Dwayne Johnson has a very simple message for you if you’re wondering why Black Adam is going to be a hero in his movie, when the character is a villain in the comics.
Basically, you’re wrong.
Black Adam isn’t a villain.
The Rock says so. Are you going to argue with him?
A recent social media question and answer session saw Johnson fielding questions from his fans, when someone asked why he describes Black Adam as a hero, when, let’s face it, he does a lot of villainous things.
According to Johnson, it’s all a matter of perspective.
All those murders are inconsequential. Black Adam is a victim of circumstance.
“It’s really in our interpretation and who we deem a hero. Yes, of course, Black Adam in the mythology is a villain, or he could be considered an anti-hero. Or, to some, he’s a hero – to some who have a black heart, like me.
“Again, I love the backstory that he started off as a slave and he was held down, and I think when that kind of backstory about a man who’s held down, and then he rises above that to become greater, and then dealing with the conflict and pain of losing his family – it’s dark, but it also adds to the gravity and adds to the weight of the story.
“So what does it mean for the movie? It means that the movie is going to be fantastic, and it means that it’s going to be badass, and it means, to me, that he’s a hero.”
So if anyone is confused as to why a traditionally villainous character is going to be portrayed as a hero in Black Adam, apparently, it’s their own fault for not seeing a mass murderer as a good guy?
Black Adam is a hero, because The Rock says so?
Great BLACK ADAM⚡️questions from our Q&A. All depends on how you interpret the word "hero". 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. More to come. Great questions. #RockQAndA #BlackAdam⚡️ * link in my bio.
Now, obviously, there’s plenty of room for movies to reinterpret popular characters, try new approaches, and come up with different perspectives on key cultural icons. That’s fine.
There’s an awful lot of murder and destruction in Black Adam’s backstory, though, and while some versions of the mythos attempt to give the character a more sympathetic backstory, simply rejecting the criticism by saying “well I think this serial killer is a good guy” doesn’t entirely solve the problem.
It is, dare I say it, a very Trumpy way to approach a comic book adaptation.
It’s also a perfect fit for the DCEU, in many ways. Nobody can accuse these movies of lacking internal consistency.
Across all these movies, traditionally heroic characters have been shown doing some pretty nasty stuff, from snapping an opponent’s neck to smashing someone’s brains against a wall with a packing crate.
The DCEU is not a place where Superman and Batman are necessarily particularly heroic. With Suicide Squad, things get more skewed, as the villains carry an entire movie, despite being incredibly difficult to root for (as you’d expect from people who keep pointing out how they’re such horrible and disgusting human beings).
So if Superman and Batman are murderers, and if Deadshot is somehow a protagonist that audience is expected to care about despite his own body count, it isn’t entirely incongruous to see Black Adam as a “hero” in a cinematic universe where the word applies exclusively to those who have a considerable amount of blood on their hands.