Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Shazam!
The Shazam! movie has proven a hit, and a sequel is already on the horizon. But before fans get excited to see Black Adam as the villain of Shazam 2, the first movie shows that he might end up playing the hero instead.
Since the movie hit theaters without Shazam's most iconic nemesis, the reasons for his exclusion have become clearer. Simply put, The Rock is the reason Black Adam missed Shazam!, after Dwayne Johnson implied that he figured it was the best move. He has also reassured fans that the Black Adam movie starts shooting sooner rather than later, telling the origin story of the villain/antihero. And while some fans might claim that Billy has finally proven himself capable of taking on Adam in his second film, the actual events of Shazam! say otherwise. Billy Batson doesn't need a villain--he's probably going to need Black Adam's help.
- This Page: Black Adam is a Villain, But Not Necessarily 'Evil'
- Page 2: Shazam 2's Biggest Threat isn't Black Adam, It's Billy
Shazam Reveals Black Adam's Origin Story
Dwayne Johnson may not appear in the movie, but that doesn't mean his character Black Adam isn't a key players in the events that led to the film. Just in case casual fans missed the references, we'll remind them of the history lesson offered to Billy Batson by the wizard Shazam. With a slam of his staff magical sparks flesh out the world that was, as Shazam recounts the fall of the Council of Wizards:
"Long ago we chose a champion... and we chose recklessly. He used his power for revenge, releasing the Seven Deadly Sins into your world. Millions of lives were lost. Entire civilizations erased from existence."
It's a vague reference, but those who know the comic book upon which the film is based also know that the poorly chosen champion is none other than Black Adam. However, fans should do some thinking before they take the Wizard Shazam at his word. Not necessarily on the facts of his account--Black Adam did result in the destruction of the Council of Wizards in every version of the story--but the morality and judgement he passes may not be flawless. After all, the movie demonstrates how his cruel treatment of an abused child proved to be his undoing.
Not to mention that Black Adam's betrayal is specifically referred to as 'revenge.' That demands an explanation, and his solo movie is almost certainly going to deliver. In the process, showing that the Wizard Shazam wasn't telling the whole story.
Black Adam's Movie Can Make Him an Antihero
The version of Black Adam waging wars in the DC Comics Universe may be hard to mold into anything but a supervillain... but that's not exactly the same Adam that Geoff Johns wrote into his new Shazam! origin comic. In that version of the story Adam returned as the previous champion, being seen as brutal and extremist simply due to the world he had lived in before being locked away for millennia. His crime? He wanted revenge upon the barbarians who had conquered, enslaved, tormented, and slaughtered his nation's people... including his brother and sister.
To get it, he became a despicable villain. But the mvoe version of his story wouldn't have to change much to get the point across. The wizard Shazam was right: Adam sought revenge, and released the Sins to get it. But if his motives remain the same--to take revenge for the dead, and subject those who would enslave the innocent to the horrors of their own sins--well, plenty of revenge movies and iconic antiheroes are based on less noble or understandable causes.
Assuming that's the story told in The Rock's Black Adam movie, it wouldn't make much sense for him to emerge as the villain of Shazam 2. At least not when the biggest threat to the world isn't himself, Dr. Sivana, or even magic... it's Billy Batson and his new family of superhero siblings.
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Black Adam release date:
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