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Black Adam Vs. Dr. Fate: Who Would Win In A Fight?

Dwayne Johnson is the star of "Black Adam," but Pierce Brosnan's Doctor Fate gives The Rock a run for his money when it comes to scene-stealing coolness. As for the in-universe power balance between the two, well ... let's just say that there's a reason why the movie's not called "Doctor Fate." When Fate's Justice Society of America face off with Teth-Adam, the black-clad antihero proves to be a match for the lot of them. 

Still, it's worth noting that this version of the sorcerer is somewhat weaker than the Doctor Fate comics fans know. the comics version of Fate is a beast, and it's easy to start wondering just what would happen if this fully-powered version faced off with Adam. The matchup would be particularly intriguing because both characters are astonishingly powerful, yet historically capable of being defeated. Strong as he is, Doctor Fate isn't the greatest mystical presence DC has to offer — as evidenced by the nigh-omnipotent Spectre, who quite handily demolishes the good doctor during the events of Infinite Crisis. Likewise, Black Adam might be a Superman-level power player, but regardless of what Mr. Johnson would have you believe about shifting power hierarchies, the Shazam villain's had his share of defeats. 

Let's try to find out which of the two would reign supreme in a no-holds-barred battle. 

Teth-Adam is a grumpy one-man pantheon

Since their powers come from the same source, Black Adam's power set follows the same template as Shazam's. Still, don't take that to mean that the Dwayne Johnson-sized, black-clad powerhouse is easily comparable to Zachary Levi's far more comedic titular character in "Shazam!" After all, Adam has far more experience using his powers, and far fewer moral scruples about doing so. 

Adam's seven-deity "Shazam" set turns him into an implacable, immortal, ultra-strong flying brick character with an array of electrokinetic powers ... as well as a handful of random-seeming secondary powers that are connected to particular deities, such as telekinesis and hypnosis. He also has access to vast of divine and mystical knowledge, which makes his brain a superhuman search engine of sorts. This would presumably come in handy should he, say, need to hastily Google "how to defeat Doctor Fate" while actively fighting Doctor Fate.

Adam's powers are, in other words, a lot. The "Black Adam" stinger that teases an impeding confrontation between him and Superman (Henry Cavill) isn't quite as egregious as it might seem to a fan who assumed Adam would go up against Shazam next, since the antihero is easily powerful enough to go toe to toe with either. But can he stand up against a fully powered Doctor Fate? 

Doctor Fate is the ultimate magic user

How can a sorcerer in a funny helmet possibly stand against an immortal, invulnerable, unstoppable force? By being far more than meets the eye. 

To say that Doctor Fate is pretty big in the magical world is an understatement, as the character wields the power and artifacts of a Lord of Order called Nabu. As one of Earth's premier magic users with access to roughly all the spell juice that you can imagine, there's seemingly very little the character can't do. DC Comics' Doctor Fate has blown up planets and grown giant mouths in his belly, and his loosely defined power set can best be defined as "pretty much all the cool superpowers that the plot requires, plus also the best magic." Like Black Adam, he's more or less indestructible. Even if someone manages to strike down the hero's corporeal form, the character will survive, because "Doctor Fate" is essentially whoever the iconic Helmet of Fate (and, in some versions, certain other Fate-themed artifacts) deems good enough to wear it. 

Fate's most memorable comic moments are a wild ride, and his helmet alone has been known to embark on entertaining adventures with figures like the simian Sherlock Holmes expy known as Detective Chimp. In some corners of the multiverse, even A-listers like Superman and Batman have worn the helmet. Oh, and speaking of the former, Doctor Fate is able to go toe to toe with Supes — which isn't something every DC magic user can say, regardless of how much the writer plays up the Man of Steel's vulnerability to magic.

Apart from being a force to be reckoned with on Earth, Doctor Fate can operate on various planes of reality, and he routinely interacts with otherworldly beings that the considerably more Earth-based Black Adam could barely begin to comprehend. Still, if he decides to challenge the virtually invincible Adam head-on, is he good enough to win?

Black Adam might beat Kent Nelson, but Doctor Fate still prevails

At the end of the day, any battle between two super-characters depends on the writer, as well as the characters' respective levels of popularity. Regardless of what you think of the movie, Black Adam has been having a bit of a cultural moment as of late — and would quite possibly be able to take down Kent Nelson because of this. A drawn-out war with Doctor Fate, however, is another matter entirely. 

Doctor Fate is a legacy character, and Nabu's artifacts would likely have every reason to bear a grudge if Adam overpowered their host. As such, a true showdown between Black Adam and Fate would almost certainly not be a one-and-done deal if Fate lost his life ... which would be the only way Adam could (and, in all likelihood, would) incapacitate the sorcerer. Instead, Adam would have to face a succession of increasingly crafty Fates at random intervals, with a new gold-helmed enemy popping up whenever he least expects it. Should Adam somehow continue to hold his own against the Fates, Nabu might even decide to cut the middle man and assume full control of the Helmet of Fate, unleashing the full might of a Lord of Order at his opponent. At some point, one Doctor Fate will figure out a way to reverse-Shazam Black Adam, and whoop Teth-Adam's black-clad rump six ways to Sunday ... and considering the magician's sheer power and prowess, this might even happen a lot sooner than you'd expect.

Could Black Adam survive an impressive number of Doctor Fate attacks? Sure, it's a possibility. But could he survive a potentially infinite battle, with each Fate wiser to his tactics, and better at finding ways to negate his powers? He'd probably have an easier time trying to secure a sequel.