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Black Adam Characters That Mean More Than You Think

Contains spoilers for "Black Adam"

"Black Adam" has been in theaters for a week, and fans and audiences alike are still raving about it. The film has an astounding 90% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, while receiving a meager 40% Tomatometer rating from critics — the biggest Rotten Tomatoes score disparity since Venom. Still, the low rating neither bothers the film's leading man and producer, Dwayne Johnson, nor has it stopped fans from flocking into theaters. The film had a spectacular opening weekend at the box office, taking in $67 million domestically and $140 million internationally, making it the best opening of Johnson's career as a leading man (via Deadline).

The movie features a good selection of new characters comic book aficionados would recognize, along with a few familiar faces that audiences and DCEU fans can't help but be excited by (the biggest surprise of which has been spoiled by The Rock himself). In addition to the proper introduction of Johnson's Black Adam (who had been cast in the role way back in 2007 and cameoed in "DC League of Super-Pets"), we see the highly anticipated cinematic debuts of the Justice Society, which includes members like Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), and Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan). Let's delve deeper into all the characters spotted in "Black Adam," how they differ from their comic book counterparts, what their futures in the DC Extended Universe look like, and why that means more than you think.


In "Black Adam," Amon Tomaz (Bodhi Sabongui) is a teenager who tries to help his mother Adrianna (Sarah Shahi) overthrow the Intergang regime in Kahndaq by reawakening Teth-Adam, the fabled hero of Kahndaq who was entombed for the past 5,000 years. Among all the characters in the film, Amon is unquestionably the closest one to Teth-Adam, with whom Amon has formed a bond that perhaps reminds Teth-Adam of his own late son, Hurut (Jalon Christian). This connection compels Teth-Adam to go to great lengths to protect and save Amon in several instances throughout the film.

In the comics, Amon is a superhero and anti-hero who goes by the name of Osiris. Amon was left disabled after being beaten and tortured by the Intergang while they attempted to brainwash him into joining their gang. After his sister Isis tried unsuccessfully to heal Amon, Isis' husband Black Adam shared his power with Amon, who could now activate these powers by saying the words "Black Adam!" (much like how Billy Batson and Teth-Adam summon their powers by saying "Shazam!").

Throughout his stint as Osiris, Amon had persistently struggled with his powers and his morality, which wasn't always as upstanding as most of the other heroes he associated with. The figure was once a member of the Teen Titans before joining Deathstroke's band of hired assassins, the "Titans." The character's depiction in the movie is more in line with his New 52 reinterpretation, in which Amon is just a young man who joins a group dedicated to raising Black Adam to liberate Kahndaq from supervillain Ibac's rule (replaced for the Intergang in the movie).


In the film, archeologist Adrianna Tomaz works with her brother and their colleagues to try to find the Crown of Sabbac. The Intergang ambushes them as she finds the crown, but Adrianna performs an incantation that awakens Teth-Adam, who is believed to be Kahndaq's champion, from a 5,000-year hibernation. Teth-Adam appears to have lost all humanity based on the way he brutally executes every Intergang member, until he saves Adrianna from a falling boulder. In the film's climax, Adrianna, her brother Karim (Mohammed Amer), and her son Amon rally the people of Kahndaq to fight against the undead remains of Intergang soldiers summoned by Sabbac.

Initially introduced in the comics as Andrea Thomas, the character was endowed with powers by the Egyptian goddess Isis through an amulet. The character was given a new life in 2006 as Adrianna Tomaz, an Egyptian refugee who was sold into slavery and later gifted to Black Adam by the Intergang. Adam fell in love with Adrianna since he found her to be brave, and she inspired him to be kinder. He retrieved the Amulet of Isis for her, so that when she held it and said, "I am Isis," she would transform and possess the powers of the goddess Isis. Isis joined the Shazam family and married Adam after gaining her newfound abilities.

Al Pratt

Henry Winkler makes a blink-and-miss cameo appearance in "Black Adam" as Al Pratt, the original size-changing hero called Atom, who lends his costume to his nephew Albert Rothstein (Noah Centineo). Albert calls his Uncle Al on FaceTime as he travels to Carter Hall aka Hawkman's estate to meet the Justice Society members for the first time. Uncle Al urges his young mentee to take care of his costume since it was originally his own. It's revealed in the "Black Adam" prelude comic tie-ins that Pratt was a founding member of the Justice Society, which at the time only included himself, Doctor Fate, and the team's founder and leader Hawkman. The team had broken up for unknown reasons, until several years later when Hawkman reformed the team for a mission to stop Teth-Adam in Kahndaq.

In the comics, Al Pratt went by the name "Atom" (sans the "Smasher") until his godson (in the movie, his nephew), Albert, acquires his power and fights crime as "Atom Smasher." Although Pratt was the original superhero in the books, you might be familiar with the Atom through Ray Palmer (played by Brandon Routh in the CW's Arrowverse) or his successor, Ryan Choi (who made a cameo appearance in "Zack Snyder's Justice League"). It is unknown if Winkler's portrayal of the character was a one-off or if he would play a bigger part in coaching his nephew in subsequent DCEU films, much like Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) did in the Marvel universe.

Doctor Fate

After Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) deems Teth-Adam to be a threat, Kent Nelson (Pierce Brosnan) dons his Helmet of Fate and joins the Justice Society on their mission to travel to Kahndaq and convince Teth-Adam to stand down. After a long and arduous series of events that ends with Amon injured, Adam decides to forfeit his power and surrender to be imprisoned in Waller's Black Site facility. However, Adam's capture does not avert the future that Kent sees through his Helmet of Fate, where Sabbac is unleashed. Kent realizes that Kahndaq needs its protector and helps Adam free from imprisonment using an astral projection of himself. Kent finally sacrifices himself in the team's battle against Sabbac.

As is the case with the majority of comic book characters, the death of Brosnan's Kent Nelson does not spell the end of the Doctor Fate mantle. While it's tragic to see a fan-favorite character pass away so early without getting the chance to learn more about their history and origins, the introduction of the mantle and the Helmet of Fate opens up many intriguing possibilities and implications for the DCEU, notably the existence of Nabu. Nabu is the alien cosmic entity that created the Helmet of Fate and granted its powers to Kent. As shown at the climax of the film, where Hawkman briefly uses the Helmet of Fate against Sabbac, the mantle of Doctor Fate is far from dead, awaiting its worthy successor.

Despite leaving out a number of details about the character's origins and his abilities, the movie mostly stays true to the character's aesthetic portrayal. In "Black Adam," the Helmet of Fate (which is said to be from another planet) is shown to be sentient in deciding who it deems worthy to wield it (think Thor's hammer, Mjolnir). However, in the comics, it is Nabu himself inside the Helmet who occasionally possesses Kent, forcing Kent to switch to a half-helmet as a result.


Carter Hall is a wealthy archeologist who leads the Justice Society as Hawkman, a bird-themed superhero with metallic wings and medieval weaponry. Being personally asked by Amanda Waller to apprehend Teth-Adam in Khandaq, Carter is the one to take the mission most seriously among other members of the Justice Society, making him constantly butt heads with Adam as they form a difficult partnership in rescuing Amon from the Intergang. Finally, the two come to reconcile as they defeat Sabbac together at the end of the film, and Carter is convinced of Adam's ability and strength of character to be the protector of Kahndaq.

Given the character's many incarnations and ongoing reimaginings of his backstory by comic book writers over the years, Hawkman's origins in the comics are regarded as one of the most muddled and confusing of all DC superheroes. Most often, Hawkman is portrayed as Carter Hall, a human archaeologist who is the contemporary reincarnation of the ancient Egyptian prince Khufu, or as Katar Hol, an alien police officer from the planet Thanagar. While the film provides very little information on the backstory of Hawkman, the character's prelude comic tie-in confirms that the DCEU's version of Hawkman is the 20th-century reincarnation of Khufu, who created a suit of armor utilizing the gravity-defying Nth metal.

Shazam (The Wizard)

Though the wizard named Shazam who granted Billy Batson (Asher Angel) his powers in 2019's "Shazam" crumbled to dust at the end of the film, Djimon Hounsou reprises his role as The Wizard in the flashback sequences of "Black Adam," set 5,000 years before the events of the present day. In the film, the sorcerer Shazam and the Council of Wizards choose Hurut (son of Teth-Adam) as their champion, bestowing the young boy with powers that can help him free Kahndaq from Ahk-Ton. After Hurut transfers his powers to Teth-Adam and dies at the hands of Ahk-Ton's soldiers, Teth-Adam becomes vengeful and unleashes the Seven Deadly Sins upon the men who murdered his family and the people of Kahndaq, killing millions. This led to Shazam imprisoning Adam in a tomb.

The inclusion of Shazam in "Black Adam" connects the movie and its protagonist with the superhero portrayed by Zachary Levi in "Shazam" and the upcoming "Shazam: Fury of the Gods," as both Black Adam and Billy Batson's Shazam acquired their powers from the Wizard and, despite sharing those same abilities, have very different perspectives on how they should use their powers. While Hounsou is confirmed to return in the Shazam sequel as the wizard, it remains to be seen if he appears in a flashback, or uses his wizardry to come back to life. Either way, let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam makes an appearance too!

Emilia Harcourt

Jennifer Holland reprises her role from 2021's "The Suicide Squad" and 2022's "Peacemaker" for a single scene in "Black Adam" as Emilia Harcourt, an A.R.G.U.S. agent who works under Amanda Waller. After being severely injured fighting alien parasites with Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) and Peacemaker (John Cena) in the Season 1 finale of "Peacemaker," Emilia appears to have recovered well, and is now assigned to the Task Force X Black Site facility's underground lair – which serves as a prison for metahumans like Teth-Adam.

In the comics, Emilia was a Russian-American A.R.G.U.S. agent whose allegiances were just as shaky and unreliable as those of Amanda Waller. Having been an NSA agent and a skilled marksman, Emilia's time in A.R.G.U.S. was revealed to be a cover, revealing herself to be a spy for the terrorist group known as The People, who had trained her and sent her to the United States to maintain surveillance on Waller and Task Force X. Emilia was briefly appointed as director of the task force (Suicide Squad), before Waller learned of the agent's true allegiances and Emilia was killed by Boomerang. The character could end up taking a similar turn in the DCEU, which, quite honestly, would be a bummer given how much audiences had come to like her character in "Peacemaker."

Amanda Waller

"Black Adam" marks the fourth DCEU entry to feature Viola Davis' Amanda Waller, the director of A.R.G.U.S. who's on her way to becoming something of a Nick Fury-like figure of the DC Extended Universe, bringing heroes (and villains) together and even sometimes pitting them against each other. In the film, Waller contacts Hawkman to reform the Justice Society, which consists of himself, Doctor Fate, Cyclone, and Atom Smasher, and sends them to Kahndaq to apprehend Teth-Adam. When the Justice Society decides to allow Adam to remain as Kahndaq's protector, Waller contacts Adam and warns him against leaving Kahndaq, sending (spoilers!) Superman to speak with him.

Waller's involvement in the movie strengthens the connection between "Black Adam" and the larger DC universe. A scene in the Task Force X Black Site facility, where Adam is temporarily incarcerated, even raises the idea of a possible third "Suicide Squad" movie. There are also several other powerful inmates shown to be held captive there; some of them may be familiar faces like Deadshot, Katana, Black Manta, and Deathstroke, or they may be new members of DC's rogues' gallery whose film debuts in the new universe are still pending, like Captain Cold, Clayface, Bane, and Reverse-Flash. The possibilities are endlessly exciting, and we can't wait to see which character would be introduced next through Waller.

The Intergang

The Intergang is a crime syndicate that has taken over Kahndaq and its populace in "Black Adam." The group, which is armed with cutting-edge weapons and vehicles, has seized the majority of the Kahndaq's riches and treasures and has now set its eyes on the Crown of Sabbac, which was made by the Kahndaq monarch Ahk-ton in 2600 BC and is rumored to grant its bearer enormous power. Ishmael (Marwan Kenzari), who had previously been a member of Adrianna's group in their search for the Crown, comes out as the leader of the Intergang, who uses the crown to acquire the demonic version of Black Adam's abilities and becomes Sabbac.

Although the Intergang was eradicated by the end of "Black Adam" within the borders of Kahndaq on Earth, the group had a more interplanetary presence in the comics. The Intergang in DC comics is a fearsome adversary who can truly contend with the most formidable superheroes in the universe, equipped with technology provided by the evil New Gods of the planet Apokolips and having connections to supervillains like Lex Luthor and Darkseid. These connections, albeit not addressed in the movie, help to explain how the syndicate in the DCEU possibly got its hands on such advanced technology (such as Eternium, the element that serves as Black Adam's kryptonite and which the Intergang has turned into a weapon to use against Adam).


2022's "Black Adam" marks the first appearance of Henry Cavill's Superman in the DCEU since 2017's "Justice League," a movie that was riddled with its own behind-the-scenes controversies and was such a colossal flop (critically and financially) that it forced WB executives to restructure their plans for the DCEU. Since then, studio executives have held out on using Cavill's portrayal of Superman in any subsequent DCEU entries pictures, forcing directors to resort to silent cameos for the character by just displaying the character's neck-down (in "Shazam!") or utilizing shadows to hide the character's face (in "Peacemaker"). It was a hard push for even Dwayne Johnson, who faced several years of constant rejections from studio executives to have Cavill's Superman show up in "Black Adam," something Johnson was adamant about having as a set-up for a potential "Superman vs. Black Adam" movie down the road.

Not only is the Man of Steel's mid-credits appearance significant because it pits two of the most powerful god-like superheroes in DC history against each other, but it also means that fans will finally see more of him in the future after his five-year hiatus (not counting the Snyder Cut since it was confirmed to be outside DCEU canon, as per ScreenRant). As Henry Cavill revealed in a Twitter video shared by Johnson, "What you saw on Black Adam, it's just a very small taste of things to come."