New Black Adam Images Show Dwayne Johnson As The Destructive DC Antihero

"The hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is changing." In case you missed the news, we come bearing deliciously dark tidings — the long awaited "Black Adam" movie is quickly approaching its release. To celebrate, star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is keeping the hype train moving with a closer look at his titular character.

Johnson has been attached to star in Black Adam for nearly 15 years now, and he's been hyping the adaptation up with the promise of a character capable of making a permanent mark on the DC Extended Universe. Earlier this year, at the DC Fandome event, a teaser trailer showcased the dark emotional depths of Black Adam and the power he wields. As the film edges toward its Summer 2022 arrival, we get to glimpse even more of what's to come, including a closer look at a costumed Johnson in all his muscle-bound "superhero" glory.

Johnson shared the two new "Black Adam" images via Twitter, showing off two alternative Total Film magazine covers that feature his character. Along with these closer looks came an ominous quote from Black Adam himself: "You're right. Superheroes don't kill bad people. But I do."

The upcoming film, helmed by director Jaume Collet-Serra ("Orphan," "The Shallows," "Jungle Cruise") also features characters familiar to comic readers: the metahumans of the Justice Society of America, including Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), and Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan).

Dwayne Johnson's Antihero Arrives

One of DC Comics' most famous magic users, Black Adam has been both a hero and villain throughout a life that spans thousands of years. Despite the destructive nature of his actions, he believes himself to be the right person to save humanity, no matter the means required to accomplish his goals. He's known as a major nemesis of Shazam, and other Earthbound heroes, for this very reason: he ruthlessly believes himself judge, jury and executioner. Or, in the words of Dwayne Johnson, Black Adam is "a bad motherf***er". That's exactly why he took on the role — even when the opportunity to be a superhero emerged elsewhere. Johnson told Total Film (via GameRadar):

"Official offers never happened, it was always conversations with studio heads. But there was always something unique, different about Black Adam. He was a villain, an antihero, depending on your interpretation of what a villain is. I loved this idea that his pain and rage comes from loss, and was fuelled by oppression. And at some point, he refused to be held down any more. If you wrong him, his family, or his people, then you will die. Period. That is just that simple."

It's hard to believe that Dwayne Johnson hasn't donned a cape and tights before this point. Not only does he have the muscle mass that seems to be a requirement of big screen heroes, he has oodles of natural charisma! Still, the darkness fo Black Adam is what kept Johnson locked on the role.

Black Adam began as a slave from Kahndaq before he was granted superpowers from the wizard Shazam and went on to become one of the most powerful beings in his world. Adam chose a dark path of revenge against all who wronged him, determined to settle score by any means necessary. To contend with so much darkness, the filmmakers behind "Black Adam" have promised to push the boundaries of their PG-13 rating — something we already saw a little of in the darkest moments of 2019's "Shazam!" Still, that movie came with some Zachary Levi signature lightness, using the kid characters to offset the darkness with humor. This time around, DC is going even harder. On the subject of re-teaming up with Collet-Serra, who directed him in "Jungle Cruise," Johnson said:

"Right from the beginning, we gelled, because it was like: 'OK, our goal and our North Star is the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is about to change.' Let's have guts. Let's get after it. And let's be destructive."

"Black Adam" is set to shake up the DCEU on July 29, 2022.