Black Adam Missed the Opportunity to Fix One of the Arrowverse’s Biggest Mistakes

The new Black Adam film has opened the doors of the DC Extended Universe by introducing the famous anti-hero and the Justice Society of America. These heroes are some of the oldest in comic book history and have helped sculpt the DC Universe even before the Justice League. One of its most famous members, Hawkman, has shown fans for decades that age is only a number when fighting crime. But it’s been revealed that where the film had the chance to bring to life the most interesting aspect of his origin, it instead decided not to, which has become a huge missed opportunity.

In the comics, Carter Hall was unique to the many other legacy heroes in the DC Universe. Rather than take up the mantle from a predecessor, he got reincarnated as the Hawkman of a new generation upon death. That began as early as the time of Ancient Egypt when he was known as Prince Khufu and has continued to the modern age, with his story always leading him to his love Shiera Hall, aka Hawkgirl. But according to Black Adam Director Jaume Collet-Serra, this storyline was scrapped for the movie as it may be too confusing to translate into a film that wasn’t his.

The logic that it may overstuff the film makes sense as this wasn’t the first time it got brought to live action. In the Arrowverse, Carter’s story of reincarnation got adapted, but it lacked greatly in terms of the impact and pacing needed to tell it. Plus, with him getting introduced in an already packed event and spending only one season on Legends of Tomorrow, there was no time to flesh it out. The same could be said for Hawkman in Black Adam, but with a longer runtime, it may be a sacrifice that’s worth taking.

For starters, while the titular character wasn’t reincarnated, per se, his story is one of a man who jumped from one century to another. As a man displaced, he would need a focal point to focus on in understanding this new world. With Hawkman there, he would’ve been the perfect lighting rod for Adam to understand the modern age. Plus, this wouldn’t necessarily imply that the two would be friends, as it’s clear their thoughts on the sanctity of life don’t align. There’s also the added notion of most of the JSA in the film being made up of Golden Age heroes like Dr. Fate and Atom Smasher, making the theme of time a factor.

Another interesting connection the film could’ve utilized is the history between Adam and Carter. Since they likely existed around the same time, before their deaths, it’s very plausible that they crossed paths where Prince Khufu looked down on Adam even though Carter has clearly changed from who he was. Therefore, there’d be an age-old animosity between them that Carter likely wouldn’t even remember yet, as it’s unclear how long he’s been Hawkman and if he has his full memories of past lives.

Hawkman’s story in the comics is a treasure trove of narratives that could get explored in the future, should his origin remain intact. For example, he could leave to find Shiera and start his own journey that could continue in future stories. But with his origin lessened or even scrapped due to its complexity, it could make his future more difficult to translate in the long run. As a result, what seemed like a feasible idea, may end up being implemented in the future or risk jeopardizing the translation of the character in future DCEU appearances.

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