Black Adam: Rock Headlines DCEU Film That is Both Exciting -- and Meaningless

FTC Statement: Reviewers are frequently provided by the publisher/production company with a copy of the material being reviewed.The opinions published are solely those of the respective reviewers and may not reflect the opinions of or its management.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. (This is a legal requirement, as apparently some sites advertise for Amazon for free. Yes, that's sarcasm.)

Black Adam

This week sees the release of WB's Black Adam to the HBO Max streaming service, something which I've been looking forward to seeing ever since the post-credit scene was leaked from theaters to the Internet.

Dwayne Johnson takes the role of the titular Black Adam, a precursor to Captain Marvel (the original one, who says "Shazam") by about 5000 years. In the comics, Teth Adam was selected by the wizards to weild the power of their champion, but the power corrupted him and they imprisoned him. In this 2022 film adaptation, the story gets a tweak which is important to the plot so I won't detail it here for those who have yet to see the film. It's an acceptable twist, and it helps make the character be a little more understandable.

Adam is resurrected in Kahndaq, a fictional Middle-Eastern country, that has been forever overrun by one faction or another. Currently, that faction is Intergang, which would tie to the DC universe in a way that would ultimately involve Darkseid and the New Gods. He is awakened by archaeologist Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi) who is seeking a relic known as the Crown of Sabbac (another Captaiin Marvel villain of yore). However, her trusted companion Ishmael (Marwan Kenzari) has other plans for the crown and is using Intergang to help procure it. When Adam is awakened during the fight over the crown, he quickly assesses the situation and violently puts down all the aggressors, until he hs injured by a missile laced with Eternium, a rare element native to Kahndaq (and a tie to the Rock of Eternity, where the wizard Shazam lives).

Unwilling to adjust to his modern surroundings, Adam nonetheless takes some coaching from Adrianna's son, Amon (Bodhi Sabongui) on how a super-being should dress and act, insistent on the fact that he is not a hero. He is, however, a threat known to others in the world, including Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), who calls in a favor with the Justice Society -- Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan), and Hawkman (Aldis Hodge). Several fight scenes ensue, incorporating action, humor, and special effects to make Black Adam a fun supehero slugfest of a film.

And, yes, there's an end credit scene that had everyone talking during the theatrical run: Superman (Henry Cavill) steps from the smoke to confront Black Adam, teasing not just a sequel, but seemingly cementing the security of Cavill's return to the role in future DC films. Alas, Black Adam is rendered meaningless almost as soon as the digital release happens, as James Gunn, the current showrunner for all future DC films, publicly parted ways with Cavill, much to the dismay of fans. One wonders why Warner will even bother with releasing Aquaman 2 and The Flash at this point seeing as how their integration with anything larger has been negated while we wait for the inevitable DCEU reboot.

Watch Black Adam on any of the streaming services listed here.

4.0 / 5.0