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Black Adam: Post-Credits Scene and Legendary DC Superhero Cameo Explained

Dwayne Johnson's antihero encounters the most powerful being in DC's cinematic universe after his solo adventure wraps up.

Close up of Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam flying above a busy street
Black Adam has a fight on his hands in his movie's post-credits scene.
Warner Bros.

Black Adam dropped into theaters last weekend, bringing DC Comics' violent antihero to the silver screen for the first time in live action. With Dwayne Johnson in the lead role, Adam beats up hero and villain alike after being released from a 5,000-year imprisonment, from the early scenes until the credits roll (the post-credits scene is comparatively chill).

"The arrival of megastar Dwayne Johnson in the DC universe, plus the long wait for the film's arrival, built Black Adam into feeling like an event," CNET's Richard Trenholm said in his review. "Now it's here, and it doesn't feel that momentous. Still, it's a big spectacular time at the movies, and what more do you want from the Rock?"

Much of this Shazam spinoff's conflict is caused by the friction between Adam and the Justice Society of America, which includes Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) and Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell).

However, there's one more hero waiting in the wings. Someone who appears only when Black Adam's first adventure is done. Let's Shazam our way into the land of SPOILERS and talk about the post-credits scene.

spoilers-dceu

The Man of Steel returns

With demonic champion Sabbac ripped in two and Black Adam firmly installed as Kahndaq's champion, Task Force X boss Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis, and last seen in HBO Max series Peacemaker) sends a drone to the temple Adam hangs out in so she can have a friendly Zoom with the antihero. 

Unfortunately, Waller is incapable of being friendly and is furious about Adam escaping captivity in her base. She warns him to stay in Kahndaq or she'll send extremely powerful people who owe her favors to stop him. 

Adam basically tells her to bring it on, so a flying being lands dramatically and a familiar caped silhouette emerges from the smoke.

man-of-steel-1.jpg

He's back.

Warner Bros.

Oh jeepers, guys, it's only Superman (Henry Cavill).

"It's been a while since anyone's made the world so nervous," the Kryptonian hero says. "Black Adam, we should talk."

What does it mean?

We're gonna get more of Cavill's version of Superman, and he's almost certainly going to fight Black Adam. The scene ends with Superman's invitation to chat, but Adam's short fuse means they almost certainly get into a big fight with heaps of property damage and ambiguous loss of life. 

Johnson has ideas about how the battle would play out, he told YouTuber Jake's Takes in an interview prior to the movie's release. 

"I think Black Adam lands the first punch. Now, I don't know if Black Adam lands the last punch," he said. "I can see things so clearly ... what that scene looks like, what that film looks like, what the next three films look like. Now, whether or not that comes to fruition -- that always helps, when you have that kind of clarity."

Cavill Supes debuted in 2013's Man of Steel and was last seen in Zack Snyder's Justice League (aka the Snyder Cut) in 2021, and that movie's ending left us in an awesome dark future where he'd been corrupted

The director said that isn't canon, but both the Snyder Cut and Joss Whedon's 2017 version of the movie see the uncorrupted, present-day Superman joining Batman and Wonder Woman preparing to set up the Justice League. 

superman-2.jpg

Superman is among the most powerful beings in this universe.

Warner Bros.

The team also showed up in the finale of HBO show Peacemaker earlier this year, but Superman remained in the shadows in that appearance (he was played by Brad Abramenko). The character showed up in similar fashion in 2019's Shazam, where he was only seen from the neck down (and portrayed by Ryan Handley).

So Superman has never been too far from our screens, but there was doubt that Cavill would return to the role, and it was reported that studio Warner Bros. wanted to cast a Black actor in the role, but the character is iconic and archetypal enough that multiple versions could exist (and probably come together in a multiversal crossover like Spider-Man: No Way Home).

Recent management changes added fuel to the idea that the studio might move on from Cavill, though the actor's popularity made that unlikely. There's been no official word about him doing another solo Superman movie, but The Hollywood Reporter noted that Warner Bros. is determined to give Cavill another outing and is currently searching for writers.

Speaking to MTV on Oct. 26, Cavill reportedly hinted that future appearances will lean into the character's inherent optimism.

"There is such a bright future ahead for the character, and I'm so excited to tell a story with an enormously joyful Superman," he said.

Since the movie's release, parent company Warner Bros. Discovery named director James Gunn (responsible for The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker) and producer Peter Safran will lead the reorganized DC Studios. It's unclear how this will change its plans for Superman. 

Black Adam grapples with Superman as lightning strikes on Action Comics 831's cover.

It's always fun with Black Adam and Superman have a bit of tussle.

DC Comics

What can the comics tell us?

Black Adam's long comic book history is complex due to DC's multiple continuity reboots, having started out as a villain back in 1945. He's become more nuanced in the decades since, shifting toward a dark antihero who often enters into uneasy alliances with the heroes (mostly because he's a violent, unpredictable and kind of a jerk).

That could happen in the next movie as well -- Adam and Superman will have an epic battle before reaching some kind of a truce. Despite his physical prowess, Superman is traditionally vulnerable to magic, meaning Adam will have advantage.

Hopefully Shazam will get involved too, since he and Superman are buds and Shazam's powers are derived from the same source as Adam's. We could get a hint of that in Shazam: Fury of the Gods, which is scheduled to hit theaters on March 17, 2023.