Black Adam has done bad things and good things in the past, which is why he is considered to be an anti-hero.
Black Adam has had a long and rich history in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), and he is even being featured in the newest live action film.
However, since Black Adam does have such a long and convoluted history, it is difficult to say whether he is really bad or good, and it is simpler to just refer to him as an anti-hero.
The history of Black Adam
Black Adam was first introduced to fans in December 1945, in The Marvel Family #1, which was created by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck.
Since this initial introduction, Black Adam has been featured in many different comics and films in the DCEU, including the The New 52 series, the Justice Society of America (JSA) series, Villains United, Infinite Crisis, and films like Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam over the years.
More recently, Black Adam will be the main character in the newest DCEU live action film by the same name, which is set to be released on 21 October 2022 in the United States.
Is Black Adam bad or good?
Black Adam has had such a long history in the DCEU, because the character is so interesting, and he is one of the most powerful beings in the entire DC multiverse.
However, since the character has such a long, complicated history, it has always been difficult for fans to measure whether he is truly good or bad, on a moral scale.
Although the new, upcoming film may help to clear up some things about how fans should view Black Adam, up to this point in the lore, the answer to whether he is bad or good really depends on which comic you are reading.
Initially, when you take Black Adam’s history and origin story into account, he is quite clearly intended to be the villain of the story. This is because he becomes corrupt, turns bad, and is banished and stripped of his powers by Shazam because of this.
However, later on, it is evident that his character is more complicated than simply being a clear-cut super-villain.
Black Adam retains his own strong sense of justice, which is often misguided, and is an incredibly brutal fighter who often picks a fight just for the hell of it.
That being said, he is also a loyal leader who endeavours to protect his kingdom and his family and he even teams up with various groups of super-heroes along the way to try and rebuild his reputation.
This is why Black Adam cannot be solely described as bad or good, but rather, as an anti-hero.
What makes Black Adam bad?
It is common for some characteristics and their abilities in the DC multiverse to change over time through the various iterations. However, Black Adam has done things throughout all of these iterations that make him look like the bad guy.
The greatest example of this is his origin story, in which the original Teth-Adam was misled and corrupted with the power that the Wizard Shazam bestowed on him, and he was eventually banished because of his rogue actions.
Even after he returned to Earth from this banishment, he continued fighting with heroes for no reason and he remained incredibly brutal in his attacks.
When Black Adam eventually took back his home country, Kahndaq, he also became a feared leader who had a skewed sense of justice and retribution.
What makes Black Adam good?
The main thing that redeems Black Adam from simply being considered a villain in the DCEU, is that most of the bad things that he has done, he has only done to seek retribution for what was done to him or because he justified his own actions in his mind.
Some examples of this include the times throughout the DC continuity when Black Adam joined the Justice Society of America and later on, even joined the Justice League to assist, when he feels that it is the right thing to do.
If Black Adam is not bad or good, what is he?
Once you take all of the bad and good things about Black Adam into consideration, it becomes clear why this complex character is so difficult to classify as either bad or good.
This is part of what makes the character so interesting and endearing to fans, because he is not a perfect super-hero, but he is also not afraid to get his hands dirty for a cause in which he believes.
This is likely why the new Black Adam film has classified this character as an “anti-hero”.