Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Long, Strange Journey

It's funny how the DC Universe changes. And I don't mean the structure of it. I mean the way in which certain characters rise and fall in prominence. Sure, some characters stay nearly constant (Batman, Superman, etc.), but others wax and wane as the years go by. Some disappear and aren't seen for years. Others burst onto the stage, either old reinvigorated or new entirely.

To me, the most fascinating rise of such a character in recent years is most definitely Black Adam. Isn't it funny how a one shot villain of Captain Marvel's from the Golden Age -- someone who turned to dust at the end of his first appearance -- has arguably become more central to the DCU than Captain Marvel himself? It's been a long, strange journey for Black Adam. But it's brought him to the forefront of the DC Universe.

Though Black Adam made a few appearances in the seventies and the early nineties, it wasn't until he showed up in the Geoff Johns/David Goyer JSA that he started to rise to prominence. As the legend goes, the writers were looking for someone with the power to take on the JSA single-handedly. They found it in Black Adam. He fit the bill perfectly, because at the time, he was little more than his powers.

But as the series went on, Black Adam popped up again and again. He started to become more than his powers. He joined the team, then turned against it. He went from being a one note bad guy to a strange -- and strangely fascinating -- character. He came to rule a country, then sided with the Society. Black Adam played a role in Infinite Crisis, then 52, and now Countdown. He's got a mini-series coming up.

Whatever you think about the character and the journey he's made, it can't be denied that his rise to fame has been nothing short of astonishing. It just goes to show that any character -- in the right hands -- can be elevated to a position of importance. Every character has potential. It just takes the right writer -- or writers -- to bring it out.

Let's hope DC doesn't forget that.

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At 12:31 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

I think that part of it,is just how cool his name sounds. "Black Adam" It just reeks of awesomeness.

At 6:07 PM, Blogger LurkerWithout said...

See Azrael theres hope for you yet. Give it 30 years and some kid will be writing the Bat books and decide to bring you back to prominence. Probably as some kind of Super Ghost Robot. Just hang in there man!

At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone remember S'net? From the Arion comic series?

At 10:08 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

S'no. Sorry.

At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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