Kahndaq—a nation dominated by a superhero tyrant. One managed by would possibly and concern of a person from historic instances empowered by gods. A nation which, certainly, worships their grasp like a god himself—and since his rise to energy, has loved peace and prosperity. Under the rule of Black Adam, Kahndaq is all of the fears of Lex Luthor and all of the hopes of Thaal Sinestro exemplified in a single nation within the Sinai Peninsula. And it’s Kahndaq which offers the setting for DC’s latest film, Black Adam.
Thematically, the nation of Kahndaq presents the heroes of the DC Universe with an ethical quandary: can a benevolent dictator be supported over the corrupt, self-serving regime they change? Can the mighty be allowed to govern by power if their intentions are simply? If you ask the folks of Kahndaq, you may not get the reply you’d count on. Let’s evaluate just a few issues we learn about this fascinating nook of the DCU.
If you simply keep in mind one factor, make it this: it’s spelled “Kahn” like “Shao Kahn,” not “Khan” like “Wrath of Khan.”
Prior to the account of Black Adam’s historical past first informed in 2002’s JSA #43, it was believed that the unique homeland of Shazam’s first champion was in historic Egypt. Indeed, Black Adam’s energy supply, which pulls from the Egyptian gods of Shu, Heru, Amon, Zehuti, Aton and Mehen, suggests an inalienable cultural hyperlink between Adam and Egyptian lore. But as Kahndaq is situated comparatively shut to Egypt, it’s comprehensible that there can be cultural similarities between the 2 close by kingdoms, every of which celebrated their golden ages at related deadlines.
Citizens of contemporary day Kahndaq communicate Arabic, are extremely monarchic of their devotion to Black Adam and have a liberal coverage on metahuman rights. Its capital metropolis, Shiruta, has its personal airport and is thought for its opulent royal palace. Its flag, three intersecting triangles, maybe depicts its close by mountain vary. Although its actual location within the Sinai Peninsula is unclear to us, it sometimes is seen sharing a border with its someday rival nation of Bialya.
The very first account we all know of Kahndaq is the nation’s most devastating fall, in JSA #43-44. According to Black Adam, Kahndaq was as soon as a paradise freed from illness, famine and violence. But in 1600 BCE, the mad alchemist priest Ahk-Ton used the fundamental Orb of Ra to turn into the Metamorpho of the traditional world, achieve management by power of the Egyptian empire and develop its borders in a bid to conquer the world. In Ahk-Ton’s drive for conquest, the nation of Kahndaq was razed to the bottom. At the time, Kahndaq’s historic champion Black Adam was away from his residence, performing duties for the wizard Shazam. He returned to discover his spouse and youngsters murdered. Ahk-Ton would die by Adam’s hand, step one on a slope in the direction of tyranny which would depart the wizard with no selection however to banish Adam from the Earth.
In 2003’s Hawkman #19, we be taught a bit of what went on in recent times. Like close by Egypt, Kahndaq was looted by Napoleon’s military within the late 18th century, the British Empire quickly after and has been subjected to a string of dictators ever since. In the early 2000s, it was a person by the identify of Asim Munuhhad who had a repute for little one labor camps and torturing political prisoners.
What was totally different is that for the primary time in 3,600 years, Black Adam was free to reclaim his folks. In “JSA: Black Reign,” with the assistance of a contingent of American heroes sympathetic to his trigger, Black Adam would depose Munuhhad and declare Kahndaq for himself. Under Black Adam, justice can be harsh and swift, however with out exception for anybody who would sully the nation’s peace.
That peace, justly earned or not, wouldn’t final. In “Day of Vengeance,” the entity of Eclipso corrupted the highly effective Spectre to direct his would possibly on the world at giant. Despite the intervention of the Justice Society of America, Kahndaq was one of many nations hit the toughest by the Spectre’s assaults. It’s maybe because of this that Black Adam ended up allying himself with the Secret Society of Super-Villains. If heroes couldn’t defend his folks, what good had been they to Kahndaq?
Of course, the failure of the Society in Infinite Crisis would show the world’s villains equally ineffective to him. It’s for that cause Black Adam steps up his no nonsense coverage in the direction of those that would carry chaos to his folks in 2006’s 52, with common public executions of offenders on any stage of infraction. Notably, Adam is just not punished for his ruthlessness, however rewarded, forming treaties with China, Myanmar and North Korea in his nation’s rise to energy. The solely factor to soften Adam’s iron grip on the nation proves to be probably the most human forces of all—love—when Adam falls for Adrianna Tomaz an Egyptian protestor to his more and more draconic regime. (Yes, this is identical Adrianna you noticed within the movie, performed by Sarah Shahi. Could romance blossom between her character and Dwayne Johnson’s Adam in a future sequel? Time will inform, however there’s definitely a precedent!)
With Adrianna by Teth-Adam’s aspect, Kahndaq loved a quick however affluent age the place kindness and empathy got here earlier than swift and last judgment. Sadly, that prosperity got here to an finish when Adrianna was murdered by bioengineered assassins linked to Intergang and close by Bialya was framed for the assault. Just as he did when Ahk-Ton took his household from him, Adam unleashed hell upon his enemy. Two million Bialyans had been killed and the world declared struggle on Adam. In the fallout, Kahndaq would lose its brutal champion.
Some years and a continuity reboot later, Kahndaq would discover itself beneath the management of yet one more egocentric regime: a person who took his identify from one other historic foe of the Shazam household, Ibac. A contingent of followers devoted to Black Adam, the “Sons of Adam,” would carry out a ritual to restore Black Adam after a demise away from his homeland. Adam would declare his throne as soon as extra and that throne is the place he’s remained. Although Adam’s rule stays absolute and unquestionable, he’s handled as a hero amongst his folks. Most considerably, Kahndaq has been constructing its place as a worldwide superpower by providing amnesty to any metahumans looking for refuge and granting full Kahndaq citizenship it doesn’t matter what their previous crimes could also be.
Kahndaq has seen solely two crises since then. The first was an tried coup by Shazam’s second champion, Billy Batson, when he was corrupted by the Batman Who Laughs in Black Adam: Year of the Villain. It didn’t final. The second is ongoing: after 1000’s of years, mortality is lastly beginning to meet up with Kahndaq’s ruler-for-life and the nation faces an unsure future in consequence. You can be taught its destiny the minute we do—by studying new problems with Black Adam each month.
Black Adam, starring Dwayne Johnson and directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, is now enjoying in a theater close to you. To purchase tickets and atone for all the most recent information, options and trailers from the movie, go to our official Black Adam hub.
Alex Jaffe is the creator of our month-to-month “Ask the Question” column and writes about TV, motion pictures, comics and superhero historical past for DCComics.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexJaffe and discover him within the DC Community as HubCityQuestion.