Warning! SPOILERS for Black Adam.
The DCEU version of the Justice Society was recently introduced in: Black Adambut this new superhero group has repeated one key Justice League mistake. After Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson) is freed from captivity in Khandaq millennia earlier by the Council of Wizards, certain stakeholders feel he must be held before he can destroy the world. Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) assigns this task to the DCEU’s Justice Society, led by Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), who is joined by a retired Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan) and superhero newbies Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo). While it was inevitable that the Justice Society would one day show up in a larger DCEU project, as they are a cornerstone of the DC universe, their introduction in Black Adam is not substantiated. Similar criticisms were often discussed when the Justice League’s first movie debuted, as the main members barely got any screen time, or even a proper introduction.
When Justice League was released in 2017, Aquaman hadn’t even had his first solo film yet, the DCEU’s Flash had only appeared for two small cameos in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and suicide squad, and Cyborg was yet to be introduced. although Justice League brought together these three heroes and DC’s flagship trio Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman for the first time, their team-up was built on a weak foundation, which put a strain on their dynamism and the cohesiveness of the film. The Justice League formation got more time to breathe in Zack Snyder’s version of Justice League, but it wasn’t enough to cover up the knowledge gaps that occur when characters don’t get the screen time needed to properly introduce them. This has happened again with the introduction of the Justice Society in Black Adam, although it might be worse. The Justice Society has never been mentioned in a DCEU property before, and so their appearance comes out of nowhere, leaving the audience with too many questions and too little background information to put together the answers. If a viewer isn’t familiar with the Justice Society of other DC media like the comics, there’s very little here to help them understand why the Justice Society is so important within the DC universe.
The Justice Society’s Role In Black Adam Is Too Big To Be An Introduction
The Justice Society plays an important role in Black Adam. Not surprisingly, Black Adam as a character needed opponents who were a real obstacle, and bringing in a superhero group like the Justice Society is an easy fix. The ensuing battles between super-powered factions provide enough spectacle to keep the film going, and Cyclone and Doctor Fate’s powers in Black Adam add lots of visual treats for the audience to enjoy. However, the film tells us very little about the Justice Society as a whole. There are a few short scenes between Atom Smasher and Cyclone where they try to bond by being new to the superhero world, and Hawkman and Dr. Fate is often mentioned and becomes the crux of the Justice Society’s emotional climax in Black Adam. Is that enough to make the audience feel like they have some hold over these characters? Undoubtedly, no.
Black Adam doesn’t give a clear answer as to who the Justice Society is, why Hawkman seems to be the only real working member of the group, or why they had to take two totally inexperienced heroes on such a dangerous mission. What might make this worse is: Black Adam‘s end-credits scene, which, while audiences are thrilled with Henry Cavill’s confirmed return as Superman to the DCEU, debunks the entire rationale behind Amanda Waller sending the Justice Society to confront Black Adam. Why call a supergroup forced to retire someone and take two untried heroes with them, when you have Superman on standby?
The Justice Society members deserved better character arcs in Black Adam
The four members of the Justice Society in Black Adam they all have real potential, but the focus of the film is on Black Adam and his reintroduction in Khandaq, and for good reason. As a result, however, the film is unable to spend real time with these Justice Society characters learning what makes them tick, learn about their backstories, or even how their powers work. dr. Fate and Hawkman in Black Adam constantly refer to their friendship, but other than a few exchanged jokes here and there, their dynamic isn’t much of a testament to years of friendship, which makes Dr. Fate has less impact. Atom Smasher’s inexperience is emphasized so much that it becomes a struggle to understand why they even took him. Cyclone is said to be a genius, but only gets a small moment to prove this to be true in the Justice Society ship’s medical room. So much remains unsaid about these characters in Black Adam that the next time the Justice Society appears in a DCEU movie, the hero list might have completely changed, and sadly it doesn’t really matter.
Without prior knowledge of the Justice Society of America or the characters involved in Black AdamThere’s very little here that will get you rooting for them. dr. Fate has been constantly compared to Marvel’s Doctor Strange because the movie doesn’t do enough to set them apart, though Fate’s backstory and powers in the comics are quite different from Strange’s. Comparisons between the two titans of superhero storytelling are inevitable, but DC can make those comparisons less relevant by taking the time to introduce and develop their biggest characters and give audiences a chance to interact with them. to come. Heroes involved in the Justice League and the Justice Society deserve a good screen presence, and hopefully, as the DCEU continues to grow after Black Adam‘s release, that’s exactly what they’ll get.
Next: Everything Black Adam Turns Into The DCEU (It’s A Lot)