Black Adam post-credit scenes: what it means for the DCEU

Dwayne Johnson in Black Adam
Dwayne Johnson in Black Adam (Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Black Adam has finally arrived. After several years of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson hyping that the "hierarchy of power in the DC Universe was about to change," did it truly? Meh. Maybe. That still remains to be seen. However if the post-credit scene are any indication, there’s at least the notion of it being challenged.

For those who have seen Black Adam, you know what that means. And for anyone who hasn’t, consider this a HUGE SPOILER warning. So if you have yet to watch Black Adam, the latest DC Extended Universe chapter, we encourage you to stop here and come back once you’ve seen it (unless you don’t care about spoilers).

That said, there is only one mid-credits scene in the film and no post-credits scene. So without further ado, here are the details about Black Adam’s single mid-credit scene.

Black Adam mid-credit scene explained

After busting out of Task Force X’s secret "Raft"-like facility with the help of Doctor Fate, Black Adam goes to stop Sabbac with the remaining members of the JSA, ultimately ripping him in half and stopping the random army of the dead from destroying the city. He rejects the throne and decides he’s going to be Kahndaq’s protector, but not its ruler.

His escape prompts Amanda Waller to send a drone and a threat to Kahndaq with an ultimatum for Black Adam. They have a Zoom call, in which Waller tells Black Adam that if he doesn’t want to be confined to the Task Force-X prison, that’s fine. Kahndaq is now his "prison." In other words, if he leaves, she’ll unleash fury on him. Black Adam balks at the notion, proclaiming proudly that nothing on Earth can stop him. Waller tells him that she can call in a favor to things "not from this planet" that could. Black Adam tells her to send them all. She says "as you wish." He ends the call by destroying the drone with lightning.

However, in the smoke and dust of the destruction, a flying, silhouetted figure in a cape descends. And out from the cloud of ash walks out Henry Cavill as Kal-El, the last son of Krypton – Superman! The legendary John Williams Superman 1978 theme plays and the big blue boy scout is officially back in a more vibrant version of his classic Man of Steel blue-and-red costume, not the black version we saw in Zack Snyder's Justice League.

"It’s been a while since someone has made the world this nervous," he says. "Black Adam, we should talk." Black Adam smiles and the credits keep rolling.

The only thing sweeter would have been if The Rock put his hand out and yelled "Just bring it!" like he used to do in the WWE days. That being said, what does this mean for the fate of the DCEU?

Well one thing’s for sure. Henry Cavill is officially back. After years of speculation and rumors of his exit, somehow, Dwayne Johnson and WB/DC have managed to back up enough money in a dump truck to his place to get him back. Perhaps it’s the promise of the new leadership under David Zaslav. Or maybe Cavill just misses the red and blue tights. But he’s back. And this time it’s tangibly him, unlike the final scene of Shazam that only saw Superman’s body from the neck down.

In the comics, Black Adam is traditionally the antagonist of Shazam. In fact the movie probably should have leaned further into this given the same magic word transforms Adam into the powerhouse he is. So this huge obsession for him to fight Superman rather than his actual foil is somewhat perplexing. But audiences are here for it thanks to their love of Cavill and the power levels between the two. That being said, it’s not as if Superman and Black Adam have never fought. They have had several encounters and battles in the comics, with or without Shazam.

Henry Cavill as Superman

Henry Cavill as Superman (Image credit: © 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.)

The first time the two fought was in DC All-New Collectors' Edition Vol 1 C-58; a storyline where Black Adam impersonates Shazam to cause destruction to a city. Superman tries to stop him (though thinks it’s Shazam). He goes to fight Shazam, but finds out it’s Black Adam and they eventually have a re-match in the comics a few stories later. In more modern issues, one of the more epic battles occurred in Action Comics #831 from 2005. Penned by Gail Simone, the issue showcases a brutal fight between the Man of Steel and the Man in Black after Black Adam attempts to stop Dr. Psycho from killing innocent civilians and Superman mistakenly thinks Adam is behind the attacks.

All that to say there is history between the two. And whether or not this mid-credits scene is intended to set up a cinematic conflict in a potential Black Adam sequel with Henry Cavill or a Man of Steel 2, as has been greatly rumored, is unclear. It’s definitely not attempting to set up any Shazam connection. But the literal fact that Cavill and Johnson come face to face indicates that we will be seeing some conflict happen between the two behemoths down the line in a similar fashion to some of the old comics. And naturally Waller (and to a degree the Task Force X team from The Suicide Squad/Peacemaker, including Jennifer Holland’s Emilia Harcourt who makes a welcome appearance) will be part of this as well.

Whether or not the hierarchy of power in the DCEU has truly shifted isn’t entirely certain. The one thing that is, if the mid-credits scene is any indication, is we’re likely to see the mother of all PPV matches occur sometime in the future between these two heavy hitters. DC Fans, it’s your time to get psyched.

Black Adam is now playing in movie theaters around the world.

Mike Manalo

Mike is a proud, sarcastic nerd with a penchant for comic books, comic book movies, and movies in general, and occasional delusions of grandeur. He's also a UC Berkeley graduate who decided to go into writing over pre-med because he figured he'd ultimately save more lives by not being a doctor. He's a Slytherin and a Pisces, so he's very emotionally sensitive, yet also evil, but can be defeated by exploiting his insecurities. His goal is to live one hell of a unique life, and it's been working so far! His proudest moments are being retweeted by James Gunn and Ryan Reynolds in the same week, and getting 999,999 points on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland. 

You can find Mike's writing around the web at publications like The Nerds of Color, What to Watch, Spoiler Free Reviews, and That's It LA.