Dwayne Johnson’s Fall 2022 showdown with Black Adam and its well-rounded introduction to the Justice Society of America received resounding applause when it premiered in late October. The enthusiasm surrounding the film, however, quickly died down after the initial flurry of excitement when the audience’s expectations clashed with the reality of the film’s spoon-fed, stoic, saturated, and uninspired plot.
What looked promising and revolutionary for the crumbling DCEU gained enough traction to follow through with multiple spin-off ideas that would branch off into the mainstream DCU, but Black Adam still remained disappointing at its core. Standing on two-pronged support with the JSA on one end and Superman on the other, Dwayne Johnson’s debut pulled through with its cinematic action sequences and the promise of Henry Cavill’s return.
Black Adam‘s Hierarchy Passes Down to the Justice Society
The unusual statement that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson kept spouting about DC’s new hierarchy has now become a symbolic catchphrase, a motto for the resurrected DCU. Having realized his potential as an antiheroic executioner of justice, Black Adam fails to do the same for the DC brand as an individual project header. Instead, the film works to usher in the new hierarchy rather than defining the new world order all by itself. In a way, Dwayne Johnson did prove himself a visionary when he spoke of rebranding DC, but it was not supposed to be via Black Adam. That crown falls on the heavy head of the Justice Society of America.
With a team comprised of a soldier, an oracle, a scientist, and an optimist, the Justice Society of America billowed in gently — no superhero landings or entry with guns blazing. The introduction and buildup that served to place the team inside the DC narrative meshed perfectly with the storyline except for the obvious question as to their absence from the public eye for all the preceding years and catastrophic events linked to the Intergang. But, forgiving that one crucial mistake, the heroic trio who were still left standing in the aftermath of the battle are now tasked with carrying forward the legacy that was promised to the audience of the DC universe.
The Justice Society Replaces the Justice League in DCU
According to Dwayne Johnson, there is still much left to be discussed, broken down, reconstructed, and hypothesized when it comes to the most powerful and unstoppable force in the DCU. But for now, the actor who has worked tirelessly for 15 years to bring the character to the screens delegates his duties to the righteous and much more accessible team, the Justice Society of America.
As was established in Noah Centineo‘s entry, the institution looks to recruit heroes and expand its team to tackle the ever-present global threats. Rumors of numerous spin-off projects like the Hawkman series and the JSA movie also work to supply fodder to the building pattern that seeks to highlight the Justice Society and place it on the frontlines to tackle the oncoming traffic of DCU’s expansive 10-year plan.
If that indeed is the case, then the controversially placed Justice League which has its roots tied inherently in the SnyderVerse, including its heroes’ origin stories and their formative years, will slowly recede into the background. Zack Snyder‘s focused trilogy canceled out the need for mapping out an origin film and instead served to introduce a world-weary Bruce Wayne, cynical and brutal after the years of hunting in the dark and still witnessing a Gotham riddled with more violence than ever. Such a Batman has no capacity to contribute to the new DCU or further the formative plot. The same goes for Henry Cavill’s Superman who has been killed, resurrected, sacrificed himself again and was healed back to life again.
Dwayne Johnson recently tied up a 7-minute monologue by saying, “Now we will take our time. Now we will build out the Black Adam brand and we’ll build out the JSA.” And that says plenty about the direction that DCU intends to take with the Justice Society until David Zaslav and his team leaders James Gunn and Peter Safran can figure out where the Justice League can fit in within their intended timeline or whether they are to be included at all.
Black Adam is now available for renting or buying on Prime Video.
Source: Dwayne Johnson