Art by Prentis Rollins (2017, Commissioned by Tim Board)

Nov 23, 2019

Hawkman and Black Adam: Egyptian Connection

Art by Alex Ross
Back in March 2019, we received the surprising news that the upcoming Black Adam movie starring Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock will feature Hawkman, Stargirl, and Atom Smasher. That news was confirmed by The Rock himself during the end of August and again in November, saying the movie would start production in 2020, and that it would definitely feature Hawkman. The casting has not been announced yet, but it has been rumored that The Rock is looking for someone who is in his 30s and with the physique that can go toe-to-toe with Black Adam. Until they announce an actor for the part, it's all just rumors and speculation, but let's take a look at the interesting relationship these two DC Comics characters have with each other.
The relationship between Hawkman and Black Adam first appeared in JSA No. 20 (March 2001). We got a clue of what was to come when Kendra Saunders, who had the memories of Chay-ara, called Black Adam by his old Egyptian name, Teth-Adam.

From JSA No. 20 (March 2001)
The JSA was up against Johnny Sorrow and the King of Tears. Mr. Teriffic came up with a plan to turn the King of Tears into pure energy by sending it into the Speed Force. Black Adam had recently joined the team, so Jay Garrick would combine speeds with him, and at the right moment take Black Adam's velocity to give him that extra push into the Force.

From JSA No. 20 (March 2001)
After the plan worked, Garrick would use Black Adam's energy signature as a tether to pull him back home. Everything went according to plan, but the energy signature that Garrick followed took him to ancient Egypt. It was Black Adam alright, but he was way off on the time line.

From JSA No. 20 (March 2001)

Garrick was found by Prince Khufu (Hawkman), Nabu the Wise (Doctor Fate), and Teth-Adam (Black Adam). Nabu and Teth-Adam served Khufu as advisers. While he was there, Khufu and his advisers showed him the Thanagarian ship that brought the Nth Metal to Earth.

From JSA No. 21 (April 2001)
The three Egyptians had witnessed the Thanagarian ship crashing into the desert many years before. They discovered that it had a special metal, and Nabu and Black Adam helped Hawkman discover the powers it gave the wearer. With the Nth Metal, they were able to make a flight belt and other weapons, including the Claw of Horus. So according to this story, Black Adam had a hand in creating Hawkman's most powerful weapon.

From JSA No. 22 (May 2001)
They give the weapon to Garrick to hand over to Hawkman when the time was right (which happened in the very next issue). Black Adam again helps Garrick get up enough speed to enter the Speed Force and Garrick is successful in returning to the 21st century, slamming into.....who else? Black Adam!

From JSA No. 22 (May 2001)
In JSA No. 23 and No. 24 (June-July 2001), Dr. Fate uses his powers to take everyone to Thanagar where Hawkman returns from the Well of Souls, the place he was sent to back in Hawkman Vol. 3 No. 32 (July 1996). Hawkman and Black Adam meet and remember each other from their Egyptian days. 

From JSA No. 24 (July 2001)
Back on Earth, Atom-Smasher and Black Adam get into a fight and all the JSA members, including Captain Marvel, get involved in the brouhaha until Hawkman steps in and stops it. 

From JSA No. 27 (October 2001)
From JSA No. 27 (October 2001)
Hawkman tells Black Adam to stand down. He still appears to hold Hawkman in high regard and listens to him. Captain Marvel starts to explain to Hawkman who Black Adam is when Hawkman cuts him off and tells him that Black Adam served him in his "first life." 

From JSA No. 27 (October 2001)
In JSA No. 42, Captain Marvel is sent back in time to the period of Ramses II. They run into Vandal Savage and Metamorpho who are battling Prince Khufu, Nabu, and Teth-Adam. Khufu is under siege and Teth-Adam's home country of Kandaq has been destroyed and his wife and children have been murdered. Teth-Adam has joined Khufu who he considers like a brother. 

From JSA No. 43 (February 2003)
In JSA No. 43, Teth-Adam calls Khufu and Chay-Ara the most righteous people he has ever met, except for the wizard Shazam himself. When his family was killed, it was Khufu who he looked to for strength, not his deity. 

From JSA No. 44 (March 2003)
Black Adam tires of the way the Justice Society handles the villains they capture and retires from the JSA, taking Atom-Smasher with him. They return to Khandaq to free the country from a dictator when Carter Hall (Hawkman) arrives to check on an archaeological dig which turns out to be the burial site of Teth-Adam's wife and two young sons. While there, they are attacked by Northwind, Hawkman's godson Norda Cantrell and Black Adam. Hawkman is invited to join Black Adam's efforts to rid the world of evil, to rule side-by-side. But Hawkman refuses to go along with Black Adam's methods. It is also clear that Black Adam now holds something of a grudge against Hawkman because he was protecting Khufu's country while Khandaq was being destroyed and his family murdered. 

From Hawkman No. 19 (November 2003)
From Hawkman No. 19 (November 2003)
From Hawkman No. 19 (November 2003)
In JSA No. 56 (March 2004), Black Adam wipes out the army and kills the dictator of Khandaq. The news of the massacre reaches the Justice Society and they have a discussion about how to stop him. Green Lantern mentions that Hawkman knows Black Adam better than anybody. Captain Marvel agrees. 

From JSA No. 57 (March 2004)
A massive battle starts when the Justice Society arrives in Khandaq. During the fight, Black Adam says that Hawkman is the greatest threat of the Justice Society.
From Hawkman No. 24 (March 2004)
During the fight, Nabu takes Doctor Fate's powers and begins to fight on Black Adam's side. Nabu claims that Hawkman is a hypocrite for fighting against Black Adam when he is doing what Prince Khufu taught him.
From Hawkman No. 24 (March 2004)
During the fight, Eclipso accidentally kills Nemesis. Realizing the demon in the black diamond now controls him, he jumps off a building and commits suicide. Black Adam arrives and accuses Hawkman of killing them. 

From JSA No. 58 (April 2004)
The battle continues and finally Black Adam is the last villain standing. The entire JSA goes after him and he starts to take them down one by one. He avoids hurting Hawkgirl too much out of the respect he had for her when they were Egyptians. 

From Hawkman No. 25 (April 2004)
From Hawkman No. 25 (April 2005)
At the end of the battle, Alan Scott sends his power into Hawkman's mace, and Hawkman proceeds to beat the living daylights out of Black Adam. Black Adam has no defense against the onslaught and is defeated. The people of Khandaq begin to attack the heroes so the JSA has no choice but to leave. Black Adam is left to rule his country but is not allowed to leave.
From Hawkman No. 25 (April 2004)
From Hawkman No. 25 (April 2004)
In JSA No. 73-75, Jean Loring has the power of Eclipso and she uses it to control the Spectre and attacks Khandaq. While Hawkman and Hawkgirl are rescuing the citizens, Black Adam resents the JSA stepping in his role as the protector of Khandaq and attacks Hawkman.

From JSA No. 74 (August 2005)
At the end of the battle, Atom-Smasher sacrifices himself to send the Spectre away but Black Adam is able to revive him. Black Adam wants Atom-Smasher to stay in Khandaq, but Hawkman and the JSA demand to take him home. 

From JSA No. 75 (September 2005)
Their next meeting would come in Black Adam: The Dark Age, a 6-issue miniseries. Black Adam is trying to bring Isis back to life and must recover the pieces of an amulet to do it. One of the pieces is stored away in the Stonechat Museum in St. Roch, Louisiana where Carter Hall is a curator. When Black Adam comes for the piece of the amulet, Hawkman is there waiting. The two battle it out for a while, but Black Adam is just too strong and defeats Hawkman.
From Black Adam: The Dark Age No. 3 (December 2007)
From Black Adam; The Dark Age No. 3 (December 2003)
The next entry is a series that was set in the future. In The New 52: Futures End, Hawkman and Black Adam end up on a team of six members that are fighting Brainiac and trying to get back to Earth. Amazingly enough, the two have zero conversations with each other during the ten issues they are together. In just one scene, Black Adam runs straight through a villain's horde of monsters and Hawkman remarks, "Oh...I like him."
From The New 52: Futures End No. 33 (February 2015)
The final entry has an interesting reference about Hawkman's mace so I'll include it. In Dark Nights: Metal No. 5 (February 2018), Wonder Woman is searching for Hawkman's mace to use it to defeat Barbatos. Black Adam shows up and tries to prevent her from discovering the mace. Wonder Woman is able to locate it and uses it to knock Black Adam into next week. She mentions that Black Adam does not want her to find the mace because the mace is made of Nth Metal. It is hyper-conductive so it can absorb and store energy, like the magical energies Black Adam gets his powers from. This little fact would be very useful when Hawkman and Black Adam go up against each other again. The way Wonder Woman admired the mace was also fun to see.

From Dark Nights Metal No. 5 (March 2018)

From Dark Nights: Metal No. 3 (March 2018)

There may have been some meetings that I missed or overlooked, but since 2001, Hawkman and Black Adam have been shown to have a very interesting history. The Black Reign series from JSA and Hawkman in the mid-00s just may be the storyline the Black Adam movie will touch on. Hawkman, Stargirl, and Atom-Smasher had major parts in the story, and since they have been rumored to be in the movie, that could be the direction they are going in. 
In a recent interview, Dwayne Johnson announced that the JSA would be involved in the movie so we'll have to keep our ears open for more news next year. The day when we finally see Hawkman and Hawkwoman fly across the silver screen may be getting closer.

Issues with Hawkman and Black Adam interaction:
JSA No. 20 (March 2001)
JSA No. 21 (April 2001)
JSA No. 22 (May 2001)
JSA No. 24 (July 2001)
JSA No. 27 (October 2001)
JSA No. 43 (February 2003)
JSA No. 44 (March 2003)
Hawkman Vol. 4 No. 19 (November 2003)
JSA No. 57 (March 2004)
Hawkman Vol. 4 No. 24 (March 2004)
JSA No. 58 (April 2004)
Hawkman Vol. 4 No. 25 (April 2004)
JSA No. 74 (August 2005)
JSA No. 75 (September 2005)
Black Adam: The Dark Age No. 3 (December 2007)
The New 52: Futures End No. 33 (February 2015) 

Here are some covers featuring both Hawkman and Black Adam:

Hawkman Vol. 4 No. 19 (November 2003)

Black Adam: The Dark Age No. 3 (December 2007)

The New 52: Futures End No. 24 (December 2014) 
Stay tuned for more news on the Black Adam movie!

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