Shazam 2 Makes DC’s Black Adam Situation Even Worse

The newest Shazam! Fury of the Gods trailer hints at Billy Batson’s growth as a worthy champion and protector of the planet, which makes Black Adam’s confirmed absence from the film even worse. Shazam’s arch-nemesis in the comics, Black Adam, made his live-action debut in the Dwayne Johnson-starred Black Adam film released in 2022. Now, Billy Batson returns to the big screen, but a Shazam vs. Black Adam crossover seems unlikely.

Black Adam’s premiere was followed by the announcement of a new DC Universe crafted by DC Studios. In a way, 2023 is the final year of the DCEU that began with Man of Steel in 2013. While much has yet to be revealed about DC Studios’ plans for the new DC Universe, the Black Adam situation already makes Shazam’s cinematic future quite complicated.

DC’s Black Adam Situation Hurts Shazam 2

Black Adam is an essential part of Shazam’s mythos. More than just a villain, Black Adam is the antithesis of Shazam – a previous Shazam champion who, in the end, was not worthy of the powers given to him. From the moment Shazam made his DCEU debut, those who were familiar with the character and the DC comics could not help but wonder when Shazam would fight Black Adam on the big screen. Now, just as Shazam!’s sequel Fury of the Gods is about to hit theaters, Black Adam star Dwayne Johnson has pretty much confirmed that Black Adam is not part of James Gunn’s initial plans for the DC Universe.

The announcement of a new DC Universe right after Black Adam premiered, teasing a “phase 1” of a new DC franchise, made things quite complicated for the franchise, especially because Black Adam’s post-credits scene featured Henry Cavill as Superman. With Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam not being part of the new DC Universe and Shazam’s future still up in the air, it is clear that Billy Batson will not get to meet his arch-nemesis, at least not in this current iteration of the DC Universe. Still, Fury of the Gods’ trailer hints at Billy facing his greatest challenges, making Black Adam’s absence from Shazam 2’s story difficult not to notice.

Why DC Movies Could Get Worse Before They Get Better

The new DC Universe essentially starts in 2025 with Superman: Legacy, yet DC has four movies releasing in 2023. How exactly Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom fit into the new DC Universe, if at all, it’s difficult to say, which places a challenge for these 2023 releases in terms of marketing and box office. At a time when interconnectivity and crossovers are so important for superhero franchises, having four DC movies releasing in 2023 ahead of a DC Universe reboot in 2025 can create confusion regarding the franchise’s future.

Perhaps the best way to minimize that confusion is if DC’s upcoming movies work as self-contained, standalone stories that do not promise to lead to anything bigger. This was the problem with Black Adam, as it promised a new set of stories involving not only Black Adam but also Superman and the Justice Society. That said, a lot of DC Comics stories only really work as part of a broader universe – Billy Batson’s rivalry with Black Adam, for example. However, given the current state of the DC franchise, a Shazam vs. Black Adam story is something that Shazam! Fury of the Gods will not be able to deliver.

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