OAFE: your #1 source for toy reviews
B u y   t h e   t o y s ,   n o t   t h e   h y p e .

what's new?
message board
Twitter Facebook RSS      

shop action figures at Entertainment Earth


Black Adam
by yo go re

With the news that the DCEU is finally being put to rest, it's good to remember that not everything about it was terrible.

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.

It's hard to come up with villains for Black Adam - after all, he's a villain himself, so it's not like he has a pre-made pool of enemies. Or, well, he was a villain; say what you will about Geoff Johns today, he started out great, and Black Adam was the first example of something he'd do really well for a long time: the jerkass with strong principles. Not a superhero, not a supervillain, just a super... person. So even when he became a protagonist in the early '00s, Black Adam's enemies were more large organizations like the Cobra Cult than individuals. So for this movie, he's inherited one of Captain Marvel Jr.'s castoffs.

The original Sabbac was an American Nazi sympathizer who used black magic to summon demons to empower him - it's never brought up in the movie, but "SABBAC" is an acronym the same way "SHAZAM" is. He has the invincible strength of Satan, the indestructible body of Aym, the evil wisdom of Belial, the flame powers of Beelzebub, the evil courage of Asmodeus, and the flight of Craeteis. Why doesn't flight get a sinister adjective like all the other powers? Anyway, all that hell-power explains why he's got a big pentacle carved into his chest. The original Sabbac was just a goofy guy in a green smock; the modern version (introduced in 2004) looks more like a big red demon, and that's what the movie copies.

The whole "Crown of Sabbac" thing may have been invented for the movie, but let's give credit to McFarlane's sculptors (because we certainly know he won't) for making sure it gets included here. It's not a separete piece, either as an accessory or even sculpturally: it's not something he's wearing, it's more like it's embedded in his head. It's a bit hard to see, since it's the same color as his hair, but if you look at the toy's head you can definitely make out the vertical spines wrapping around the sides and back beneath his curved horns.

There really are a lot of small sculptural details that look really cool when you get in there to appreciate them fully, like the ancient lettering down his arms, or the line of small black skulls stacked vertically along his spine. He doesn't wear much in the way of clothes, but the golden chains accenting his black loincloth are detailed well, and the armor on his shoulders seems to sprout directly from his skin. He's mostly a dark red, though the big scar on his chest ia lighter shade. The weirdest thing is that his eyes still look normal: shouldn't they be orange or something? Something non-human?

This is one of McFarlane's "megafigs," like King Shark or Fezzik, so he stands more than 9½" tall. Fortunately for those of us who prefer the old 6" scale, Sabbac is often shown as being inhumanly big in the comics, so this toy can still stand in. We don't get any accessories, but the articulation is at least good: a barbell-jointed neck, balljointed pecs with rings around them so the chest still looks complete when you move them around, hinged shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge/swivel wrists, a balljointed chest and waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, s/h/s ankles, and hinged toes. Because the toy is so large and solid, it's heavy and therefore a bit difficult to balance; you definitely don't want this guy falling over in your display!

Black Adam was not a bad movie. Adam works best in the comics when he's not being used as a Shazam enemy, but as a more global problem: you know, when he's not being DC's Venom, but instead their Dr. Doom. Still, it was probably a lot to ask to expect even The Rock's charisma to save an entire flubbed movie line (see also). But if nothing else, it's given us a character who was unliikely to ever receive an action figure, and who will look at home even in a collection of comic figures.

-- 12/21/22

back what's new? reviews

Report an Error 

Discuss this (and everything else) on our message board, the Loafing Lounge!

shop action figures at Entertainment Earth

Entertainment Earth

that exchange rate's a bitch

© 2001 - present, OAFE. All rights reserved.
Need help? Mail Us!