Who is Black Adam? Have you ever heard of him? Well, I’m sure you’ve heard of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, the HBO Ballers’ star! So The Rock is going to impersonate DC Comics Black Adam, a DC Comics supervillain. Wait a minute! Have you seen the movie Shazam? Well, the Black Adam movie will be a spin-off from Shazam. Sounds complicated?
No worries, I’m here to help. Image from Screenrant.com
Let us start with some explanations on Shazam and the rest will follow. Shazam and Black Adam are linked, since the latter is a recurring enemy of superhero Shazam. But it is even more complicated than that. Follow me!
Image from Fandom
Shazam, also known as Captain Marvel, is in fact Billy Batson, a 12-year-old boy. When he says SHAZAM!, he turns into a costumed adult with the following, very useful, if you ask me, powers: superhuman strength, speed and flight, inter alia.
SHAZAM is the acronym of 6 immortal elders: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury. Shazam historical enemies are Black Adam, Mister Mind and Doctor Sivana, all super villains.
Shazam belongs to DC Comics and issued from the mind and hands of Bill Parker and C.C. Beck, who created this character in 1939.
William Joseph ‘Billy’ Batson is a newsboy who lives in a New York City subway station. One fine day, a man asks him to follow him in the subway station, where he introduces him to a very old man who reveals to him that he is the Wizard Shazam and that he has used the powers of the six gods to fight evil for the past 3000 years. Retirement approaches and he has chosen Billy to be his successor. Et voilà!
The Story of Black Adam
Black Adam story is complicated, if you ask me. And why is that? To start off with, Black Adam is like Shazam, meaning, he too is a mortal. And like Shazam, Black Adam was chosen by the Wizard Shazam to be his successor.
Teth-Adam, aka Black Adam, gets his powers also from 6 gods, but from (made-up) Egyptian gods: the stamina of Shu, the strength of Hershef, the power of Amon, the wisdom of Zehuti, the speed of Anpu, and the courage of Menthu.
In my opinion, the most obvious – and most interesting – reason why Black Adam is such a complex character lies in the fact that the question remains whether he is a super hero or a super villain. And that’s where the Justice Society of America enters the scene, but I will talk about this a bit later.
Image from Screenrant.com
The Shazam Wizard chose Teth-Adam to be his successor because of his presumed moral purity. So, what happened? Well, endowed with these powers, Teth-Adam became the protector of Egypt. Until the day his wife and kids were murdered by his enemies. That changed everything. But not only this. Blaze, the daughter of the Shazam Wizard, corrupted Black Adam by stealing his soul. That what she does, Lady Blaze: as a half-demon, she steals souls.
Convinced by Lady Blaze that he should rule Egypt, Teth-Adam kills the Pharaoh and takes his place. Made aware of this, the Shazam Wizard removes the powers given to Teth-Adam, who instantly dies. Teth-Adam is now called Black-Adam, since his mind is darkened by corruption.
In the 20th century, Theo Adam, an archaeological aide, discovers Black-Adam tomb, while excavating Ramesses II gravestone. He finds out the scarab necklace where the Wizard Shazam had encased Teth-Adam powers. He steals it and goes back to America. What happens next?
Black Adam vs Shazam
What I did not expressly tell you earlier on is that Billy Batson is an orphan. He was left behind in America while his parents, C.C. and Marilyn Batson, were part of the Malcom Expedition, which aimed at excavating the tomb of Ramesses II.
During that expedition, as we have seen earlier, Theo Adam killed both Billy’s parents in order to keep for himself the scarab necklace.
When Theo Adam meets for the first time with Billy, who was under the appearance of Captain Marvel, he realises that he is actually the reincarnation of Black Adam. By saying Shazam, he becomes empowered with the six Egyptian Gods powers and starts fighting against Captain Marvel, revealing to him that he had killed both his parents. And this is how the battle between Shazam and Black Adam started.
It reminds me of one version of the story of the origin of the fight between Batman and The Joker, if we take into account the version where it is told that it is The Joker who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents.
Justice Society of America and Marvel Family
Justice Society of America is the first team of superheroes in comic books. You probably know its latest version, the Justice League of America. I shall revert to that later.
So, we have seen earlier that Shazam is the historical enemy of Black Adam. Well, Billy Batson met three boys with whom he shared the same name. The Shazam Wizard also gave them special powers. As a result, the four boys are known as the Marvel Family, or the Shazam Family. Black Adam finds thus himself with more foes to fight against.
Additional members of the Marvel Family joined later, namely: Captain Marvel junior, Mary Marvel and Uncle Marvel. But of course, this was not enough for Black Adam, he needed more enemies, and that is where the Justice Society of America came into play.
And this is where it gets more complicated, because originally, Black Adam was a villain, then he started to show respect towards the Justice Society of America, then he finally became part of this team, and then left it.
What I would like to emphasize here is the personality of Black Adam: let us not forget that his family was murdered. He gained super powers and was seeking revenge, which is highly understandable. He was also under the influence of a demon, which, from a psychoanalysis perspective, we can interpret as being blinded by rage and sorrow.
Black Adam’s actions were violent and sometimes not pointed towards the right direction. He is essentially human and, as we all know, life is certainly not definitively black and white. There are plenty of grey areas. I can’t wait to see the movie based on this DC Comics character!
Black Adam: The Movie
I do not think I ever told you, but I love Dwayne Johnson. I discovered him in the sequel of the Get Shorty movie, called Be Cool, where he plays a fantastic character. I won’t tell you more, you need to see this for yourself.
Black Adam The Movie will be shown in theaters as from the 22nd of December 2021. Patience, patience! But Dwayne Johnson already said that the Justice Society of America will take part in this first chapter of the adventures of Black Adam. I can’t wait! What about you? Tell me more in the Comments’ section below!