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Black Adam Proves We Need a Justice Society Spinoff

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After being in the works for nearly two decades, Black Adam has finally arrived on the big screen, telling the story of Dwayne Johnson’s unconventional antihero. The film drew a unique sort of inspiration from the characters and concepts of DC’s comics, filling out Black Adam’s world in some surprising and Internet-breaking ways. One of the most buzzed-about among them might be the blockbuster debut of the Justice Society, a superhero team with nearly a century of history in the pages of DC. Amid speculation about future Black Adam sequels and crossovers with other characters, one thing remains true — a Justice Society spinoff needs to be among them.

Black Adam‘s version of the team consisted of Carter Hall / Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Kent Nelson / Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Maxine Hunkel / Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) and Albert Rothstein / Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), and the reaction to the film has indicated that they each left an impact on audiences, both individually and as a unit. While an argument can (and has) been made for each team member to get their own solo spinoff, it’s also incredibly easy to imagine the Justice Society spinning out into its own formidable part of DC’s movie or TV slate.

Who are DC’s Justice Society?

Originally created by Gardner Fox in the pages of All-Star Comics in the 1940s, the Justice Society of America actually have the honor of being the first superhero team in the pages of mainstream comics. The team’s All-Star tenure sought to unite costumed characters who had each had their own solo stories in other books, including Hawkman, Black Canary, Green Lantern, The Flash, Hourman, and Wonder Woman. When superhero comics largely declined in the 1950s, the Justice Society were put on hiatus, with the concept later reworked and renamed as the Justice League of America. Still, comic fans were adamant about wanting to see the original characters return — and they did so in a series of crossovers with the Justice League, which canonized that they existed on another parallel Earth.

From there, readers were treated to a number of stories surrounding the JSA’s Earth-2 adventures — and later, when reality was rewritten during the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, the team’s Earth-1 adventures. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the group thrived as a multi-generational superhero team, combining original team members with the legacy successors of their former teammates, or new characters entirely. This included (but was not limited to) Mr. Terrific, Stargirl, Power Girl, Hawkgirl, and Jakeem Thunder.

Who could appear in a Justice Society spinoff?

While Black Adam leaves a lot of stones unturned regarding the Justice Society’s onscreen past, there’s almost a beauty in that. Based on the film, we do know that Hawkman, Doctor Fate, and Al Pratt / The Atom (Henry Winkler) all served on the team in its original heyday, and that Cyclone’s grandmother, Ma Hunkel / Red Tornado, also exists in the universe in some capacity. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess as to what the team’s “Golden Age” roster looked like in the past — but a spinoff could certainly touch on that in some way, and fold in a number of compelling characters in the process.

Additionally, it’s clear that the Justice Society are still going strong after the events of Black Adam, outside of Doctor Fate sacrificing himself to save everyone during the film’s third act. The quartet we saw onscreen clearly thrived as a multigenerational group with shared experiences and dynamics, and it would be wonderful to see that further explored onscreen. It’s incredibly easy to imagine Hawkman, Cyclone, and Atom Smasher continuing to team up in the right scenarios, and bringing any heroes into their orbit in the process. From there, the possibilities are essentially endless — a spinoff could either fold in comic-accurate team members who were already introduced in other DC projects (Jurnee Smollett’s Black Canary comes to mind), or continue to put their stamp on characters that we haven’t seen yet in the universe, regardless of their age or their experience as a superhero.

How would a Justice Society spinoff impact the DC Universe?

Leading up to and immediately after the release of Black Adam, there have been a lot of new changes regarding DC’s live-action future. In particular, there’s the recent hiring of James Gunn and Peter Safran as the co-chairs of DC Films, who plan to oversee the main DC Universe’s film and television output across the next few years. Outside of a handful of films in 2023, we have no idea exactly what projects that will entail — which only makes the idea of a Justice Society spinoff even more appealing, as the studio tries to get its ducks in order regarding the next live-action Justice League project. In the meantime (or even simultaneously), a Justice Society spinoff would provide another blockbuster team to moviegoing audiences, and would help subtly build out the DC Universe along the way.

Beyond that, recent decisions announced since Gunn and Safran’s hiring have arguably opened the door wider for a full-fledged Justice Society spinoff. The long-gestating Green Lantern television show is being retooled significantly, and will no longer feature Golden Age Green Lantern and original Justice Society member Alan Scott — hypothetically leaving room for a version of him to debut elsewhere. And The CW’s Stargirl, which has followed a separate legacy-filled version of the JSA, just confirmed that it will be ending after its current season, leaving characters like Stargirl, Wildcat, Doctor Mid-Nite, and more open to be reimagined in a DCU context. While we’ll ultimately have to wait and see if a Justice Society spinoff ends up happening, the idea behind it would absolutely be a hit for DC’s future.

Do you want to see a Justice Society spinoff after Black Adam? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Black Adam is now playing exclusively in theaters.

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