Black Adam Ending Explained: Has Dwayne Johnson Changed The DCEU’s Hierarchy?

Dwayne Johnson using his lighting energy in battle in Black Adam.
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Warning: spoilers for the Black Adam ending are in play. If you haven’t seen the movie, take this as a warning that plot details are ahead.

It feels like Black Adam has been approaching the DC Extended Universe for some time now, and finally Dwayne Johnson’s anti-hero has been released into theaters. Johnson has continually promised that director Jaume Collet-Serra’s film would change the hierarchy of DC power, and now the world gets to see if that’s the case. 

Which is why we’re about to dive deep into the ending to Black Adam, and see if the hierarchy of power truly has changed. Not to mention, there’s plenty of stuff to discuss in reference to the future of the DCEU; outside of Black Adam’s very dismal critical response. So if you’re looking to avoid spoilers, consider this as a warning from the Man in Black himself. 

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

What Happened At The End Of Black Adam?

After struggling with adjusting to the modern world of Kahndaq and its people, Teth Adam (Dwayne Johnson) defeats the demon Sabaac and his horde of undead soldiers. After Adam literally splits his nemesis in half, the nation’s people rejoice, and are open to Adam becoming their new king. 

Teth Adam thinks about it for a moment, and even sits in the remains of Kahndaq’s throne. When asked by Adrianna (Sarah Shahi) what it feels like, Adam responds, very simply, that it’s wrong. Smashing the throne, Black Adam shows that while he’ll protect Kahndaq, he won’t rule it like the kings of old. Smirking to the camera in the final moments, our new hero accepts the titular name as a much needed update.

Dwayne Johnson in Black Adam

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

How Has Black Adam Changed The DCEU’s Hierarchy?

There you have it: Black Adam saved the day, while giving the heroes of the DCEU a run for their money. However, did Adam really change the DC hierarchy of power? Well, depending on how you look at it, he totally did, as he’s technically the largest threat in the DCEU at this point.

Black Adam, in its story and protagonist, answers the question, “What if Superman went dark, but came from a mythological power base like Steppenwolf?” It’s a combination that has even Task Force X shaken up, as seen in Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) and her actions throughout the film. With very few weaknesses, and allegiances that are still forming, it’s going to be interesting to see how this first step -- and the arrival of Black Adam in this universe -- potentially shakes DC’s power structures to their core.

Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam concept art and still of Henry Cavill's Superman

(Image credit: Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema)

What About That Black Adam Mid-Credits Scene?

Speaking of shaking things up, it’s probably time to address that Black Adam mid-credits scene that slowly became the world’s worst kept secret. To answer the most burning questions: Yes, Henry Cavill’s Superman is in play for the moment, with Cavill’s DC future still in question. And just as expected, Dwayne Johnson looks like he wants to whup his ass into Kryptonian dust. 

We anticipated that much going in, and if you want to read lengthier coverage about what Black Adam’s Superman scene could mean, that’s available to you in another fortress of solitude here on our site. However, something particularly interesting to note is that there are some important caveats to Black Adam’s existence that are mentioned in this mid-credits scene. These clauses are so big, they could affect how Adam plays in the DCEU at large, as well as his own solo franchise.

Sarah Shahi and Mohammed Amer looking startled in a cave in Black Adam.

(Image credit: Frank Masi/Warner Bros.)

What Does This Mean For The Black Adam Series?

That Black Adam mid-credits scene wasn’t included to merely resurrect Henry Cavill’s last son of Krypton. If anything, Amanda Waller’s instructions/threats to Black Adam are quite possibly the most important aspect of that moment. We say that because, per Ms. Waller’s directives, Adam isn’t allowed to leave Kahndaq. 

In the short term, that’s probably fine, as Black Adam’s central anti-hero seems more concerned with protecting his homeland. That’s an approach that sells a series of solo adventures in the movies of DC very easily, and would see Adrianna Tomaz, her son Amon (Bodhi Sabongui), as well as her brother Karim (Mohammed Amer) all primed to return in Black Adam 2.

However, in terms of crossing over with other characters, like Superman, the Justice Society, or any other DC teams, they’ll need a really good reason. Either Black Adam needs the ultimate motivation to leave his people unprotected, or Task Force X/The Justice Society are going to need his particular set of skills, for any potential future Black Adam appearances.

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

What Does This Mean For Black Adam’s Character?

Approaching the story for a Black Adam film is one thing, but how will the events of the finale shape Adam’s character? Well, this is the really fun factor to consider for future DCEU appearances, as Dwayne Johnson’s character doesn’t consider himself a hero or a villain.

Adam shows as much throughout the film, and we see him ending as a stoic and protective character, but one still very fresh to the modern world. That said, much like Superman, who Black Adam will absolutely fight, Black Adam has certain boundaries that, when crossed, could make him lose control. 

It almost happened in the visions of the future that Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan) saw earlier in the film; but for the moment, Adam is in control of himself. But if there’s any hard held rules in the DC Comics universe, one of them would dictate that all it takes is one bad day for Black Adam to potentially wield his full powers like a blunt instrument.

Pierce Brosnan and Aldis Hodge sharing a fist bump in Black Adam.

(Image credit: Frank Masi / Warner Bros)

Could We See More Of The Justice Society?

One would surely hope that the Justice Society will return to the DCEU, as well as future Black Adam-related films, after their big screen debut. As Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) all survived the events of this movie, the future could definitely see them all returning for a sequel or spinoff film.

Though if fortune smiles upon the fans, a prequel adventure that takes place before Black Adam’s events could be on the books as well. With that pathway, we’d at least get to see our beloved Doctor Fate (Brosnan) fight the good fight once more; despite his heroic death. Although, this is the world of comics, and no one ever stays dead if there’s a good reason to return.

Black Adam’s finale sees Dwayne Johnson poised for future greatness, protecting the people of Kahndaq with his might and stoicism. The hierarchy of DC power has been rattled for sure, and no matter where the future goes, Black Adam will be there if the fans demand his return. Which is why you should probably see Black Adam, whether you’ve just spoiled the film for yourself or not, in its current theatrical release. 

Though if you’re up for refreshing yourself on the questionably canonical events of past DC Extended Universe films, there’s one place that’ll be of great use to you. Streamers with an HBO Max subscription can explore the entirety of the DC Comics hub of content. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.