Shazam! It’s Dwayne Johnson, the Rock! Super-pumped, Dwayne Johnson sizzles as Captain Marvel’s ancient nemesis. But will original art collectors exclaim Shazam–or Holy Moley–when looking for Black Adam original art at mere mortal prices?
Black Adam One-Shot
At least four decades ago, we picked up the hardbound book Shazam! From the 40s to the 70s. That book included the first appearance and origin of Black Adam that appeared in Marvel Family #1. What I didn’t realize at the time–the 1945 story published by Whiz–it was Black Adam’s ONLY appearance in comics during the forties, fifties, sixties, and most of the seventies! Of course, Black Adam died in that ‘one-shot’ long ago, but when did that ever stop a good villain?
Black Adam vs. Shazam: Thirty Years Later
Over thirty years later, Black Adam returned with the help of Sivana in Shazam! 28. The 1977 comic from DC holds the honor of first cover appearance for Black Adam. And the marvelous treat, glorious battle art from the Shazam and Black Adam face-off appeared for auction in 2021. Kurt Schaffenberger’s panel page from issue 28 fetched $9,000. A nice price obviously influenced by pre-movie hype.
I’ll back up that claim by pointing to the sale of the Shazam! 30 title-splash in late 2021. It received only $2,400. Art from comic book keys continues to create high collector demand. For more on the Black Adam keys, check out Matt Tuck’s article.
Alex Ross Art: Shazam vs. Black Adam
Alex Ross’ style is particularly fitting for the Captain Marvel family. Traditional art for those characters didn’t follow the chiseled hardbody look of other characters during the same time frame. I love the Black Adam painting by Ross that I incorporated into the feature image art. That painting adorned the cover of Justice Society of America #23. It sold in 2018 for $13,145.
I read that issue to see what is going on with Black Adam. It seems that the series may have helped to create a movie-ready character. By the way, the cover art above from Justice 9 is the highest sale price of Black Adam art I could find on Heritage Auctions. It sold for $22,800 this year.
New Black Adam Art for Sale
I was a little surprised to find so little Black Adam art currently or previously for sale. Possibly, many pages of newer art featuring Black Adam hasn’t made it to auction houses like HA, ComicConnect, or ComicLink. However, I did find two pieces of Black Adam original art up for sale on ComicLink. Both artworks were created for cards.
The one by Douglas Alexander pictured above pops similar to Alex Ross art. The auction still has a long way to go, and I’m not familiar with the artist, so I can’t predict a final price.
Another piece of art features pencils by Peter Krause. This card art could attract the attention of Krause’s Power of Shazam! fans. Krause was a major contributor in the 1995 series. The Power of Shazam! series pits Black Adam against the Marvel family, so it also presents a good place to look for published Black Adam art.
Time to Go See the Rock
I haven’t seen the movie yet. But my tastes are low brow, so I expect Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam mixing it up with Hawkman and other DC heroes should be entertaining. So, while you’re waiting for popcorn, why not read my Price is Right article and guess the final sales prices for John Romita’s ASM 88 art. And speaking of prices, don’t go too far out overpaying for Black Adam art.
Let’s see if the movie builds a sustainable audience for the character.