Black Adam Destroyed The Council (in The Comics)
When Geoff Johns rebooted the Shazam mythology and hero as part of DC's New 52 relaunch, he did away with much of the existing origin story for Black Adam, the most iconic villain to Captain Marvel (the name Shazam used to be known by). Where Billy Batson was a hero for whom his family was his greatest strength, Black Adam was a villain, who proved willing to kill his own nephew to keep the powers of a god all too himself. A failed judgment that turned out to be the end of The Council of Eternity, and the existence of magic to all but a few who resided on Earth.
The exact details are a little fuzzy - whether Black Adam was chosen as Shazam's champion, or by the entire Council - but the ending was the same. Black Adam sought to claim the power held by The Council of Eternity's members, and killed each of them to get it. In the end, only The Wizard Shazam was able to rely upon the living lightning to resist Black Adam. He sealed him away, and closed The Rock of Eternity for millennia. The world forgot the age of magic as The Seven Deadly Sin remained imprisoned under The Wizard's watch... until the inevitable happened. The Sins were released, as was Black Adam.
And despite his previous attempts to find a "worthy" champion, The Wizard has no choice but to begin his interview process. A parade of unworthy heroes that eventually led to Billy Batson, a boy with the potential to do good with the gifts of a god. A boy who would have to stand against Black Adam and either defeat him, or allow Adam to become the sole master of the living lightning.
Will Black Adam's Movie Be Shazam's Prequel?
Once again, this is all speculation on our part, and it is entirely possible that director David F. Sandberg and the heads of DC Films have concocted some alternate origin story. One in which Black Adam never existed, and the extinction of The Council of Eternity simply faced over time. It would make for a much less interesting and thematically resonant story, potentially, but it is possible. The good news is that even if Shazam! leaves the question unanswered--even allowing The Wizard to allude to The Council's doom, without explaining how it happened--the door is left wide open for Black Adam.
As Dwayne Johnson has said from the very beginning, the reason that his version of The Wizard's former champion deserves his own movie is because he's not a villain at all. In the star's mind, Black Adam is an antihero, and the hero of his own story. Though we don't know how much the Black Adam movie will change comic canon, his story isn't hard to frame as a just one: he was given powers to take revenge against the monsters who killed his people. Brutal, yes. But not without reason or understanding. And a story that requires only The Wizard and The Council of Eternity to make the film a direct prequel to Shazam!
Will Black Adam rebel against The Council, slay them all, before being defeated and locked away by The Wizard? It would make for an incredible ending to his own, after the fact prequel--but again, it's not strictly necessary, so long as Shazam! leaves the current state of The Council unexplained. The fans will know what transpired, whether the film states it or not.
It's only our theory, but it's safe to assume until stated otherwise. So before we start imagining how Black Adam's escape from his prison in a Shazam! post credits scene could put the entire thing into motion, we'll just stick to crossing our fingers.
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019