|The Return of Black Adam|
|What: Black Adam returns and challenges Captain Marvel's place in the universe.|
It's been several years since the Wizard Shazam found Billy Batson, a homeless orphan on these streets and chose him among all the other mortals. His willingness to help others and his innocence even in the face of all the sadness, pain and desolation of being down on your luck proved to the Wizard that Billy had a goodness and kindness in him that had never been touched by evil and darkness. It's why his best friend, a black homeless man by the name of Tawni after Billy gave him the last subway token that he had, later on gave it back. When Billy used it to try and travel to Coney Island where he would stand outside the park to watch the families enjoying it wistfully, he was whisked away magically to the Hall of Mortality and brought before the Wizard himself who, having searched for many centuries, gave him the powers and the magic word used to call them forth from the gods.
Today Billy has returned to his roots, as he looks up at the orphanage where he got his start from and smiles and walks in, waving to the nuns he knows. He comes here often, helping them out by playing with the kids, either as himself or as his Captain Marvel (Shazam version) guise to give them hope that someday, they too could be something. (repose)
Black Adam doesn't use his secret ID, there's really no point to becoming weak and insignificant. No point in being mortal when immortality and power is far more appealing. He's been in Kahndaq for several years establishing order from the chaos and now he feels the need to pursue more personal ventures.
One such venture finds himself in Hell's Kitchen where he stands upon one of the high-rise rooftops looking over the ledge down at the city. He seeks one man whom represents the Wizard's new champion. And that one man isn't hard to pick out of a crowd, even in the form of the insignificant boy. He watches, patiently, as Billy makes his rounds. He's not stealthy, but not overt either. He leaps from rooftop to rooftop, when the need arises, to give pursuit to his prey. In all, Black Adam does nothing just yet. He's looking for what motivates the boy so he can best use it against him.
It's just kindness and a desire to help others that drives Billy, he can be heard laughing as he plays a little bit of basketball with a couple of older kids (probably like him, having never found a family that would adopt them). Once or twice he gets a sense that he's being watched, but when he looks around, he doesn't notice anyone. He believes he's probably imagining things as he's very careful with his secret identity. Who would know that Billy is Captain Marvel, the World's Mightiest Mortal anyways other than his teammates on the Titans and the Justice League or the Wizard himself?
The sun begins to go down and the kids are all ushered in to the building for supper and though invited Billy waves off, knowing that the orphanage is always having issues with not having enough money for food and supplies, it's why he surreptitiously places a check for his month's stipend from the League in the donation bowl, signed over to the orphanage on his behalf. He lives at Titan Towers anyways so he doesn't really need two checks and the orphanage could definitely use it more.
He gives the kids and nuns one last goodbye wave and sticks his hands in his jeans, starting to walk down the street towards the subway, beginning his long trek towards the Towers in the Harbor.
Black Adam will descend several yards in front of Billy along his intended path. His feet will not touch the ground but remain a good 2 feet from it. His arms will be crossed over his massive chest and turned only a few degrees to the side so he can turn his neck and tilt his head downward to peer down at the boy. His voice is deep and an accent is present as Black Adam says indolently, "Greetings, child. Or should I call you the Wizard's new pet?"
Well... this is a thing... there's someone here that wears the same symbol on his chest standing right in front of him, arms crossed all in black. Billy's eyes go wide and he says, "HOLY MOLEY! Who ARE you mister and what do you want?" He sweats a bit, this person looks almost exactly like he does when in his champion form... except he's all in black and definitely not as nice or helpful. He tries to play dumb for a little bit, wanting to try and glean some information if he can, his magic word on the tip of his tongue if necessary. He hopes it doesn't come to that, if they fight, too many people might get hurt here.
Black Adam intones after he allows an annoyed smirk to cross his lips, "I'm going to put it to you very simple, child. I am the original savior of mankind. The Wizard imbued me with the power thousands of years ago and then he scorned me for taking it upon myself to change the world for the better. I was imprisoned for countless generations and now I have found my way back to this wretched, chaos filled, planet that no one can bring order to." - His movements are nothing more than a light hover and shift as he speaks his words of the past which are leading up to the present and the answer that Billy desires.
That... doesn't sound good, Billy licks suddenly dry lips and inwardly berates the Wizard for not telling him that he might encounter his predecessor, an apparently power mad version of himself that the Wizard imprisoned. He starts to back away a bit, looking around and says, "Gee... that's... not very nice, this world might not be perfect, but nobody has the right to try and change it." He looks up at Adam, "We were... or at least I was chosen to help the people of Earth, not to change them to what I believe is the ideal version of them. Gosh, haven't you learned that in all your time spent being imprisoned?"
Now Billy stops and squares his shoulders and says, "I don't know who you are, and obviously the Wizard and I have a lot of talking to do, but if you've come back to do the same thing again, I'll have to stop you." He stands tall and calls forth the magic lightning with his word of power, "SHAZAM!" and transforms into his champion form. He looks much bulkier and muscular with a red suit banded in gold and a white cloak hood covering his head and flowing over his shoulders like a cape. His voice deepens and says, "You aren't wanted or needed here, I know who you are now, thanks to the Wisdom of Solomon... Teth Adam, also known as Black Adam."
Black Adam smiles and regards the change as pleasing. Perhaps because he would prefer to speak to one whom he may consider 'close to' an equal than the frame of a child. Black Adam continues, his voice growing slightly louder as he relays his past and goals for the future in an annoyed tone. He intones, "Hear me; The people of this planet are weak, pathetic. They need guidance and a strong hand in which to succumb and be guided by. What is worse are the 'so called' villains. Cowards, all of them. Spineless and ever fleeting into the shadows to avoid their own success. And then we have the heroes, such as yourself. Just as useless and undisciplined without hope of bringing order and prosperity to this planet. It will be by my hand, the hand of Black Adam, that I will take the reigns and dominate this world. It will submit to my power and my rule. For I, am the one and true ruler of mankind. The bringer of peace - through superior strength." he gives pause a moment and addresses Billy/Captain Marvel personally. "I tell you these things, child, for I wish to know what side you will stand upon. You have a choice, the Wizard often lies. Alongside me where we might rule this world and end all crime, or will you be found beneath my boot like all the other that oppose me? Let that Wisdom of Solomon guide your future. What is your choice?"
Billy is silent for a long moment as he regards the man in front of him, and it strikes the boy. After all these years, one thing rings true to Billy, Black Adam is lonely. Why else would he come here and make this offer, twisted as it is if not because he has been alone for so long. He measures his words carefully as he squares himself and says, "Holy moley, that's an... interesting offer Adam..." He considers it and says, "I'd like to be your friend... because it would be nice to talk and maybe learn from someone who's been the God's Champion long enough to learn everything about their abilities they've given us." He starts, but then he looks Adam straight in the eye and says, "But I can't join you if you are going to try and rule the world or believe that strength and power are the only ways to accomplish the goals given to us."
Captain Marvel puts his hands on his hips and says, "Let go of your ambition Adam, this world might be imperfect, but there's a lot in it to give hope. You've lost hope, haven't you? All those years spent in the depths of space made you despair. What happened to you to make you turn away from what the Wizard and Gods asked of you? Why do you believe the Wizard lied to you?" Billy truly wants to know, wants to try and help Adam, because he truly believes that inside the man is still the person that the Wizard believed to be worth of being the God's Champion and could be once again, if only it could be reached and drawn out.
In an indolent tone, Black Adam states, "Your innocence stems from the lack of experience. The people of this planet do not want to be saved, they need to be saved. Saved from one another, and saved from themselves. Only through power and domination can they be protected from their own foolish choices. Your youth is what the Wizard sought. Blind hopefulness that humanity can find peace and happiness through one man's altruistic actions and deeds." Black Adam pauses a moment and says, "I am not above generosity. I will give you time to ponder my offer. You have one week to consider what I have said and discern that it is true and I am not to be opposed. But, heed my warning. If you stand to counter me. You will face the consequences of that opposition."
It's been a week since Billy's encounter with Black Adam and he's spent his time wisely, managing to have gotten a hold of the Wizard (well, at least his image since the Wizard rarely shows himself these days) and gotten the entire lowdown on Adam and his history. The fact that Adam was back alarmed the Wizard and Billy had been told under no circumstances was he to try and fight Adam, Adam was simply a lot more experienced and had learned much more about the powers granted to him than Billy had in the few years that he had been Captain Marvel (Shazam) and would be at a huge disadvantage.
The problem is, Billy didn't think Adam was going to give him the choice, especially since Adam wasn't the type of person to take no for an answer, which his answer was going to be. It's why he is walking along the streets of Hell's Kitchen, afraid, but determined to at least try and avoid a confrontation with his predecessor, even if what he was going to say wasn't going to make Adam very happy.
Descending from the skies, Black Adam makes no attempt to conceal his arrival. He will present himself 2 feet off the ground and 20 feet in front of Billy (along his chosen path). Black Adam's arms cross over his chest and he looks down to the youth with considering eyes.
Yeah, Billy stops short as Adam simply appears in front of him and looks up and says, "Holy moley!" He scootches back slightly and says, "Gosh, hi Adam, how are you doing this fine morning?" A little politeness to the man that held his job before him wouldn't go amiss, right?
Black Adam smirks and a subtle scoff can be heard coming from the big bad's throat. He eyes the youth and raises an eyebrow at the continued courtesy. Though, he is not above regal politeness even though he finds it distasteful. Black Adam nods and replies, "I am well, Captain Marvel. I trust you've an answer for me, one that is amicable to the em-betterment of mankind - whether they like it or not."
Here's where Billy squares his shoulders, looks Adam straight in the eyes and says, "Yes Adam... I do have an answer for you..." He takes a deep breath, preparing for this because he's sure he's only going to get one shot at this and says, "SHAZAM!" With that, the magical lightning strikes Billy and Billy changes into his hero form and his voice deepens as he says, "My answer Adam... is no, I believe that this world doesn't need a ruler, and even if it did, that ruler isn't us." His voice hardens a bit, "You were once a good man Adam, a hero, but if you refuse to give up your dreams of glory and domination then I'm going to have to stop you."
His features harden, muscles flex and his eyes narrow. He's not angry, annoyed perhaps, but not too emotional about the answer. Black Adam's words come, "Disappointing. Though not unexpected. The Wizard has chosen his new lapdog wisely to ensure that you not resist his dominance over you. Tis a shame, however. For I also expect you to want to work against my plans and mechanization's. Therefore, this will bring cause for me to show my superiority over you." His arms unfold and Billy will likely be able to guess what will happen next.
Yeah, Billy might not be a genius, well, actually he's a dropout due to having to be Captain Marvel and do heroic things even when school is session, but even he could tell this was coming. He says, "Gosh, you might be older, and more experienced, but that doesn't make you better than me Adam." He raises his hands and hopes all the techniques Nightwing taught him will be enough to at least fight Adam to a standstill. His first priority is to get Adam out of the city and into someplace where people won't get hurt. Which is why he floats up to meet Adam on his level.
"Oh, but it does, boy." States Black Adam as he goes full bore on Captain Marvel. The punches and subsequent kicks will be devastating to the environment more so than to Marvel himself. Yet those assaults are intended to do more than direct damage, collateral damage is also favored as a show of power. Adam is also not at all reticent on his attacks, full power or nothing. Defeat the enemy fast and without mercy.
Billy defends himself adequately, but the damage being done collaterally is disheartening. He narrows his eyes, takes a hard punch that snaps his head back and he says, "Ouch! Holy moley, this is my city and you are NOT going to hurt anyone else Adam!" He continues to take multiple attacks but holds his own even as he says, "You're so blinded by your ambition that you don't even realize that you've already lost." With that, Billy would feint a punch and then spin and attempt to fly into him and tackle him through the buildings, headed for the open waters of the Atlantic. He prays the people are smart enough to evacuate while he tries to deal with Adam. What he wouldn't give for some backup right about now as this isn't going well.
Grabbed, Black Adam takes the advantage of the point blank proximity and drops elbows as knees rise, slamming the frame of Marvel. "The only thing blind, boy, is your perception of reality."
Billy grunts, but holds on, he manages to get out through the beating, "Your reality... isn't... a reality... that... I want... to live in!" He grabs hold of Adam's costume spins him at high speed and then throws him flying towards the depths of the Atlantic. He takes a moment to catch his breath and make a distress call over his communicator, as much as he'd like to handle this alone, Adam is too powerful for him and too good for him to do so. At least he's stopped the collateral damage for the moment, that's a plus.
Recovering from the throw, Black Adam is no worse for ware, nor is he even winded. He rights himself, smiles and watches Marvel from afar. He then looks down and spies a trawler. Descending rapidly just passing the ship, then into the depths of the ocean, Adam is up to something nefarious.
Billy's eyes go wide and he says, "Holy moley!!! NO!" he flies after Adam, and he prays he gets there in time, and he prays his teammates can get there to help him.
The trawler is lifted from the water as if it weighs less than a kitten. With Adam along the keel, the trawler is lifted 300 feet before Marvel can close on his position. The trawler rains water down and its crew scramble to grab something stable. Adam calls to Marvel and challenges, "Choose boy, you care for these people, Succumb to my demands and they live. "
Suddenly the already kitten light lifts up a bit higher right out of Adam's hands. Violet light wraps around it and it is moved back to the water. "Those aren't kosher rules." The feminine voice rings out in a sultry tone. She quickly makes her presence known. Star Shimmer smiles to Captain Marvel and then looks over Black Adam. Captain Marvel would notice that her eyes are violet which given the last time he'd seen that, may not be a good thing. "I don't know what your problem is Mister but this is not how its handled. Not here. This is MY neighborhood. I grew up here. If you think you are going to wreck it, think again."
Captain Marvel (Shazam) feels a little better now, he was having his doubts about being able to keep Adam from harming people to get him to do what he wanted. He looks to Shimmer and says, "Are you in control Shimmer?" He hopes even as his stress level increases due to Shimmer's instability. He then says to Adam, "We're going to stop you, back in your time, you might have been the strongest mortal on the planet with no rivals, but now there's dozens, and all are going to be arriving soon to help me take you down. You'll never win, give up your ambitions or between Shimmer and me, we'll make you wish you never came here." He sounds more confident then he feels, he'd much prefer Superman, Wonder Woman or even Koriand'r here, because they could handle the damage Adam can put out.
Black Adam intones to the remarks of Shimmer in a cold, dismissive tone, "Return to your brothel, seductress. This dispute is beyond your sexual aptitude."
Black Adam doesn't regard the woman further, instead he looks to Marvel and states, "Pathetic, you hide behind a woman. The Wizard's pet is tied to the apron strings of a harlot. But I see you've made your choice.. So be it." Then with his might, Adam tilts the ship toward the two heroes (yes, everything aboard that Ian tied down will free fall toward the ocean, including crew) and he will then fly toward the heroes and subsequently fling the trawler their direction.
This isn't the end of his assault, Adam continues to fly behind the thrown trawler and a split second before it strikes he will fly up and over. Expecting the trawler to be caught be Marvel or Shimmer, he uses the distraction to assault Marvel from above.
With a flare of violet light, A giant baseball glove catches the flying Trawler. Meanwhile, Shimmer just laughs, "My Brothel? Oh sugar, You have no idea what you are getting into do you?" To CM's comment she simply smirks and gives a nod. "Now... You, take your moldy old tail back to wherever it is you came from before you find out what this seductress is capable of." With that she launchs several hardlight constructs at Black Adam. Each of them is moving at high speed at an angle that won't hit an unsuspecting CM. "This is not a request. Now."
Thanks to Shimmer grabbing the trawler it allows Billy to be prepared for Adam as he dives on him. All semblance of Billy being hesitant or nervous is gone as he looks up and just at the last second meets Adam with a block, although it does knock him into the ocean.
He blasts out flying, eyes blazing now and says, "YOU TAKE THAT BACK!" He's not surprised that Adam is a misogynistic neanderthal, but he's talking to his friend and teammate and now he's managed to touch a nerve in Billy. Billy absolutely despises bullies and it's clear that Adam is the biggest bully ever.
Now Billy unloads on Adam, hitting him with punches, elbows, knees, headbutts and says, "You... are... a... BULLY! You... don't... deserve... the powers... you were given!" He grabs Adam and snarling throws him high in the air and zooms up after him, intending to smash him down into the sea with a double axe handle at the apex of his height on the throw.
The first strike from above isn't the last. Adam maintains his momentum and as he breaks the waves following Marvel into the ocean, the pink rays aero overhead (or in this case, under foot). The magic allows Billy, Adam, and the others to verbally communicate in space and in the ocean depths. Billy's inflammatory responses are heard by Adam and the fleeing fishes. Blows are struck and Adam takes them without concern. Neither do much more than knock-back in their devastating attacks. Adam returns blows and words in kind. "You know nothing about the word deserve, there is no such thing. One can work to gain, or luck into fate. It was through my works that I obtained my power. It was through luck you obtained yours. The Wizard knew that you would cowtow at his feet and serve him in his pathetic designs for world peace. Designs destined to fail." Then a kick comes and will strike for Marvel's midsection.
Meanwhile on the surface of the ocean, the shock-waves of the blows will erupt in all directions, casting water as high as 500 feet.
Shimmer is about to follow The two magical types into the water. She may not be magic in nature but she can handle fighting underwater. Just before she does in, she stops and sees the insanely high waves of water blasting very high. Her eyes close and she focuses on the love in her heart. Than her voice rings out as she forms a giant Levvy to keep those waves from harming the City. "For hearts long lost and full of Freight. For those alone in blackest night. Accept our ring and join our fight. Love conquers all with violet light!" With the last words her field shimmers brighter than it was before and the giant levy is quickly reinforced.
Billy breaks off from Adam and says, "Destined to fail huh? We'll see about that..." He slams into Adam again and tackles him out of the sea and then says, "You think you're the Gods gift to humanity? Let's see how you do without them..." He maneuvers Adam over his head and calls forth the magical lightning, "SHAZAM!" and holds out Adam as it comes down from the sky.
Being grabbed, Black Adam is taken from the water and instantly identifies Marvel's tactic. He too yells the command word, "SHAZAM!" and will be struck with the initial bolt to be transformed into Teth-Adam. Albeit, another bolt steaks from the heavens and will strike him again, /OR/, will strike Marvel.
Shimmer would be up there trying to help Billy out a bit but... right now there are 300 foot swells slamming into her levy construct which, if removed, would cause mass flooding and major damage to the city. So she stays on the ground holding back the insane strength of the see which is blasting her construct. There is a crack forming in it and it is becoming clear that it is wearing on the Sapphire. Still, she keeps going. Again she speaks the oath she is sworn to uphold. "For hearts long lost and full of freight. For those alone in blackest night..." She cries out in pain and forces herself to stay strong. "Accept our ring and join our fight. Love conquers all... With violet light..."
Billy turns around and covers Teth-Adam's mouth and wraps his legs around his midsection so that Adam can't easily knock him off as he let's himself get hit by the magic lightning and as the two start to plummet to the ocean as he says, "See, here's the thing Adam... I'm willing to sacrifice myself to protect humanity from people like you... You can continue to try and call out your magic word, but I'm not going to let you transform again. Are you willing to die? If you are then we'll fall together and the Wizard will have to find someone else to be Champion... only you won't be around to cause problems for them... So Adam... shall we die together, or shall we consider this a draw and I'll save you."
Twisting from the gag, Teth snarls, and then tries to head butt Billy while doing his best to push him away. (falling takes forever in the comics, so surely they have a few more rounds till splash) Teth screams, "Get off me!"
Billy tastes blood and the blow jars him, but he hangs on for all he's worth and says, "Never... better we both die then you being allowed to wreck havoc. Looks like we've only got a few more seconds before we both end up dead... I'm willing to sacrifice myself to stop you... are you willing to die for your ambitions?" He truly is ready to give up his own life, he's a hero and every hero knows that there's a point where they'll need to sacrifice themselves to stop chaos from getting hold of the world. Billy just hoped it wouldn't have been this soon.
Star Shimmer continues holding back the maelstrom of water. It's brutal to put it lightly. Finally the water recedes enough that she can drop her construct. She drops to her knees for the moment and rubs her head before seeing what is happening to both the magical men.
Billy continues to put himself in front of the lightning and shouts, "SHAZAM!" letting himself be hit once more, the changes come rapidly as Adam attempts to transform and Billy blocks it. The water is quickly approaching and he says, "Goodbye Adam, I'd say it was nice knowing you, but it wasn't... maybe in our next lives we could be friends."
Suddenly both Black Adam and Captain Marvel find themselves surrounded in translucent light. "Not letting you two risk destroying anything in this city. So I am going to take you both somewhere a lot safer." *BOOM BOOM BOOM!* An explosion of speed sends the glass from several windows shattering all over the ground and the a few onlookers. Straight up into the upper atmosphere and clear out into Earth's Orbit.
Again, especially as they are cast into space, Teth yells, "SHAZAM!" trying to preserve himself while he struggles with Billy.
But Billy shouts, "SHAZAM!" continuing to struggle with Adam and stop him from transforming even as he's weakening from the damage done and shouts, "SHIMMER! LET THE BUBBLE GO!" He's grateful for Shimmer's help, but this really didn't improve the situation much. Something's going to have to give, and Billy tries to headbutt Adam back with all his might to try and knock him out. Two can play that game!
Shimmer finally stops and in a loud voice, "Both of you KNOCK IT OFF!" She snaps. "I am pretty sure both of you will have a little trouble breathing out here. CM you aren't suicidal, pull it together. You. I don't know you and honestly I don't give a damn who you are. You are not going to tear up my home. Now if you are both entirely bent on killing each other I will remove this bubble that is keeping you from suffocating and freezing to death. If you both wanna knock it off and find a better way to deal with your differences, I will take you back down into the atmosphere. Am I Clear?"
Bam! Teth takes it in the face busting his nose. He is pissed now, if not a little loopy. He yells "SHAZAM. SHAZAM." Yes, two times. It could end up like abracapocus or pocuskadabra. Who knows.
Billy also is a little loopy and bleeding from his mouth and has a huge black eye and he also shouts, "SHAZAM! SHAZAM!" in quick succession. Finally, exhausted, beaten up and ears ringing (not only from the repeated blows but from Shimmer's blistering, he glares at Adam and says, "Holy moley, you're far too stubborn for your own good! This isn't getting us anywhere... how about a truce for the time being? I can't beat you, but you aren't going to be able to beat me either, and I've got backup coming." He hopes that Batman will be able to get ahold of the stronger Leaguers because this is his limit.
Shimmer looks at Adam and then at Billy. "Good." She flies the pair back down into the atmosphere. She slows up and looks at Adam. "Don't attempt to harm my home again. Or I will drop your misogynistic ass on Venus." Quickly she flies back down to the ground and releases both men. As soon as she gets a moment alone with Captain Marvel she gets right in his face. "What was that? Going suicidal in the middle of a fight. And I had full control over myself.
Billy lands and watches Adam hoping he just transforms and leaves, because Billy doesn't have the energy to fight any longer. When Adam leaves he turns to Shimmer and tilts his head, scratching the back of it and says, "Shimmer... I had to do something, he wasn't going to stop, and I had to stop him. He doesn't care... about anyone... anything. He'd kill everyone in New York without batting an eyelash and has the power to do it too. I figured he'd give up before we hit the water and was going to save him and myself when you captured us in your construct!"
Star Shimmer looks at Billy, "And who'd have saved them!" She points to the whole of Hell's Kitchen. "While you two were pummeling each other underwater I was using all the power I can handle to keep the city from being flooded. It took everything I had to keep that from happening. Then you both were going down for seconds. No. I was not going to let you both go another round and try to kill each other while these people suffered. You asked if I am in control. Yes I am. Are you?"
Billy glances at the city and looks down a bit in shame and says, "I am Shimmer! Gosh, I was trying to stop him for crying out loud." He shakes his head, "I was trying my best... I don't have the experience or fighting skill he does, I don't think even Superman could have beaten him by himself, he's just THAT GOOD!" He turns and reaches into his mouth to pull out a loose tooth and spits out a glob of blood and looks at Shimmer through his swollen eye, "Holy moley, it took everything I had just to get it to this point!"
Star Shimmer steps closer to him, points her ring at him and begins bathing him in violet light. Slowly the light begins working on Billy, Healing him. "I get it. You were doing what you had to. You know I was doing the same thing right? If there would have been a second underwater romp a lot of people would have been wiped out. I'm getting better but I'm not strong enough to have handled that." She sighs. "It sounds like we both need some training in hand to hand stuff."