We're just a few months from the big-screen debut of Black Adam, the film that will finally introduce Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's unconventional antihero to the masses. The film has undergone some major evolutions in the near-decade since Johnson was first cast in the titular role, including the reveal in late 2019 that the film would co-star members of the Justice Society of America. Prior to Black Adam's theatrical debut, DC is giving fans a chance to get acquainted with the members of the JSA through a series of one-shot comics, which shed a bit more light on their respective status quos prior to the events of the movie. This week's issue centered around Carter Hall / Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), and happened to feature another familiar JSA-related character in the process. Spoilers for Black Adam — The Justice Society Secret Files: Hawkman #1, from Cavan Scott, Scot Eaton, Norm Rapmund, Andrew Dalhouse, and Rob Leigh below! Only look if you want to know!
The issue follows Carter at a gala tied to his work as an archaeologist, which conflicts with his crime-fighting efforts as Hawkman. The gala put a number of priceless artifacts on display, which then put it within the crosshairs of the group Intergang. As it turned out, Intergang was employing a criminal named James Craddock to steal from the gala, and he directly fought Hawkman, only to accidentally die, which caused the hero to second-guess his moral compass as a hero. Craddock then came back to life in the form of a ghost and continue to torment Hawkman, even briefly slipping into his comic-accurate costume. This served (albeit in comic form) as the debut of Gentleman Ghost in the current DC Films continuity.
Created by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert during the Golden Age of Comics in 1947's Flash Comics #88, Gentleman Ghost is initially a criminal who pretends to operate as a ghost, which puts him in the crosshairs of Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Post-Crisis, his lore was expanded upon, establishing him as a literal ghost doomed to become a highwayman and torment various heroes. The character fought the Justice Society of America multiple times over, and has been regarded to be one of Hawkman and Hawkgirl's most unique foes over the years.
While it's safe to assume that Gentleman Ghost's role in the world of Black Adam will largely consist of this comic appearance, his involvement in the book still fleshes out the lore of Hawkman and the JSA in some compelling ways — something that the team behind the movie have been eager to do.
"There's been multiple ongoing conversations on how everything will roll out and it's very exciting for myself as a filmmaker but even more so as a fan," Black Adam producer Hiram Garcia told Collider last year about Black Adam's place in the wider DCEU. "Unfortunately, I can't speak to that too much because it is still in the works, but I can say that on our end we're very focused on building out this world we're creating with Black Adam and the JSA. Obviously, Shazam exists in that universe along with many many other heroes. And believe me when I say we have very big ambitions for all these characters and the storylines we want to take them through."
Black Adam — The Justice Society Secret Files: Hawkman #1 is now available wherever comic books are sold. Black Adam is currently scheduled to be released in theaters on October 21st.