I review Justice League of America #7.4, by Geoff Johns and Sterling Gates, with art from Edgar Salazar, Jay Leisten and Gabe Eltaeb, published by DC Comics as part of Villain’s Month.
Story: Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates | Pencils: Edgar Salazar | Inks: Jay Leisten | Colours: Gabe Eltaeb | Cover: Tony S. Daniel, Matt Banning & Tomeu Morey | Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $3.99 (3D) / $2.99 (2D)
Where is Black Adam? And what series of events is triggered when the Secret Society attacks Kahndaq? Discover all of this and much more in this issue!
Shazam has risen over the course of the various Justice League backups to become one of my Top 5 favourite DC superheroes, along with Nightwing, Batman, Green Arrow and Talon (yes, I know he’s new – but Talon’s awesome). He’s a character who I knew virtually nothing about before, so I was interested to see how his main villain, Black Adam – plays into everything. The only exposure I’ve had with both apart from comics has been Injustice: Gods Among Us, so I was looking forward to reading more about Black Adam as a character, especially without Shazam interfering.
And the result ended up being one of my favourite Villain’s Month books so far, ranking probably in my Top 3, along with Green Arrow #23.1, Batman and Robin #23.2. I just really enjoyed what Johns and Gates brought to the table with the last Justice League of America issue of the month, and it further proves my point that Shazam deserves his own ongoing series (hint, Geoff Johns’ only current series that he’s working on is Justice League, having dropped first Green Lantern and soon Aquaman and Justice League of America (replaced by Matt Kindt), opening up the possibility of new DC books to come), and as he’s quickly become a fan-favourite, I really am struggling to see why this hasn’t happened yet.
As you probably know, Black Adam died just before Trinity War after a confrontation between himself and Shazam, with the resulting burial in Kahndaq by Shazam being one of the early major events in Trinity War. So how could a Villain’s Month book focus on a character that’s already dead, unless it’s in a flashback? Well, the answer is quite simple of course, resurrection. Nobody dies in a comic book and Black Adam’s death is no exception. This book will be important for fans of Shazam, but I think apart from that non-readers of the backups will find themselves a little confused here.
The artistic duties are provided by Edgar Salazar on the pencils, Jay Leisten on the inks and Gabe Eltaeb with the colours, and they all do a terrific job. Justice League of America #7.4 is one of the best looking comics of the week, and that’s really enhanced by its strong and solid storyline that fleshes out the character a bit more as well as dealing with the various beliefs of the people of Kahndaq have, particularly in their connection to Black Adam.
The plot of the whole issue is pretty interesting and engaging. It’s not essential reading for Forever Evil followers, and it’s far from an origin issue, and this issue really impresses as the best Villain’s Month book that I’ve read this week. Not only does it flesh out Black Adam as a character but also the nation of Kahndaq and its peoples a bit more, and I hope that this is continued to be explored in the future of Shazam/Black Adam issues. Black Adam’s set to play a role in future Justice League issues, so it’ll be very interesting to see how events unfold.
Certainly well worth a read. Not quite overall pick of the week thanks to The Wake #4, but Justice League of America #7.4 is still a very awesome and enjoyable read.