It’s hard to keep all the comic book heroes and villains straight. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Stars as Black Adam in a New DC Comics Feature Film, but even loyal comic readers may have no idea who this character is. A was released on June 8. Here’s a look at this intriguing character and his past.
Who is Black Adam?
In the original comics, Black Adam was a corrupt ancient Egyptian with a complicated backstory. He first appeared in 1945 as a side character in the Adventures of Captain Marvel (confusingly, not the Marvel character, but an older character that predated Marvel’s inception) and was then reintroduced in the 1970s when the old Captain Marvel was licensed by DC and renamed Shazam.
His original name was Teth-Adam and the wizard Shazam granted him superpowers. However, once he was full of power, he turned evil and decided to conquer the world, starting with Egypt. Shazam couldn’t take back the powers he gave Black Adam, so he expelled Black Adam, who didn’t come back to Earth until 1945.
But comics are flexible, and Black Adam’s story has been rewritten several times since its first run. You could spend months sifting through old issues and catching up on all of its storylines. There’s no doubt that you don’t need to know anything about Black Adam’s comedic past to understand the film – DC isn’t about to eliminate a large number of potential moviegoers.
What are his powers?
He has the powers of Shazam, whose name originally represents 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 book history, these powers are attributed to Egyptian gods.)
Anyway, he’s a bit like Superman: he’s got it all.doesn’t even let Black Adam blink when he is punched in the face with a metal rod, after which he throws the man who hits him a huge distance. He is also impervious to gunfire and he can fly. He can also catch missiles.
Is he a hero or a villain?
Originally a villain. And he seems to be leaning that way in the movie. But hey, moviegoers love The Rock, and maybe Warner Bros. be tempted to give him a revelation that does him good. Do you call him an antihero? Like how people supported Tony Soprano even though they knew he was doing bad things?
The trailer teases a tragic backstory about his son, suggesting a moral dilemma when Hawkman says, “In this world there are heroes and there are villains. Heroes don’t kill people.” Black Adam replies, “Well, I do.”
In the trailer, he is also told that he can be “the destroyer of this world, or you can be its savior.” Though Black Adam doesn’t say which side he’s leaning to, he spots a missile that allegedly killed two commoners in a Scooby-Doo-esque van. So at least he’s THEIR savior?
One of the YouTube commentators on the trailer elaborates on the dilemma, writing: “Looks like a solid movie, I just hope they keep him as a villain, I get Dwayne’s star power and how he is the Hollywood action hero, but Black Adam is much more interesting as a villain.”
Who are all those characters in the trailer?
In the trailer, Black Adam says he was a slave until he died — and then he’s brutally murdered: cut and thrown off a cliff. “Then I was reborn as a god,” he says, adding that his son sacrificed his own life to save him, and as a result, “Now I kneel before no one.”
Pierce Brosnan features prominently in the movie trailer. He plays Kent Nelson/Doctor Fate, a member of the Justice Society of America and the son of an archaeologist. That elaborate hat he puts on is the Helmet of Fate, which gives him super powers.
Other JSA members appearing in the film are Carter Hall/Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), an archaeologist who can fly; Albert Rothstein/Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), who can change his size and strength; and Maxine Hunkel/Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), who controls the wind and generates sound.
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. It is a sample of a traditional Romanian tune, Purtata Fetelor de la Căpâlna.
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