black adam is powered by Johnson’s performance and his promise of an exciting futurethough suffering from repetitive plot beats and thin characters.
It’s made awkward by too much exposition, the villain is one-dimensionaland there’s an overreliance on spectacle over character and story and is set nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the ancient gods – and imprisoned just as quickly –black adam (Dwayne Johnson)
Now, to be clear, the gods of ancient Egyptian mythology aren’t as tied to specific roles as their Greek or Roman counterparts. But Shu is known to be equated with Atlas (perhaps because he’s associated with the space between ground and sky), hence the “stamina” he bestows on Black Adam.
The speed of Heru, well…you might know Heru best as Horus, the ancient Egyptian sky god. Maybe not as traditionally associated with speed as Mercury, but that’s what the creators of Adam put here, so that’s what we have. In any case, it’s Heru’s name that gives Black Adam the super speed of the traditional superhero. Neither he nor Shazam are as fast as Flash, and maybe about as fast as Superman. It is often said that this “speed” allows him to fly too.
Amun, who grants Adam his great strength, was one of the most important gods of the ancient Egyptian pantheon. How strong is Black Adam? Well, according to the comics, he can take on Superman, and that’s definitely something Dwayne Johnson keeps referring to.
The Wisdom of Zehuti makes more sense if you think of Zehuti by his better known name, Thoth, who was the god of wisdom, science, writing, etc. Anyway, like Billy’s ‘wisdom of Solomon’ trait, it’s a bit difficult to quantify what all of this means in terms of Black Adam, but he was definitely ‘wise’ enough to lead the nation. from Kahndaq (he is, as you’d expect, a bit of a strongman), so there’s something to that.
Aten is essentially the sun god, something akin to the Greco-Roman Apollo, although more conceptual. The equivalent of this with Shazam is “the power of Zeus” which is usually represented as the lightning powers that have been added to the character in recent years, as well as resistance to magic attacks. And yes, as we see in the movie, Black Adam isn’t shy about using those lightning abilities to fry the crap out of his opponents.
The “courage of Mehen” is the equivalent of the “courage of Achilles” from Shazam. Of course, the demigod Achilles is more readily associated with courage (especially on the battlefield) than Mehen, a serpent god. Still, don’t expect Black Adam to back down after a fight, and while he’s not exactly a GOOD man, he has a code of ethics he adheres to…even if it’s unlikely to be exactly what the other heroes expect.