Black Adam is getting a ‘meh’ from critics, while audiences are loving it. The Rock headlining DC superhero movie is creating a lot of buzz. Mostly generated by The Rock himself, given that the man is a marketing genius. But more importantly, the movie looks like some sort of milestone in the DC Extended Universe, given its on and off-screen antics. Not to mention a heavily spoiled Black Adam post-credit scene that saw the return of a fan-favourite character. But what does it all mean? Where do we go from here in the DCEU? Keep reading to find out.
Please note: The following will have heavy spoilers for Black Adam.
Black Adam is the culmination of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s 15-year effort to get the movie made. The movie itself is a pretty good time, even though there’s a lot you can pick out as not being great. Despite that, it’s a fun superhero movie that is action-packed and has some stellar characters that I personally would love to see more of. The newest Warner Bros.’ DC superhero movie is already Johnson’s biggest box office premiere as a leading man, and it’s probably not going to stop anytime soon. A lot of this is due to Johnson’s immense reach on social media, and just his naturally charismatic demeanour. Before the movie’s release, Johnson hinged a lot of the movie’s marketing on a key spoiler.
When the Black Adam post-credit scene leaked, revealing Henry Cavill’s Superman, Johnson leaned into it. Every red carpet interview seemed to focus on that. With Johnson touting and promising a ‘different’ kind of DCEU. We still don’t know exactly what he means, but I have an idea.
That Black Adam Post-Credit Scene Was Bonkers!
Black Adam ends with the titular character of Teth-Adam (Johnson) now in charge of the fictional country of Kahndaq. Politically, this seems tricky. Having a violent meta-human with God-like powers and a similar attitude to boot in charge, may not be good for international relations. So in the Black Adam post-credit scene, we get an appearance of Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. Davis first appeared as the character in 2016’s Suicide Squad, and then reprised the role for 2022’s The Suicide Squad and then the spin-off, Peacemaker. It seems Waller has become the unofficial Agent Coulson for the DCEU. She shows up via a hologram to warn Black Adam that his self-imposed rule of Kahndaq is not acceptable.
Adam threatens her, asking who of this world can stop him. Waller counters with how she’ll send someone ‘not of this world’. Cue the hype. From behind the darkness of Kahndaq, Henry Cavill’s Superman appears, complete with a new spit-curl, to talk to Black Adam. Superman doesn’t seem nearly as brooding or ominous when he confronted Batman in Batman V. Superman, which is a good thing!
Henry Cavill Returning As Superman Is Long Overdue
Loyal fans of Cavill’s Superman are jumping with joy that the actor is finally returning to the role. While Superman never really ‘left’ the DCEU, neither was Cavill replaced, it all might seem moot. But we know that Warner Bros. and DC never knew what to do with the character, and no movies or TV shows were in development, so the audience kind of bid farewell to Cavill’s Superman.
His return marks a shift in the WB’s decision-making thus far, that has baffled audiences. With Johnson spearheading the return, he also makes it clear that WB is now (finally) listening to the fans. What that means more concretely, is still pretty murky. But even Cavill promises more. As he mentions in an Instagram video confirming, potentially more Superman in the future. We already know that WB is working on a Man Of Steel 2, so let’s see what happens.
Oh, But There’s A Problem In The Black Adam Post-Credit Scene
The biggest problem I have with the Black Adam post-credit scene is what it implies about Superman and the current DCEU. Man Of Steel’s ending dealt with how Superman and the United States government came to an uneasy understanding that they couldn’t control him. Batman V. Superman explored those themes even further, with Superman put on trial for his intervention in international matters. And the perceived consequences that occurred as a result. Unfortunately, those themes got overshadowed as we learned it was all a ploy by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) to frame and eventually kill Superman.
Is Superman Working For Amanda Waller? Because That’s Weird
The Black Adam post-credit scene seems to imply that Superman is now working for Amanda Waller. Somehow. This is problematic as Waller is infamous for being the epitome of a rogue government agent who does whatever she wants. In 2016’s Suicide, her entire thesis for creating Task Force X, aka the Suicide Squad, was ‘what if Superman goes bad’. In both Suicide Squad movies, she was willing to kill those in her employ and murder them to cover up terrible government secrets.
So it seems weird that the epitome of truth and justice like Superman would be at the beck and call of such a grey character. In the comics, Superman has, many times, allied himself with the US government in tricky situations. Most famously, how the US government sent him to take down an older rogue Batman in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.
Maybe there’s some missing story between Superman’s last appearance in the DCEU and how things are in Black Adam. A story that could be explained or explored in Man Of Steel 2. So while it’d be easy to be grumpy and pout and throw up #NotMySuperman tweets, I think I’ll wait to see how WB and the creators fill in the blanks of Superman’s story in the last few years of his absence in the DCEU. Maybe it will all make sense.
Black Adam is now playing in theatres.
Are you excited about the return of Henry Cavill’s Superman? Worried? Let me know your reactions in the comments below.