The Backstory of Black Adam, Hawkman, & the JSA


With Black Adam lastly in theaters, we’re past excited to see what the long-awaited addition to the DCEU brings. Dwayne Johnson spent over a decade campaigning to play Black Adam on the large display, and in spite of everything these years it is lastly occurring. But who’s Black Adam? And who’re the members of the Justice Society of America (JSA) who appeared alongside him?

It’s no secret that that is Black Adam’s first look in live-action media (barring a quick reference in Shazam!), however the JSA has proven up a couple of occasions all through the years, be it on Smallville, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and the present Stargirl collection. But no matter their live-action appearances (or lack thereof), Black Adam, Doctor Fate, Hawkman, Cyclone, and Adam Smasher all have huge comedian guide histories that can little doubt contribute to their upcoming roles in Black Adam.


Black Adam: A Tortured Anti-Hero

Black Adam first appeared as Teth-Adam, an historic Egyptian man who was chosen by the wizard Shazam to develop into the “Mighty Adam.” Eventually, Adam believed that he was the rightful inheritor of Egypt and killed the Pharaoh, solely to be cursed by the Wizard for his betrayal. This ultimately resulted in battle between Black Adam and Billy Batson (generally known as Captain Marvel till the previous decade). After the mythic Crisis on Infinite Earths, Black Adam’s origins had been rewritten to exclude Egypt totally, buying and selling it in for the fictional Northern African nation of Kahndaq. This replace additionally included the dying of his kids by the hands of a supervillain, leading to him taking up Kahndaq. After being stripped of his powers by the Wizard, Black Adam was ultimately revived by his reincarnated ancestor Theo Adam, the person who killed Billy Batson’s mother and father.

As it seems, Theo Adam and Black Adam could not co-exist collectively, and ultimately, Black Adam strayed away from Theo’s evil affect over his life. Not lengthy after, Black Adam labored with the Justice Society of America towards the Injustice Society, Johnny Sorrow, the Sin-Eater, and others earlier than being inducted into the staff’s ranks throughout Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer‘s epic JSA run. Even after he joined the JSA, Captain Marvel did not imagine Adam had modified, and ultimately, he was confirmed proper. Black Adam shortly grew to become extra unhinged and took over Kahndaq as soon as once more, killing any supervillain who precipitated anybody hurt. In his time as ruler of Kahndaq, he married the Egyptian goddess Isis, and the 2 dominated over the nation collectively. Along with Isis’ brother Osiris, they develop into the Black Marvel Family. Sadly, his new household would not final lengthy, and after Isis and Osiris’ deaths by the hands of Intergang, Black Adam declared World War III.

After WWIII, Black Adam misplaced his powers and spent the remainder of his time within the Post-Crisis continuity struggling to regain his powers. Once he regains them and ultimately resurrects his spouse, Adam and Isis are petrified in stone by the Wizard Shazam for his or her misuse of energy. Black Adam would not seem once more till the New 52 continuity reboot, which (as soon as once more) adjustments his origin. Most lately, after a couple of battles with Billy Batson’s Shazam (the person previously generally known as Captain Marvel), Black Adam joined the Justice League as a considerably reformed anti-hero. Time will inform if these heroic adjustments will stick, or if he’ll find yourself going again to his violent methods.

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Hawkman: A Hero Throughout Time

Hawkman’s (Aldis Hodge) historical past is much more convoluted than Black Adam’s and has been rebooted and retold extra occasions than we might rely. However, a couple of points of Hawkman’s story have all the time remained true throughout time… Born 1000’s of years in the past because the Egyptian Prince Khufu, Hawkman teamed up with Teth-Adam and the mystic Nabu to discover a crashed Thanagarian spaceship that contained Nth metallic, the supply of Hawkman’s energy. Years later, Prince Khufu and his bride Chay-Ara had been brutally murdered by the villainous priest Hath-Set and cursed to be reborn repeatedly. Over the centuries, Khufu could be reincarnated because the fifth century Silent Knight, Captain John Smith of Virginia, an Old West gunfighter, a Pinkerton detective, and ultimately as Carter Hall aka Hawkman, probably the most well-known of all Khufu’s incarnations. In latest books, it has been revealed that Khufu has additionally lived lives on different planets, together with because the Thanagarian cop Katar Hol and the Kryptonian historian Catar-Ol.

In the Nineteen Forties, Carter Hall and his bride, Shiera (generally spelled Shayera), grew to become Hawkman and Hawkgirl (later Hawkwoman), crime fighters who would assist discovered the Justice Society of America and would ultimately develop into distinguished members of the Justice League of America as effectively. Over the years, Carter typically served because the chairman of the JSA, although he would often step apart to offer others the prospect to steer. As time went on, the Hawks would serve through the authentic Crisis on Infinite Earths, which modified the universe ceaselessly. Afterward, their origins would change a couple of occasions (although the fundamentals all the time remained the identical), and ultimately, they’d die in battle throughout Blackest Night, solely to be resurrected once more nearly instantly. Hawkman may need probably the most complicated character histories in the entire comics, however that is largely as a result of there are too many incarnations to speak about. Way greater than we’ve got time for right here.

Most lately, Carter and the Shayera Hol incarnation of Hawkgirl are revealed to truly come from Ktar and Shrra, two alien beings locked in an everlasting resurrection with each other. After defeating the Deathbringers (the alien group to which Hawkman initially belonged), and their chief, the Lord Beyond the Void, Carter and Shayera are given the prospect to dwell their favourite life as soon as once more, however this time as mortals with lengthy prolonged life. Choosing to return to their time with the unique JSA, the Hawks dwell an extended life, effectively into the fortieth century by the top of the latest Hawkman collection.

Doctor Fate: The Master of Magic

While there have been many variations of Doctor Fate over time, the unique (and most well-known), Kent Nelson, is the model quickly to look in Black Adam, performed by Pierce Brosnan. In his origin story, a younger Nelson accompanied his archeologist father on a Mesopotamian expedition. While investigating the tomb of Nabu, Nelson unintentionally awakes the magical deity, ensuing within the dying of his father. But Nabu takes pity on Nelson and spends the following few a long time coaching him to develop into Doctor Fate, giving him his magical helmet, amulet, and cloak to battle supernatural crime again within the United States. It’s upon returning to his homeland (however not earlier than assembly his spouse, Inza) that Nelson helps discovered the Justice Society. As Nelson fights crime as Doctor Fate, he struggles along with his superhero alter-ego, particularly since Nabu tends to take over his physique by means of his mystical helmet.

After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Nelson co-founded what would later develop into the Justice League International. But even whereas working with the League, he nonetheless remained faithfully dedicated to the JSA. During this time, Nabu would consistently manipulate Nelson’s life, culminating in Nelson and his spouse, Inza, merging to develop into the brand new Doctor Fate, this time with them in management as an alternative of Nabu. This could be challenged through the Zero Hour occasion after the villain Extant stripped the Justice Society of their magical protections, together with the Helmet of Fate itself. As the Nelsons struggled to revive their magic powers, their life power is drained by demons, ensuing of their deaths. Though, in true Doctor Fate vogue, they remained alive as spirits, often serving to the JSA when want be. Of course, new Doctor Fates would rise and fall over time, together with the unique Hawkman’s son Hector Hall and two of Nelson’s grandnephews, however none as vital as the unique.

In the latest DC Rebirth soft-reboot, Kent Nelson has returned to the mantle of Doctor Fate, although he is not alone. Beside him is one among his grandnephews, Khalid Nassour, with whom he shares the mantle of Doctor Fate (every with their very own fashionable helmet). While Nelson would possibly nonetheless battle along with his interior Nabu, his return to the helmet comes simply in time for his coming look on the large display.

Atom Smasher: Black Adam’s Closest Friend

The godson of the unique JSA member Al Pratt aka the Atom, Albert Rothstein (Noah Centineo) gained his meta human skills of super-strength and progress from his grandfather, the JSA’s enemy, Cyclotron. Deciding to observe in his godfather’s footsteps moderately than his personal kin, Albert grew to become Nuklon, a member of the unique Infinity, Inc., a superhero group made up of the youngsters, heirs and apprentices of the unique JSA. Nuklon sported a crimson and black outfit with a reasonably unhealthy mohawk that he stored effectively into his tenure within the Justice League reserves.

Eventually, numerous members of Infinity, Inc. could be rolled into the reformed Justice Society of America, which sought to take the youthful technology underneath their wing. Albert, now going by Atom Smasher, was a first-rate candidate for the reformed JSA and was ecstatic on the alternative to dwell as much as the Atom’s legacy. Although Atom Smasher consistently strove to impress his superhero idols, he nearly gave all of it up by killing the terrorist Kobra after the supervillain killed his mom. Thankfully, he was talked down, however later Albert would return in time to exchange his mom with the supervillain Extant, who died in her place. While he lastly saved his mom, it was at a horrible value.

Once Black Adam joined the staff, Albert was initially reluctant to belief the previous supervillain, however after some heart-to-hearts involving Atom Smasher’s personal ethical dilemmas, they got here to develop a bond of brotherhood. This bond remained robust, to the purpose that Albert would go away the JSA with Black Adam, homicide the Khandaq president, and consistently save Adam from dying and persecution. Eventually, Albert’s conscience bought one of the best of him, and he confessed to his crimes, selecting to battle towards Adam alongside the JSA. After a while, Albert reclaimed his position as Al Pratt’s legacy within the JSA and convinces the heroes to let him rejoin the staff. Albert was final seen as Atom Smasher on the finish of Doomsday Clock, after the JSA had been restored to the DC timeline.

Cyclone: A JSA All-Star within the Making

The granddaughter of Ma Hunkel, the unique Red Tornado, Maxine Hunkel aka Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) inherited her grandmother’s whirlwind skills and joined the JSA within the mid-2000s. With the powers of flight, wind manipulation, and the power to manage sound waves all at her disposal, Cyclone joined the JSA after the staff determined to increase their ranks to mentor the following technology of superheroes. A relentless fangirl with an excessive motormouth, Cyclone’s pleasure (each at becoming a member of the JSA and assembly her private hero Stargirl) was little doubt a bit off-putting at first, however as soon as she discovered to manage her feelings, she proved herself to be a useful asset to the staff.

Cyclone had had the privilege of combating alongside the Justice League through the Lightning Saga, battled towards Darkseid’s forces through the Final Crisis, and have become a founding member of the JSA All-Stars staff after the JSA cut up in two. After being wiped from the mainstream continuity by Watchmen character Doctor Manhattan, Cyclone (and her fellow JSA teammates) rejoined the DC Universe in Geoff Johns and Gary Frank‘s Doomsday Clock. There was additionally a model of Cyclone (generally known as Red Tornado II) who confirmed up within the Alex Ross epic Kingdom Come to battle alongside an older Superman, however that was earlier than she was part of the principle DCU and is not actually canon.


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