Who Is Black Adam And What Are His Powers And Weaknesses?

Black Adam is powered by Johnson’s performance and its promise of an exciting future, though suffering from repetitive plot beats and thin characters.

It’s made clunky by too much exposition, the villain is one-dimensional, and there’s an over-reliance on spectacle over character and story and is set nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the ancient gods—and imprisoned just as quickly—Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson)

Now, to be clear, the gods of Ancient Egyptian mythology aren’t as tied to specific roles as their Greek or Roman counterparts. But Shu has been known to be equated with Atlas (perhaps because he’s associated with the space between the ground and the sky), hence the “stamina” he grants Black Adam.

The swiftness of Heru, well…you might know Heru better as Horus, the Ancient Egyptian sky god. Maybe not as traditionally associated with speed as Mercury is, but that’s what Adam’s creators put here, so that’s what we’ve got. In any case, it’s Heru’s name which grants Black Adam traditional superhero super speed. Neither he nor Shazam are as fast as the Flash, though, and perhaps roughly as fast as Superman. This “swiftness” is often what is said to allow him to fly as well.

Amun, who grants Adam his great strength, was one of the most important gods of the Ancient Egyptian pantheon. How strong is Black Adam? Well, according to the comics, he can go toe to toe with Superman, and that’s certainly something that Dwayne Johnson keeps hinting at.

The wisdom of Zehuti makes more sense if you think of Zehuti by his more well known name, Thoth, who was the god of wisdom, science, writing, and more. Anyway like Billy’s “wisdom of Solomon” trait, it’s a little hard to quantify what this all means in terms of Black Adam, but he’s certainly been “wise” enough to rule the nation of Kahndaq (he is, as you might expect, a bit of a strongman), so there’s something to this.

Aton is essentially the sun god, something akin to the Greco-Roman Apollo, albeit more conceptual. The equivalent of this with Shazam is “the power of Zeus” which is usually represented as the lightning powers that have been added to the character in recent years, as well as resistance to magical attacks. And yes, as we see in the movie, Black Adam isn’t shy about using those lightning abilities to fry the crap out of his opponents.

The “courage of Mehen” is the equivalent of Shazam’s “courage of Achilles.” Of course, the demigod Achilles is more readily associated with courage (particularly on the battlefield) then Mehen, a snake god. Still, don’t expect Black Adam to back down from a fight, and while not exactly a good guy, he does have a code of ethics that he adheres to…even if it’s unlikely to align perfectly with what other heroes expect.

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Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
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