Who Are The Members Of The Justice Society Of America In Black Adam?

The hierarchy of power in the DC Extended Universe is about to change, though surely not in the way Dwayne Johnson meant when he first began using that tagline to promote "Black Adam" on social media. Despite the company's best efforts to draw attention away from last week's kerfuffle involving "Batgirl" and the "Scoob!" sequel, Warner Bros. Discovery has yet to clarify what its plan is for the future of the live-action DC movie universe (beyond assuring that it definitely, totally has one and it's great, so don't worry).

In the meantime, Warner Bros. will continue to promote "Black Adam" ahead of its arrival in the fall, 15 years(!) after Johnson first became involved with the film. On top of featuring the titular villain-turned-antihero, the DCEU movie will mark the big screen debut of the Justice Society of America. The superhero team predates the Justice League by about 20 years in comic book form and was previously adapted for the Arrowverse (RIP?) in "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" season 2, along with playing a key role on the live-action "Stargirl" series.

As with the Justice League, the members of the Justice Society of America vary from one iteration to the next, and "Black Adam" is no different. Here's a breakdown of who's who in the film's version of the JSA.


Hawkman, aka Carter Hall, is the leader of the JSA in "Black Adam." He was created for the "Flash Comics" series in 1940 and has shown up in several live-action TV series before, including "Smallville" and "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" (though not as a member of the JSA on the latter show). His backstory is never exactly the same, but certain elements tend to show up over and over — much like the hero himself has typically been reincarnated many times, starting as an Egyptian prince and continuing to the present-day, where he's now an archaeologist.

In terms of his powers, Hawkman is usually able to fly thanks to his metal armor and wings, themselves composed of an other-worldly substance known as Nth metal. The trailers and TV spots for "Black Adam" feature the character — as played by Aldis Hodge — similarly decked out in golden gear, affording him both protection and the ability to defy gravity (aw, he's just like Elphaba!). As for his history: Hawkman has occasionally crossed paths with Black Adam over the millennia in the DC Comics universe, but that won't be the case in the DCEU. For now, anyway.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, "Black Adam" director Jaume Collet-Serra said he felt it would be "too confusing" to introduce that element to the DCEU before Black Adam and Hawkman are firmly established. That's not to suggest the pair will be besties in the film, mind you. To quote Collet-Serra:

"[Hawkman] is a very driven character that knows that he's on the right side. Definitely, he's a leader. He wants to bring this team together, and bring a certain stability to the world. Hawkman has a very strong sense of what's right or wrong, and Black Adam challenges that."

Doctor Fate

A superhero with a carefully-groomed goatee, supernatural powers, and the word "Doctor" in his moniker? Sounds a little strange, but maybe people will go for it.

Kent Nelson, aka Doctor Fate, is another DC comic book hero who dates back to 1940 and has shown up in live-action before on "Smallville" (on top of his appearance in "Stargirl"). His original backstory, as with Hawkman, also involves archaeology and ancient civilizations, though in very different ways. In Kent's case, he was trained in the art of sorcery from a young age by Nabu the Wise, who took pity on Kent after, as a boy, he opened the god's tomb and inadvertently released a poisonous gas that killed his archaeologist father. Nabu also gave Doctor Fate his trademark golden helmet, the mystical Helmet of Fate.

The trailer for "Black Adam" depicts Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan) as an elder statesman for the JSA, as well as someone capable of getting Black Adam to see reason with his words rather than his fists or magic. Jaume Collet-Serra confirmed the character will serve that very purpose in the film, telling Vanity Fair:

"You need a special actor to play, basically, a legend. Dr. Fate is a very powerful being, so you need someone like Pierce who can play powerful without it being overly done. He can do it in a very subtle way. I mean, he's one of the coolest people in the world—he was James Bond! But as a person, he's magnetic, so warm with such gravitas."


Every superhero team needs some younger recruits, and in "Black Adam," the JSA has Maxine Hunkel, aka Cyclone. It's fitting, too, seeing as the character herself has only been around in comic book form since 2006 and is known for being a youthful extrovert, on top of having wind-based super-powers (hence the name). As Jaume Collet-Serra told Variety Fair:

"It's always fun when you introduce characters in a team that have never really seen combat before, so the audience gets to experience it through those fresh eyes."

Despite her inexperience, Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) has a daunting legacy to live up to in the DCEU, hailing from a family of superheroes that includes her grandmother, the original Red Tornado (another element that comes straight from DC's comic books). Her role in "Black Adam," it seems, will be to serve as a foil to the more seasoned members of the JSA and, not least of all, the titular, wrathful Kahndaqian.

Atom Smasher

What's cooler than a superhero who can manipulate their molecular structure, allowing them to alter the very size of their body? How about another superhero with all those same abilities plus super-strength? Enter Albert Rothstein, aka Atom Smasher, as played by Noah Centineo in "Black Adam."

In the DC Comics universe, Atom Smasher (who has been around since 1983) gains his powers from his grandfather, the super-villain Cyclotron. While it's unclear how much, if any, of that backstory will make its way onto the big screen, the "Black Adam" trailer does confirm Atom Smasher can make himself as tall as a building. However, perhaps even more than any other member of the JSA in the film, he's uncertain of his place in the world. In the words of Jaume Collet-Serra:

"[Atom Smasher is] still not sure that this is what he wants to do. He thinks this is what he wants to do. He thinks he's on the right side, but he has a lot more questions."

How will Black Adam fit into the dynamic of this team? For the answer to that, you'll have to check out his movie when it premieres on October 21, 2022.