Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam

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Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam
DVD cover art
Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos
Produced by
Written by Michael Jelenic
Music by
Distributed by Warner Home Video
Release date
  • November 9, 2010 (2010-11-09)
Running time
25 minutes
Language English

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam is a 2010 short animated film, directed by Joaquim Dos Santos and written by Michael Jelenic, featuring George Newbern and Jerry O'Connell reprising their roles from Justice League Unlimited as Superman and Captain Marvel who cooperate to do battle with the powerful Black Adam. The film, which was released on November 9, 2010 (2010-11-09) as the main feature on the compilation DVD DC Showcase Original Shorts Collection, was the fourth and to date longest of the DC Showcase series, which were also included in extended versions.[1][2]


The film opens with a young couple outside the city watching a meteor that soon smashes into them. The meteorite is revealed to be Black Adam returning to Earth.

The film then cuts to young Billy Batson living alone in a rundown slum, with very little food and rats for pets. It is later revealed that Billy is an orphan whose foster parents threw him out. On his way to meet with Clark Kent in a nearby diner, he sees some bullies mugging a homeless man and tries to help but is beat down instead. Nevertheless, the man thanks Billy for his intervention, and Billy gives him the only thing of value he has – a subway token.

At the diner, Clark and Billy discuss the article he is writing, which Clark hopes will spur others to aid people like Billy. Black Adam arrives and attacks Billy, stating his intent to kill the boy before the Wizard can get to him. Clark briefly diverts Adam's attention, allowing Billy to escape while he changes into Superman. Black Adam chases Billy through the streets but Superman intervenes and battles him. Though the two are evenly matched, Superman's vulnerability to magic gives Adam the advantage.

Billy manages to run into the subway where the homeless man he rescued gives him a subway token so he can escape. Black Adam corners Billy on the tracks, but Billy is apparently run over by a train. However, Billy awakens to find he is on an empty subway car with the now-glowing token. The train takes Billy to a gigantic cave with statues of the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man. He finds his way to the Wizard Shazam who tells him that he is the next Chosen One. The Wizard explains that Black Adam had been his champion 5000 years ago, but Adam had used his power for personal gain and corrupted the gift. He was then banished across the universe but has now returned seeking vengeance. The Wizard bestows his power to Billy and causes a cave in, wishing to atone for the mistake of creating Black Adam. He tells Billy that when he needs him, he only has to speak the Wizard's name. Billy escapes the collapsing cave and arrives outside.

Billy confronts Adam and, saying "SHAZAM!," is instantly transformed by a bolt of lightning into a powerful adult version of himself with superhuman strength, speed, durability, and flight. The transformation is reversed in the same manner. Billy and Superman join forces to battle Black Adam in the skies, gaining the upper hand. Realizing that he can't defeat both of them, Black Adam destroys a dam which threatens to flood Fawcett City. While Superman diverts the flood, Adam takes a motorist as hostage and tells Billy to surrender himself in his mortal form to secure her release. Billy complies, but Adam throws the hostage into the sky and silences Billy before he can catch her. The woman is rescued by Superman who attacks Adam, allowing Billy to transform back into Shazam. He quickly defeats Adam, intent on ending the threat. Superman talks Shazam out of murdering Adam, telling him to be better. Adam declares that only death will stop him. The homeless man reappears and reveals himself to be the boy's guardian angel Tawky Tawny. Tawky reverts to his true form as a tiger and promises that the Wizard will send Black Adam so far across the universe, it will take ten thousand years to return. Unwilling to be banished again, Adam shouts "SHAZAM" reverting to the mortal Teth-Adam. Having been Black Adam for millennia, his mortal body cannot withstand the ravages of time and he turns to dust. It was an apparent bluff, as Tawny confirms the Wizard is indeed dead.

Days later, Billy is reading Clark's article when he encounters the bullies again. They try to intimidate him but he simply smiles and a bolt of lightning strikes the city.



  1. ^ Harvey, James (August 5, 2010). "Warner Home Video Unveils "DC Showcase Original Shorts Collection" Release". Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ "DC Showcase Animated Shorts". July 10, 2010. Retrieved July 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Collura, Scott (July 25, 2010). "SDCC 10: DC Shorts Showcase". IGN. Retrieved July 25, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d Harvey, James (October 29, 2010). "Main Cast, Crew Details For "Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam"". Retrieved March 2, 2014. 

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