One of the most beloved and cult-like followed villains in the DC universe is Black Adam, the counter to Shazam! Recently, news broke that a Black Adam film starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is due out in 2021. This is very exciting for fans. But in case you are new to Black Adam, I figured I would provide a brief history of the character. Here goes.
Black Adam shares a convoluted history with Captain Marvel of Fawcett Comics (the original version of Shazam that was eventually licensed and converted in DC Comics). The only appearance of Black Adam is in The Marvel Family #1, which was printed back in 1945. Adam was a normal human from ancient Egypt and was granted powers similar to Captain Marvel by the Wizard Shazam. Soon corrupted by his infinite powers, the newly dubbed “Black Adam” was banished to the furthest reaches of the universe by the Wizard. Enraged, the villain returns to Earth to seek his revenge, only to be tricked into his demise by Uncle Marvel (side note, google this guy).
When the Fawcett Comics’ characters were licensed in 1973 by DC, many of the original characters were reintroduced. This included the Marvel Family who was converted into the Shazam Kids, Mr. Mind, and Tawky Tawny. The original reintroduction of Black Adam occurred the same year DC licensed the character, 1973, in Shazam #8. It was a reprint of the original story from 1945 and would represent the first appearance of the character under the DC title. It would be another few years until we would get the first original Black Adam appearance in the Bronze Age.
In 1977, Shazam #28 included the return of Black Adam, which also had a great cover appearance. Black Adam again seeks to destroy the Wizard and the Rock of Eternity but is stopped in a similar defeat to his original story-line. With the announcement of a Black Adam film, this book has been snagged off the market quickly, and new copies are being listed at a premium. With 33 copies on the census, this should be a rare gem to hold in your collection until the release of the movie. If you can find a copy that has not been blasted with a huge price increase, I recommend snagging it up. The Marvel Family #1 is going to be a little trickier to find on the market in the higher grades, and graded copies, in general, are expensive for most collectors. Shazam #8 is a bit rarer on the census and currently has a Fair Market Value (FMV) that should be enticing for any collector or speculator as we get closer to the movie release.
The modern version of the character is more of an anti-hero looking for redemption. I expect the movie version, that “The Rock” was referencing when tweeting, will follow more along these lines than the historical villainous version from the Gold and Bronze Ages. It will be interesting to see how the Black Adam character is developed and what the ultimate story integration with Shazam will bring. Shazam! was a great, fresh take on the superhero genre and I hope that they will continue to make strides to be different…especially when compared to some other DC offerings.
Are you excited for Black Adam? Do you think Dwayne Johnson is a good choice for the character? Drop your comments and join the speculation!
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