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Who is the villain in Black Adam? Exploring theories about DC's Sabacc and Intergang connections

Black Adam (Image via Warner Bros. Studios)
Black Adam (Image via Warner Bros. Studios)
Riya Hotchandani

DC's upcoming movie, Black Adam, will follow the story of the number one Shazam villain Black Adam, or Teth-Adam. Adam first debuted in the comics in The Marvel Family #1, going on to become one of the most respected antagonists in the DC universe. He was ideally the first choice of the wizard for the powers of Shazam. However, when he misused them, he was imprisoned.

In the movie, Adam will not be portraying the role of a villain. The trailer, which was recently released, revealed that the character will be an anti-hero, which is in keeping with how Adam has portrayed his good side in the comics in recent years.


Exploring the prime villain in Black Adam

The new trailer has given us some idea of the major plotline, but fans are most excited about the main antagonist, Sabbac.

Black Adam (Image via Warner Bros. Studios)
Black Adam (Image via Warner Bros. Studios)

There are two versions of Sabbac in the DC universe. The first one, Timothy Karnes, was a striking friend-turned-foe villain in Shazam Jr.'s story. However, the creators have not used this version of the character in the movie. They have instead used the second Sabbac: Ishmael Gregor.

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Gregor first appeared in Outsiders (vol. 3) #8 as a Russian immigrant who became a mob boss in New York City. He proved to be even more of a headache for the Shazam family, as he was significantly more evil than the first Sabbac.

Lustful over Karnes' power, Gregor sent his goons to find him. He then removed Karnes' voice box, hence preventing him from uttering the word 'Sabbac' which was what had initially transformed him into Sabbac. Thereafter, he performed a demonic ritual that killed Karnes and gave him his powers.

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We presume that the creators of Black Adam may have chosen Ishmael Gregor over Timothy Karnes, due to his mob boss demeanor. There are also various fan theories that suggest that Gregor will be the leader of Intergang, a criminal organization from Metropolis. And from the looks of the trailer, it certainly seems that the theory might just be actualized.


A closer look at Intergang

In the comics, Intergang is best known for having several duels with the Metropolis superhero, Superman. However, the gang also has a very deep connection with Black Adam, as they are the ones who introduced him to the love of his life - Adrianna Tomaz.

Tomaz was an Egyptian refugee who was enslaved by Intergang. The gang tried to trade Tomaz as a gift to gain Adam's support. However, the plan backfired when Adam saved her from the gang by killing every member who was present in front of him.

Tomaz also makes Adam realize the amount of good that he can do for the world, becoming the ultimate reason behind his change of heart. The trailer also indicated that Tomaz will be present in the movie. So one can expect that the scene where Adam saves her life will unfold again, this time on the big screen.


The movie will hit theatres on October 21, 2022, and promises some big names in the industry. We all know Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam has everybody excited, but other characters like Pierce Brosnan's Doctor Fate, Noah Centineo's Atom Smasher, and Aldis Hodge's Hawkman are also deserving of equal attention.


Edited by Upasya Bhowal

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