Why Superman Isn’t Wearing The Black Suit Anymore In Black Adam
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Black Adam.Henry Cavill’s post-credits cameo in Black Adam shows Superman back wearing his classic blue suit instead of the black suit from Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and that reveals a lot about the DCEU’s Superman plans. After years of uncertainty regarding Henry Cavill’s future as Superman in the DCEU, Black Adam delivered on the promises made by Dwayne Johnson and brought Superman face-to-face with Black Adam. Though the moment is brief, Black Adam’s post-credits scene represents a promising return for Cavill’s Superman, and the color of Superman’s suit can help understand what the DCEU is planning for Kal-El, the Justice League, and the Snyderverse.
Before Black Adam, Henry Cavill’s last appearance as Superman in a theatrical DCEU movie was 2017’s Justice League, where Superman wears his classic suit throughout the entire movie, including the final battle against Steppenwolf. However, in the Snyder cut, Superman wears the black suit as soon as he’s resurrected and never changes back. Indeed, the final shot of Zack Snyder’s Justice League before the epilogue shows Clark Kent still wearing that black suit. Superman switching to his blue gear in Black Adam further proves Warner Bros. considers 2017’s Justice League movie DCEU canon. Even if the Snyder cut could somehow be canon, Superman’s black suit was tied to an arc that shows no sign of moving forward.
Despite the smoke billowing around Superman in the Black Adam post-credits scene, the colors on Superman’s suit are noticeably brighter than in Clark’s previous DCEU appearances. One major difference between Superman’s suit in Black Adam and the one seen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is that the former’s chest emblem doesn’t have the latter’s small Kryptonian inscriptions that, when translated, reveal a Joseph Campbell quote. The chest emblem change indicates Black Adam’s Superman suit is closer to the one from Man of Steel than Batman v Superman and the Justice League theatrical cut.
In Henry Cavill’s recent Instagram post, the actor revealed a behind-the-scenes look at his Black Adam cameo. Without the smoke and color grading, the Superman suit worn by Henry Cavill in Black Adam strongly resembles the design from Man of Steel. That doesn’t necessarily mean Superman’s suit in future DCEU appearances will look exactly the same since post-production and color grading can make costumes appear different from one movie to the next. One would also imagine that any potential Henry Cavill Man of Steel sequel would introduce its own suit rather than being beholden to whatever was used in Black Adam’s post-credits scene.
Superman’s blue suit in Black Adam can be interpreted in various different ways. For starters, it’s a strong indication that Warner Bros. considers the theatrical Justice League cut true DCEU canon. In that case, there would be no reason for Superman to use any suit but the blue one in Black Adam. Superman wearing his classic suit doesn’t absolutely mean Zack Snyder’s Justice League cannot be canon, but it does prove the DCEU’s plans for Superman are very different from the ones Zack Snyder had.
Black Adam’s Superman cameo can also be interpreted as a new beginning for the Kryptonian. Just as the black suit represented a more jaded, uncertain Kal-El in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the blue suit symbolizes Superman’s traditional values and optimistic outlook. Lastly, with Henry Cavill making his glorious DCEU return in Black Adam’s post-credits scene, it makes sense to bring Superman back in his most recognizable outfit.
In DC comic lore, Superman wears a black suit after being resurrected in order to absorb radiation from the sun faster. While Zack Snyder’s Justice League doesn’t establish the black suit as having such a feature, Snyder remained keen on Superman wearing the black suit after coming back to life – even if Warner Bros. was not. That’s why Superman’s blue suit in the Justice League theatrical cut looks slightly different from the one from Batman v Superman. In an interview with Screen Rant, costume designer Michael Wilkinson confirmed that Snyder filmed Henry Cavill’s Justice League scenes using the classic suit but always planned to switch the design to black in post-production if Warner Bros. changed its mind.
More than just paying homage to the comics, Superman wearing the black suit would’ve enjoyed an even deeper meaning in Zack Snyder’s planned Justice League sequels. Superman likely would’ve continued donning the black suit until succumbing to the Anti-Life equation after Darkseid invaded Earth and killed Lois Lane. Now controlled by Darkseid, Superman would then revert to his classic suit, meaning the House of El’s symbol of hope becomes feared across Earth. Having Superman wear the blue suit in Black Adam confirms that the DCEU isn’t moving forward with Snyder’s plans for the character.
At this point, it looks very unlikely Henry Cavill’s Superman will ever wear his black suit again. In the Snyderverse, Superman would’ve continued wearing the black suit until Darkseid’s invasion, but that storyline is clearly dead. Justice League 2 might still happen, and some elements from the Snyderverse might be reused, but Superman falling victim to the Anti-Life equation before slipping on blue suit as Darkseid’s champion could only happen in Zack Snyder’s original Justice League 2. Since the Snyder cut isn’t canon, the DCEU could feasibly introduce a darker outfit of its own, but because Superman’s black suit is most widely associated with DC’s Death of Superman storyline, and those ideas have already been adapted via Batman v Superman and Justice League, that option looks equally unlikely.
The Superman suit debate sparked by Black Adam’s post-credits scene (and previously by Shazam!’s post-credits scene) reveals a much bigger DCEU problem. After Justice League and Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the future of the Justice League in the DCEU became unclear. Questions over which version would be canon and whether the storylines set up by Snyder would ever be paid off quickly arose, while the lack of news regarding Henry Cavill’s Superman made it difficult to understand what the DCEU was envisioning for its future.
Superman’s blue suit in Black Adam should settle any debates regarding the DCEU’s plans for the Snyderverse. Henry Cavill is obviously playing the same Superman from Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and 2017’s Justice League, but the Darkseid invasion storyline set up by the Snyder cut isn’t happening. For that reason, it makes perfect sense that Superman wears the blue suit in Black Adam, as well as any future appearances in the DCEU. With that said, it’ll be interesting to see what a fresh Superman suit might look like in a potential Man of Steel 2.