How Powerful Is The Rock's Black Adam Compared To Superman & Shazam?

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Black Adam will soon be joining the DCEU, and the character’s power may even rival that of Superman and Shazam. Johnson's DCEU debut as Black Adam has been highly anticipated for years, and the film is finally set to release on July 29, 2022. Black Adam also stars Noah Centineo, Aldis Hodge, Sarah Shahi, Quintessa Swindell and Pierce Brosnan, many of whom play members of the Justice Society of America.

Though he’s never made the jump to live action, Black Adam is widely viewed as one of the most powerful characters in all of DC lore. Putting such an iconic and incredibly strong antihero on the big screen is no easy task, but Johnson is the perfect star to bring the DCEU’s Black Adam to life. While the film itself is already looking great, a big part of the excitement around the character's introduction to the franchise is the potential for crossovers with other series. Most notably, fans have been hoping for some time to see The Rock's Black Adam face off against either Henry Cavill’s Superman or Zachary Levi’s Shazam.

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Just how powerful is the Black Adam character compared to the DCEU's current incarnations of Superman and Shazam? Until the film releases it's hard to say, but some answers can be found by looking at the character’s comic book past and comparing it to what his powerful contemporaries have already accomplished throughout the film franchise. Here’s what has been revealed so far about the powers that Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam possesses, and how he might stack up against Superman and Shazam in the DCEU.

Like Shazam, Black Adam’s powers originated from the wizards of the Rock of Eternity. However, after being sealed away in ancient Kahndaq for abusing his powers, Black Adam was reawakened with a new source of power: six Egyptian gods, rather than the six gods and heroes who power Shazam. Ultimately, that change doesn’t make too much difference in Black Adam’s actual abilities, which remain quite similar to those of his superhero counterpart.

By name, Black Adam possesses the stamina of Shu, the speed of Horus, the strength of Amon, the wisdom of Zehuti, the power of Aten, and the courage of Mehen. Those abilities all manifest in similar ways to the corresponding powers of Shazam. Black Adam can fly and move incredibly quickly. He is basically impervious to most ordinary weapons and forms of attack, including bullets, and he wields powerful electrokinesis abilities, being able to wield the lightning bolt that summons his powers as a weapon.

Like Superman, Wonder Woman, and many other DC characters, Black Adam also possesses immense physical strength in the comics. He also wields significant mental stamina, capable of resisting mind-reading and other forms of control. While most of these powers might not seem terribly unique, Black Adam wields them all to frightening peaks, exhibiting strength, speed and tenacity that has generally rivaled the most powerful heroes and villains in the universe. His closes ties to the gods also allow him to cast various magical spells, aiding him in combat.

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Not much has been shown yet of the actual powers Black Adam possesses in the DCEU, but a few clues have ben dropped. The first official teaser for the film, revealed at DC Fandom 2021, shows Black Adam being awakened by an armed group, who quickly discover the error of their ways. In the clip, he is seen levitating, resisting bullets, moving at super speeds, and channeling lightning through his body to deadly effect. All of these powers are in line with what’s been established for the character in the DC comics, suggesting that most of his other abilities will transfer to Johnson’s Black Adam as well. If that turns out to be true, he’ll truly be a force to be reckoned with.

In the DC universe, Superman is the ultimate power. He’s the apex against which all other heroes and villains are measured. That’s true with Henry Cavill’s DCEU Superman as well, who was only killed by a Kryptonite attack, and who’s never lost a fight to anyone—including Justice League villain Steppenwolf—without the Kryptonian rock being used against him. But does that make him objectively more powerful than Johnson’s Black Adam? Not necessarily.

In terms of speed and physical strength, Superman and Black Adam are comparable. Superman possesses some additional abilities like his x-ray vision, his ice breath, and his eye-projected heat rays, but Shazam has some tricks of his own with his lightning powers and magical aptitude. Different DC storylines and different versions of the characters have yielded variable results when it comes to comparing Superman’s power to Black Adam’s, but generally they’ve been pretty evenly matched, and they likely would be in the DCEU as well.

If anything, Cavill’s DCEU Superman seems more susceptible than some other versions of the character to tricks and traps—two things Black Adam doesn’t hesitate to use to his advantage. The Rock himself has also pointed to Black Adam’s magical powers as a point of leverage over Superman. Although the DCEU hasn't yet shown this to be explicitly true, there are plenty of examples of the Man of Steel showing a weakness to magic in other mediums. It seems a bit much to say that The Rock’s Black Adam is objectively stronger than the DCEU’s Superman, especially before his first film even releases, but at the very least, it looks like a pretty even match.

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Like Black Adam, Shazam has generally been depicted as wielding comparable powers to Superman in the DC comics, and while the two haven’t encountered one another in the DCEU, the same principle likely applies. Pitting The Rock’s Black Adam against Levi’s Shazam is almost a mirror match, since both characters’ powers originate from the same source and manifest in incredibly similar ways. Shazam also possesses incredible speed, strength, durability, sharp reflexes, powers of flight, and his own lightning powers, making him a dead-even match for Black Adam.

The big difference-maker for Shazam and Black Adam in the DCEU, therefore, would likely be their respective magical capabilities. Billy Batson doesn’t do much in the way of spells or magic powers beyond his core abilities in Shazam, and as of yet, it’s also unclear what kind of power The Rock will bring with him when Black Adam finally arrives in theaters. While a confrontation with Cavill’s Superman sadly seems unlikely at this point, Shazam and The Rock's Black Adam will hopefully cross paths in live action somewhere down the line.

Next: Every Possible Spinoff Of Upcoming DC Movies



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