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[Redacted] returns in Black Adam’s post-credits scene

Spoiler alert!

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam in Black Adam.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

This post contains spoilers regarding the movie Black Adam.

When it comes to trends of late, post-credits scenes have doubled as huge casting announcements — Harry Styles, Charlize Theron, and Brett Goldstein all joined the MCU via credits scenes — but Warner Bros.’ Black Adam has bucked the trend ... by using it to bring a beloved superhero back.

Image reads “spoilers below,” with a triangular sign bearing an exclamation point.

After being awakened from a 5,000-year slumber, fighting against mercenaries, battling the superheroes known as the Justice Society (not to be confused with the Justice League), and teaming up with those same superheroes to take down a demon lord, it’s clear Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson) is going to be a major player, a looming antihero in the DC universe.

In the movie’s sole credits scene, Black Adam encounters a drone from Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). Waller, who is in charge of various superhero groups in the DC extended universe including the Justice Society (introduced in the movie) and the Suicide Squad (both the good one and the bad one), has clashed with Black Adam throughout the film, but now tells him that he’s safe. She says she won’t interfere with his business should he remain in the country of Kahndaq. Kahndaq, as the movie explains, is Black Adam’s home, where he received his powers, and according to myth, the place that Black Adam is sworn to protect.

Black Adam thinks Waller’s proposal is bull — he’s pretty much thrashed Waller’s Justice Society to bits, even though it’s a four-on-one advantage, so they both know there aren’t many superheroes that can match Black Adam’s power. He dares her to try and stop him. Waller responds with a final warning that she has allies “from other planets” to keep him in check, prompting Black Adam to destroy the drone via lightning bolt.

This sets up the big reveal.

Descending from the sky is one of those beings that Waller promised. At first all you see is shadow, then when the light hits his face, he’s revealed to be Superman, played by Henry Cavill. Superman tells Black Adam that they should have a conversation and the scene concludes.

Black Adam likes to blast things with lightning!
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

If the scene means what we think it means — the return and continuation of Cavill as Superman; Superman teaming up or going to blows with Black Adam; a possibility of Cavill and Johnson wrestling in skin-tight suits — it’s a monumental announcement. For the last four years, Cavill’s future as the Man of Steel has been in doubt.

Last time we saw Cavill’s Superman was in 2017’s Justice League (which was re-released as the vastly improved “Snyder Cut” in 2021), and that felt like the final time. In 2018, there were reports that he had been fired and that, despite his charm, good looks, and fan-favorite status, executives didn’t see him as the future of the DCEU.

Since then, Cavill has found a lot of success starring as the lead of Netflix’s The Witcher. He also seems to have found a hobby in building computers. The aforementioned Snyder Cut was also a huge hit with fans.

Warner Bros.’ superhero slate, on the other hand, has been up and down. The highly anticipated Wonder Woman sequel WW1984 failed to live up to the promise of its predecessor, but self-contained movies like Joker and The Batman found lots of success. Warner Bros.’ merger with Discovery also brought with it the shocking news that the upcoming Batgirl movie would be canceled even though it was completed, and that the Flash movie would continue despite star Ezra Miller’s spate of arrests and alleged violent and inappropriate behavior.

If there’s a rhyme or reason to this chaos, the only people who know what’s happening are the heads of Warner Bros. Discovery.

That said, there were rumors this summer that execs were leaving the door open for Cavill to return. Cavill himself has also seemed open to the idea. During the promotional tour for The Witcher last December, Cavill said that he still had the signature super suit. That November, he’d told the Hollywood Reporter that he relished the opportunity to be Superman again, and that “there is still a lot of storytelling” for him to do.

Now it looks like Cavill will get that chance, and we’ll see what stories he’ll be able to tell.

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