Born in Northern Egypt during the reign of Pharoah Ramesses II (the famous Ramses) as one of the Pharoah's many sons, the lesser Prince Teth-Adam grew up to become a warrior of great courage and renown, known for his strength of spirit and will. These were developed in a life of privilege, with the finest education and training his people had to offer. By the time he was gifted by the High Priest Shazam with incredible power, he was already a great general, a warrior prince in his father's service. His ambitions were fueled by his new role as Egypt's mightiest guardian, called Mighty-Adam, and his powers turned countless crusades, building an empire. The realm of Kahndaq became his to rule, and while Pharoahs came and went, his power remained absolute, perhaps even greater than those of his rulers. For a long time, Teth-Adam was the very epitome of all that his people considered positive, an unflinching combatant and the unopposable powerhouse of the ancient world. The whisperings of the demonic sorceress Blaze, Shazam's hateful daughter, began to change all this.
While not vulnerable to magical or psychic assault, Blaze worked her magic in a subtle and insidious manner, whispering doubts into Teth-Adam's ear, staging events to fuel these questions, and bloat his own feelings of self importance. Eventually, psychology and spells took root where an attack was fruitless. When a brutal opposing superpowered warlord destroyed Teth-Adam's home, slaughtered his wife and child, he finally snapped. Several centuries as the defender of the land came to an abrupt end as Teth-Adam used his great power to overthrow the Pharoah, appointing himself the permanent ruler of Egypt. He came to believe that he was the only one capable of doing what needed to be done, and in the end, it cost him even more than he had already lost.
Eventually catching up to his wayward champion, the High Priest's magic proved superior. Mighty Adam's powers were stripped, sealed in an ornate scarab, and his name stricken from history. He was dubbed Khem-Adam, Black Adam, denounced by Shazam, his people taken away from him as surely as his power. Without the magic sustaining him, his centuries-old body decayed on the spot, turning to dust. Both scarab and the Prince's remains were entombed in a secret chamber built onto the tomb of his father, where he was meant to lie undisturbed for all eternity.... thus passed a relatively boring series of over 3,000 years, until an expedition unearthed the hidden chamber.
The archaeological dig was led by the Batsons, Billy's parents, and their assistant was a young Theo Adam. It was the find of a lifetime, missed for decades under everyone's very nose. Perhaps it was bad luck, perhaps it was fate that led the trio to that chamber, Teth-Adam's burial plot, but the mystical scarab immediately siezed Theo's mind. He began to covet it, value it above all else. He snuck in to take it, and when the elder Batsons sought to take it from him.... Theo Adam mercilessly murdered them, possessed of a feverish intensity and unable, or unwilling to stop until both husband and wife lay lifeless, leaving their children parentless. Fleeing with his prize, Theo Adam took the scarab back to the United States.
It was his best friend, his sole obsession, a trinket of unimaginable worth that nearly drove him mad before he found what it wanted. He spoke the word, that magic word that would forever change his life, and that of countless others: SHAZAM!. He was transformed into Black Adam, reawakening Teth-Adam and his mighty powers, who overwhelmed the murderous thrall of the godlike power, leaving behind - forever if he has his wish - the simple archaeologist and potential sociopath, and renewing the existence of the ancient Egyptian monarch, filled with determination to stretch his rule well into the modern world.
Teth Adam was born a Prince, trained to be a warrior, taught to be a scholar, honed as a potential Pharoah. King of Kings. The known world was his to rule, the destiny of his people to conquer, to ascend to heights unknown. Pride abounded, confidence was instilled fiercely, and his own ambitions were in line with the good of his kingdom, the will of his father. His satisfaction with his skill, talent, and strength was only compounded once he became Mighty Adam, the champion of the wizard Shazam. When his role as a titanic defender of the realm of Egypt and rule of Kahndaq was eventually corrupted, threatened first by the whisperings of the demonic Blaze, and then the destruction of his family at the hands of a rival superbeing, something inside of Adam went dead. He became Khem-Adam, Black Adam, and the always present traits of ruthlessness and arrogance were pushed to the fore. His will became law, and so it remains to this day. The world is what he sees as corrupt, its inhabitants often weak, petty. In need of a strong hand to guide them, a fierce spirit to show them the way, to discipline an undisciplined existence. At the end of the day, this gives way to a beautifully cyclical existence: what he takes was his right to take, what he does was his right to do, what he does is simply the right thing to do.
Teth-Adam views himself as a god, a divine force among men, a viewpoint encouraged by both his culture and his upbringing, not to mention his nigh-limitless power. He sees the web of lawyers, malleable penalties, and overcrowded prisons as a failure of the modern world. His justice is the true justice, and he has no concern for the myriad of petty laws in place the world over, particularly those which might curtail his own whims and activities. In the end, his judgement trumps all others, despite his ability to listen and weigh many viewpoints. Once he's made up his mind, his mind is often made up, and barring profound new evidence, it is liable to stay that way. 'Right' and 'wrong' are esoteric concepts built off indocrination to justify the compromises of modern society, and Adam forsees a world where the ugly and underhanded are simply ground underfoot, and oddly enough, in which the common man is elevated by devotion to a singular cause, a singular authority.
Perhaps above all things, Black Adam is a warrior. He has a strong concept of when to fight, and how to fight, and possessed of a tenacity and fervor that goes far beyond a simple aspect of his own powers. Without the might of Shazam, Adam is still a formidable force, and with it, he views himself as unstoppable, the rightful heir to not only a nation, but perhaps an entire world. He has little time for subterfuge and falsehoods, and is direct with what he wants, often to the point of literally or figuratively seizing it. Nothing is more disgusting to him than those who cheat and lie to get their way, he views these people as weak, insincere, and of poor stock: the other villains of the world will seldom find a friend in Black Adam, though he may not always recognize the most devious manipulations, particularly if they play into his own ego or vendettas. A fierce fighter and determined monarch, Black Adam has more in common with the most talented conquerors of old than he does with the heroes of today.
Despite his violent acts, Adam does not kill the innocent, he does not use people or violate his own code of honor. Promises, ties to allies, and his debts of whatever variety are of utmost importance to him... similarly, he will not hesitate to pull out all the stops to gain revenge for a betrayal, or punish those who violate his code in heinous ways. With his great wisdom both natural and supernatural, and his unbelievable strength, it is Black Adam's opinion that he, above all others, is in the proper position to make all these decisions, and guide the fate of the world. A destiny that has been denied him for too long, and one he refuses to put off any longer.