Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers of Black Adam.The DCEU’s Black Adam has been a hit on arrival, with Dwayne Johnson’s debut as the titular antihero raking in the best weekend box office debut of his career. Black Adam’s success also has to do with the film surprising the fandom in numerous ways, with many twists setting up future films.
These include the shocking return of Superman after many years of hiatus to the reveal of Black Adam’s origins and how he got his powers. With quite a bit of big-time reveals in the story, it’s best to take a recap of the points that took fans by surprise and what made them so impactful.
Amanda Waller had used the Task Force X operatives previously under the threat of death, while her association with the Justice League appears to be based on whether the team wants to help her or not. But the JSA turned out to be willing associates of Waller’s, as seen when she contacted them.
This means that Waller has connections that go beyond those that fans knew of before, as the character can make use of empowered individuals who aren’t criminals or prisoners. With Waller now associated with the JSA and Justice League, it turns out that she’s one of the most powerful people on the planet.
The wizard Shazam didn’t have much to do other than appear in a cameo at the start of the movie, but it was still a surprise to see him. This was mainly due to his presence in a serious story, as opposed to Shazam where he had a humorous role to play.
The wizard Shazam summoned Hurut to grant him the powers that Billy Batson received in his own film, although the situation was a lot more dire since Hurut was in the middle of staging a revolt. Watching the wizard show up was a good way of establishing how the powers can work in both a comedic and serious tone.
Doctor Fate turned out to be the bravest character in Black Adam when he gave his life so that Hawkman wouldn’t meet his destined doom. While that served the plot well, it was also a surprise to see such a well-known character from the comics bite it in his first appearance.
Moreover, Pierce Brosnan’s status as a leading actor implied that Doctor Fate would be there for some years to come in the DCEU. As it turned out, Doctor Fate was the only member of the JSA to be killed off when lesser-known characters such as Atom Smasher and Cyclone would have been more likely candidates.
Doctor Fate’s helmet was said to be only under his control, with Hawkman claiming that nobody else should even be touching it. After Doctor Fate’s demise, though, Hawkman took control of the helmet and carried on its magical abilities against Sabbac.
Although the helmet vanished soon after, the fact that Hawkman could even handle it was something that viewers wouldn’t have seen coming. This leaves questions about what the helmet was capable of and if it empowered Hawkman for Doctor Fate’s benefit or if there’s a deeper meaning behind it.
One of the major differences between the DCEU Black Adam and the comic book version turned out to be how he got his powers. The film had set up Black Adam as the child who had received the powers of Shazam, only for the character to reveal that it was his son all along.
Hurut had given up his powers to his father, granting him abilities he’d never been chosen to carry. This was a big change from Shazam!, where the wizard had explicitly stated that only worthy individuals were granted the honor. As a result, Black Adam surprised fans with a new twist to the lore.
Black Adam is easily one of the strongest characters in the DCEU, which was made clear when he managed to escape the Task Force X black site by himself. The surprising thing about this place was its very existence, as it turned out that Amanda Waller had possibly hundreds of other prisoners in stasis.
Black Adam might not be the only powerful being who was kept prisoner in the black site, given the high security and secrecy behind it. The existence of this place was also unexpected because fans didn’t think Black Adam could ever be held captive by the same people shown in the Suicide Squad films.
Amanda Waller has seen her fair share of failures in the Suicide Squad series and the Peacemaker show, which many would have thought meant that her position wasn’t secure anymore. However, Waller shocked viewers by outright threatening Black Adam.
The titular character came across as a drone that had a message from Waller warning him to consider Kahndaq his prison and that leaving it would incur her wrath. Not even Black Adam’s defiant response phased Waller in the slightest, making her look very imposing for her complete lack of fear.
Those who might have considered Black Adam to be a B-list hero who got his own movie would have been shocked to see Superman arrive in the flesh. This cameo left no doubt that Black Adam was the real deal, especially since Superman claimed that this was the first time he’d seen the world this nervous.
Of course, Henry Cavill’s absence of half a decade was the primary factor in Superman’s return, as the actor hadn’t reprised the role in the few cameos that the Man of Steel had made previously. With a Black Adam/Superman clash on the horizon, the Last Son of Krypton’s arrival has shocked the DCEU to its core.