Black Adam Tie-In Comic Seemingly Confirms Major DCEU Theory

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After years upon years of being in the works, DC’s Black Adam movie is finally on its way to becoming a reality, with the film poised to debut in theaters later this year. Not only will the project introduce general audiences to Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson), but it will serve as the live-action film debut for the Justice Society of America, one of the very first superhero teams to grace the pages of DC Comics. With a lot still unknown about Black Adam outside of a few brief seconds of footage, a new announcement for the film’s official tie-in comic answers one of the biggest questions thus far. The comic, titled Black Adam — The Justice Society Secret Files, will consist of a series of one-shots spotlighting the members of the film’s ensemble.

Kicking off the first issue will be a main story about Carter Hall / Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), from writer Cavan Scott, penciler Scot Eaton, and inker Norm Rapmund. The solicitation for the Hawkman issue opens with the following: “Long ago, Hawkman was the leader of the Justice Society, but what is he now? Still a hero, or another relic in a museum?” This wording serves as the first official confirmation that Black Adam’s JSA roster — consisting of Hawkman, Kent Nelson / Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Albert Rothstein / Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), and Maxine Hunkel / Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) — seemingly isn’t the first incarnation of the team that has existed within the main DC Extended Universe.

In the comics, the JSA originally began as an alliance between an array of DC’s Golden Age superheroes, with a roster that initially included Hawkman, The Atom, Black Canary, Doctor Mid-Nite, Starman, Hourman, and Wonder Woman. After superhero comics largely faded out of popularity in the late 1940s, the JSA and their crossovers were shelved, only for DC to revive the initial concept of the team by assembling the Justice League of America with its Silver Age superheroes. Despite the success of the JLA, fans wanted to see the JSA return, and they eventually got their wish in the form of annual crossovers, which saw the two teams joining forces from their respective parallel universes of Earth-1 and Earth-2.

This eventually allowed for stories about both teams to be told concurrently, and for the JSA to become a mix of its original heroes (who had since aged in real-time) and second-generation heroes like Huntress and Power Girl. This notion of legacy within the JSA has continued ever since, especially as the team was later retconned to have existed on the same Earth as the JLA following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Recent comic incarnations of the JSA, as well as their appearances on DC’s Stargirl TV show, have leaned into the idea of the team having been around for a long time, with new and old members coming in and out.

Granted, it was probably safe to assume that Black Adam would take a comic-accurate approach to its JSA, especially when Hawkman has the ability to reincarnate across history, and Brosnan’s take on Doctor Fate is old enough to have been on the team in his prime. Still, with the ever-evolving nature of the DCEU (and the fact that the franchise’s Justice League were seemingly established as if they were the first public-facing alliance of superheroes), there could have been a version of Black Adam’s JSA that was still in its early days. Luckily, that now doesn’t appear to be the case — and hopefully the Justice Society Secret Files will provide even more context to the history of the team.

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Black Adam is currently scheduled to be released in theaters on October 21st. Black Adam — The Justice Society Secret Files: Hawkman #1 will be released wherever comic books are sold on July 5th.

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