Shazam (or Captain Marvel, if you prefer) and Black Adam have been adversaries in the comics for decades, and originally the plan was for their cinematic incarnations to collide in the first Shazam! movie. However, then it was decided that Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam should debut in his own movie first, and there’s still no word on when him and Zachary Levi’s Shazam will cross paths. Instead, the DC Extended Universe’s Black Adam will first face off against the Justice Society of America, which includes the size-changing Atom Smasher, played by To All The Boys star Noah Centineo.
Atom Smasher is unquestionably the most physically imposing of the DCEU’s Justice Society’s lineup, so it stands to reason that he and the man once known as Teth-Adam will come to blows in Black Adam. How will that look? Obviously we won’t know until the movie comes out, but Instagram user datrintiart has come up with a pretty cool concept sketch for such a fight:
Oh yeah, now that looks like an epic clash between Black Adam and Atom Smasher. The latter’s strength may also increase as he grows in size, but Black Adam’s strength is on par with Superman’s, alongside the other magical abilities he boasts. So while I give Black Adam the edge in a one-on-one fight, at least Noah Centineo’s Atom Smasher won’t have to face the Kahndaqian powerhouse alone, as he’ll be accompanied by Aldis Hodge’s Hawkman, Quintessa Swindell’s Cyclone and Pierce Brosnan’s Doctor Fate.
Black Adam and Atom Smasher have history going back to Geoff Johns’ run on the JSA comic book series, with the two men initially developing a rivalry when the former joined the superhero team and the latter doubting that he’d reformed. However, as time passed, they developed respect for one another, and Atom Smasher ended up becoming one of the meta humans who helped Black Adam overthrow the oppressive regime ruling Kahndaq. Eventually though, Atom Smasher left Black Adam’s side and rejoined the Justice Society in their efforts to apprehend Adam. It’s unclear if Atom Smasher and Black Adam will establish close ties with one another in the DCEU, though given how Black Adam is more often depicted as an antihero nowadays rather than a straightforward supervillain, I can’t imagine they’ll remain legitimate enemies for too long.
The eleventh DCEU movie marks Atom Smasher’s second depiction in live-action, with Adam Copeland playing the character in the Season 2 premiere of The Flash. However, that version of Albert Rothstein was an antagonist working for the sinister speedster Zoom, whereas Noah Centineo’s Albert in Black Adam will be a superhero just like his comic book counterpart. Centineo was previously set to play He-Man in the live-action Masters of the Universe reboot, but he dropped out of the film this past April.
Black Adam also stars Sarah Shahi as Adrianna Tomaz, as well as Marwan Kenzari, James Cusati-Moyer, Bodhi Sabongui, Mo Amer, and Uli Latukefu in undisclosed roles. The Dwayne Johnson-led feature will hit theaters on July 29, 2022, so keep your eyes locked on CinemaBlend for more news about it and other upcoming DC Comics movies.