Who is the villain in Black Adam? (Is Black Adam a villain?)

DWAYNE JOHNSON on the set of New Line Cinema’s action adventure “BLACK ADAM,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures
DWAYNE JOHNSON on the set of New Line Cinema’s action adventure “BLACK ADAM,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures /

Is Black Adam the villain of his own film or is there another character fans should be keeping an eye on when they watch the film?

Heading into most superhero films, you tend to know who the hero and who the villain will be. The Avengers and Thanos, Batman and The Joker, the list could go on and on as most superhero films tend to be cut and dry when it comes to the identities of their villains and heroes. Then there’s a film such as Black Adam. 

The title character is one with a complicated history in DC Comics, whose motives often leave room for debate over whether the character is one of the good guys or one of the bad guys. This is very much on display in the trailers for the film which make you wonder whether Black Adam is the hero or the villain of the story.

He seems to be at odds with the Justice Society who we know are heroes, so does that mean Black Adam is the film’s villain? Or is there another character fans should be keeping their eyes on that will emerge from the shadows as the film’s true villain?

Warning: Spoilers ahead, if you haven’t watched DC’s latest offering and want to avoid spoilers this is where you’ll want to leave us.

Is Black Adam a villain?

When it comes to Black Adam, he’s an interesting character and there are definitely arguments to be made that he is a villain. However, he’s best known by the masses for being an anti-hero and this is the dynamic we get to see play out in the character’s film.

An anti-hero is defined as “a central character in a story, movie, or drama who lacks conventional heroic attributes.” If you’ve seen Black Adam, you’ll know this absolutely describes the film’s title character as he’s a character who lacks conventional heroic qualities and is willing to do whatever it takes to get justice even when that means breaking the rules and taking lives.

Is Black Adam the villain in Black Adam?

Although you might head into Black Adam thinking that the title character is also the film’s villain, there is, in fact, another threat lurking in the shadows. While Black Adam makes some questionable choices and the Justice Society members don’t see eye-to-eye with his actions, Black Adam is not the film’s villain. That honor goes to an entirely different character.

Who is the villain in the Black Adam movie?

The main villain within Black Adam is a character named Ishmael played by actor Marwan Kenzari, who later transforms into the DC Comics villain known as Sabbac.

In the film, Marwan at first seems to be one of the good guys and is an ally to Adrianna and Karim, a pair of Kahndaq rebels looking to get their hands on the crown of Sabbac in order to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Little do they know that Marwan is actually the leader of the group they’ve been fighting who has a major ulterior motive.

As we learn in the film, Marwan is actually the descendant of the king who enslaved Teth-Adam and his people 5,000 years ago. Like his ancestors, Marwan was determined to get his hands on the crown of Sabbac in order to fulfill his destiny.

After tricking Black Adam into killing him — you see he needed to die in order to complete his transformation into Sabbac — Marwan is able to get the six demons’ powers triggering his resurrection as a superpowered demonic creature.

Upon his return, Sabbac battles the Justice Society and even claims the life of one member of their team while in battle. Fortunately, Black Adam is able to sweep in to help save the day with assistance from the Justice Society’s surviving members bringing an end to his reign of terror in a truly gruesome manner.

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