Why Does Black Adam Hate Shazam? History of Animosity Explained

Why Does Black Adam Hate Shazam History of Animosity

Both Shazam and Black Adam have a long and storied comic book history, and for most of that history, they have been bitter enemies. Black Adam is among the greatest Shazam’s enemies, and even though he is generally regarded as a villain, in recent times, the perception changed, and he is sort of an anti-hero. Still, the fact that he hates Shazam remains, and the matter is further complicated by the fact that they have indistinguishable powers and used to share a power source. Due to that, we’ve decided to take a look at their history and answer the age-old question, why does Black Adam hate Shazam? 

Black Adam hates Shazam because he has been replaced as the Wizard’s champion by Shazam. Additionally, they have vastly different ideologies, with Shazam generally fighting for good and Black Adam utilizing his powers for revenge and sometimes even straight-up evil. They fought in the comics numerous times, and even though they are known sometimes to work together, it’s a tense truce, and their rivalry is well known all across the DC universe. 

Now that we’ve summed up the animosity in a few short sentences, we admit that there is far more to it than meets the eye. If you want to know more about Black Adam’s and Shazam’s history, stay with us and keep reading! 

Black Adam hates Shazam because he was never technically worthy of the Wizard’s power

Black Adam’s origin story has been reworked multiple times, but it generally always ends with Black Adam going rogue and turning against the source of his powers. 

Black Adam, formerly known as Teth-Adam or Mighty Adam, was born in ancient Egypt around the 26th century BCE. After his father’s death, Teth-Adam inherited his father’s debts, leading to his enslavement, where he experienced torture, mistreatment, and beatings.

Black Adam as slave

Teth-Adam developed a desire for revenge, but his only surviving family member was his nephew Aman. While attempting to escape slavery, Teth-Adam and Aman were transported to the Rock of Eternity, where Shazam, the Wizard, greeted them. 

The Wizard offered Aman the power to become the Wizard’s champion, but he rejected it until he healed Teth-Adam. Shazam then healed and imbued Teth-Adam with a portion of his power.

Teth-Adam and Aman were tasked with defeating Ibac, but they disagreed on the approach, and Teth-Adam killed Aman in a moment of insanity and grief. He then absorbed all of Shazam’s powers and became the immortal champion of Kahndaq. 


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He eventually turned against the Council of Eternity, eliminating its members in cold blood. The Wizard was spared, however, and overpowered Teth-Adam, banishing him to the void and naming him “Black Adam,” where he remained until his resurrection. The Kahndaqi people bound him to a darker, malevolent Egyptian pantheon, and he now channels his power from a different source

Black Adam name

As you can see, the powers of the Wizard were never technically granted to Black Adam. He simply stole them when he murdered his own nephew. Shazam, on the other hand, came across his powers in a more honorable way. 

Billy Batson lost his parents at a young age and became bitter and resentful toward others, moving him to several foster homes. At the age of fifteen, he was placed with the Vasquez family, who had experience with fostering but remained closed off to his new family. However, as time passed, he softened and developed a connection with his foster siblings. 

One day, while defending his family from bullies, Billy was transported to the Rock of Eternity, where he met an ancient wizard. The Wizard saw something special in Billy and granted him powers after testing his character. With a single word, Billy can now transform into the superhero Shazam. 

Shazam origin 4

The gist of Black Adam’s hatred toward Shazam can be found in jealousy. Black Adam was cast aside as the Wizard’s champion and shamed and replaced by a far more virtuous version willing to use his powers for good. 

Black Adam is more oriented toward revenge, while Shazam has a pure heart 

Black Adam has a tragic history no matter what origin story you look at, and most of his comic book career was oriented toward getting revenge on the people that mistreated both him and his people. He is likewise known for wanting to utilize the Wizard’s powers to conquer the world. 

Shazam Origin 6

Black Adam is all about displays of powers. He believes that being stronger means being right. He has no tolerance for people who have enormous amounts of power and do not use it to conquer the world. He sees Shazam’s lack of drive to conquer the world as a sign of weakness instead of as a reason why he replaced him as champion in the first place. 


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In other words, Black Adam hates Shazam because he is selfless and because they have different ideologies. While Shazam likes to focus on the good, Black Adam likes to conquer and dominate. 

Seeing as Shazam is often tasked with putting a stop to whatever Black Adam has prepared, this inevitably leads to conflict. 

They both have around the same level of powers 

Another reason Black Adam hates Shazam is that he can’t defeat him as easily as most other superpowered individuals in the DC comic universe. Black Adam and Shazam have the same power set more-or-less, with Black Adam generally regarded as more powerful. This is because Black Adam has vastly more experience fighting and utilizing his powers while Billy is still unsure of himself and mostly just wings it, unsure of how to use the powers that were gifted to him. 

The fact still stands that Shazam is a very real threat to Black Adam, with the former even defeating Black Adam on a few instances, and Black Adam doesn’t like to be defeated in his own game. He was also, in the beginning, written to be a stereotypical villain, one that Shazam needed at the time. 

Shazam origin 7

To sum everything up, Black Adam and Shazam are enemies because Black Adam leans more toward evil, and Shazam is often tasked with putting a stop to his schemes.

They are polar opposites, with Billy being pure and basically just a kid. There have been enemies since the creation of both characters. They have been known to work together on a few occasions, but it was never an easy relationship. It was mostly because it benefited Black Adam. 

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