Kai Colaco takes a look into DC’s action-packed film ‘Black Adam’, the first-ever feature film to explore the story of the DC Comics anti-hero which comes to the big screen this October.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gets a fitting role for his super personality and body of work in DC’s action-packed film ‘Black Adam’. The first-ever feature film to explore the story of the DC Comics anti-hero comes to the big screen this October under the direction of Jaume Collet-Serra.
Johnson stars alongside Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Sarah Shahi as Adrianna, Marwan Kenzari, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone, Mo Amer, Bodhi Sabongui, and Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Fate.
Atom Smasher is a particularly interesting character choice when you set it alongside Dwayne Johnson’s eagerness to frame Black Adam as an anti-hero rather than a straight-up villain.
The plot of the film, as told by DC, unfolds like this: “In ancient Kahndaq, Teth Adam was bestowed with Amighty powers of the Gods. After using these powers for vengeance, he was imprisoned, becoming Black Adam. Nearly 5,000 years have passed, and Black Adam has gone from man, to myth, to legend. Now released, his unique form of justice, born out of rage, is challenged by modern-day heroes who form the Justice Society: Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Atom Smasher and Cyclone.”
‘Black Adam’ is Johnson’s first venture into the superhero realm, with the actor developing the project for more than a decade. Created by Otto Binder and C. C. Beck, the character is one of the arch-enemies of the superhero Captain Marvel (aka Shazam) and the nemesis of the Marvel family. Thousands of years before Billy Batson became a magically-empowered hero, the wizard Shazam selected another champion. Teth-Adam or “Mighty Adam” began as a hero of humanity. Later, he allowed his power to corrupt his ideals and desires. One of the world’s foremost wielders of magic, Black Adam has been both hero and villain over a life that’s spanned thousands of years.
Since the turn of the 21st century, however, Black Adam has been redefined by DC Comics writers Jerry Ordway, Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer as a corrupted villain attempting to clear his name and reputation.
There are two individuals associated with Black Adam: Teth-Adam, his original form, and Theo Adam, his descendant. Let’s start with Teth-Adam. Although Teth-Adam originally hailed from ancient Egypt, in the DC continuity in the modern era, his home country has been switched to the fictional country Kahndaq.
The 1994 comic book series ‘The Power of Shazam!’ showed Teth-Adam as being the son of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II, and after impressing the wizard Shazam, he was granted the ability to become the superhuman Mighty Adam upon saying the wizard’s name. For centuries, Mighty Adam used his amazing abilities to protect Egypt from its enemies, but he was later corrupted by a woman revealed to be Blaze, Shazam’s daughter, and went rogue, becoming Black Adam. After learning of Adam’s turn to the dark side, the wizard stripped him of his powers, which caused Teth Adam’s age to rapidly catch up with him, and eventually he became a dried corpse.
Fast forward to thousands of years, and that brings us to Theo Adam, who accompanied Billy Batson’s parents on an expedition as their aide.
How Does Black Adam Fight?
Black Adam calls upon his powers the same way Captain Marvel and Shazam do: by exclaiming the word “Shazam!” Initially in the New 52, the names that make up the Shazam anagram are the same as the hero Shazam’s; Black Adam has the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. Black Adam’s abilities are almost exactly the same as Shazam’s. He can fly, has super strength, is incredibly durable, is extremely fast, can cast magical lightning strikes and can call upon a vast amount of knowledge.
Black Adam’s villain Sabbac
Just as Shazam and Black Adam draw strength from six powerful Gods, Sabbac is empowered by six of the worst demons in the DCU. Sabbac’s mortal host need only speak its name to transform into a super-strong, fire-breathing demon capable of going toe-to-toe with the world’s most powerful heroes.
Black Adam may think of himself as a God among men, but even his power is dwarfed by Sabbac. Sabbac’s patron demons are Satan, Aym, Belial, Beelzebub, Asmodeus and Crateis. He is technically one of DC’s oldest villains with his first appearance coming way back in 1943’s Captain Marvel, Jr. #4. However, Sabbac will finally make his proper, live-action debut in the ‘Black Adam’ movie which will release in theatres on October 21, 2022. Get set to watch the unfolding of centuries!