Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam

‘Black Adam’ SDCC 2022 Trailer Has Me Excited To See Where DC Takes an Anti-Hero

One of the many trailers shown at SDCC 2022 was another of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s upcoming DC Comics film, Black Adam, which teases the fact that the titular character will be much more of an anti-hero than a hero.

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When he was first introduced, the character of Black Adam was a villain. An ancient Egyptian named Teth/Theo-Adam (depending on the incarnation), he was granted the power of the gods, much like Shazam was. Black Adam had the powers of the Egyptian gods (Shu (stamina), Hershef (strength), Amon (power), Zehuti (Thoth) (wisdom), Anpu (speed), and Menthu (courage)), but decided to become evil. As a result, the wizard who gave him his powers banished him to the furthest star. 3000 years later, he would go up against Shazam and was the character’s major rival for some time.

In recent comics, through the writing of Jerry Ordway, Geoff Johns, and David S. Goyer, the character was turned into an anti-hero, who is from the North African nation of Kahndaq and is a militant defender of his nation. His turn to villainy is due to the murder of his wife and child, due to his people being conquered. That emotional complexity has been at the heart of the character since then and very much bleeds into the character Dwayne Johnson will be playing.

Johnson has been playing heroes and comedic roles for some time, but the North remembers his time as a Heel in wrestling, and in The Mummy Returns playing a bad guy. Since he was announced as Teth-Adam, I have been wondering how much on the anti side of the anti-hero they will allow his character to be. Depending on how this film does, there are plans to make him a rival of Shazam, Superman, and maybe even Wonder Woman, as producer Hiram Garcia explained.

“We have always had a vision of where we saw we wanted this to go,” Garcia told Collider. “We’ve never viewed this as just a one-off movie. I’m such a gigantic comic book nerd and fan, and I love this universe so much, if you can tell from my excitement about talking about all these things. I’ve always gotten into this with a vision of, ‘This is the story we want to tell, this is where we would love to see this go, this is how we would see multiple pictures play out, possibly including spinoffs for individual characters,’ but there’s always been a rough, kind of loose outline in our head on an imaginary whiteboard of how we’d want to do it. As we’re making that, we start to look at that a little bit more. But, again, ultimately, we need the movie to be received well and we want fans to like it, but there’s 100% a vision of what we’d like to be doing in a multiple picture aspect when it comes to Black Adam and the JSA.”

With this kind of long-term planning, it will be interesting to have Adam’s morality truly be grey. We are lacking in those kinds of characters right now in the DCEU that aren’t on the R-rated track of films (Suicide Squad, Peacemaker, Birds of Prey, etc.), not to mention that DC is known for its iconic villains, and Johnson knows how to be bad with charm. I am ready for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to be part of the darker morality scale onscreen again.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)


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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.