[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Black Adam and the DC Extended Universe.]
It wouldn’t be a 21st-century superhero movie without at least one surprise in the credits, and Black Adam certainly lives up to that expectation. Starring Dwayne Johnson, the latest DC Comics adaptation introduces the titular character not as an antagonist for Shazam (the youthful hero played by Zachary Levi) like in the books, but as the protagonist of his own story.
He’s a complicated protagonist, though, one who isn’t interested in keeping his superpowers in check now — even if he is dedicated to protecting his homeland of Kahndaq. And that’s what leads us to the film’s post-credits scene (or mid-credits scene, to be precise; there is no second post-credits scene), a moment featuring two familiar DC faces.
In the film’s final moments, a drone enters what remains of the Kahndaq throne room to deliver a holographic Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) with a message for Black Adam: Stay within the borders of Kahndaq, or else. Black Adam, understandably, expresses his doubts that anyone “of Earth” would be capable of enforcing Waller’s threat — but forever unshakable, Waller notes that she has resources from off planet as well.
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And that’s when Superman himself, played by Henry Cavill himself, arrives in the throne room, ready to step up to Black Adam’s challenge.
The Man of Steel’s appearance doesn’t come as a huge surprise, given how loudly Johnson has been saying that he wants a Black Adam vs. Superman showdown on screen. It’s the fact that Cavill is the one in the suit that’s the bigger reveal here. The Witcher star first put on the cape in 2013 for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, last wearing it for 2017’s Justice League (he wasn’t part of the Snyder Cut reshoots). Since then, there have been no formal announcements about his future with the role.
(For comparison’s sake, we not only have a brand new Batman in Robert Pattinson, but additional confirmation that Ben Affleck will make an appearance as the character in the upcoming Aquaman and the Last Kingdom.)