Sarah Shahi hints she’s playing Isis in Black Adam

Sarah Shahi as Isis in Black Adam Pic credit: CBS/DC Comics

A major DC heroine, Isis, may be making a big-screen debut in Black Adam. 

Actress Sarah Shahi has shared a note from the first day of filming her role in Dwayne Johnson’s super-hero epic, and her words indicate her character of Adrianna may end up becoming the DC heroine known as Isis. 

The 41-year-old actress is best known for her role as Shaw on the CBS series Person of Interest as well as TV series The L Word, Life, and The Rookie. 

Shahi as Adrianna and Isis?

As soon as Sarah Shahi was cast in Black Adam, rumors abounded that she would be playing the character of Adrianna, who in the comics is transformed into superhero Isis. 

Shahi fueled these rumors by posting a picture to Instagram showing photos of her “researching” Adam comics, which included key appearances by Adrianna/Isis in the 52 series.

At the start of filming for Black Adam, Shahi finally confirmed she is, indeed, playing Adrianna and talked with pride about representing her Middle Eastern “brothers and sisters.”. 

But will Adrianna become Isis?

Who is Isis?

Back in the 1970s, a Shazam TV show featured the popular hero known at the time as Captain Marvel. 

A spin-off was created focusing on the original character Isis. Andrea Thomas was a schoolteacher who found a mystical amulet during a dig in Egypt. By calling on it, she was transformed into an incarnation of the ancient Egyptian goddess with powers of flight, super-strength, and controlling the elements. 

In 2006, the character was introduced into the formal DC Universe. At the time, Black Adam had taken over the rule of his home nation of Kahndaq. Adrianna Tomaz was a refugee offered to Adam as a “gift” by the criminal group Intergang in exchange for being allowed to use Kahndaq as a base of operations.

Outraged at this, Adam killed the Intergang representatives and freed Adrianna. Showing no fear of this ancient powerhouse, Adrianna challenged Adam to become a true hero to his people.

Impressed by her courage, Adam gave Adrianna a mystical amulet that transformed her into the superpowered Isis. With Adrianna’s aid, Adam let go of his villainous ways to finally become a true hero.

Adrianna later discovered her missing brother Amaon and convinced Adam to give him some power to become Osiris. Adam and Adrianna soon fell in love and were married.

Tragically, both Adrianna and her brother were killed by enemies attacking Adam. Adam was driven mad by grief and went on a global rampage before being stopped by an army of heroes. 

Adam was later able to revive Adrianna, only for her to be transformed into a darker figure corrupted by rage and briefly become ruler of Kahndaq herself. The character vanished when DC rewrote its history in 2011 and has yet to make a return.

Isis in live-action

Tala Ashe as Zari on Legends of Tomorrow.
Tala Ashe as Zari on Legends of Tomorrow. Pic credit: The CW

An episode of Smallville had Lois Lane (Erica Durance) possessed by an amulet become Isis; she was a villainous goddess out to resurrect her brother and conquer the world. 

The third season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow debuted Zari Tomaz (Tala Ashe), a superpowered refugee from a tyrannical 2042. While never called Isis on-screen, Zari wields a totem that allows her the same powers of wind and other elements.

Zari’s path on the show has included wild turns such as a time-travel mishap, causing her entire personality to be transformed into a shallow social media influencer and her brother Behrad is now the totem-wielding hero.

The fifth season of the show ended with Zari on a quest to save her brother’s life by journeying into the totem.

What role will Black Adam have for Shahi?

The casting lists Shahi’s role as “a university professor and freedom fighter leading the resistance in Kahndaq.” It may be that, as in the comics, Adam awakens from his thousands-year-old sleep to discover his former homeland has fallen into disarray and is out to take it back, meeting Adrianna along the way.

It is possible the character may end up differently than in the comics (sadly, the name “Isis” has a much different connotation in the world today), and Shahi’s role may simply be as an aide to Adam. 

Yet, the idea the actress ends up portraying this groundbreaking heroine who becomes Adam’s equal remains strong and promises to bring more power to the already bold world of Black Adam.

Black Adam premieres in theaters July 29, 2022.

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