A TV spot for Black Adam made a surprising but frank point about the state of Superman in the DCEU, highlighting an unfortunate truth. Black Adam will bring Dwayne Johnson’s loose cannon antihero up against the heroes of the Justice Society of America, the latter acting on the orders of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). While the big-screen debut of the JSA, specifically Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), and Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), is greatly awaited, the specter of Superman continues to hover over Black Adam, primarily due to Dwayne Johnson himself.
Johnson has been driving excitement for a Black Adam-Superman rumble since long before Black Adam ever entered production, and it has become an aspect of Black Adam’s DCEU entry that is all but inevitable. The aforementioned Black Adam TV spot also makes an oblique allusion to this with Adam’s line “There’s no one on this planet that can stop me.” While the obvious read is that people know Superman has powers and strength equaling Black Adam’s own, it also says something about Henry Cavill’s Superman and his place in the DCEU.
The 2017 release of the extensively reshot Justice League impacted the DCEU in many detrimental ways. This included creating an undefined future for Henry Cavill’s Superman that remains even after the 2021 release of the original cut of the film as Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The line in the Black Adam TV spot might seem like a Superman tease, but there is an element of genuine honesty in Black Adam being unstoppable without Superman around. Unfortunately, it reveals a truth about the state of the DCEU right now.
Black Adam vs Superman Must Happen In The DCEU
With Black Adam‘s trailers obliquely referencing numerous references to Cavill’s Superman stories, the Man of Steel has come to be the elephant in the room for Black Adam even without having a confirmed role in the movie. Considering Black Adam’s origins and scale of his powers, his comment about no one on Earth being able to stop him makes the current absence of Superman in the DCEU even more conspicuous. It’s an unintentional reminder that Superman has been in limbo for years, with faceless cameos the only inclusion of the Last Son of Krypton over the past few years.
Black Adam is right. Without Superman around in the DCEU, there truly is no one in the world who can defeat him. That increases the necessity of Cavill’s Kal-El flying again. After so many teases from The Rock talking about wanting Black Adam to fight the Man of Steel, Superman is now needed to avoid an anti-climactic outcome for Black Adam’s DCEU story. The two are philosophically opposed, with Black Adam representing an Injustice-like Superman, but equally matched in power. The two characters squaring off would have the added benefit of further fleshing out each character, with each acting as a mirror and foil for the other.
What’s The Status Of Henry Cavill Returning As Superman?
The ambiguity of Superman’s place in the DCEU for the last several years has been one of its biggest ongoing problems, but there are growing indications that might finally be about to change. A simple rumor about Cavill appearing during DC’s San Diego Comic-Con panel was enough to completely take over all DC-related talk that weekend. Though this ultimately did not happen, the rumor of him returning still lingers.
Rumors and speculation have since grown louder that Cavill will indeed don the S-shield again, with a cameo in Black Adam as his potential big-screen re-introduction. Johnson’s largely noncommittal San Diego Comic-Con comments about Cavill’s potential Superman return might also have been a tactic of applying pressure on WB about Cavill’s Superman comeback happening. Even so, nothing is confirmed for Cavill, leaving DC fans in an ongoing limbo until at least the release of Black Adam or longer.
Without the Man of Steel around the DCEU, Black Adam’s might is truly unmatched by anyone on Earth. But the Black Adam trailer’s reference to it has only increased anticipation for Johnson’s envisioned smackdown with Cavill. With Black Adam openly declaring that its title character is unstoppable, the DCEU now has to deliver on the Earth-shattering might of Black Adam and Superman’s power.