Black Adam just gave us the first look at its villain. And it’s none other than MEPHISTOOOOOO!!!!!! I’m sorry I just got carried away once again. Mephisto is not a demon. He is a sickness! It’s just crazy that DC is already launching a demon like Mephisto, and Marvel is still leaving us with devil and demon references to this date! Anyway, let’s take a deep dive into Sabbac’s character in the DCEU.
As soon as Black Adam’s casting began, it was reported that Marwan Kenzari would play this villainous demon. The Dutch actor got recognition for playing the antagonist in Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake. So, his casting as Sabbac was a nice addition. And fortunately for us, we’ve already got to know his story arc in Black Adam.
Thanks to a McFarlane Toys action figure leak, we’ve got the description of Sabbac in Black Adam which states:
“Possessed by a demon, a military Intergang leader transforms into Sabbac, the only being whose powers are equal to those of Black Adam. Determined to take over Kahndaq and maybe the whole world, Sabbac must be stopped, and the fiercely autonomous Black Adam may need the help of some unlikely allies to outmatch him.”
So, this description makes two things clear. The first is that Sabbac might be even more potent than Black Adam. Now that’s crazy because Black Adam’s power levels could easily be compared with Superman. So, Sabbac could prove to be the strongest DCEU villain ever. And that brings me to point number 2. Black Adam will need the help of his powerful allies in the Justice Society of America. So, we’re going to see a team-up between 5 characters against Sabbac. But it will be interesting to see how an Antihero like Black Adam gels with the JSA members.
Initially, he had been seen battling against the likes of Hawkman, Atom Smasher, Cyclone, and Doctor Fate. It is Amanda Waller who sends the JSA to take Adam down. Now obviously, the motivations of these two parties are very different. That’s why Hawkman and Black Adam are mostly going to be at odds against each other. They’re not going to see eye to eye in many different situations. But because Sabbac needs to be stopped, the JSA and Black Adam will have to put their differences aside. That’s the only way they can stop the military leader possessed by a demon.
But who exactly is Sabbac in the books… and how powerful is he?
While a military guy turns into Sabbac in Black Adam, the comics have two versions of this character. The first of them is Timothy Karnes, the former foster brother of Freddy Freeman. Yes, this is the same Freddy Freeman, the current foster brother of Billy Batson, aka Shazam! In the comics, Sabbac was the villain of Shazam, not Black Adam. But he has been rightly chosen as Black Adam’s villain here since Shazam is fighting other Gods for now.
The next guy who turns into Sabbac in the comics is the New York City mob boss Ishmael Gregor. This mob boss also appeared in The Arrowverse. And now he is probably the military leader that Marwan Kenzari is playing. Ishmael Gregor robbed the powers of Sabbac from Timothy Karnes. And speaking of his powers, let’s look into the…
Powers and Abilities of Sabbac
This villain gets his abilities exactly like Shazam, and Black Adam do! After all, Sabbac is supposed to be the dark opposite of Shazam! SHAZAM is blessed by the Greek Gods as every letter in his name is an initial of a God. He has the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury.
Similarly, Black Adam gets his powers from Egyptian Gods. He gets his stamina from Shu, speed from Horus, strength from the King of Egyptian Gods, Amon Ra, wisdom from Zehuti, Lightning from Aton, and his courage comes from Mehen. So as Billy and Teth Adam get empowered when they scream Shazam, Ishmael is struck by a flash of magical black lightning that empowers him when he screams SABBAC! And all these powers come from the demonic forces of Hell.
Like Shazam, the name Sabbac is an amalgamation of 6 evil lords – Satan, Aym, Belial, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, and Crateis. Ishmael gets the strength of Satan, The Body of Aym, The wisdom of Belial, the flaming powers of Beelzebub, The evil courage of Asmodeus, and finally, the flight of Crateis. But Sabbac’s DCEU description states that Ishmael is possessed by only one demon.
So, it will be interesting to see if this 6 Hell Lords’ backstory of Sabbac will remain constant in Black Adam. I mean, it should, but at the same time, we should expect some changes as well. In the end, I’d say that because there are a lot of characters in the film, chances are that Sabbac could turn out to be yet another generic superhero movie villain. But let’s not be judgemental before watching the movie.