It’s hard to keep all comic book heroes and villains straight.Dwayne Johnson to play Black Adam in new DC Comics feature film, but even loyal comic readers may not know who the character is.One Posted on June 8th. Here’s a look at this intriguing character and his past.
Who is Black Adam?
In the original comics, Black Adam was a fallen ancient Egyptian with a complicated backstory. He first appeared in The Adventures of Captain Marvel in 1945 (confusingly, not a Marvel character, but an older character that predates Marvel), then re-introduced in the 1970s when the older Captain Marvel Authorized. DC and renamed Shazam.
His real name was Tes-Adam, and he was granted superpowers by the wizard Shazam. However, once in power, he turned bad and decided to conquer the world starting with Egypt. Unable to take back the powers he gave to Black Adam, Shazam exiled Black Adam, who did not return to Earth until 1945.
But the manga story is flexible, and Black Adam’s story has been rewritten several times since his first playthrough. You could spend months digging through old issues and learning about all his storylines. Make no mistake, you don’t need to know Black Adam’s comic book past to understand this movie — DC isn’t going to cut a ton of potential moviegoers.
What are his powers?
He possesses the power of Shazam, whose name originally stood for the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the strength of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. (But later in his comic history, these powers are attributed to the Egyptian gods.)
Either way, he’s kind of like Superman: he’s got everything.Black Adam is shown not even blinking when he is hit in the face with a metal rod, before throwing the person who hit him a great distance. He is also immune to gunfire and he can fly. He can also pick up the Rockets.
Is he a hero or a villain?
Was a villain. He seems to lean that way in the movie. But yeah, moviegoers love rock, and maybe Warner Bros. would love to give him a revelation to make him better. Call him an anti-hero? Like how do people support Tony Soprano even though they know he’s doing bad things?
The trailer teases a tragic backstory involving his son and hints at a moral dilemma when Hawkman says, “In this world, there are heroes and there are villains. Heroes don’t kill.” Black Adam replied, “Well, I would.”
The trailer also tells him that he can be “the destroyer of this world, or you can be its savior”. While Black Adam didn’t say which way he leaned, he was then seen catching a rocket that could kill two regular people in a Scooby-Doo-style van. So at least he’s their savior?
One YouTube commenter in the trailer addressed the dilemma, writing: “Looks like a solid movie, just wish they made him a villain, I understand Dwayne’s star power and how he’s become Hollywood action A hero man, but Black Adam is better than a villain and it’s fun.”
Who are all the characters in the trailer?
In the trailer, Black Adam says he was a slave until he died – and then he was horribly murdered: chopped off and thrown off a cliff. “Then, I was reborn as a god,” he said, adding that his son sacrificed his life to save him, and as a result, “now, I have no one kneeling in front of anyone.”
Pierce Brosnan featured prominently in the movie trailer. He plays Kent Nelson/Dr. Fate, a member of the Justice Society of America and the son of an archaeologist. The elaborate hat he wears is the Helmet of Destiny, which grants him superpowers.
Other JSA members featured in the film are the flying archaeologist Carter Hall/Hawkman (Aldis Hodge); Albert Rothstein/Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), who can change his size and strength; and control wind and produce sound Maxine Hunkel/Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell).
What is the song in the Black Adam trailer?
The background music in the Black Adam trailer is the 2011 song Murder to Excellence by Kanye West and Jay Z. Romanian traditional tune, Purtata Fetelor de la Căpâlna.
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