Everything We Learned From The New DC Superhero Movie Preview

Warner Bros. has just dropped a teaser for its 2022 DC superhero movie slate, and it packs a massive amount of brand new footage into just 60 seconds. The promo, titled "The World Needs Heroes," gives us our first look at The Justice Society of America, "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" footage, and a Flash redesign. It also includes an "only in theaters" disclaimer, a significant note to end on since "The Suicide Squad" is the only live-action DC film to release theatrically in the past two years. Pandemic-era concerns willing, we'll get to shout about Pierce Brosnan's cool guy cape alongside all our friends later this year.

The preview spotlights four films: "The Batman," "Black Adam," "The Flash," and the aforementioned Aquaman sequel. "The Batman" is the only movie that doesn't offer any new footage, but the Matt Reeves version of the Dark Knight's story has already flooded the market with moody trailers aplenty. Still, it's fun to see Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle alongside these other DC heroes, especially since the cloaked vigilante seems like kind of a loner in the footage we've seen so far. Some footage from "The Flash" was also featured at DC Fandome last year, but aside from that, this promo has first looks aplenty. Let's break it down.

Introducing Black Adam

The first major new footage arrives just seven seconds into the teaser. It's an extremely cool-looking shot of a caped figure facing down two helicopters in a rocky desert-like terrain. The cape is black with gold trim, and is tattered around the edges. This looks like the cloak worn by Black Adam, the ancient Egyptian antihero with comic book ties to "Shazam." Dwayne Johnson will be playing him in the new movie, and while we get a better shot of him in a moment, this is one of the most climactic-looking moments from the trailer presented right off the bat. The first footage from the film revealed that the character is bulletproof and can fly — or at the very least, levitate — so this helicopter encounter is sure to be a major one.

"My son dreamt of a better world," Black Adam says, right after the helicopter shot. "That's why he saved me." We see a couple great, clear shots of the antihero here. First, we see him speaking these lines at what looks like an ancient construction site. In the far background, a figure with horns holds something in its hands. Next, we see him crying, seemingly being held back as a strong man with a long, curved blade slashes downward offscreen. Finally, we see Black Adam in costume. He wears a black fitted suit with a faded glowing lightning bolt on the chest. His cape is extra-tattered from this angle, with a large black hole in the side of its hood.

The thing that strikes me most about Black Adam's costume is the texture. The whole thing looks grainy, almost as if it's crumbling to dust. This look makes sense when coupled with the Black Adam backstory that DC Fandome footage has already presented. A couple of explorers, presumably in the modern day, accidentally resurrect Black Adam. The costume has a moth-eaten, long-neglected look, but the effect is somehow intimidating and powerful nonetheless. We also catch a brief glimpse of Black Adam demonstrating those powers, seemingly sending a blast of lightning from his chest.

A Closer Look At The Flash's New Suit

Though we've seen more footage from Andrés Muschietti's upcoming "The Flash" film than others featured here, there's still a great close-up of Barry Allen's new suit. The suit looks like something out of "Tron," its classic red shot through with glowing veins of yellow. This take on the Flash suit looks nothing like the ones we've seen before; we see it mostly in the dark here, but it seems to have more color contrast than other versions, and highlights the power pulsating through Barry's body. Also, it's worth noting that between The Flash, Black Adam, and Shazam, we now have at least three DCEU figures wearing a lightning bolt on their chest.

Aquaman Takes The Throne

This promo is mostly a "Black Adam" spotlight, but we do get some new "Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom" footage as well. "What could be greater than a king?" Jason Momoa's underwater hero says in voiceover, before answering, "A hero." Director James Wan called the new film a "globetrotting story" during the DC Fandome behind-the-scenes footage, but we don't get a glimpse of the expanded world yet. Instead, we see Aquaman standing at the edge of a rocky cliff, and later, taking his underwater throne in his glistening, scaly superhero suit.

Cyclone's On The Scene

The back half of the teaser offers a great — if quick — look at several fresh faces in the DC Extended Universe who are set to make their debut in "Black Adam." First up is Cyclone, played by "In Treatment" actor Quintessa Swindell. Cyclone is a member of the Justice Society of America, a precursor to the Justice League that National Comics and All-Star Comics created together before the merger to create DC in 1945. Cyclone wasn't an original member of JSA, though: her character was introduced in the 2006 "Justice Society of America" comic run.

Cyclone, whose real name is Maxine, is the granddaughter of the original Red Tornado. In the comics, she's able to manipulate the wind after being infected with nanobyte technology at a young age. Here, we see her first out of costume and later in her hero gear. Civilian Maxine wears her red-brown hair atop her head, with two thin braids on either side. She also has a shirt with what appears to be an oddly 3-D blue monkey face on it. When we see Cyclone in costume, she still maintains the same sense of funky style, with green puffy sleeves and a teal and purple armor breastplate.

Atom Smasher Kicks Some Cars

Next up in the JSA is Atom Smasher. Noah Centineo takes on the role of supersized hero, who can grow to be the size of buildings and is super strong to boot. We only see him out of his costume for a split second, when he responds to Cyclone's "I just got goosebumps" line with a funny little sound of agreement. He's pretty nondescript in his civvy clothes, wearing a cross-body bag and a tan jacket. Later on, though, we get to see him running among skyscrapers, knocking entire cars out of his path as he goes.

Atom Smasher's costume is the least-striking of the bunch so far, hewing closer to the dull-colored DC palette we've all grown familiar with. He wears navy blue and dark red, with silver arm bands and a silver belt. The combination of this somewhat retro costume and the crumbling buildings behind him in this shot make it hard to pinpoint whether or not this moment takes place in the modern day.

Hawkman Spreads His Wings

One of the most satisfying reveals in this promo is also one of the briefest. In a shot late in the teaser, Hawkman, played by Aldis Hodge, spreads his wings as a city seemingly burns behind him. A Hawkman was part of the original lineup of the JSA way back in the 1940s comic run, but the version in the film is most likely Carter Hall, an archeologist who may be the modern reincarnation of the hawk hero of centuries past. Unlike his co-stars, we don't see Hodge out of costume in this promo.

Hawkman's powers are largely mechanical; in the comics, he uses a material called Nth metal to create artificial wings that can actually fly. We get a glimpse of his impressive wingspan in this shot, which shows him poised for takeoff in a gold and blood-red suit. All in all, "Black Adam" seems to be revamping classic costumes for a modern era in ways that look creative, sleek, and surprisingly colorful.

Brosnan Dons The Doctor Fate Helmet

Finally, the moment we've all been waiting for: Pierce Brosnan's DCEU debut. The Bond actor will be playing Doctor Fate, another of the founding members of the JSA. Doctor Fate also has ties to Black Adam lore, as his character is the son of an archeologist. The character's real name is Kent Nelson, and he's the keeper of the Helmet of Fate, whose shiny gold fin peeks out from his arms as he speaks in the new footage. "There's a glorious world out there waiting for you," he seems to be telling Black Adam.

While Brosnan, with his perfectly coiffed white hair and beard and snazzy suit — is that an ascot?! — is a fun enough addition himself, we also briefly get to see Doctor Fate in his super suit. On the spectrum between corny and cool, the doc may be leaning in the wrong direction. He doesn't look bad — all these heroes' costumes seem to have a lustrous, shiny, chrome or gold element — but that gold helmet does not seem to have eye holes. Luckily, the character has special powers gleaned from a sorcerer, so hopefully that'll keep him from crashing into things. In the brief shot we see, he reaches out a gold-clad hand as an aircraft soars overhead.

All in all, this promo packs a lot of punch in its short runtime, introducing us to the Justice Society of America and offering a look at a bright and shiny and new chapter of the DCEU. Consider us onboard.