New ‘Black Adam’ trailer reignites the never-ending Justice League debate

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam, Black Adam (2022)
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Comic book movie fanatics are trying to ascertain whether Black Adam will be the destroyer of the DC franchise or its savior after the film’s star and producer, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, shared the newest trailer for the film that featured an unexpected cameo from members of the Justice League.

The trailer included cryptic imagery alluding to Henry Cavill’s Superman and Ben Affleck’s Batman, but did not show either character’s face. The trailer also showed the likes of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, fully in frame. All of the aforementioned clips were from previous movies, however, and it seems unlikely any of those characters will actually appear in Black Adam as the quick montage appeared to only bolster a monologue about heroes and villains delivered by Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller.

This all comes after Warner Bros. has repeatedly delivered brief Superman cameos, such as in 2019’s Shazam! and earlier this year in the DC show Peacemaker, with each one featuring the hero’s face obscured in some way, as Cavill’s fate in the role has been in limbo in recent years.

Affleck has similarly left the DC cinematic universe, though a recent tease from Jason Momoa’s Instagram account would seem to hail his return, possibly for 2023’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The Flash, also releasing next year, is another film that Affleck is expected to appear as Batman in what was previously thought to be his swan song as the Caped Crusader.

Right away, Twitter users pointed out in a screenshot that a brief scene of an explosion seemed to give a nod to Joss Whedon’s maligned reworking of Justice League in 2017 by featuring that film’s version of Steppenwolf.

For one fan, the seeming acknowledgment of the so-called “Josstice League” — rather than featuring a scene for the much more well-received 2021 reworking, Zack Snyder’s Justice League — was enough to leave a bad impression.

Another Twitter user just seemed disappointed that some people seemed to be more interested in an explosion shot in the trailer rather than “the god damn trinity” that is Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

Another commentator put forth the theory that perhaps the exclusive of ZSJL scenes had to do with rights issues complicating things.

Another fan simply wanted clarification from WB on which version of Justice League is considered canon since it seems wildly inconsistent.

The debate rages on, and will likely continue to do so, up until Black Adam‘s release to theaters on Oct. 21.