Black Adam: Origins
Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re exploring Black Adam: Origins.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the anti-heros’ checkered history so you're ready for his flight from comic page to the big screen.
What other DC anti heroes deserve a solo-film? Sound off in the comments!!
In the ancient, fictional civilization of Kahndaq, a headstrong warrior named Teth-Adam defended his nation from a coordinated supervillain attack. Despite his best efforts, Teth-Adam’s country, wife, and children all perished in the battle. He swore vengeance by whatever means necessary, and later got his wish from the wizard, Shazam. The geezer saw a righteous heart in Teth-Adam, and bestowed upon him the godly abilities needed to reclaim his land and avenge his family. All he had to do was say the wizard’s name, “Shazam.” Then, under the name “Mighty Adam,” the new hero easily reconquered his nation. But, alas, he didn’t stop there. Teth-Adam succumbed to his anger and slaughtered those who murdered his family.
Disappointed in the turn of events, Shazam trapped his protege in a tomb, locked his power in a scarab, and gave him a new title: “Black Adam.” Five thousand years later, the mystical eye of a Doctor named Sivana deciphered the runes on Adam’s tomb, releasing him and his power to the world. Time had done little to quell his anger-issues, and Adam was initially outraged over the lenient laws of modern day. In his fury, he attracted the attention of someone who had almost an identical set of powers. Enter Billy Batson, the modern inheritor of Shazam’s abilities, and Black Adam’s arch nemesis.
The two had their fair share of quarrels, but soon enough, Adam began to question his unbending views of right and wrong. So, he ended up saddling with the Justice Society for America. At least, for a while. Since Billy was also a part of the team at the time, it was far from a smooth tenure. While the two weren’t exactly enemies anymore, they could never be friends. Instead, Adam found a comrade with fellow society member, Atom Smasher. Unfortunately, the two fed into each other’s warped views of justice. Eventually, when they became fed up with the JSA’s merciful ways, the two resigned from the organization to set off on their own.
First thing on Adam’s to-do list was to reconquer Kahndaq, which had been overtaken by yet another dictator. Black Adam carved a bloody path through enemy forces to liberate his people, and at the end of the day, sat atop the throne of the nation. Even when the Infinite Crisis event threatened all of reality, Adam continued to put Kahndaq above all else. He technically sided with the villain’s plot to harness the cataclysm’s energy, but only because they were the first to offer his nation protection. Plus, after they mind-controlled him into cooperation, Adam returned the favor by allying with the heroes to stop the doomsday event. It didn’t make him one of them, but it was a start.
Later in his rule, Adam fell in love with a woman named Adrianna, who would later awaken into the hero, Isis. The two got married, and thanks to her influence, Adam became a much more benevolent leader. He even went as far as offering a piece of his own power to save a dying boy, who they later named Osiris. Together, the three of them were something of a happy family. Unfortunately, Adam’s time as a stay-at-home-Dad didn’t last long. The Four Horsemen of Apokolips infiltrated Kahndaq and murdered both Osiris and Isis in cold blood. In her dying breath, Adam’s wife asked him to avenge them. Spurred on by his family’s death wish, he set off to find the mastermind behind the attack.
Naturally, an unchecked, all-powerful God on a vengeful crusade led to some severe wreckage across the world. Heroes, monuments, and even full-countries fell at the hands of Adam’s uncontrollable rampage. It was soon dubbed “World War III,” and became the top priority of superhero teams all over. After several failed attempts to subdue him, even Adam’s old friend, Atom Smasher, realized what had to be done. As a last ditch-effort, several cosmic heroes banded together to revert Adam back into his human form. Now powerless, he only escaped execution thanks to Atom Smasher, who couldn’t bear to see his comrade die. Instead, with the help of Billy Batson, they changed Adam’s mystical word from “Shazam” to prevent him from calling on his power ever again.
With no family, no powers, and no friends, Adam’s only reason to keep living was his quest to resurrect his late beloved, Isis. He technically succeeded by means of the Lazarus Pit, but the Adrianna that emerged was not the one Adam fell in love with. She was deranged, overpowered, and sought to destroy all of humanity. But, Adam, blinded by love, decided to go along with her wicked plan nonetheless. Even worse, after randomly stumbling upon his new word, Adam regained his abilities. You could say the two became a power-couple in more ways than one. Their nefarious plot immediately put them in the crosshairs of the Justice Society.
In the scuffles that follow, Isis murdered several of Adam’s followers from Khandaq. Taken aback by her cruelty, he finally realized that this is not what the real Adrianna would have wanted. Thanks to some time-traveling shenanigans with the Flash, Adam then got a visit from Shazam himself. The wizard explained that the only way to purify Isis was for Adam to revert his powers back to Shazam. So, he happily abandoned his abilities in hopes of saving his beloved for good. But, Adam only got a moment to cry out his wife’s name before Shazam turned them both to stone as punishment for everything they’d done.
A few comic reboots later, Black Adam bolted back onto the scene, powers and all. At first, he seemed right back to his evil ways. But, eventually, his lust for revenge wavered, and he decided to try and honor what the original Adrianna would have wanted. So, with some help from the Man of Steel himself, Black Adam enlisted with the Justice League. Admittedly, it took a while to smooth over their lengthy history of differences. But, eventually, Adam, back under the moniker of “Mighty Adam,” became a worthy addition to the team.
Outside of comics, Black Adam has proven to be one of the most prominent recurring figures across DC Media. Whether it be animation, video games, or cameos, he’s never been too far away from the action. Nowadays, he’s finally getting a proper live-action debut with his very own solo film. He’ll be played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who’s promised that, just like the comics, Black Adam isn’t quite a hero or a villain. Instead, he’s just a guy with superpowers who’s willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants - even if it means busting a few heads in the process.