The upcoming “Black Adam” will introduce the Justice Society of America to the DCEU, which can connect with seven iconic DC Comics characters and films. The ever—growing DCEU is an accurate depiction of DC Comics cult myths, with comically accurate depictions of famous heroes such as Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman, as well as gradually diving into the more obscure sides of the DC superhero narrative era. In addition to Dwayne Johnson’s highly anticipated portrayal of Black Adam, the film will also feature the cinematic debut of one of D.C.’s oldest superhero teams, with various potential connections to DCEU solo and crossover films.
Black Adam debuted in 1945 as an enemy of Captain Marvel (now marketed as Shazam), quickly becoming one of the most famous opponents of the magical hero. However, over time, Tet-Adam, who has abilities similar to Billy Batson, became a morally gray character, which in modern storylines is best described as an antihero. Thus, Black Adam was a member of sinister groups such as the Monster Evil Society, as well as the Heroic Justice Society of America. Given that JSA will play an important role in the upcoming Black Adam, the film will likely delve into his heroic side, at least temporarily, as he will be a brief member of the legendary superhero team.
The Justice Society of America was the first superhero team in both DC comics and the superhero genre in general, debuting in 1940 during the Golden Age of Superhero comics. As with many solo superhero comics, in early JSA adventures they often fought Axis forces during World War II, but in the years after the war, the popularity of superhero comics declined. The next major DC superhero team was the Justice League, which debuted in the Silver Age when superhero comics became popular again, but the JSA soon returned to DC myths, either as an alternate universe superhero team or as a team from an earlier period in time. The DCEU’s version of the JSA appears to be the latest, which would link it to the stories of seven other superheroes.
An amazing woman
Wonder Woman is deservedly one of the most popular DCEU characters thanks to Gal Gadot’s stellar performance and memorable starring roles in both solo adventures and crossover films such as Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Wonder Woman began her superhero career on the battlefields of World War I, as shown in 2017’s Wonder Woman, but other DCEU material confirms that she also fought Axis forces during World War II. Since the Justice Society of America debuted as a World War II superhero team that often fought against Axis forces, it’s easy to imagine that the team similarly debuted at that time in the DCEU, and Diana Prince joined their ranks as Wonder Woman. If this is the case, then the JSA, along with Wonder Woman herself, will act secretly, becoming a public organization only after the creation of the Justice League, of which Wonder Woman is also one of the founders.
The original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, was teased during flashbacks in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, where his predecessor, Yalan Gur, dies defending Earth from Darkseid and his apokoliptic powers. Gur is a much more heroic character in the DCEU than his comic counterpart, but after his death, his ring could easily be imbued with magic, turning into an unconventional Green Lantern Ring and cut off from the Green Lantern Corps, which allowed railroad worker Alan Scott to discover him and use his power as a member of the Justice Society. As with other JSA members, Scott may have retired or died as a result of the events of Black Adam, which explains his absence.
The first superhero to use the Flash title was Jay Garrick, who gained his powers in a lab accident, not unlike his Silver Age colleague Barry Allen. As in the case of Allen, Jay Garrick can use the Power of Speed, which allows him to travel through time and into other realities, and also gives him superhuman speed. Garrick’s absence in “Black Adam” can be explained by his ability to move through time and the multiverse, while the hero may “disappear” at a certain moment only to reappear in the upcoming DCEU movie “Flash”.
Another member of the Justice Society of America is Dina Drake, the first superheroine to use the nickname Black Canary. Her daughter Dina Lance famously used this title as a modern-day meta-human superhero who appears in the DCEU through Birds of Prey. If the JSA is a World War II—era team in the DCEU, it’s possible that Dina Lance’s grandmother used this title as a member of the Justice Society of America, regardless of whether she has the same metahuman abilities as her descendant.