Black Adam, that brutish, conflicted antihero with a chiseled chin and bad attitude, is poised for a breakout role in the planned upcoming 2021 feature film from Jungle Cruise director Jaume Collet-Serra and starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
But before he takes a charismatic bow and unleashes his Egyptian powers on the silver screen, DC Comics is showcasing Shazam!'s arch-nemesis in its Year of the Villain event series. This bold Black Adam one-shot is written by Paul Jenkins and adorned with detailed art by Inaki Miranda and main cover via The Dark Knight Returns' Klaus Janson with All-Star Batman's John Romita Jr. Now SYFY WIRE has an exclusive sneak peek inside its electrifying pages.
Arriving in comic shops on Oct. 23 and spinning out of the events of Batman/Superman, Black Adam: Year of the Villain #1 finds Shazam! possessed by the evil, grinning presence of Batman Who Laughs and mounting a vicious attack on Black Adam's home kingdom of Kahndaq.
His twisted plan is to free its citizens and transform it into a playground for its youthful new ruler: the 13-year-old all-American boy Billy Batson. But witness what happens when an Apex Lex-powered Black Adam clashes with a Batman Who Laughs-infected Shazam.
Jenkins considers Black Adam's antihero profile one of his favorite types of characters to write.
"I spent roughly five years writing John Constantine, and found I had an affinity for such characters," Jenkins tells SYFY WIRE. "But I tend to think Black Adam has a moral compass — he prizes the protection and security of Kahndaq above all. Add to this his cool power set and the fact his powers are inspired by the ancient Egyptian gods, and he’s kind of awesome.
"Thematically, the story is about how we tend to view other countries’ cultures only through the lens of our own," he adds. "The people of Kahndaq look to Black Adam for their protection, and perhaps this story shows not only how he protects his people but also inspires them. In terms of the action and visuals ... it’s a knock-down, drag-out fight between two exact equals in Black Adam and Shazam!"
Inaki Miranda's stirring artwork is a fitting match for Jenkins' rampaging tale of two imposing superheroes imbued with the powers of Shazam!
"I think Inaki did such a tremendous job of carrying both the character moments and also the action visuals," Jenkins reveals. "To me, that is vital. No one cares about the fight unless they care about the people in the fight. So we see Adam in his quieter moments, dealing with his people, and we tend to care about him more once he goes to fight for them."
Check out our exclusive preview of DC Comics' Black Adam: Year of the Villain #1 in the full galley below.