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As Dwayne Johnson Bulks up for Black Adam, Let’s Do a Quick Refresher on the Supervillain

sometimes supervillain sometimes antihero black adam

(image: DC Comics)

It may have been forgotten by some, but there is a Black Adam film coming out fairly soon starring Dwayne Johnson in the titular role. The actor posted a picture on his Instagram showing off the work he has been doing.

“The hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is about to change. Training and prep for #BlackAdam has been a grind but this passion project outweighs the sacrifices,” Johnson declared in the picture’s caption while looking even larger than usual. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the film is scheduled to arrive in theaters Dec. 22, 2021. So who exactly is the Egyptian (later Khandaqian) character Teth-Adam/Black Adam?

Created by Otto Binder and C. C. Beck back in 1945, when the character of Captain Marvel/Shazam belonged to Fawcett Comics, he appeared in a one-shot and faded away, only to return in the 70s as a relatively big name under the writing of Geoff Johns, David Goyer, and others, with some rehabilitation being done to his character.

In the original Fawcett canon, he was an Egyptian man named Teth-Adam, who was chosen for his purity by the wizard Shazam to be the champion. Originally, like Captain Marvel, he was given the powers of the Greek/Roman gods, but it was eventually changed to be the Egyptian gods in the ’90s (Shu. Heru. Amon. Zehuti. Aton. Mehen). Teth-Adam, however, decides to take over the world because #ultamatepower. Shazam, unable to remove the powers, renames the now-corrupted hero Black Adam and banishes him to a distant star. Second star to the right and straight on till morning distant.

He gets back to Earth after 5,000 years but gets dusted by Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr., and Mary Marvel.

Black Adam wouldn’t make a return to the page until Pre-Crisis, but his real return to being a threat came in 1994 with Jerry Ordway revamping the character as the son of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II. He still gets chosen by the High Priest Shazam for being pure, but instead of going instantly evil, he serves as Egypt’s champion for many centuries but then … he is seduced by a woman! Shazam’s evil daughter, Blaze. I mean of course she’s evil when her folks gave her the name of a Pokémon.

She convinced Black Adam that the two of them should rule Egypt together, so Adam makes his wicked turn. Shazam depowers his former champion and seals him in a tomb. Black Adam then is unsealed by Theo Adam and fuses with this new host, bringing the reign of evil back. Eventually, Theo Adam would regain control and attempt to redeem himself by joining the JSA.

Black Adam’s most recent origin reboot came under the work of writers Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer. They redefined Adam’s personality and background, transforming him into a tragic figure who is driven to murder after the slaughter of his wife and children. After getting his revenge, the wizard Shazam removes Adam of his powers and kills him because revenge is not pure. This is also when he is changed from being Egyptian to Khandaqian.

Despite the frustrating “women in refrigerator” element, it is very likely that the last backstory will probably be the version Dwayne Johnson plays, because The Rock’s brand is good guy, and it allows him to have a Punisher-like edge while still being seen a hero, or at least a complex antihero. He is still best known for being an arch-enemy of Shazam and I’m hoping that we do get some of that because we need more good POC villains.

Shooting begins in the summer and that means we should be getting a look at Johnson in the costume sooner rather than later. Honestly, considering how really cool the black and gold looks, I’m sure he is gonna look amazing.

(via CBR)

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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.