Black Adam - Hero or Villain?

white and blue pencils

By: Patrick Beech

Much-awaited Black Adam starring Dwayne Johnson is set to be screened in Malaysia this Thursday.

The 50-year-old actor plays the role of an enslaved man who is reborn with the magical powers of gods.

In the original comics, Black Adam was a corrupted ancient Egyptian whose original name was Teth-Adam, and the wizard Shazam granted him superpowers.

However, once loaded up with 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 instead banished Black Adam, who didn't make it back to Earth until 1945.

Black Adam's powers are almost similar to Superman. He's got it all. He's impervious to gunfire and he can fly and also catch rockets.

In 2009, Black Adam was ranked as IGN's 16th-greatest comic book villain of all time. The character made his cinematic debut in DC League of Super-Pets (2022), voiced by Johnson, who subsequently is starring as the character in its live-action debut in the DC Extended Universe film.

While Black Adam has been both a villain and a hero in DC comics, the movie seems to portray him as more of an antihero.

In the trailers, Hawkman, a hero whose part of the Justice Society of America, tells Black Adam, "In this world, there are heroes, and there are villains. Heroes don't kill people." Black Adam then responds by saying, "Well, I do." While it's easy to label him a villain, Johnson has referred to the character as an antihero on social media.

The YouTube description for the second "Black Adam" trailer also features the tagline: "There are heroes, there are villains, and there is Black Adam," hinting he's somewhere in the middle of a hero and villain like an antihero - a protagonist who doesn't show very heroic qualities.

This could tease Black Adam may make some questionable decisions in the film. While it's totally possible DC could officially turn Black Adam into a villain by the end of the movie, for now, it seems he's just an antihero.

Black Adam will definitely be a major force that other characters like Superman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the Justice League may have to deal with in future films.