WARNING! This list contains spoilers for Black Adam.The hierarchy of power in the DC Extended Universe has changed, for better or for worse, only time will tell thanks to the exciting release of black adam. This film is more than a long time coming. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was first linked to the project in 2007, before the DCEU and even the MCU launched, but it took over a decade more for it to progress further. Nonetheless, it’s finally here, and it could surely help reinvigorate a struggling franchise.
black adam marks an important moment for the DCEU as Henry Cavill is finally back as Superman – albeit for an uncredited cameo in the stinger post-credits, but it teases a long overdue future for both characters. They are not alone as the film also features the Justice Society of America, consisting of Hawkman, Doctor Fate, Cyclone and Atom Smasher. Whether it’s spectacular films like black adam or fun HBO Max shows like Peacemakerthe JSA has many great members in the comics who could be interesting and welcome new protagonists to their own DCEU project.
10/10 The JSA
Despite some mixed reviews so far, with The Rock at the helm black adam, will most certainly still be a great commercial success. The DCEU is expected to follow up on this effort by giving the entire JSA its own movie. Facing the drought of the future Justice League movies, it could give the DCEU its much-needed heroic team-up movie. black adam were already acting as a backdoor pilot, so they would just have to add a few new characters or take the crumbs from the Justice League.
The JSA is one of DC Comics’ richest and most prolific teams., so they deserve more than their own movie. Existing members could get their own projects, then they regroup for the JSA movie, following The Avengers‘ formula, or better yet, just follow black adam with him first. The dynamic between Hawkman, Cyclone, and Atom Smasher is ripe and could lead to something quite fun. They also need to show the role the Justice Society plays in the universe compared to the Justice League and their relationship to the corrupt Task Force-X program and Amanda Waller.
9/10 Hawkman & Hawkgirl
In black adam, Aldis Hodge plays Hawkman, the leader of the JSA. If her story should continue then the DCEU must introduce its counterpart, Hawkgirl or Hawkwoman. Both are old and popular characters who have been seen extensively in anime series like Justice League and young justice, but they deserve better recognition in live-action. Fortunately, black adam gives them a solid foundation on which to build.
Hawkman and Hawkgirl have surprisingly strange origins according to the story. In some they have been aliens from the planet Thanagar, while in others they are the reincarnations of ancient Egyptian royalty. In the DCEU, it’s the latter, although it was only depicted in the DCEU comics prior to the film’s release. Their own movie could delve deeper into their origins and ancient in-universe history like black adam.
8/10 Fate Doctor
Pierce Brosnan took on the role of Kent Nelson aka Doctor Fate in black adam, and while he won’t survive the film, Doctor Fate may still have a bright future in the DCEU. To be frank, it would just be a shame if the design and mystical elements that Doctor Fate brings were simply abandoned. It could act like Black Widow showcasing his past while introducing his protege and successor.
Introducing Khalid Nassour as the next Doctor Fate could also tie the movie to everything Hawkman and Hawkwoman do, as they all have ancient Egyptian origins. It would also provide an opportunity for younger talent, but Brosnan could still be involved as a mentor from beyond the grave.
Cyclone, played by Quintessa Swindell, got some of the coolest effects from black adam. While many of the action sequences could be read as oversaturated and redundant, its dance moves and colorful animation were a nice respite. For that reason alone, it would be great to see more of her. However, she gave another reason – an interesting origin story, when she talks about being abducted and experimented on as a teenager.
Maxine Hunkel aka Cyclone is the granddaughter of a character named Red Tornado, but not the Red Tornado that most would instinctively think of. Ma Hunkel was the first Red Tornado, dating back to 1939, and someone who would surprise many casual audiences with just how cool she could be. An HBO Max Cyclone could even incorporate the main Red Tornado, an android with the same powers, especially if the evil scientist who kidnapped her was TO Morrow.
6/10 Atom Smasher
The last member of the JSA in black adam is the complete newcomer, Atom Smasher, played by Noah Centineo. As in the comics, he is the nephew of Al Pratt, the original Atom Smasher, and presumably an old ally of Hawkman and Doctor Fate, played unexpectedly by the hilarious Henry Winkler. There is an eagerness and energy about him that is sympathetic and pleasant to root for – quite similar to Shazam! — so he might as well do with his own HBO Max series.
Most likely I wasn’t expecting there to be any prospects for an Atom Smasher and/or Cyclone HBO Max series, but black adam gave reasons for wanting them to stay in more movies years later. Having him as the protagonist could lend itself to a high school or college setting, allowing the DCEU to play more in new genres and tones. It could also help pave the way for his more prolific contemporary, Roy Choi aka The Atom, played by Zheng Kai in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
5/10 Wild cat
Some JSA members don’t just have ties to the DCEU via black adam. In the case of Ted Grant aka Wildcat, it could be featured via Black Canary. He’s a professional heavyweight boxer turned crime-fighting vigilante, and in the comics follows the training and mentorship of Black Canary, along with several other heroes. Despite the tragic cancellation of bat girl, black canary is meant to continue as normal, and as such Wildcat would be a logical inclusion as a supporting character.
After that, he could embark on his own show that could mix the intimate stakes of street-level characters with the grand scale of being in the JSA. As well as being an expert fighter and martial artist, Wildcat also has magical assurance – like the myth, a cat has nine lives, which helps prolong his own and can revive him if he actually dies. With the rise of more mystical characters like Black Adam, this aspect of Wildcat’s story wouldn’t seem odd in the DCEU.
4/10 Mr Awesome
Many of the most interesting members of the JSA are sadly often overshadowed by their contemporaries or colleagues in the Justice League. One of those lesser known and underrated hero who should come to the DCEU is Michael Holt aka Mister Terrific. He is a wealthy genius inventor with an intellect rivaling Bruce Wayne, possessing fourteen doctorates, and on top of all that he is an Olympic gold medalist.
Mister Terrific is someone who could easily be slotted into various upcoming projects in a supporting role before embarking on his own HBO Max series. It could explore the dichotomy of running a multi-million dollar business while being a superhero, but with a less overtly dark tone and atmosphere than Batman.
3/10 Jade & Obsidian
One thing many fans have been waiting for from the DCEU is a Green Lantern movie. The last experience The Green Lanternleft a lot of sour tastes in your mouth, but the Green Lantern Corps are such an important faction in DC Comics that they’re essential to the stable future of the DCEU. An important Green Lantern that should be introduced is the first, Alan Scott, and while he may have his own show, his twin children, Jade and Obsidian might make for better candidates.
Jade has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a Green Lantern – Earth’s first woman – while her brother, Obsidian, has taken a dark turn and is capable of various shadow-based abilities. They were separated as children, but later reunited, both joining the JSA and creating their own team with fellow proteges Infinity Inc. The prospect of following Jade, Obsidian and Alan in an HBO series Max is quite attractive.
2/10 Johnny Thunder/Jakeem Thunder & Thunderbolt
Like the Justice League, the Justice Society has seen many variations, with some heroes being replaced by the next generation. This is what happened to Johnny Thunder passing the torch and his powers to a teenager, Jakeem Thunder. They both serve as hosts to a mysterious and powerful fifth dimensional genius named Yz aka Thunderbolt with vast magical abilities.
Their relationship would make for an interesting HBO Max series with Jakeem as the protagonist and Johnny as the aged mentor. It could explore their varied stories and motivations, and through flashbacks to the heyday of Johnny Thunder, it could introduce other gold characters lost in time.
Marvel Comics and DC Comics have their own mystical Spirit of Vengeance with Ghost Rider and the Spectre, respectively. The Specter is an incredibly powerful cosmic being whose purpose is to punish evildoers and evil, using a human host as a vessel on Earth. Along with characters like Batman, Hawkman, and Doctor Fate, The Specter was a founding member of the JSA in the comics, and his introduction could expand the scope of the entire DCEU tenfold.
If he were to get his own movie or TV show – the latter, most likely – it could feature The Spectre’s opposite, Eclipso, the Spirit of Wrath, as an antagonist. It could also deepen the relationship between Specter and their host, presumably Jim Corrigan, in how they differ in motivations and morals.