Black Adam’s Latest Wholesome Save Reinforces His Anti-Hero Status

By 5 Min Read


  • Black Adam shows his redemption by advocating for Billy’s family and getting their house rebuilt by Zeus.
  • Black Adam’s transformation from villain to anti-hero is credited to Jerry Ordway and Geoff Johns’ portrayal.
  • Black Adam’s actions solidify his status as DC’s premiere anti-hero, balancing his good side with his violent nature.



Warning: contains spoilers for Shazam #8!Black Adam‘s latest save may be his most wholesome, and it ironically cements his status as one of DC’s best anti-heroes. While he began life as a villain, Black Adam has over the decades morphed into a brutal anti-hero. He clashes with his old foe, the Captain (Shazam), and in Shazam #8, Black Adam ends up going to bat for Billy in the most wholesome way possible.

Shazam #8 is written by Mark Waid and drawn by Goran Sudzuka. In a previous issue, a fight between the Captain and Black Adam destroyed the home of Billy’s foster family. Adam takes his leave of the Captain, and Billy learns that, since the house was destroyed, his foster family may lose custody of the children.

The Captain appeals to Zeus to restore his family’s house, but the god refuses at first.

Shazam smiles at his rebuilt house while Zeus looks on.

Then, Black Adam steps out of the shadows, advocating for Billy and his family, and when fans next see them, their house has been rebuilt by Zeus.

Black Adam’s Save Shows How Far He Has Come as a Character

Black Adam Has Become an Anti-Hero

Black Adam in Justice League DC

When Black Adam first appeared way back in 1945’s The Marvel Family #1, the notion of him helping Billy in any way would have been unthinkable. A former champion of the wizard Shazam, Black Adam was banished to space for misusing his powers. Jealous and angry, Black Adam will return to fight the Captain, and end up being banished again. During Jerry Ordway’s Power of Shazam series, he and his collaborators planted the seed for Black Adam’s redemption, a plot point Geoff Johns would seize on in his JSA run, which ended with Black Adam taking control of Khandaq.

Ordway and Johns fundamentally changed Black Adam, taking him from a one-off villain into one of DC’s most popular anti-heroes. They gave Black Adam depth, showing both his cruelty and, at times, his humanity. Despite his brutal tactics, and use of lethal force, Black Adam has proven to be an adept head of state, guiding his home country of Khandaq to great heights. Black Adam has also been a member of the Justice League, as well as starred in a live-action film featuring Dwayne Johnson. The character’s rise is no doubt thanks to his drift towards being an anti-hero.

Black Adam Just Saved Shazam’s Family

Yet He Reminds Shazam They Are Also Very Different

Black Adam 11 Cover DC, Lightning sparking around him, eyes glowing

And now, by arguing for the restoration of Billy’s house before Zeus, Black Adam has wholesomely cemented his status as DC’s premiere anti-hero. Just days prior to his meeting with Zeus, Black Adam and the Captain were at each other’s throats. However, Adam realizes that there is nothing for him in Billy’s situation, so he eloquently pleads his case. When the Captain later brings up owing him one, Black Adam brushes him off, threatening to kill him if the Captain ever strikes him again, showing that while he has a good side, he is still a violent and ruthless anti-hero.

Shazam #8 (2024)

Image of Shazam asking for help.
  • Writer: Mark Waid
  • Artist: Goran Sudzuka
  • Colorist: Ive Svorcina
  • Letterer: Troy Peteri
  • Cover Artist: Dan Mora

Shazam #8 is on sale now from DC Comics!

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