Dwayne Johnson promised that the power dynamic of the DCEU will change when his portrayal of Black Adam finally hits theaters after a long wait. The production took over a decade to manifest and the film itself was pushed back several times in the last two years.
Many take Johnson’s promise to mean Black Adam will be recognized for once as one of DC’s mightiest heroes after decades of being seen as a villain and later on as an antihero.
Others believe the ruler of Kahndaq has already maximized that potential and proven his worth as a hero, and they may be right, but only if they choose their cases in point carefully when building their argument.
You see, support for the idea Black Adam is a hero doesn’t boil down to saving cats from trees or foiling a bank robbery, and it doesn’t end at doing whatever it takes to free his people either.
In an article from ScreenRant, it’s suggested what makes him such a great hero in the making is his “tenacity” in doing anything to achieve his goals. This includes killing and eating his followers to survive.
Yes, SR argues a resolve that stoops to cannibalism can make Black Adam “the ultimate DC hero, outweighing the likes of even Batman or Superman.”
It’s not an act you often see Teth Adam commit nor one that he’s had to even without powers, but a time did arise in a story once when he seemed to require a loyal traveling companion to sacrifice himself so Adam can live and complete his mission.
The moment came in the miniseries Black Adam: The Dark Age by Peter Tomasi, Doug Mahnke, and Christian Alamy in which, deprived of his powers, he was on the run from super-types and world governments that want to put him on trial for various crimes.
At the same time, he is on a quest to resurrect Isis, his wife, that takes him and a companion across a freezingly intemperate mountain range. This is the point where he kills and consumes his willing follower.
The article argues the dark turn “shows how Black Adam can be the topmost hero” because it proves he lets “nothing stand in the way of him doing what he feels is right. If that means resorting to cannibalism to survive, Black Adam will do it without hesitation.”
He also somehow proves he has humility through the act, in the author’s mind. Before killing his partner on the journey, Black Adam shows he is “grateful” when “he makes it a point to graciously thank the follower for his sacrifice every day.”
The writer never satisfactorily explains how gratitude ameliorates cannibalism or what makes it heroic in any way. Instead, he moves on to talking about how Black Adam would be a better hero than Superman; he just has to be more inclusive and open-minded.
“His sense of superiority is what has driven him to commit atrocious acts, and leading a large group of devoted followers only fuels that fire,” the piece says.
“However, if he can be convinced that his view of the world is wrong, and that he should adapt his beliefs and ideologies to include all people, then Black Adam has the makings and tenacity of an extraordinary hero,” it continues.
The writer acknowledged “Even Superman’s suggested that Black Adam would be a better hero than him,” but he is bogged down by that superiority complex. Fortunately for him, there is an easy fix to his problem.
“He’s recently opened his mind to other ways of thinking, so if he can adopt an all-encompassing worldview, then Black Adam would certainly surpass Superman as DC’s ultimate hero,” concludes the article.
In other words, forget what you know, eat the soylent green, adopt everybody else’s ideas and you too can go from zero to hero. Heck, you’ll be better than Batman or Superman hands-down.
Johnson’s turn as Black Adam hits theaters in October. He gets brutal when presented with a threat after he wakes up from a long sleep, and goes further according to the star and his producer Hiram Garcia, though there is no sign he sinks to the level of Armie Hammer.