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What to watch before ‘Black Adam?’

A little bit of homework to understand the chaotic world of one of the DCEU's final anti-heroes.

black adam
via DC Films

Black Adam was one of the most hyped superhero films of 2022, partly due to the lengths Dwayne Johnson went to make it happen, and the promotional machine behind him. The film exists in the DC Extended Universe, so naturally, there are going to be some threads from other properties within the franchise tied into the film.

Thankfully, the list of prerequisite films below isn’t overly long – and while none of them are absolutely mandatory to your enjoyment of Black Adam, they’ll certainly enhance your viewing experience and contextualize a few characters and plot devices that appear within the movie. Without further ado, here’s what to watch before Black Adam:

The Suicide Squad

Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and Peacemaker (John Cena) walk heroically during a downpour in 'The Suicide Squad' (2021).
Credit: Warner Bros. Discovery

It’s common knowledge that Amanda Waller is in Black Adam, as she calls on the Justice Society of America to face the titular character. The Suicide Squad gives some more context around what Waller does, and what she is capable of. You could throw in 2016’s Suicide Squad as well — if you wish to subject yourself to that — as it did mark Waller’s first appearance in the DCEU, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Just stick to the far superior standalone sequel.


Shazam (Zachary Levi) and Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) chug soda outside a convenience store in 'Shazam!' (2019).
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Shazam! is worth a watch if you’re after a deeper understanding of some DC mythology before jumping into Black Adam. This family-friendly, but surprisingly good superhero flick introduces us to the council of wizards who give the titular hero his powers. If you’re familiar with the source material, you’ll know that Black Adam is one of Shazam’s primary nemeses, and both of these guys got their powers from the same source. Shame the pair didn’t end up facing off. Nevertheless, for you lore buffs, this viewing is beneficial.

Man of Steel

Superman (Henry Cavill) stands defiantly in the middle of a street in 'Man of Steel' (2013).
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Dwayne Johnson was pretty vocal about his hopes for Superman and Black Adam to duke it out on the promotional circuit ahead of Black Adam’s release, with Henry Cavill coming up in the conversation quite often. While we won’t offer a flat ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as to whether the DCEU’s OG Clark Kent makes his presence known during Black Adam, it’s still a solid watch if you want to catch yourself up on Superman’s origin story. Cavill’s successor has some very big shoes to fill.


Peacermaker (John Cena) walks alongside a van in 'Peacemaker' (2022).
Image via Warner Bros. Television

Peacemaker focuses on John Cena as the titular character, but it also gives a little bit more background on the inner workings of A.R.G.U.S, the organization that presumably sent the Justice Society after Black Adam, which Amanda Waller heads up. It also prominently features her report, Emilia Harcourt. Although she played more of a background role in The Suicide Squad, she does somewhat serve as a driving force in Black Adam’s narrative. If you’re looking to score bonus points with yourself before you queue up Dwayne Johnson’s one-and-done DC movie, this eight-episode series may be worth a look.

Black Adam is available to stream on Max and Prime Video.

Peter Kohnke
About the author

Peter Kohnke

Peter is an Associate Editor at We Got This Covered, based in Australia. He loves sinking his time into grindy MMO's like Destiny 2, Final Fantasy XIV, and Old School RuneScape. Peter holds a Masters Degree in Media from Macquarie University in Sydney, AU, and dabbled with televised business/finance journalism in a past life.