We cannot deny that we were missing the heroism that DC has introduced us to with “Man of Steel” (2013) and the epic battles like in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016) and “Justice League” (Zack Snyder’s 2021, not Whedon’s 2017). And the wait almost felt like 5000 years. With “Black Adam,” DCEU returned to the big screen after 2021’s “Suicide Squad” directed by James Gunn. And boy, did it feel great to finally taste the traditional DC flavor after so long. “Black Adam” is a must-watch for everyone who has been eagerly waiting for DC’s next step toward the exploration of its extended universe. And “Black Adam” nails it.
Dwayne Johnson delivered on the promise he made to “the people” in 2020’s Official Teaser of “Black Adam” when he said, “No one will ever stop me again.” We all know that the film has been his passion project for a very long time, perhaps since it was first revealed that he would play Black Adam back in 2007. It has been 15 years since then, and things have changed beyond recognition. The DCEU took birth and went through so much to reach where it is today. After countless struggles and issues, it has finally managed to hit the spot.
It was unclear whether Henry Cavill would return as Superman in the DCEU. Moreover, the accusations surrounding Ezra Miller have made it a lot tougher for the creators to figure out a way to greenlight “The Flash” for 2023 the way they had intended to. It is supposed to have two Batmans from separate universes, i.e., Michael Keaton’s Batman from the Tim Burton universe and DCEU’s Batman (Ben Affleck). A third “Wonder Woman” film is on the way, while “Shazam 2” and “Aquaman 2” are slated for release in 2022 and 2023, respectively. With all this hotchpotch and no way to discern how the DCEU would bring these films together, having a clear picture of the future of DC was not possible until now.
The return of Cavil’s Superman in the post-credits of “Black Adam” proves that the two will meet again in the distant future. Superman’s arrival does resume the long pause that DC faced, and a considerable portion of the vote of thanks goes to Dwayne Johnson as well. While Man in Black’s meeting with the Man of Steel doesn’t ensure any future “Justice League” movie, it makes a point toward more links among the future films that will eventually bring back the Justice League. But before that, Black Adam and Superman will meet one-on-one. In an interview with “CinemaBlend,” Dwayne Johnson confirmed this when asked if Black Adam would fight Superman. He said that the fight is the “whole point.”
Black Adam has more to share with Shazam (formerly Captain Marvel of DC, not Marvel) and the Justice Society of America. Superman is a member of the Justice League. And since Superman is unprotected against magic, DC Comics has tried not to pitch him against Black Adam, who does have quite some magic tricks up his sleeves. However, both of them have had occasional fights. Their first fight took place in “All-New Collectors’ Edition” #C-58 (1978). Their next face-off was in 1982’s “DC Comics Presents” #49. In this one, Black Adam arrives at Earth-One (that has Superman and Justice League) [from his Earth-S (“S” is for Shazam)] to conquer it; a world without Shazam. Later on, all the Earths would combine into a single one, with all the superheroes and villains facing each other. Black Adam even joined the Justice Society of America for a brief amount of time before shifting to the Secret Society of Supervillains. Superman and Black Adam then face each other in “Action Comics” #831 (2005), destroying Metropolis. In 2011’s “The New 52”, Black Adam fought an evil Superman. Finally, in 2016’s DC Rebirth, Superman invited Black Adam to join the Justice League. As of 2022, the Man in Black is a member of the Justice League’s new version (“Dark Crises” event).
While there is material to borrow from for a potential Superman VS Black Adam, DC will have to be very careful before it takes any step in that direction. At the moment, it has to look for a new president, with Walter Hamada having left his post. However, a new and hopefully better president will be chosen to lead the way, someone who knows about DC and its legacy and doesn’t compromise it for the sake of profits. Dwayne Johnson listened to the fans and gave us what we wanted in the best way possible. It does make sense, as he has been a part of DC for a much longer period of time than Hamada himself. Maybe he should be one of the external advisors to the company. Jokes apart, we will certainly get more of the Man in Black, and that itself is a relief.