Since moving away from only making Batman and Superman movies, the DCEU has finally started to get a little more interesting. Movies like Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Shazam, The Suicide Squad, and Birds of Prey might not all have done big box office numbers but they did add some amazing characters into the mix. And the next big name from the comics making his debut is Black Adam. So, who is Black Adam and how powerful is he?
Starring Hollywood heavyweight Dwayne Johnson as the titular character, Black Adam is currently scheduled to hit theaters in the summer of 2022. These days, all release dates should be taken with a grain of salt. When the movie does finally open, expect it to do big business. This is a character with the power levels of Superman and Shazam without the same moral compass. But for some fans, the character still might be a little unfamiliar.
Black Adam makes his debut
The journey of some comic book characters isn’t exactly cut and dry. Several notable DC Comics characters got their starts with other publishing companies like Charlton Comics. That includes the likes of Blue Beetle and Captain Atom. The character of Angela famously debuted in the pages of Image’s Spawn. She then made an incredibly acrimonious transition to Marvel Comics. It was a whole thing.
Sometimes a villain, sometimes a hero, Black Adam made his debut in Fawcett Comics in 1945. He only appeared once in the original run of these Captain Marvel stories. Born in Ancient Egypt, Teth-Adam was selected by the wizard Shazam to gain his powers and become his champion. His name was Mighty Adam and he was supposed to be the greatest hero of his generation. Unfortunately, things did not go that way.
Teth-Adam was corrupted by his newfound powers, becoming the evil Black Adam and eventually the enemy of Captain Marvel/Shazam. The wizard Shazam couldn’t remove his failed champion’s powers, so he banished Black Adam to the furthest star away from Earth in the galaxy. It took 5000 years for him to fly back to the planet, arriving in 1945. He faced off against Shazam and the rest of the Marvel Family, which ended in his death.
Eventually, Fawcett Comics went under and its characters were sold to Charlton Comics which was the home of other heroes like Peacemaker, Blue Beetle, and more. In 1967, Marvel Comics bought the name Captain Marvel for their own comics. Then in 1972, DC Comics licensed the original Captain Marvel, though they subsequently changed his name to Shazam due to Marvel Comics’ ownership of the original name. This was how Black Adam ended up in DC Comics.
Black Adam joins DC Comics
30 years after his death in Fawcett Comics, Doctor Sivania resurrected Black Adam in the pages of DC Comics. He would become a prominent villain in the pre-Crisis era of DC Comics, fighting Shazam and working with a variety of supervillain teams. But in the 2000s, Black Adam went in a much different direction, one that may be reflected in the upcoming movie.
In the new millennium, Black Adam made the transition from being a full-on villain to being more of an antihero. While he has still a pretty selfish guy and prone to acts of extreme violence, he often found himself working with heroes instead of against them. Ultimately, it all came down to what suited him best at the time. That doesn’t mean that he’s a good guy in the least, just the type of superpowered individual who looks out for number one.
While he isn’t always in regular use, this character has a strong fanbase in the comics. The movie itself will be an interesting leap forward for him as he hasn’t really had a lot of exposure in other media forms. He has appeared in a few animated films and TV series but no significant video game or live action appearances. This upcoming film is a big step forward for the character.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see him get a comic book push leading into or out of the movie, particularly if the film is remotely popular. But seeing him star in his own video game could also be extremely interesting. This is a being with an incredible power set that puts him on par with the likes of Superman. But unlike Superman, it wouldn’t have been out of character for Black Adam to outright murder General Zod.
How Powerful is Black Adam?
When Captain Marvel/Shazam speaks the name of the Wizard Shazam, he is granted the powers of various members of the Greek pantheon. The premise is the same for Black Adam though the gods involved are different. He is powered by the gods of Ancient Egypt, each one of them gifting him a different ability. They provide him with incredibly enhanced stamina, speed, strength, wisdom, and power.
The sixth power granted to him is the most interesting of them all as it’s far less tangible than the others. Defined simply as courage, it is a spiritual and psychological enhancement. His discipline and resolve are almost unparalleled meaning he rarely gives up on any task or fight. Another side effect of this ability is that it makes him immune virtually all forms of telepathic manipulations.
In addition to the fact that Shazam is powered by Greek gods and Black Adam is powered by Egyptian gods, there is another massive difference between them. Shazam’s alter egos is a kid named Billy Batson. When he speaks the Wizard’s name, he transforms into the ultra powerful Shazam but he spends most of his time as Billy. Black Adam only turns back into Teth-Adam if he absolutely has to. At this point, Black Adam is his regular form.
Black Adam is stronger than Superman
As previously mentioned, Black Adam’s power puts him easily on par with Superman. But what makes this match up so compelling is that Superman is actually vulnerable to magic, which is what powers Black Adam. This gives him an edge over the Man of Steel. And it’s one he has had no problems exploiting in the comics. It would be interesting to see this play out in a live action films, as well.
We’ll have to wait and see for ourselves for the movie adaptation but based on the comics he is an absolute powerhouse.
Are you looking forward to Black Adam? Let us know in the comments below or over on any of our social media accounts @GeeksGonnaGeek. As always, thanks for reading.