Teth-Adam was son to the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II. In his time he was a great and altruistic warrior. His benevolent deeds drew the attention of the wizard Shazam, who selected Teth to become his first champion of Earth. When Teth-Adam spoke the wizard's name he instantly transformed into Mighty Adam - the mightiest mortal on earth. Imbued with the magical powers of six gods of the Heliopolis, Mighty Adam would serve as his people's champion and defender. He adopted the neighboring country of Khandaq as his own.
Following the loss of his beloved wife and two sons to a mortal enemy, Mighty Adam's sense of justice and worldview grew darker. Eventually Adam decided to overthrow the Pharaoh and rule the kingdom himself. This made the wizard Shazam very angry. Confronting Mighty Adam, the wizard retracted his gifts and imprisoned him within a jeweled scarab - determined to keep him trapped there for eternity. Believing him dead, the people of Khandaq would rename their fallen champion "Khem-Adam", or Black Adam, in death. The wizard Shazam then hid the scarab within Black Adam's tomb.
Black Adam in the Modern Age
Years later, in modern times, a family of archeologists named the Batson's discovered the scarab while excavating Teth-Adam's tomb. The Batson's assistant and descendant of Teth, Theo Adam, was overcome with bloodlust on sight of the scarab and murdered the sire and madam of the Batson family. Theo Adam would eventually use the scarab to assume the powers of Black Adam and do battle with Shazam's new champion and son of the slain Batsons, Billy - as Captain Marvel - before being defeated.
In later comics it is revealed that Theo Adam and Teth-Adam are two separate personalities. Black Adam purges the evil Theo from his psyche and goes on to serve in the super group The Justice Society of America (JSA). However, a man out of time, his sense of justice and punishment is viewed as brutal by today's standards. Black Adam becomes disillusioned with the JSA (and modern heroes in general) and returns to his homeland of Khandaq to overthrow the oppressive regime that is governing it. Heralded as a hero by the people of Khandaq, the JSA agree to leave Adam alone as long as he no longer interferes with any nation outside of his own.
The DC Comics event 52 saw Black Adam as one of its many protagonists. In this comic series, Earth's three mightiest champions (Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman) are either powerless or in self imposed exile. Various malevolent forces begin their machinations on Earth, one of their targets being Adam's home of Khandaq. Frustrated by the lack of action and audacious attitude of Western heroes, Black Adam forms a coalition of super powered Eastern heroes. He does so to ensure that they can collectively defend their homes from the often destructive encroachments of Western heroes when they pursue villains into other nations. To prove his point, Adam holds a press conference in Metropolis, where he expresses his desire for a world with heroes that take decisive action (in contrast to the never ending battles classic heroes tend to repeat with their arch enemies - I.E. Superman and Lex Luthor, or Batman and the Joker). Adam makes his point clear by tearing a villain in half on national television.
During the story of 52, Adam falls in love with a woman named Adrianna Tomaz. He uses the scarab to grant her the powers of the Egyptian goddess Isis. Together they rescue her brother from slavers, who had handicapped the young man. Adam then grants a portion of his power to the brother, Amon Tomaz, transforming him into the super powered hero Osiris. Adam and Isis would marry, and for a time Adam was once again happy and softened his views of justice. Isis was a major component of this change, as she thought Adam was too brutal and unforgiving.
The dark forces aligned against Khandaq would eventually conspire against Adam, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of Khandaqs as well as Isis and Osiris. In a tragic moment, Adam holds the dying Adrianna in his arms as she admits that she was wrong to change him; he was right and the world is terrible - his brand of justice was the correct one after all. Her last words to Adam are "avenge us".
Black Adam, blinded by rage and emboldened by his dead wife's words, would go on to murder nearly the entire neighboring country of Bialya. Adam feels justified in doing so because their government sheltered one of the conspirators that murdered his wife and countrymen, and because the people of Bialya embraced the evil religion of his enemies. Although an exact figure is never provided, it is implied that he murdered several million (including their pets and livestock), and many comics have portrayed the absolute devastation Adam wrought. After leaving a path of destruction around the globe to serve as a monument to his dead wife, it would take an army of approximately one hundred super powered heroes to stop Adam in what is known as "World War 3" in the DC universe.
DC Universe Online
Adam is in this grieving and broken mindset in the game DC Universe Online. Players will be able to work with Black Adam; just like other famous villains. When players have magical abilities they will work with Black Adam on a series of missions. Just like every other villain, Black Adam works for and with, Lex Luthor. While all levels haven't been revealed for Black Adam, players will work with Black Adam on a Cadmus/Area-51 type of level. Their only mission for this area is to destroy the base and get the kryptonite to make a weapon against Superman.
The story behind DC Universe Online is about preventing a dark future from occurring. When a future Lex Luthor from Earth comes to warn the present heroes, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Lex tells the story on how he created an all-out war against the heroes of Earth, specifically; Superman. With Superman off-planet, he left Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern. As the Generals or top defense of Earth. Many heroes and villains died at the hands of one another. Not keeping the "no killing rule" heroes would kill the villains to protect Earth from being controlled by Lex and his troops. Batman was eventually killed by Joker; whom also killed Deathstroke for trying to kill Batman. Black Adam killed both Flash and Green Lantern by saying "Shazam!" And Wonder Woman was killed by being exposed by lots of Kryptonite radiation. In the end, Superman came and tried to kill Lex, but Lex returned the favor by killing him with a Kryptonite Spear. In the end, Lex saw the end of his world as Brainiac came to kill of the remaining heroes and villains. Lex tells the present day heroes to work together to stop Brainiac from controlling the world!
Black Adam is a playable character in both games Injustice: Gods Among US and Injustice 2 of the fighting game Injustice series. In the story, he was once a member of Superman's regime, against Batman and other superheroes in the first game.
After Superman was defeated, Black Adam and Wonder Woman still resist Batman and his followers. Later, when Brainiac invaded earth, Black Adam revealed that he has sealed Khandaq with magic, and he is willing to unleash the magic power there to help earth superheroes fight Brainiac. With the help of Aquaman, Black Adam managed to summon a great magic force from the Rock of Eternity and transmit through Aquaman's trident to form a powerful lightning, deactivating the energy shield of Brainiac's spaceship.
Powers and Abilities
As a former champion of Wizard Shazam, Teth-Adam has the basic ability to summon lighting just like Billy Batson and all other champions.
When speaking the wizard Shazam's name, Teth-Adam is granted the abilities of six Egyptian gods:
- Shu: The Egyptian god of air grants Black Adam unlimited endurance. Because of this Adam is tireless, and has no need for mortal sustenance such as air and food
- Horus, or Heru: The deity Horus/Heru grants Black Adam with unnatural speed. It allows Adam to travel at mach 500 within Earth's atmosphere, and faster than light locomotion while in the vacuum of space. It has been shown that Black Adam can move faster than human perception
- Amon, or Amun: Amun-Ra, champion of strength, grants Black Adam with godly levels of strength. For example, it has been shown that Adam is capable of effortlessly heaving an aircraft carrier hundreds of miles
- Zehuti: Zehuti (also known as Thoth) provides Black Adam with unnatural insight and wisdom. Among other things, he is innately aware of his adversaries weaknesses by drawing upon this wisdom
- Aton, or Aten: This sun god, an aspect of Ra, provides Adam with the power of flight
- Mehen: One of many serpentine-related Egyptian gods, Mehen provides mental fortitude and resolve to Black Adam. Because of this he is incredibly resistant to all forms of telepathic assaults