Black Adam Casts a Sitcom Icon as a Golden Age Superhero

DC Comics-inspired films have definitely gotten creative in recent years, bringing characters and concepts to life onscreen that fans just have to see to believe. The latest to join that list is Black Adam, which debuted in theaters this weekend, bringing a slew of new heroes and villains along with it. One of the most buzzed-about components of the film is its introduction of the Justice Society, a group of heroes who actually have the honor of being DC's first-ever superhero team in the comics. Throughout the events of Black Adam, one characters from the Justice Society's original roster happened to make his big-screen debut. Spoilers for Black Adam below! Only look if you want to know!

Early on in the film, viewers are introduced to Albert Rothstein / Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), a young superhero with the ability to grow one-hundred times his size. In his first scene, as Al is being driven to the team's temporary headquarters, he gets on a video call with his uncle — Al Pratt (Henry Winkler). Albert thanks his "Uncle Al" for giving him his old costume, and they talk about superheroics before Al hangs up.

Who is DC's Al Pratt?

Created by Bill O'Connor and Ben Flinton in All-American Comics #19, Al originated all the way back in the Golden Age of Comics. In his original appearances, Al actually had no real superpowers, but was instead a physicist and college student with impressive fighting skills. (He later gained super-strength in 1948, as a side effect of a battle with a supervillain that had happened years prior.) Nonetheless, he became a member of the Justice Society of America, staying with the team until the team's final Golden Age story.

Al has remained on the periphery of DC ever since, but has played a significant role in establishing DC's legacy characters. This includes Al — who, in the comics, is his godson instead of his nephew — as well as Kate Spencer / Manhunter, whose grandparents he helps.

Will Black Adam's Justice Society get a spinoff?

While Winkler's appearance in Black Adam is incredibly brief, it's still a pleasant surprise — both because it fleshes out the Golden Age Justice Society, and also because it helps the beloved Happy Days and Barry star enter the superhero space. Whether or not we'll get to dive more into Al's previous superhero adventures remains to be seen.

"We have always had a vision of where we saw we wanted this to go," producer Hiram Garcia explained in an interview with Collider earlier this year. "We've never viewed this as just a one-off movie, I'm such a gigantic comic book nerd and fan, and I love this universe so much, if you can tell from my excitement about talking about all these things. I've always gotten into this with a vision of, 'This is the story we want to tell, this is where we would love to see this go, this is how we would see multiple pictures play out, possibly including spinoffs for individual characters,' but there's always been a rough, kind of loose outline in our head on an imaginary white board of how we'd want to do it. As we're making that, we start to look at that a little bit more. But, again, ultimately, we need the movie to be received well and we want fans to like it, but there's 100% a vision of what we'd like to be doing in a multiple picture aspect when it comes to Black Adam and the JSA."

What do you think of Henry Winkler's cameo in Black Adam? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Black Adam is now playing exclusively in theaters.