Spoilers will potentially follow here but Black Adam may face not just one but two foes in his big cinematic debut, one a cartel with ties to Superman and the New Gods.
We already know about Sabbac from toy leaks and promotional art, which show what Aladdin actor Marwan Kenzari looks like as the demonic Shazam clone, but thanks to a “Data File” from the toy line we are now learning his true identity and who he works for.
The File obtained by Cosmic Book News reveals that the DCEU version of Sabbac is Ishmael Gregor and that he is a leader in the criminal organization Intergang.
“Possessed by a demon, a military Intergang leader transforms into Sabbac, the only being whose powers are equal to those of Black Adam,” the file reads.
It continues, “Determined to take over Kahndaq and maybe the whole world, Sabbac must be stopped, and the fiercely autonomous Black Adam may need the help of some unlikely allies to outmatch him.”
When you take into account Superman and the Shazam Family, the idea that Sabbac is “the only being whose powers are equal to those of Black Adam” obviously isn’t true, though it is still accurate to say he has more than enough power to match the antihero and conquer Kahndaq.
To defeat his enemy and save his kingdom, Adam will have to team up with “unlikely allies” the Justice Society, led by Hawkman, who is another big part of the movie and the toy line.
Ishmael Gregor is not the first Sabbac but he is probably the best-known version to modern readers. A Russian mobster obsessed with the occult, Gregor procured the power of the entity from its original avatar, Timothy Karnes, through a mass murder ritual.
Created by Judd Winick and Tom Raney, Gregor was also the first to popularize Sabbac’s more familiar fiery, satanic look that pervades the comic pages these days.
The addition of Intergang is a nod to the legend Jack Kirby who created the group alongside the New Gods in 1970. Over the years, they’ve been a thorn in the side of Superman and Metropolis with the space-age weapons they get from Apokolips.
At different times, the mob-like organization was overseen by Lex Luthor, Darkseid, and Morgan Edge but in their most noteworthy appearance in other media, they were led by Bruno Mannheim and later Granny Goodness in Superman: The Animated Series.
The mention in the Sabbac toy’s Data File might be a simple reference that doesn’t go anywhere in Black Adam’s plot but it is a telling callback to Darkseid and The New Gods, which could prove the upcoming release is firmly set in the Snyderverse.