Dwayne Johnson Explains How 'Ruthless' Black Adam is a Hero

Black Adam by Alex Ross

Longtime Shazam foe has been depicted in comic books and animation as both a supervillain and an antihero, but few would likely view him as a hero. Dwayne Johnson would like to change that, however.

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Prompted by a question from a recent YouTube Q&A, action star -- who's now set to headline a Black Adam solo film -- explained it's all a matter of interpretation. "Yes, of course, in the mythology Black Adam is a villain, or he can be an antihero," Johnson said in an Instagram video, "or to some, he's a hero -- to some who have a black heart, like me."

In the video, Johnson looks to Black Adam's comic-book backstory for signs of the character's heroism. But in the accompanying text, he writes, "Growing up the DC villains were always my 'heroes.' As evil as they were, they were always my favorite. Still are. Luthor, Joker, Brainiac, Sinestro etc. and of course the ruthless one, Black Adam. Cooking up some cool, bad ass and fun plans with DC to introduce Black Adam into the Universe."

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Introduced in 1945 by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck, Black Adam was originally intended a one-shot villain. But after DC Comics acquired the rights to the Captain Marvel/Marvel Family characters in the 1970s, Black Adam became a prominent recurring villain for the hero. For the past couple of decades, however, he's been depicted primarily as an antihero in comics like "JSA" and "52."

Although there's no release date for Warner Bros.' "Black Adam," "Shazam!" is expected to arrive in April 2019.

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