Black Adam’s Successor Points Out His Problematic “White Adam” Name

Warning! Spoilers for Black Adam #2 by DC Comics

In the comics, Black Adam’s successor isn’t cool with being called White Adam, as the new hero points out the problematic nature of the name given to him by the dying antihero. In Black Adam #2 from DC Comics, Malik White, the descendant of Black Adam chosen to replace him, is forced to call on Shazam and magically transform. However, he has issues with being called White Adam, pointing out the troubling truth behind how people could view the moniker.

In the current Black Adam series by DC Comics, Teth-Adam became infected with an incurable disease after battling Darkseid. Realizing he was dying, Black Adam captured his successor, a doctor named Malik White, who had no idea about his connection to the antihero or wanted anything to do with replacing him. However, after Black Adam makes it clear to his descendant that he must succeed him in gaining his powers and protecting Kahndaq when he finally makes the transformation, Malik points out his problematic White Adam name.

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In Black Adam #2 by Christopher Priest, Rafa Sandoval, Matt Herms, and Willie Schubert by DC Comics, Black Adam’s successor finds himself in Kahndaq as he watches over a dying Black Adam. Black Adam tells Malik he is a better man than him and can redeem him. However, after Malik refuses to accept his ring and say “Shazam,” he’s shot, forcing him to say the word to heal his wound through the transformation. Malik gets his own magical costume, sporting a white and gold ensemble. But, when Black Adam refers to Malik as “White Adam,” the new hero calls out the problematic name.

As Black Adam and his people call him White Adam, Malik tells them to hold up, pointing out that the name plays on a problematic stereotype that “black = bad, white = good.” While teases have revealed Malik will eventually go by the name Bolt, he understandably doesn’t want to play on the harmful stereotypes that being the “white” redeemer of Black Adam present, especially as a Black man. He doesn’t accept the name, even as Black Adam dies.

Malik was forced into being Black Adam’s successor, even if he’s a descendent of the ruler of Kahndaq. If he’s going to have to replace him, he’s going to do it his way, which starts with refusing the problematic “White Adam” name. Given Black Adam’s evil actions, he doesn’t want his time as champion and so-called “redeemer” of his lineage to play on harmful stereotypes. So, don’t expect Malik to ever come around on Black Adam’s choice of name as DC’s new White Adam.

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Author: Liam McGuire