Art by Prentis Rollins (2017, Commissioned by Tim Board)

May 20, 2023

Final Verdict on Black Adam

Well, the dust has finally settled, and it appears that the Black Adam era is over. Right after Black Adam came out in October 2022, it was announced that the DCEU was over and James Gunn and Peter Safran were taking over the new DCU. Gunn had no plans for Black Adam or Dwayne Johnson for the "first stage" of whatever the DCU is, and it's expected to be a ten-year plan. That means that Black Adam is pretty much done. The movie had almost no marketing where I live (Japan), China banned the movie for something Pierce Brosnan did with the Dalai Lama (apparently), and the movie "critics" hated the movie, so it pretty much crashed and burned. There were talks of spinoffs for some of the Justice Society heroes, including Hawkman, but those rumors have pretty much melted away quicker than dumping a bucket of water on the Wicked Witch of the West. 

Aldis Hodge did a respectable job as Hawkman. The "Heroes Don't  Kill People" line was ridiculous, but that was on the writer. The dialogue could have been better. Comedy is/was definitely not this writer's strength, at least not in this movie. The action scenes were awesome, Hawkman's ship and mansion were super cool (what little we saw of them), and Carter Hall's fashion sense was just fabulous dahling. I wished we could have seen a comic book-accurate connection between him and Black Adam, and they really dropped the Nth metal by not including Hawjgirl. The debate between fans about why they chose a Black actor for Hawkman (he has never been Black in the comics) was exhausting and not something I wanted to constantly hear about for two years. Everyone reached their own conclusions. Personally, I thought Aldis Hodge was fine and supported him all the way. I will again if they ever announce something out of the blue. But I doubt it.

It's a shame because there was a lot of potential for something for Hawkman to come out of this movie. To be honest, the writer left a lot of comic book fun facts and history on the table for whatever reason. The movie could have been so much better if it had been written and produced by people who knew and loved the characters, but that rarely happens. There were some things I liked and didn't like about the movie.

What I liked about Black Adam: 
1. Hawkman finally in a feature film. 
2. Black Adam's powers 
3. Action sequences 
4. Hawkman's ship and mansion 
5. Carter Hall's fashion 
6. Cyclone was cool. 
7. Doctor Fate was very cool. 
8. Lightning. Lots of lightning. 
9. Hawkman didn't die.

Ways Black Adam could have been better:
1. Establish Hawkman-Black Adam history 
2. Replace Cyclone/Atom Smasher with GL Alan Scott/Flash Jay Garrick 
3. Isis, Hawkgirl, Shazam appear for the final battle 
4. Get rid of the skater kid 
5. BA didn't surrender but was defeated
6. Half the time of the prison scene 
7. Black Adam never speaks English 
8. Show more of Hawkman's mansion/JSA HQ in St. Roch 
9. Stop cheap attempts at humor 
10. Drop the "heroes don't kill" line 
Bonus: Find more civilians to fight. That crowd was sparse 
2nd bonus: Find a better writer 

I'll have to admit that the end result of this project is a huge disappointment. Yes, we did finally get a non-comic version of Hawkman in the movies, so that's a plus. But I was hoping this movie would lead to new possibilities for Hawkman, but it turned out to be a one-shot dead-end. I still have some hope that this Hawkman will suddenly show up again in a project somewhere, but from where we are now, it looks done. We got a movie, a few cool figures and toys, a few comics, and some mainstream publicity. However, since the cast was announced, there was a lot of bickering, racism, and moderating on my Hawkman sites, and it wasn't much fun. I'm ready to move on to the next chapter. 

Records (as of May 20, 2023)
Domestic Box for Superhero Movies #58
International Box Office for Superhero Movies #62


  1. AnonymousMay 20, 2023

    Great breakdown. Highlighting your number 4 dislike as the absolute worst thing... The dreaded skater kid. Would have loved to see the base in St. Roch. I think Aldi's did a great job and loved the action scenes he was involved in. Much longer and involved than I thought. Anyway, thanks Tim. Always a pleasure. Here's to hoping we see the Hawks in some iteration soon.

  2. I honestly thought the biggest weakness was Dwayne Johnson's acting. Aldis did a great job. I was a little worried going in only having seen him on Leverage. His character was a lighter role. Nice to see he delivered the gravitas.

  3. Adam GillespieMay 26, 2023

    I was also nonplussed by the kid. But I was super happy that the JSA were a lot bigger a presence in the film than I anticipated.


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