Black Adam Star Confirms Connection to One of DC's First Female Superheroes

When it debuts in theaters later this month, Black Adam will blow a hole in fans' expectations of the live-action DC film universe. The film not only features the long-awaited debut of Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam, but the theatrical debuts of many members of the Justice Society of America, the first superhero team within the pages of DC's comics. As those who are familiar with the source material know, many JSA members boast ties to earlier heroes and villains in DC's history — and it looks like one of those connections might be carrying over onscreen. In an interview with Variety during Black Adam's red carpet premiere, Quintessa Swindell seemingly confirmed that their character, Maxine Hunkel / Cyclone, will carry her comic-accurate lineage of being the granddaughter of Abigail "Ma" Hunkel / Red Tornado.

"She's a young intellectual girl, she's coming from a superhero legacy like her grandmother being Ma Hunkel/Red Tornado," Swindell explained. "She's aware of the world and trying to fit in." 

Who is Ma Hunkel?

Created by Sheldon Mayer in the pages of All-American Comics, Ma Hunkel is technically one of the first female superheroes to debut in DC's Golden Age. in 1940's All-American Comics #20, Ma suited up as the initial version of Red Tornado, sporting a red onesie, a cape, and an upside down stew pot on her head as she went to fight crime. The character became a surprise success, eventually eclipsing the popularity of the character (Scribbly the Boy Cartoonist) whose feature she originated in.

While the Red Tornado mythos has evolved into some wild paths since then, Ma Hunkel has remained a fan-favorite component of the Justice Society, eventually becoming the caretaker and morale booster of the group's headquarters. Her previous work as a superhero also inspires Maxine to eventually become Cyclone.

Will Ma Hunkel appear in Black Adam?

While it is not confirmed at this point that Ma Hunkel will appear in Black Adam, the film's tie-in comic did already tease that elements of Maxine's comic-accurate origin story will be making it onto the screen.

"What they're able to do with Cyclone," producer Hiram Garcia said of Swindell in an interview last year. "And I think Cyclone's a character that not many fans are as familiar with, which is always really appealing to us because we love to introduce these characters. They have a fascinating backstory with relatives that they're attached to, with experiences that they've lived to get to the point they are. So they both did an amazing job. They had amazing chemistry from the first moment they read together."

Black Adam is set to be released exclusively in theaters on October 21st.