Black Adam: What That Wild Post-Credits Scene Means For The DCEU
There's only one post-credits scene in Black Adam, but it's a doozy! Dwayne Johnson told us what it all means and what might be next for the DCEU.
This article contains Black Adam spoilers.
You hear him before you see him. A familiar subsonic whoosh that when you think about it, can only mean one thing. There aren’t that many heroes in the DCEU who can fly, after all, and one of them is already on screen. It doesn’t hurt that Black Adam star Dwayne Johnson has been teasing his arrival for years: Henry Cavill is back as Superman. Here’s what it all means for the DCEU…
Amanda Waller and The Suicide Squad
Right before Superman arrives, the newly-minted Black Adam (in a truly awesome comics-accurate costume) gets a message from ARGUS director (and Suicide Squad taskmaster) Amanda Waller about how she sees his place in the DCEU. Waller, of course, has no fear whatsoever of bad folks in the DC Universe, considering that she has long managed Task Force X, better known as The Suicide Squad. It was Waller who deployed the JSA to investigate Black Adam’s return in Kahndaq, and it was a Task Force X black site that Teth-Adam was held at after he voluntarily gave up his powers.
In a truly boss move, Waller can’t even be bothered to show up in person, so she sends her message to Black Adam via a hologram projected via a drone. “This is your only warning,” she tells him, letting him know in no uncertain terms that Kahndaq is now his “prison,” and that she’ll turn a blind eye to whatever he wants to do to protect his homeland, as long as he stays within its borders. Of course, that isn’t exactly the kind of talk our antihero takes kindly to, and he reminds her of that.
But since Amanda Waller is nothing if not always prepared, she was ready for exactly that response, and tells him that she can call in folks “not from this planet” to stop him if necessary. “Send them all,” Adam smirks. Waller doesn’t need to send them all. She just needs one man. A Man of Steel.
Wait a second, how come Waller can call in Superman whenever she wants? Well, don’t forget, ARGUS is a government agency that monitors all superhumans, The Suicide Squad is only one branch, a secret black ops wing of what they do. Just as Waller clearly had Hawkman on speed dial, it stands to reason that Superman, who works closely with the government, would be available to her, as well.
Henry Cavill is Back as Superman
Unlike other recent Superman “cameos” that were essentially headless torsos since Henry Cavill was either unavailable to return or, according to recent reports, was actively being blocked from returning by outgoing Warner Bros. executive Walter Hamada. But now he’s back, and if Dwayne Johnson has anything to say about it, he’s back for real this time…and this won’t be the last time Superman and Black Adam meet. Not only that, Superman’s cameo here cements what Waller’s appearance and the film’s ties to The Suicide Squad already established: this movie takes place firmly in the mainline DCEU that began with Man of Steel, continued through Justice League, and beyond.
Heck, even Superman’s dialogue in this scene is a reference to Man of Steel! “It’s been a while since anyone’s made the world this nervous,” Superman tells Black Adam. While he could be referring to General Zod from that first movie, or even Steppenwolf from Justice League, in true Superman fashion, he’s probably taking a dry, self-deprecating shot at himself. After all, Man of Steel was very much about a movie learning about an alien in their midst and the fact that his presence brought a more hostile force down on the planet.
I recently spoke with Dwayne Johnson, and he told me that it was always the intention for this movie to give fans what they want from a DC movie, and one of those things was Cavill’s return as Superman.
“It’s a new era in the DC Universe…and also a new era of listening to the fans,” Johnson says. “I may not be able to do everything that the fans want, but they’re always gonna know moving forward from us on this side of Black Adam and this side of the DC Universe, that we’re always gonna listen to them.”
Black Adam vs. Superman?
When I asked him what the next step for Black Adam would be after this scene, whether it would be a Black Adam vs. Shazam movie or a Black Adam vs. Superman movie, or even something else entirely.
“Without giving too much away, we already have plans, we are putting ideas right now on their feet…in our world, all these characters coexist, they all should cross paths,” he says. “And that sounds ambitious and it may sound like a little bit of a dream. But Black Adam should cross paths with every Justice League member, Joker, Suicide Squad, you name it….We wanted to establish the power of Black Adam in this movie. We wanted to then establish that there was no greater force on the planet than Black Adam and then have him interact with who is the greatest force in the entire universe.”
Is Man of Steel 2 Next?
Even before the world got their first new look at Henry Cavill as Superman in years, reports broke that Warner Bros. was finally displaying an “intense desire” to explore another Superman solo movie with Cavill in the cape. Of course, that was after this scene had been filmed, and the studio clearly realized that whatever the critical shortcomings of the other DC movies he starred in, fans had universally embraced Cavill’s portrayal of the Man of Steel. Here’s hoping it actually happens!
There are lots of places that Cavill’s Superman can go from here in the DCEU, and we analyzed them here. We’d also like to point out that it looks like Black Adam has made Zack Snyder’s Justice League DCEU canon!
Despite that Superman-centric ending, Johnson also makes it clear that there are still more plans for his superheroic co-stars in the film. Not only that, if fans were thrilled seeing relatively obscure characters like Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Atom Smasher, and Cyclone introduced in this movie, Johnson wants more characters like that to get the spotlight.
“I feel it’s our job to continue to illuminate these characters that we just highlighted in the JSA, but also introduce other characters,” Johnson says. “That’s a great thing when you open up that pantheon of DC characters. They have been there forever. And now we get a chance to go inside that Bible [of the DC Universe] and pull some of those out.”
Black Adam is in theaters now.