deaths of two families and endured several betrayals at the hands of trusted allies. It’s hard to imagine someone going through this and easily opening up to others, delegating tasks, or giving up on their own interests.
However, Adam’s recent decision to accept Superman’s invitation to join the Justice League has forced the new DC Extended Universe star to confront the limits of his solitary lifestyle and learn how to function as a member of the Justice League. ‘a team. Unfortunately, things didn’t get off to a great start.
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Still, there seems to be change in the air. While it’s true that mutual distrust has strained Adam’s relationship with the rest of the League, that hasn’t stopped the heroes from being who they are at heart. For the first time since arriving, Adam experiences the heroism of the team as a recipient, not a member. The Justice League’s decision to help Black Adama rebuild his country after the battle against the rogue Lord of Chaos Xanadoth in Justice League #74, by Brian Michael Bendis, Szymon Kudranski, Emanuela Lupacchino, Wade von Grawbadger, Hi-Fi, and Josh Reed, seems to have softened his castmates’ stoic view of the antihero.
Since joining the team, Black Adam has been a constant course of stress within the ranks of the Justice League. Given his long history as a villain, many League members were outraged at the mere suggestion that Dictator Kahndaqian should be allowed to join the team. So far, his actions have done little to alter that dynamic, as several members still treat him with disdain even after becoming an official leaguer.
In turn, Adam has openly criticized the League’s “soft” stance on justice, arguing that the team should use their collective power to dispatch their enemies in lethal ways. So when many of the world’s mystics began to receive prescient visions of a deranged Adam standing over the corpses of the League, it seemed like a confirmation. Many of Adam’s detractors believed these nightmarish visions reflected the certainty of the antihero’s betrayal. However, they soon discovered that Xanadoth, the first Chaos Lord, had possessed Black Adam after fighting a valiant fight against the eldritch spirit to protect the people of the Kahndaqian capital from Shiruta.
At the climax of a brutal battle that devastated the capital, the Justice League gave Order Lord Nabu enough time to commune with Adam’s spirit. This mystical connection gave him the power he needed to free himself from Xanadoth’s possession. Then Naomi McDuffie stepped in and channeled Nabu’s power, seemingly wiping out Xanadoth once and for all.
In the aftermath, a grateful but solemn Adam asked the League to leave so he could embark on rebuilding his city. However, the League refused, choosing to stay and use their skills and abilities to help undo the destruction. When he attempted to push the issue, Batman told Adam that he was now part of the League and that he could count on his teammates to help him and his people through this crisis.
The Justice League’s refusal to give Adam up in times of need could be a major turning point in their relationship. While some League members remain unsure of Black Adam’s inclusion, they weren’t shy in their decision to help the people of Shiruta rebuild their town. Additionally, some League members have shown a willingness to go even further, with Aquaman personally offering emotional support to Adam following his traumatic possession. With the League proving they are ready to help.
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