Shazam! That’s the magic word that can make some people a champion or a tyrant infused with the powers of gods. Teth-Adam was once a great warrior in ancient times blessed to be a hero. Over time he was corrupted, and imprisoned until he was able to break free in the modern era and build a family of his own to mirror the Marvel family. Sadly, it was not meant to last, and now Teth-Adam is angrier than ever, and his dying wife’s final wish was for him to seek vengeance for her and her brother. This should go well. [Part 1]
In pursuit of Isis’s killer, Death, Teth-Adam kills two million people of the Intergang-associated country of Bialya. The entire nation is left destroyed; not even insects survive his wrath. This slaughter empowers Death, but Teth-Adam’s rage proves to be more powerful, and Death is defeated then tortured for a whole day so that Teth-Adam may learn more behind this conspiracy.
The Science Squad, a think tank of kidnapped scientists by mad scientists led by villain Chang Tzu, had been controlling things from behind the scenes. When Teth-Adam comes after them they throw a bomb that supposedly has the power of the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs, but he survives. It takes injecting a dimensional field the size of football field directly into his mind to take him down. Now under the control of the Science Squad, the scientists are ready to sell Black Adam to the highest bidder as a weapon. The JSA is able to rescue him, but the trauma of the mental attack plus all that had been happening causes Teth-Adam to get even worse.
World War III, that is what the week is called when Black Adam set forth on the Earth with his mind on vengeance. Tearing across the planet, he destroys landmark after landmark, Wonders of the World are no more. Upon being rescued he learned that Chang Tzu had done all this to Teth-Adam and his family at the request of China. The country feared the Black Marvel family was a threat to the whole world. Teth-Adam is able to defeat the Marvel family, the Teen Titans (killing members Young Frankenstein and Terra), the Global Guardians, and Doom Patrol all on his own. China’s super team, The Great 10, have to call in the JSA and any other available superhero to try and help.
Captain Marvel tries to get the Egyptian gods to revoke their blessings, but they agree with Teth-Adam’s fury and need for vengeance. Captain Marvel then recruits every magical superhero he can to aid him. The plan is simple, but nearly impossible to pull off – make it so Captain Marvel can transform Teth-Adam back to his mortal form just once, then change his magic word to something of Marvel’s choosing. They are barely successful, but Teth-Adam is left wandering the desert with no powers, wracking his brain for what the new magic word would be to grant him his powers again.
Though he no longer wields the power of the gods, he does still have men faithful to his rule of Khandaq, though it is only a militia. Together, he and these men head to Isis’s grave with the intent to take her corpse to the nearest Lazarus Pit in hopes of reviving her. It turns out her grave is heavily guarded, and while Teth-Adam is able to make it out of there with Isis’s body, her left ring finger is left behind, which makes revival of a fully dead person impossible in the pit. Learning that he also needs Isis’s magical amulet to aid in her revival, he seeks the assistance of an imprisoned Felix Faust (villainous sorcerer) to figure out how to bring her back. Faust reveals that Isis’s amulet was broken apart by Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr., and the pieces put all over the world. Knowing that by reviving Isis he can free himself, Faust does a spell that allows Teth-Adam to gain access to his powers by tying him to Isis’s bones, which are still infused with power. He must be careful for if the magic fades from her bones, she will never be resurrected.
Meanwhile, all the superheroes are trying to find a way to track Black Adam down so they can imprison him. The world’s governments are working on a weapon that can kill Black Adam. Everyone is trying to get that guy. Teth-Adam is able to retrieve to amulet pieces, and thanks to Atom-Smasher, he is able to retrieve Isis’s ring finger. All the while, Teth has had to keep his power use to a minimum, and has been saying all sorts of words that Billy Batson, Captain Marvel’s mortal form, would think of. While eating at a restaurant, he orders Batson’s favorite drink, a chocolate egg cream. When he makes the order, the words chocolate egg cream are revealed to be Teth-Adam’s new magic word to summon his powers.
Back to full power, he is able to return to Faust to finally bring Isis back to life. When the spell is performed, something goes wrong, and just before her bones turn to ash, Isis screams she hates her husband for trying this. Faust claims it was because Teth-Adam used her powers too much, so there wasn’t enough to bring her back. Adam flees in shame. This turns out to have all been an illusion of Faust’s, as he is not only able to resurrect Isis and free himself, but he now has Isis as his mind controlled warrior.
Teth-Adam finds a depowered Mary Batson, the mortal form of Mary Marvel, and with hopes that her purity can cleanse his power thus allowing him to resurrect Isis, transfers his powers to her. Mortal once more, Teth-Adam lives in the tomb of Isis and Osiris as he protects their graves from looters, hoping that Mary Marvel will realize she should give him his powers back, but it turns out she is slowly being corrupted by his powers until she finally relinquishes them back onto him. Isis is able to impart a small amount of her power to lead a trail of flowers to her so that Teth-Adam may find her.
Able to find and help Isis free herself from Faust, the two head to the Rock of Eternity to find Marvel, the name Batson has taken as the new wizard in charge. They wish to trap Batson in the same scarab amulet Teth-Adam had been trapped in for so long, and then will wipe out the Earth of mankind as Isis finds the planet and its people too evil. Mary is granted Osiris’s power by Teth-Adam so that she may assist in taking down Marvel. Powerless, Batson is able to get the JSA to protect him.
A fight breaks out that leads to Khandaq. When Teth-Adam is seen by the citizens of the nation, many shout in triumph at his return. Isis wipes out a swath of these people claiming they are infected with the evil they wish to rid from the world. Teth tries to protect his people from Isis, but it seems that the power that has infected her has spread to both the Batsons who subdue him. Thankfully the golden-age Flash is able to find the wizard Shazam and bring him to take back his powers from his champions. Since he is technically new again, this grants him such a loophole. Disgusted, he turns Teth-Adam and Adriana into statues so they can no longer threaten the world. After many once dead heroes are brought back to life during the Brightest Day, Osiris is the only member of the Black Marvel family around. He is last seen trying to revive Black Adam and Isis.
In the New 52, there is a story of a young Khandaq slave in ancient times named Aman. He leads a tortured life, but is granted powers by a wizard. The young Aman finds his uncle who is injured and grants him some of his power so that he may heal. Now Aman and his uncle Adam may work together to cure the world of its ills, Aman wishing to use their powers to cure the evil within mankind. Adam appears to kill Aman to gain sole control of the power, and to get vengeance on those who have wronged him or enslaved others. When he is brought to the present by Doctor Sivanna to deal with Shazam (that’s what Captain Marvel goes by now), Black Adam fights him until Batson is able to talk him into fighting him one on one in their mortal forms. Adam didn’t know that his mortal form would age him rapidly, thus killing him. Khandaqi citizens attempt to resurrect Black Adam to protect them, and a young woman named Adriana is successful in casting the spell to bring him back to free the world as he sees fit.
So there is the long and bloodied history of Black Adam, the former champion of a powerful wizard who believed his way was the one true way for justice. He’d spend lifetimes trying to gain control of the world. He’d have families and lose them. He’d murder millions and be a threat to the entire world. He wanted to protect those he cared for, by any means necessary. What a scary man. I think I need to go get a chocolate egg cream.