How Is Black Adam Related to Shazam? Why Do Some People Think They Are the Same Character?

how is black adam related to shazam

Black Adam is a powerful and complex character in the DC Universe, known for his mystical powers and immortality. But what is his connection to the hero Shazam? In this article, we will delve into the history and origins of Black Adam, tracing his relationship with Shazam and the Wizard who granted him his powers. From their early interactions to their current rivalries, we will explore the intertwined story of these two iconic characters and the impact they have on each other’s lives. Before we move on to the analysis of more complex issues, let’s straighten up the basics, how is Black Adam Related to Shazam? 

Black Adam served as a former champion of the Wizard Shazam. This is the role currently held by Billy Batson, so Black Aadam is Shazam’s direct predecessor. Black Adam eventually fell from grace, and his source of power was replaced by the Greek pantheon with a much darker and more malevolent Egyptian Pantheon. Black Adam and Shazam have the same powers, and the two are stuck in a perpetual rivalry. 

Now that we’ve cleared up the connection between Black Adam and Shazam, it’s time to explore their origin stories and put the connection in a bit of perspective. If you want to know what are the main differences between the two and how Black Adam lost the status of Wizard’s champion, stay with us and keep reading!

Who gave Black Adam his powers? 

Before we clear this up, we need to take you on a millennia-old journey when Black Adam was merely a mortal man. Black Adam – then known as Teth-Adam, was born in ancient Egypt around the 26th century BCE. When he was a child, an unfortunate series of events led to his father’s death. Due to debt he inherited, Teth-Adam was enslaved, and slaves were not treated kindly.

The torture and regular beatings, and mistreatment led to a certain kind of darkness and lust for vengeance forming in Teth-Adam. The only surviving family that Teth-Adam had left was his nephew Aman. He was willing to risk his life for Aman, and he soon got the opportunity to prove it. While attempting to escape from Ibac’s slavers, Teth-Adam was wounded to ensure the escape of his nephew. 

Black Adam as slave

Eventually, just when they were about to escape, both Teth-Adam and Aman were transported to the Rock of Eternity, where Shazam, the Wizard, greeted them.

Originally, Aman was chosen to carry the mantle of the Wizard’s champion. Shazam offered Aman a great power to defeat Ibac, but Aman rejected the offer, at least until Shazam healed Teth-Adam and restored his wellbeing. Shazam decided to heal Teth-Adam and imbue him with a portion of his powers. 


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Now it was time to fulfill the task that the great Wizard had given both of them, and this eventually led to the death of Aman. Aman wanted to deal with Ibac peacefully as he understood that he now greatly outpowered him, and it would be futile to use the full extent of his power on someone that could not even stand up to him. Teth-Adam, on the other hand, wanted to raze the grounds and slaughter everyone connected to Ibac.  

Aman Black Adams nephew

They couldn’t agree on the approach, and Teth-Adam, in a moment of insanity and grief, killed Aman. He absorbed all of the powers that Shazam bestowed upon him. The first order of duty was to kill everyone who mistreated his Kahndaq tribe. And he served for a long time as Kahndaqi immortal champion. The powers got to his head eventually, and he Teth-Adam turned against the council of eternity, eliminating its members in cold blood. Shazam managed to overpower Black Adam and cast him into the void, into nothingness, cursing him to forever be known as the Black Adam. 

Black adam

After Black Adam’s resurrection, the Kahndaqi people that he so loyally served over the ages bound him to a darker, malevolent Egyptian pantheon. He now channels the same powers but from a completely different source. 


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Do Black Adam and Shazam have the same powers? 

Black Adam and Billy Batson aka Shazam have identical powers; only they draw them from different sources. As we’ve mentioned before, Black Adam was once empowered by the Greek pantheon as well. However, after his fall from grace, he started drawing his strength from the Egyptian pantheon. It’s still the exact same mechanism of power bestowal, and this is why Black Adam still uses the Shazam catchphrase to empower himself. Black Adam’s Shazam acronym stands for: 

  1. The Stamina of Shu
  2. The Speed of Haru
  3. The Strength of Amon
  4. The Wisdom of Zehuti
  5. The Power of Aton
  6. The Courage of Mehen

Shazam draws his powers from another set of gods, and his acronym stands for: 

  1. Wisdom of Solomon 
  2. Strength of Hercules
  3. Stamina of Atlas
  4. Power of Zeus 
  5. Courage of Achilles
  6. Speed of Mercury 

Both Black Adam and Shazam once served as champions of the Wizard, one thing that he came to deeply regret. However, Shazam remained in the Wizard’s good graces, which led to a conflict between Black Adam and Shazam on numerous occasions. The one vital difference between the two characters, which will almost always lead to Black Adam’s supremacy, is his age-long experience when it comes to combat and his incredible ruthlessness and constant drive for revenge.

Black Adam vs Shazam

There are some instances in which Shazam and Black Adam are ready and willing to work together, but those instances are rare. They are almost exclusively enemies and the biggest rivals to each other. 

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