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What happens if Black Adam says the word ‘Shazam!?’

Is it like in the comics?

Dwayne Johnson in Black Adam Trailer
Photo via YouTube/Warner Bros. Pictures

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Black Adam.

Now that Dwayne Johnson’s passion project Black Adam is finally in theaters, it does leave open a bit of an unanswered question that is never addressed in the movie: What happens if the antihero utters the word “Shazam!” during the events of the film that take place in the modern day?

Movie fans may already be aware that Black Adam’s powers come from the same wizard who bestowed Billy Batson’s powers to him in 2018’s Shazam! In that film, Batson can transform from being a boy to a muscular superhero alter-ego by uttering the phrase “Shazam!” He can also transform back into a boy from his superhero form by uttering “Shazam!” It’s worth wondering: Do the same rules apply to Johnson’s character in Black Adam?

The prologue to the film features Black Adam’s origin. It takes place 5,000 years ago in the fictional country of Kahndaq. When a young boy leads a revolt of his people against an oppressive king, the wizard chooses him as his champion and grants him the powers of Shazam. But Teth-Adam ends up killing the king. Black Adam is then resurrected after a centuries-long slumber in modern times, but for the entire remainder of the film, he never reverts back to his non-superhuman form.

What would happen if Black Adam reverted to his human form by saying ‘Shazam!?’

Do we have any idea what might happen if Black Adam uttered “Shazam!” 5,000 years after first receiving his powers, and presumably, the last time he assumed his human form? It turns out, there actually is precedence for this in the comics.

On the website Quora, the user Waheed Saeed shared a page from the comic book that reveals the answer. As he explained,

“He will power down to his mortal human self just like what happens to Billy Batson. Unlike Billy however, Teth Adam is over a thousand years old so if he were to say shazam he would die as his mortal body should not have lasted that long.”

The comic panel shows Black Adam uttering the magical phrase “Shazam!” and immediately aging into dust within the blink of an eye.

Black Adam comes to theaters on Oct. 21.

Danny Peterson
About the author

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'