Wasn’t the DC Extended Universe, Warner Bros’ rival to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, supposed to have died a death after the critical and commercial failure of the original Justice League? If so, nobody seems to have told Dwayne Johnson and Jaume Collet-Serra, respectively star and director of Black Adam, the debut trailer for which dropped this week.

    Just like in the comics, the powerful antihero appears to be heavily related to 2019’s Shazam, the DC universe’s web of inter-superhero links thrillingly in place. We know this because despite having been announced back in 2014, Black Adam only exists because Shazam did so well. Could the DCEU end up being slowly rebuilt around the various costumed titans unleashed by Djimon Hounsou’s ancient wizard? It looks a sure bet, even if Hounsou hasn’t officially been confirmed to return in Collet-Serra’s film.

    In the comics, Black Adam is the yang to Billy Batson‘s yin, an earlier recipient of the sorcerous Shazam’s powers who was banished for 5,000 years after he failed to use them well. In the movie, the same 5,000-year period is in place, but instead of Black Adam traveling back to Earth from a distant galaxy where he’d been sent in disgrace, he’s apparently woken from an ancient tomb. Perhaps the CGI was just easier.

    What’s strange here is that we seem to be getting introduced to Adam as a good guy, or at least someone with the potential to help deliver the Earth from the forces of evil, whereas in print the character started out as a baddie and only decades later. began to appear as a more positive figure. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that he’s being played by Dwayne Johnson, Hollywood’s prime musclebound hulk now that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone are in their mid-70s.

    Johnson seems to have been attached to the role for at least a couple of those five millennia, and now that it’s finally here the trailer is determined to show you that he’s a different kind of hero, a no-nonsense one that happily kills his enemies. and doesn’t worry too much about pesky moral codes. I guess when you’ve been locked up that long, a little meaningless murder doesn’t register so high on one’s list of indiscretions.

    This will all most likely be fine while Black Adam is lending a hand to the newly introduced Justice Society of America , perhaps as the black ops-style blunt instrument that the likes of Aldis Hodge’s Hawkman, Noah Centineo’s Atom Smasher and Pierce Brosnan’s Doctor Fate need. to help them save the day without whetting their moral whistles. But it could cause problems down the line if Johnson is later primed to face off against Batson/Shazam or Superman.

    Can Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam rebuild the DC Extended Universe? | Superhero movies
    Worth the wait? … Black Adam.

    There’s a reason Tom Hardy’s Venom has not yet battled Spider-Man in the Sony-owned Marvel movies, beyond the tangled web of contractual ownership of Tom Holland’s masked wall crawler. In the comics, superpowered individuals can take decades to go from good guy to bad and back again: on the big screen there is a lot less time to show audiences quite why the chap you just saw helping to save the known universe has just decided it might be a good idea to destroy it. Hence some of the doubters around the MCU’s Wanda Maximoff/Scarlett Witch recently turning to the dark side. in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, despite Marvel giving her an entire TV show that more than hinted at her descent into villainy.

    Ben Affleck’s caped crusader faced the same issues after he decided to take on the man of steel in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and never really recovered from being recast as the bad guy (though rubbish screenwriting certainly didn’t help).

    Can Johnson’s Black Adam avoid all these future torments? Only time will tell, but for now he’s here, he’s more badass than a parade of monster trucks blasting out 80s hair rock, and he’s nothing like any hero we’ve seen in similar superhero fare. Provided DC have a plan to make this all work, who are we to complain?


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