In a much-needed boost for DC’s cinematic superhero roster, Warner Bros. released their latest trailer—a two-minute action-packed showcase for their next venture, Black Adam.
Starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as the film’s titular anti-hero, the trailer seems packed with several reveals, including Pierce Brosnan’s Doctor Fate, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, and Aldis Hodge as Hawkman.
In between these reveals, we get a glimpse of the main character’s background as well as badass action shots of The Rock’s long-awaited entry into the DCEU.
The trailer opens up with a futuristic spaceship. Given that the film takes place a few decades earlier than the Justice League timeframe, this seems to be our first glimpse of anything related to the Justice Society—a superhero group that predates the league by a few decades.
In particular, it seems that the craft is Thanagarian on closer inspection, belonging to the race of alien hawk-people that Hawkman is part of. This also serves as an explanation for plenty of other high-tech stuff we come across in the trailer.
Next up comes Brosnan’s voice, as an aged Doctor Fate. Somewhat analogous to the MCU’s Doctor Strange, Fate is an all-powerful sorcerer who questions Black Adam’s intentions, encouraging him to fight for the sake of others rather than for revenge and conquest, as his comic book counterpart does.
Brosnan’s character also has something of a cursed nature, wielding the Helmet of Fate confers great power on its user, but also takes away their will, turning them into an agent for the mysterious ‘Lords of Order.’
As a founding member of the Justice Society, it seems that he’s going to be central to the events of this film, and possibly even for a Shazam vs. Black Adam crossover which seems almost certain at this point. The two superhumans draw their powers from the same ancient wizard, with their costumes serving as mirror images of one another.
The film was originally expected to include Hawkgirl as well, but The Rock has reportedly explained that she will be reserved for a separate film or a serialized project. Instead, we get Atom Smasher and Cyclone— relatively minor heroes who tie into a long legacy of crossover stories that trace back to the 1980s.
Across the DC mythos, few heroes have been as conflicted as Black Adam has, and we get to see that in his tragic backstory, which gets a few edits done.
In the trailer, we get to see the events that transpired in Kahndaq—a fictional DC nation loosely based on Egypt. In flashbacks from over 5,000 years ago, we observe Teth-Adam as a slave, whose family ends up dying at the hands of their cruel masters. The trailer tells us that Adam’s son dies to save him, and some magical intervention later results in him tapping into the powers of Shazam.
It seems that the anti-hero is released from some kind of stasis as Sarah Shahi’s character Adrianna Tomaz conducts some hardcore archaeology on the outskirts of Kahndaq. It’s here that we also see a strange black crown, which may or may not fall into the hands of Marwan Kenzari’s character, who seems to be a colleague of Tomaz.
This is rumored to be the Crown of Saddac—a relic tied to a demonic being of the same name. Saddac is a classic Shazam villain who boasts similar powers to Black Adam and Shazam. Speaking his name grants him the powers of various hellish demons, similar to how tapping into the wizard Shazam’s magic allows them to borrow strength from various mythological figures.
At the moment though, the film’s biggest threat seems to be the titular character himself. We can clearly see this as a conflict between Hawkman and Black Adam, with the latter clearly stating that he’s more than willing to kill in order to accomplish his goals, and doesn’t consider himself a ‘hero’.
The comics paint Black Adam as a much more villainous figure. Instead of his tragic origins depicted in the trailer, he obtains his powers as a noble prince, and after a series of events, becomes (literally) seduced to the dark side, murdering Khandaq’s rulers and instating himself in their place, before being locked up in a magical amulet by the wizard responsible for his powers.
While it’s unclear how the DCEU will develop their newest anti-hero, we certainly can’t wait to find out. Black Adam releases in cinemas on October 21st.
(Featured Image Credits: Warner Bros.)