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An antihero returns in the first trailer for Black Adam

Have you ever wondered why Dwayne Johnson has dedicated over a decade of his life to bringing Black Adam to the big screen? As originally conceived, Black Adam was just a villain who was the darker reflection of Shazam (back when he was still allowed to be called Captain Marvel). Within the last two decades, Black Adam’s portrayal in the comics has shifted from an unrepentant bad guy to an antihero who isn’t truly evil. But it’s a real stretch to call him a good guy.

The first trailer for Black Adam shows off some of the title character’s impressive powers after he is freed in modern times. This may be one of the reasons why Johnson was so drawn to him. Black Adam has Superman-level strength, and no desire to hold back. The Man of Steel may prove to be more powerful, but Black Adam’s ruthless streak may place him on a higher plateau. As the film’s tagline says, “The hierarchy of the DC Universe is about to change.”

There is a tragic side to Black Adam as well. He was once a mortal man named Teth-Adam, who was chosen by the ancient gods to be the defender of his people in the nation of Kahndaq. Whether Black Adam betrayed the gods, or if they betrayed him is open to interpretation. The outcome is that Black Adam spent thousands of years locked away. But now he’s back, and the world has good reasons to fear him.

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam.

You may have noticed that there are other superheroes in this movie. They’re the Justice Society of America, a team led by Hawkman (Aldis Hodge). Only a small roster of JSA members are slated to appear in this film, including Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), and Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan). They have impressive talents, but even their combined powers pale in comparison to Black Adam’s might.

Jaume Collet-Serra directed Black Adam from a script by Adam Sztykiel, Rory Haines, and Sohrab Noshirvani. The film will finally hit theaters on October 21.

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