While Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam may be the star of DC Comics’ next big live-action movie, he’s far from the only big-name character taking center stage. Joining him will be the Justice Society of America, which includes members such as Dr. Fate, Cyclone, Atom-Smasher, and their leader, Hawkman.
Most of these new characters have relatively straightforward backstories to establish for the audiences. However, the same cannot be said for Aldis Hodge’s flying, mace-wielding hero—he’s complicated.
In the comics, the character begins with Prince Khufu of Ancient Egypt, someone who ends up being killed by their rival, Hath-Set. Eventually, in 1940, the character ends up being reincarnated in the body of an American archeologist, Carter Hall. That's only one version, however, as another sees him as Katar Hol, a native from the planet Thanagar, who happens to be a police officer.
Even that brief description likely led some to scratch their heads. So how will a movie with a limited runtime smooth out, and fix, those messy wrinkles?
Fixing Hawkman's Origin
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Black Adam director Jaume Collet-Serra talked about Aldis Hodge's character of Hawkman and how the movie dealt with the character's confusing talent of reincarnation over the course of thousands of years—and how the movie aims to fix that with this first film.
The director noted how “it would be too confusing” to try and establish any known connection between Hawkman and Black Adam, seeing as both would have likely interacted roughly “5,000 years ago:”
“In the comics, there are clear references of like, ‘Hey, I saw you 5,000 years ago. You remember me?’ We’re not doing that… would be too confusing. Obviously, Hawkman reincarnates, so how many times do you need to reincarnate and still remember? All these rules [are something] you don’t want to set until those characters are really established.”
He continued, pointing out how in the upcoming movie, Hawkman “is a very driven character,” one who “has a very strong sense of what’s right or wrong:”
“He is a very driven character that knows that he’s on the right side… definitely, he’s a leader. He wants to bring this team together, and bring a certain stability to the world. Hawkman has a very strong sense of what’s right or wrong, and Black Adam challenges that.”
For those wondering what a hero looks like across incarnations over the span of thousands of years, look no further than the picture below.
Hawkman's Intricate Future
It's not surprising to learn how Black Adam will be toning down some of Hawkguy's more intricate details. After all, it is Dwayne Johnson's film first and foremost, so there's not really much time to dive into the all the nooks and crannies of Carter Hall's many reincarnated lives. Hopefully, however, the version that fans do get will still closely resemble the hero from the original comics.
Collet-Serra specifically noted how some of the more complex rules shouldn't be set up until the characters are better established in the world. This means that, at least to some degree, the director fully intends on seeing some of Black Adam's cast pop up in more DCEU.
But what exactly does that even mean? The entire DC Comics live-action slate is in shambles following new CEO David Zaslav's dramatic shift in strategy, which included the cancellation of Batgirl. That's not to mention the uncertain future of The Flash, which, if actually completely canned, could completely blow apart the future of Warner Bros.' superhero plans.
Black Adam hits theaters on October 21.