DC Comics is making some big changes to Black Adam and how readers perceive him – but how far will they really go in changing him?
It’s become pretty clear over the past few months that DC Comics has made a concentrated effort to reintroduce Black Adam to new readers. The Shazam villain has never been more popular, as the character will have his own solo film starring Dwayne Johnson and is set to become part of the Justice League in the next run of the series. Is DC changing Black Adam’s identity? It certainly appears so.
Black Adam’s longevity in the comic book world wasn’t by design. First appearing in Marvel Family #1 by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck, Black Adam actually was killed in his first appearance and wouldn’t return to comics for nearly 30 years, when DC Comics acquired the rights to Captain Marvel, the character now known as Shazam. In more modern stories, DC has played with the idea of making Black Adam a hero, as the ruler of Khandaq has largely been an antihero in the comics. However, it appears like the magical character will be making a full-time step towards heroism going forward.
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The push to make Black Adam more heroic definitely got bigger thanks to the Black Adam solo. With a star as big as Dwayne Johnson taking on the role, it’s obvious he’s slated to become a key player in the DCEU. Redeeming Black Adam for a new audience isn’t the worst idea, as Johnson’s charisma and strength lend themselves well to heroic portrayal – DC’s even made the comic Black Adam look like Johnson in a Future State series where he’s completely reformed. It’s not just the DCEU where Black Adam is changing. In Brian Michael Bendis’ upcoming Justice League series, Black Adam is on the good guy’s side. It might seem like a strange choice, but it’s a great way to slowly lay the stones for Black Adam to become a full-blown hero.
However, with Black Adam becoming more of a hero, there’s bound to be some, bizarre rumors about what the next chapter of the character will feature. BleedingCool.com reported that Bendis’ run on Justice League will have Black Adam going by a new name altogether, Shazadam. That name, which is truly ridiculous, has seemingly been refuted by Bendis in a tweet.
It seems, for now, Black Adam will keep his name, but it’s obvious DC’s plans are for him to go on a much more heroic trajectory going forward. How much the character changes due to future DCEU plans remains to be seen, but for this generation of readers, Black Adam will be a much different character – fighting alongside the Justice League in one comic, while looking like Dwayne Johnson in another – than longtime comic fans are used to – and that’s not a bad thing.
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