I’ve found that, in order to be loved, your ego must always level with your charm…this is something Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson knows well. Hell, he built his early fame of comical version of both during his time as ‘The Rock’ for WWE. I do worry that he may be flying to close to the sun on wings of wax as of late. Black Adam hasn’t been shown to the massess yet but that hasn’t stopped Johnson from lauding the hero/anti-hero/villain to anyone that will listen. His latest, during a talk with Variety, seems to show him trying to skip a step or two and go straight for the Last Son of Krypton.
That step he’d be skipping? Well, that would be Shazam…the Superman to his Lex Luthor, the Batman to his Joker. Of course, in the MCU this wouldn’t really be a thing as arch-enemies don’t seem to be too big of a thing on that side of the comic world, cool hero fights cool villain, done. DC though has always hyper focused on this dichotomy, even making it a core part of the hero’s identity at times. Long story short, Black Adam has to do well, Shazam 2 has to do well, THEN we get the Black Adam/Shazam matchup and if there’s any good left in the world and all that goes well only THEN do we see this colossal match up.
The thing is, Johnson is hyping Supes up as the ultimate challenge but Billy Batson’s alter ego Shazam is almost always portrayed as being right up there with Superman, his closest competition in the hero game when it comes to raw power.
Now, I’ll clarify as I realize this article has seemed somewhat anti-rock up to this point, I love the guy and can NOT wait to see Black Adam. The inclusion of the Justice Society and the footage we’ve seen thus far all have me waiting in line at my local theater (if that was still a thing). His hype game is part of his charm, there’s no denying it and when you really look at his chat with Zack Sharf at Variety Johnson’s not advocating for himself as much as he’s advocating for what fans want, it just so happens that fans want him. So when asked about the possibility of a Superman/Black Adam film his answer needed no clarification, “Absolutely. That is the whole point of this, man.” said the former people’s champ.
Explaining further Johnson broke down what his previous statements were about and how the arrival of Black Adam heralds in a new era for the DCU.
“I have been saying for some time, there’s a new era in the DC Universe that’s about to begin, and what I meant by that was introducing a brand new character. It’s not a sequel, not an existing IP. It was… you know, Black Adam. Two years ago the world had no idea who he was. We did, but not the rest of the masses out there. What I really meant by, ‘This is a new era in the DC Universe,’ is listening to the fans. And doing our best to give the fans what they want.”
Now I would argue that most of what he says here really applies more to Shazam then Black Adam as the average everyday fan only knows those core JLA members (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Flash) but regardless I have to agree and further praise the blockbuster superstar, especially after he vouched for wanting the fans to have their say and feel validated for that, saying, “I’ve been waiting for someone to step up and address the fans and say, ‘Hey, we hear you,’”.
Black Adam hits theaters on October 21st and is SURE to be a wild ride.