The (very) brief comic book history of Black Adam vs. Superman

Justice League: Endless Winter #2 page
(Image credit: DC)

Black Adam is in theaters starting October 21, and its star Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is already looking ahead to what's next for the powerhouse anti-hero in the DC Universe, laying out the self-proclaimed DC fanatic's desire for Black Adam to fight Henry Cavill's Superman on the big screen.

(Image credit: DC)

Superman has been around for over 80 years and is arguably the first and most iconic superhero.

Black Adam was created in 1945 and despite getting his start at Fawcett Comics, he's been inhabiting the same comic book universe/continuity as Superman since his first DC appearance in 1977.

That means these two titans must have a long and storied history of epic battles in the pages of DC comic books, right?

Ummm ... not really, no.

Superman and Black Adam have come face to face a few times, especially in recent history, but what 'The Rock' seems intent on creating - a rivalry and/or partnership between the characters - would actually be effectively new. Neither character has nearly as much history with one other as they each have with Shazam!, who doesn't seem destined to be a part of the burgeoning live-action dynamic.

Most of the relatively few encounters between Superman and Black Adam have centered on Superman teaming up with Shazam! - though their direct encounters are still minimal at best.

The biggest connections between Superman and Black Adam come from modern-day stories - though they're still mostly tenuous, with no major fights between the two yet depicted.

The closest we've come to seeing Superman and Black Adam actually throw down came in 2021's Justice League: Endless Winter, in which they briefly argue over how to fight the villain the Frost King, before Superman grabs hold of Black Adam and takes him away from the fight.

(Image credit: DC)

This encounter eventually leads to Superman inviting Black Adam to join the Justice League, where he's stayed since.

At least, he's stayed on the Justice League through their apparent disbanding, with most of the team having apparently perished (while actually secretly being imprisoned) right before Black Adam's eyes in the current Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series.

In other words, if The Rock is looking for new ground to break with Black Adam, pitting him against or partnering him with Superman is a fight or friendship that has little comic book precedent to draw on, despite the strength of both characters.

Learn the history of Black Adam.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)