WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Doomsday Clock #5 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, in stores now.
With the release of each new issue of Doomsday Clock, the status of the DC Universe grows more and more unstable. Tensions are rising against the superheroes on a worldwide scale, and it feels like it's about to reach a boiling point. There is an eerie sense of foreboding in every page of the newest issue of the series, and it feels like the worst has yet to come.
Thanks to the Superman Theory, the thesis that (falsely) stipulates that most of the world's metahumans were soldiers created by the US government has led to more and more of a chastising of people with superpowers. The masses are rapidly turning on the superhero community, and it's causing massive civil unrest. The media isn't helping matters, fueling this hysteria with every news segment or article that cements the Superman Theory as a fact and not a lie.
It's come to the point that many ostracized metahumans are fearing for their safety, no matter which country they stem from. Seeing this situation rapidly devolve, a fan-favorite DC ant-hero puts his foot down in Doomsday Clock #5, in a very big and public way -- Black Adam has entered the story.
Black Adam first appears halfway through the issue as part of a television news segment on covering the live execution of American journalist Jack Ryder (yes, that Jack Ryder) at the hands of Kobra Cult in the middle of Syria -- far away from Adam's usual stomping grounds, his nation of Kahndaq. Though we initially only see a blur of electricity, Adam saves Ryder by brutally ripping the head off of King Cobra. But while his arrival is essentially off-panel, he later stops to talk directly to the camera. He declares that the nation he rules will offer asylum to any metahuman that feels persecuted by its government.
Thanks to the news anchor's exposition, we learn that while Black Adam used to preside solely over Kahndaq, his interference in saving Jack Ryder in Syria effectively broke the international law he used to abide by. By doing so, Adam has just created an international incident that will only worsen the worldwide views of metahumans, and further fuel the Superman Theory's supporters. However, his offer to protect any metahuman who seeks asylum is also a massive power-shift. If the metas answer his call, Kahndaq will become a nation of superpowered individuals, and a massive target will be painted on its back.
It's both a good thing and a bad thing, depending on what Black Adam hopes to accomplish. Either way, he's getting a super-powered army and, if someone with his temperament and views decides to strike, it will be a bloodbath. Black Adam may have just declared war on humanity, and in the process has positioned himself as an important political and super-powered player as Doomsday Clock prepares to enter the second half of its overarching plot.