Black Adam’s story in Future State sheds light on a hero who turned against the other heroes, almost dooming the universe in the process.
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for “Black Adam – Chapter Two: The End of the Beginning” in Future State: Suicide Squad # 2 by Jeremy Adams, Fernando Pasarin, Oclair Albert, Jeremy Cox and Wes Abbott, on sale now.
The future state of the DC Universe has been something of a mixed bag for DC heroes. There have been multiple world-ending events in the possible timeline, including cruelty, which was unleashed during another apocalyptic scenario. But even with all its vast power and allies, the Unkindness still lacked the ability to access the last sanctuary of DC’s surviving magic users in the DC One Million era, the Tower of Destiny.
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However, that changed when he struck a deal with Resurrection Man to permanently end his life in exchange for entering Future state: suicide squad # two.
Mitch Shelley debuted in Resurrection man # 1 by Andy Lanning, Dan Abnett and Jackson Guice. Raised by a strict father, Mitch grew up to become a lawyer like his hated father figure. Unlike his father, Mitch chose to use his work to give criminal organizations legitimacy as an act of spite against his father. Eventually this little act of rebellion lost its zeal and Mitch tried to present evidence against the various criminals he had been representing. This led to an attempt on his life by the criminals in question.
Shelley managed to escape death, but was left with amnesia and wandered the streets like a homeless man. Later, Mitch was picked up by the lab, a secret group conducting illegal experiments on immortality. They kidnapped several other victims and injected them with nanotechnology known as tektites, which would supposedly revive them. Tragically, only Mitch came back to life, but what made him so special was a mystery to everyone else involved, including Mitch himself.
But his new abilities came with some unexpected benefits. Mitch was not immune to damage or death, but he would not overpower him for long. Mitch could survive any kind of injury, devastating though it was. But this was not the limit of his new powers. Whenever she is resurrected, Shelley is also born with a new ability.
His powers also gave him great longevity, as he survived well into the 853rd century, just in time to witness cruelty begin to dismantle everything. Mitch had apparently been captured and tortured by Vandal Savage, before being rescued by Wonder Woman from the Legion of Justice, who led him to Teth Adam. Grateful to have a safe and peaceful place to live, Mitch became Adam’s advisor.
But despite his new peaceful life, all was not going well with Mitch Shelley. He had never been a superhero, despite his extraordinary abilities. He never wanted or asked for anything that happened to him. And yet he managed to survive so many deaths, some unimaginably painful. But nothing could compare to watching his loved ones die while he carried on. So when cruelty first appeared, a being capable of permanently erasing something from existence, Mitch finally saw a way out.
She promised him a true death if he took her to the Tower of Destiny. Together, they manipulated the other heroes, sending them on a futile search, with the ultimate goal of leading them to the Tower of Destiny. The plan worked and Mitch gave his latest monologue on how horrible it was to live forever when he opened the door to cruelty. He got what he wanted, the end of his existence, but in doing so he lost everyone else’s chance to live their own lives.
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