Fans holding their breath about a potential Shazam and Black Adam showdown may want to let it out. It's going to be a while until we see them go head to head.
However, Dwayne Johnson has revealed another iconic DC Comics team-up that is waiting in the wings. Speaking to ScreenRant, he said that Black Adam introduce the "world to JSA."
So what's the JSA? The Justice Society of America, of course.
If you're looking for familiar Justice League faces, you may be slightly disappointed. The Justice League and Justice Society are two very distinct teams, despite their names being seemingly interchangeable.
To confuse matters, the different incarnations of the team feature generations of superheroes who adopt their mantles from parents, godparents, mentors, etc. This means the timelines and names get very confusing, but we've done our best to distill what we think will happen in the Black Adam movie here.
Throughout the many comics, the Justice Society has included Doctor Fate, Doctor Mid-Nite, Flash, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Green Lantern, Mister Terrific, Power Girl, Sandman, and Star-Spangled Kid at the least. But for the Black Adam movie, not all of these characters will likely play a part.
There have already been rumours that early drafts of the screenplay include Hawkman, but this has not been confirmed. However, we do know a bit about Black Adam and his work with the Justice Society of America.
The 21st-century version of the comics has seen Black Adam reinvented from super-villain to anti-hero by writers Jerry Ordway, Geoff Johns, and David S Goyer. Johns and Goyer also penned The Justice Society of America comics from 1999 through 2006.
The writing duo changed Black Adam's origin story for their comics. In their version, he comes from the fictional North African nation of Kahndaq and serves an Egyptian prince named Khufu, aka Hawkman.
This could be how the movie plans to tie in the JSA to Black Adam's origin story, by adapting Goyer and Johns' version of the anti-hero. This will also further tie Black Adam into the Worlds of DC.
Hawkman is one of the permanent chairmen of the JSA. In the modern-day, Hawkman is reincarnated as an archaeologist called Carter Hall. It is this version of Hawkman rumoured to be included in the script for Black Adam.
So, if Carter Hall/Hawkman is in the script, and since Johnson has confirmed we'll be introduced to the JSA in the Black Adam film, we can make an educated guess as to who else will be included.
Atom Smasher, aka Albert Rothstein, the godson of original Justice Society member Atom from whom he inherited the mantle, is essentially Ant-Man of the DC world and will likely feature in the JSA storyline.
He can shrink and grow at will and has superhuman strength. Albert and Black Adam started out as rivals but eventually became close friends. If any JSA member is going to get screen time, it will likely be Atom Smasher.
Though we know Shazam won't be appearing, there is still the chance that Hawkgirl and Mr Terrific could have cameos themselves. In a JSA comics storyline, they travel back in time to meet Adam before he became villainous, and return to the present day having a better understanding of Black Adam than before.
In the contemporary JSA, Hawkgirl is Kendra Saunders, the granddaughter of the Golden Age Hawkgirl's cousin, Speed Saunders (we told you it gets confusing). Mr Terrific's real name is Michael Holt. He took the mantle on just by choice after Spectre told him about the Golden Age Mister Terrific.
Michael Holt is essentially a genius. In the comics he holds 14 PhDs, runs Cyberwear tech firm, which made him a millionaire, and is a gold medal-winning Olympic decathlete.
Whether the Black Adam origin story can loop all these characters in without confusing, well, everyone seems highly unlikely. More plausible is a post-credits cameo scene which introduces us to the JSA, teasing upcoming films with Dwayne Johnson at their centre.
Black Adam is out in cinemas on December 22, 2021.
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