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  1. #1

    Default Question about Black Adam

    Alright, so as Iím studying into the Captain Marvel lore, thereís one little detail Iím confused about.

    Is Black Adam a villain or an antihero?

    Iíve seen him referred to as both. Admittedly, the versions Iím more familiar with (Superman/Shazam: Return of Black Adam, Injustice, and Nu52) are the more villainous versions, and Iím aware his powers corrupted Mary Marvel (a horrible plot line that shouldnít have been, yes, but one that happened). However, Iím finding most fans prefer to refer to him as an antihero.

    So, which is it and why?

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarriorWolf View Post
    Alright, so as Iím studying into the Captain Marvel lore, thereís one little detail Iím confused about.

    Is Black Adam a villain or an antihero?
    Originally, he was a villain.

    Many years later, he was also used as an antihero.

    All depends on the writer(s), editor(s), and what purpose(s) he's suppose to serve in the different stories he gets used in.

  3. #3
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Think of him like Magneto, who also started off as a straight-up villain but later moved into anti-hero territory thanks to Chris Claremont.

    Like Magneto, Black Adam jumps back and forth between villain, and anti-hero pretty regularly thanks to Geoff Johns.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    Think of him like Magneto, who also started off as a straight-up villain but later moved into anti-hero territory thanks to Chris Claremont.

    Like Magneto, Black Adam jumps back and forth between villain, and anti-hero pretty regularly thanks to Geoff Johns.
    The Magneto comparison helps, thanks!

  5. #5
    Incredible Member LordMikel's Avatar
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    I'm curious, what is your definition of a difference between villain and antihero? For myself, they are pretty much the same thing. Every villain is the hero in his own mind and all that.
    ďA common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.Ē
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    "That's the problem with our opposition Ė they keep thinking nobody could possibly be as stupid as we are. Fools 'em every time."
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordMikel View Post
    I'm curious, what is your definition of a difference between villain and antihero? For myself, they are pretty much the same thing. Every villain is the hero in his own mind and all that.
    For me, it’s a spectrum. Antihero can run anywhere between “well meaning but destructive” to “acts like a villain, but his enemies are worse.”

    That’s why I was asking for specific actions.

  7. #7
    BAMF!!!!! KurtW95's Avatar
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    I don’t think Black Adam should be an antihero.
    Good Marvel characters- Bring Them Back!!!

  8. #8
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Yes, every villain is the hero of their own mind, but we actively root for the anti-hero, despite knowing that they are horrible people. Whereas few people are rooting for the Joker to murder more people. Nobody roots for the Joker, even though he no doubts believes everything he's doing is perfectly okay.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    An anti-hero often does the "right thing" but without the same standard of conventional morality a hero would. They're willing to dish out more violence, make more callous sacrifices/decisions, indulge in vengeful or self-interested impulses that we would consider bad, but ultimately defeat evil and protect the innocent (or at worst, refuse to cooperate with evil and save themselves). Catwoman has made the switch over the years.

    Black Adam sometimes does the right thing, and he does care about Khandaq. But that's dependent on whether he can rule them and whether his enemies are obstructing him from greater power. He routinely allies himself with other villains and attacks the Marvel family. He's not a hero with a dark side, he's a villain with a few good qualities. Like Deathstroke, or Luthor. No qualms about making people suffer to get what he wants.
    Last edited by Lightning Rider; 08-12-2018 at 12:07 AM.

  10. #10
    Extraordinary Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Adam is the Dr. Doom of DC. He's not all bad, and in the right situation he can actually be quite noble. But he's such a bastard the rest of the time, he'll never be an actual hero.

    I don't really need Adam to be a straight-up villain. What I need is for Adam to not be written as a two-dimensional d-bag villain. He's got depth and nuance and layers. Use them, or don't use Adam at all.
    Higher, Faster, Further....More.

    Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow!

    Bridge Four!

  11. #11
    BAMF!!!!! KurtW95's Avatar
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    I prefer the characterization that he thinks of himself as a higher being and normal people pretty much as insignificant insects, so he doesn’t care what happens to them and can crush them at a whim. But I’m not really a fan of the anti-hero angle or him being responsible for the death of the Batsons. Classic version of him being banished to the farthest star and flying non-stop, only to arrive when Billy has become Captain Marvel and Adam is tricked into saying Shazam, aging rapidly to dust. Then coming back via Sivana’s reincarnation (more accurately resurrection) machine and sticking around that way.
    Good Marvel characters- Bring Them Back!!!

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