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Black Adam Is Repeating An Early DCEU Problem

The first trailer for Black Adam demonstrates that the new DCEU movie is repeating an old issue with the franchise starting with 2013s Man of Steel.

Dwayne Johnson is joining the DCEU in Black Adam but the first trailer for the movie exposes that a major problem with early DCEU releases like Man of Steel is still ongoing. The primary villainturnedantihero of Shazam may end up working in his own movie but future projects that see Black Adam meet the Shazam Family may suffer. If Black Adam is to become a beloved part of the haphazard DCEU DC and Warner Bros. must fix this persistent issue.

Black Adam stars Dwayne Johnson as TethAdam an antihero with powers comparable to Shazam who is imprisoned for 5000 years. The short trailer contrasts scenes of Black Adam crying over his deceased son with humorous gags including a grunt striking the antihero to no effect. The trailer shows the character interacting with other heroes from the Justice Society of America JSA the DC universes first superhero team. These include Hawkman Atom Smasher Cyclone and Doctor Fate who is played by Pierce Brosnan and appears to take on a mentor role to Black Adam.

The balancing of tone has never been the DCEUs strong suit and Black Adam continues this problematic trend. Even in the first installment of the DCEU Man of Steel director Zack Snyder was unable to craft an appropriate tone for Superman resulting in a movie thats far too dark clashing with the heros light personality. By showing the tragic side of Black Adam his dark origin involving the death of his son director Jaume ColletSerra makes the latest DCEU movie seem similarly gritty. However it also contains jokes far more reminiscent of the tone of the MCU showing that DC still cannot make up its mind about what kind of tone it wants its movies to have.

Not all DCEU movies have to have the same tone of course as evidenced by the tonal difference between The Batman and The Suicide Squad. Shazam! succeeds precisely because of its sillier fun tone and even the darker elements such as Mark Strongs Dr. Sivana all work within the comicbookinspired universe. Moreover Zachary Levis Shazam is literally a child who becomes a superhero so a lighter tone is very appropriate for that movie. But Black Adam cant seem to commit to being a lighthearted superhero romp where Dwayne Johnson comically catches missiles and is practically invulnerable or a gritty character piece about a bitter superhero with a dark past.

This tonal issue could be rectified within the movie as it might be that the Black Adam trailer includes a few lighter scenes and the rest overall is darker in tone. However if Dwayne Johnsons Black Adam is to eventually meet the Shazam Family his movies inconsistent tone may clash with the sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods which will likely be a fun light movie like its predecessor. However according to Shazam! Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg via Games Radar there are no plans to include Black Adam in that movie at this stage. Regardless Black Adam needs to establish a consistent tone if it is to be a successful DCEU movie.

About Yashwa Malik

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