The Backstory of Black Adam: Is the movie different from his DC origins?

Black Adam is DC’s self-proclaimed anti-hero, who doesn’t shy away from destruction and murder. But like a lot of superhero stories that are brought to the silver screen, Black Adam’s tale is also tailored a little differently from its DC origins.

So, what exactly is the difference between Black Adam’s comic and film origin stories?

In the comics, Thet-Adam/Black Adam is a prince, who the Wizard Shazam deems worthy of becoming a champion. However, in the film, Black Adam is depicted to be a slave who received his powers from his son, Hurut, Kahndaq’s original Shazam champion.

Want the full origin story? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered. Read on:

Comic Origins

Black Adam's Backstory: Is the movie different from his DC origins?
Black Adam wielding Aton’s lightning powers

Black Adam made his comic book debut in Marvel Family #1 (1945) as a one-off villain, and then later resurfaced as an anti-hero.

The Wizard Shazam was looking for a champion to protect Kahndaq (a fictional Egyptian-like country) and found Prince Thet-Adam to be worthy.

Shazam is actually an acronym that stands for the gods from which the champion receives their powers. For Billy Batson and his family, it’s from Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury.

For Black Adam, he calls upon the Egyptian gods Shu, Heru, Amon, Zehuti, Aton, and Mehen.  

Black Adam's Backstory: Is the movie different from his DC origins?
Black Adam doesn’t shy from causing massive destruction

A little while later when Kahndaq was attacked, Adam’s rage-filled nature was revealed. With skewered ethics, the infinitely powerful Adam could have been a huge problem to the world.

So, the Wizards trapped him in a scarab and buried him in a tomb. Only centuries down the line, his scarab would be found by Theo Adam—the notorious assistant to archaeologists C. C. and Mary Batson.

Awakening Black Adam, Theo Adam would become his human vessel.

Film Origins

Black Adam's Backstory: Is the movie different from his DC origins?
Black Adam

In the film, Black Adam is not a prince but rather a slave serving under the regime of king Anh-Kot. (Anh-Kot seems to be a play on the villain Ahk-Ton, who was one of the people to attack Kahndaq in the comics.)

Initially, the audience is led to believe that it is Black Adam who was chosen by the Wizard to overthrow the tyrannical Anh-Kot and free the people of Kahndaq. But later, we find out that it was Black Adam’s son, Hurut, who was the champion bestowed with Shazam’s powers.

So, then how did Black Adam get these powers? In order to get Hurut to stop fighting, Anh-Kot tried to kill his parents. Hurut couldn’t bear to lose his father, Black Adam, and so transferred his powers to him. Sadly, the then-powerless Hurut gets struck by an arrow and dies.

Black Adam's Backstory: Is the movie different from his DC origins?
Hurut sacrifices himself for his father, Black Adam

Surging with grief and the powers of different gods, Black Adam kills all of Anh-Kot’s men. But before he can do any more damage, the Wizards arrive and cast a spell on him to keep him asleep and trapped.

As we see at the beginning of the film, it is Adrianna Tomaz who accidentally awakens him while looking for the Crown of Sabbac.

In the comics, Black Adam always harbored a dangerous side in him. But the film goes down a more sympathetic route by making his rage a reaction to the injustice he had borne as a slave and a father who had lost his son.

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About Black Adam

Black Adam is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics fictional supervillain, directed by Jaume Collett-Serra. It is a spinoff of the 2019 movie Shazam!, and the 11th film in the DCEU franchise.

Black Adam is the antihero to Shazam and possesses the same powers as the white-caped superhero. But after being imprisoned for 5000 years, he is finally free, and now, the Justice Society of America, a team of superheroes, must stop him before he fulfills his mission to wreak havoc on the world that rejected him.

The film stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Black Adam, and joining him are cast members Noah Centineo, Aldis Hodge, Sarah Shahi, Marwan Kenzari, Quintessa Swindell, Pierce Brosnan, and Viola Davis.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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