WARNING: the following contains spoilers for Black Adam.
Black Adam. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The Little Mermaid. What do these three movies have in common? Their leading actors are Black and the Black community is looking forward to these movies
Black Adam was released on Oct.21, 2022. The movie is produced by and stars actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The character originates from DC Comics, Marvel’s main competitor. Households across the country often debate which franchise is better.
In my world, Marvel has been in mainstream media for a long time now. However, DC and Marvel have been competitors for decades now. Some of Marvel’s well known characters include Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America and many more. Some of DC’s well known characters include Batman, Superman, The Joker, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and many others.
Black Adam became popular in the past few months. As a nineteen-year old college student in 2022, this was my first time hearing about Black Adam. I wasn’t too excited to see this movie but I knew that Black Adam is part of DC and that DC is a rival to Marvel. This viewpoint caused the movie to have some potential, so I went to go see what it was about.
As I was sitting in the theater, waiting for the movie to start, I was told that there were demonic symbols displayed in the movie within the first thirty seconds. As someone who was raised in the church, this made me wary, but I pushed on.
Sure enough, within thirty seconds of the movie, a pentagram is seen carved into the chest of the king, but let us not get ahead of ourselves.
The movie is two hours and four minutes long. This is important because there appears to be two plots within the movie. The first plot revolves around how Black Adam was released from his prison and how the Justice Society of America and the people of Kahndaq, Black Adam’s home, reacted to his release. The second plot revolves around how Black Adam escapes from his second imprisonment to save Kahndaq and the world from the demon Sabbac.
Let’s dive into the first plot. The movie starts off by explaining Black Adam’s origin. Black Adam’s real name is Teth-Adam. The death of his son, Hurut, is what causes him to become Black Adam.
Hurut notices the injustices done against the people of Kahndaq. They were enslaved by their own king to mine eternium, which is a glowing blue-purplish rock. The king wanted eternium to create the Crown of Sabbac, seaking to have the powers of a god.
Frustrated with the treatment of his people, Hurut decided to take a stand by reminding the people of Kahndaq that they are stronger together. Out of fear of an uprising against him, the king killed Hurut. However, the Council of Wizards–who are six powerful beings that gave Black Adam his powers–had other plans
The Council of Wizards gave immense powers to Hurut, which he uses to rally against the king and fight for his people’s freedom. During this revolution, Teth-Adam gets a fatal blow from the king’s soldiers. To save his father, Hurut transfers his power to him. After Hurut transferred his powers, the king’s soldiers shot him with an arrow, killing him.
In response to his son being killed, Teth-Adam seeks revenge. While seeking revenge, Teth-Adam kills the king, destroys the city of Kahndaq and the majority of its inhabitants. This is when he starts going by Black Adam. Due to his actions, the Council of Wizards locks him in an eternal jail and hides the Crown of Sabbac.
Okay, let’s take a step back. Throughout the movie, there were extravagant action scenes. I personally felt that many of the scenes were in the movie as fan service. I felt like DC was trying too hard to make the movie exciting.
Another example of a scene that seemed a bit much for me was when the Justice Society of America was sent to fight Black Adam. The Justice Society of America boarded a jet that was underground. When the jet was ready to take off, the cameras zoomed out on a very elegant garden. This garden opened up and out came the jet. In my opinion, the visual effects in this scene were low quality making it stand out from the rest of the movie.
Focusing back on the plot, in search for the Crown of Sabbac, Adrianna Tomaz, a refugee from Kahndaq, intentionally frees Black Adam. She frees him because Intergang–the group oppressing modern day Kahndaq–are trying to kill her because she found the Crown of Sabbac.
The Justice Society of America is sent to fight and persuade Black Adam to say the word “Shazam” and give up his powers because he is too powerful and can’t control his anger. When his anger gets out of control, he destroys everything around him.
Ashamed of his actions, Black Adam concludes that he does not deserve the powers that the Council of Wizards bestowed upon him so he says “Shazam”. The U.S. government then locks him up in a highly secure facility under water.
Let’s take another step back. At this point in the movie, I thought it was over. Multiple battles and fighting scenes have already happened, a lesson was taught, lives were saved, and yet the movie is still going. Although I enjoyed the plot, I feel like there were too many things going on in too little time.
Back to the story: A descendant of the king and member of the Intergang obtains the Crown of Sabbac. The descendant ends up dying holding the crown in his hand. The crown is taken by the Justice Society of America to be studied. Adrianna figures out the true meaning of the words engraved into the crown and says these words out loud, “Only death can lead to life”.
Once those words were spoken, Hell’s champion, Sabbac, rises from hell and brings destruction to the city of Kahndaq. The Justice Society of America tries to fight him but they know only Black Adam can defeat him. So the Justice Society of America contacts Black Adam for his help.
Black Adam breaks out of jail, says “Shazam” and gets all his powers back. He then flies to Kahndaq and saves the city and the world from Sabbac. He remains in Kahndaq as their protector.
In conclusion, I enjoyed Black Adam. I rate it an 8/10. It lost two points because, to me, there was too much going on in this movie. I also expected more from the movie visually. However, I do recommend this movie.