The evolution of Black Adam through his 21st-century career has generally transformed the character into an intricate and perfect shadow of Superman and DC.
The post-credits sequence for Black Adam confirms the return of the DCEU version of Superman, who Henry Cavil performs. After defeating Sabbac, Black Adam announces himself as Kahndaq’s protector. After which, as Amanda Waller warns him via drone that he must stay away from the world or risk being at, he persuades her to show one of her biggest weapons. Superman comes down and asks whether Black Adam would be willing to discuss the matter with him in the future.
It’s a significant moment which teases a long-awaited battle between Shazam, the Man of Steel and Khandaq’s champion. However, it also does not seem to be in line with a trend of the struggle of Black Adam against Superman more often than against Shazam, his alleged adversary. There’s a reason behind it, though, because the re-invention of the character of Black Adam in the early 20th century set him up to be the ultimate DC superhero.
How Black Adam Went From Shazam Villain To DC Fixture
The character was initially introduced as one of Captain Marvel’s antagonists within The Pre-Crisis DC Universe; Adam was a part of the team when Adam was brought back to the role of a villain in Jerry Ordwell’s the Power of Shazam! Graphic novel. The character grew increasingly morally questionable in his time with JSA and began as a nemesis and then tried to make himself an integral team member. In this period when he started to display more moral complexity.
He was driven to help others but also inclined to commit horrific actions if it was to benefit the greater good. In various ways, this quiet began to establish Black Adam less as an antagonist against Billy Batson — who, in that time, went through several changes, including the replacement of Shazam as the wizard Shazam due to the events that led up to the Infinite Crisis.
His role in creating the massive 52 made him an all-encompassing character, not simply the Shazam villain. It gave the character a distinct personality in the DC Universe as a tragic villain who occasionally served as a morally questionable anti-hero. Logically, he’d ultimately be with Superman, the foundational character that the entire DC Universe is built atop.
Both had functionally similar abilities, including super-strength, super-speed speed and endurance. Black Adam deriving his powers from magic gives him an advantage over Superman due to his vulnerability to supernatural forces. Both were also determined through their mission to protect other people. However, Superman’s selfless dedication to protecting life is against Black Adam’s more ruthless strategies. In the theory of things, their powers are strong enough that they could be a threat to each other, especially when they’ll never truly see eye-to-eye.
Why Superman & Black Adam Work With (And Against) Each Another
Superman and Black Adam’s interactions have resulted in many exciting conflicts between the two characters, specifically in recent times. After the events of Dark Nights: Metal, Black Adam is shown to be taking the more heroic side as the future state version fighting with Billy Batson against the Four Horsemen and his current version has joined the Justice League.
His darker side has been present; however, Adam’s actual power in the face of Superman was revealed through Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths and Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths, but with the appearance of a distinct Man of Steel. Jon Kent has spent most of the time in contrast with Adam and doing his best to stop his Teammates from following Adam’s dark motives for lethal methods of justice.
In essence, Black Adam makes an excellent contrast to the superheroes by displaying the most distinct form of morality. In an environment where death was not uncommon and executed with no accountability, Adam’s brutality makes more sense. His actions, although in the end heroically, are performed without mercy. This contrasts wonderfully with Superman, who is willing to lend a hand before bringing a fist to hit.
It puts Adam as the ultimate dark counterpart to the ideal of heroics in the centre of the DC Universe and best personified by Superman. This is why Adam is an intriguing contrast to Superman, the Man of Steel — and why fans want to see them fight in addition to the Super-Strength punches.