Black Adam and Superman & Lois both setting up the Intergang in their respective DC Universes is ending a long-standing DC movie and TV restriction.
dwayne johnson as black adam walking away from an explosion and DC comics’ Intergang
Black Adam and Superman & Lois show that DC movies and TV shows are finally moving past an old restriction. Black Adam will see Dwayne Johnson’s anti-hero re-awakened in the modern world after centuries of imprisonment, with his methods of fighting evil creating friction between him and the Justice Society of America. Black Adam arrives at a time when DC has re-organized its film and television history into a Multiverse of co-existing worlds, and one shared trait with Superman & Lois shows how that seems to finally be affording the freedom to each property that it should.
Among other elements, Black Adam will include the DC villain organization known as Intergang. Though their role in the movie is not entirely clear yet, Black Adam’s use of Intergang will come just months before Superman & Lois seems set to do the same with its Bruno Mannheim reference during the appearance of John Diggle (David Ramsey) and set up for Intergang in Superman & Lois’ season 2 finale. The timing of Intergang appearing in both Black Adam and Superman & Lois seemingly indicates that the old restriction of DC characters only being able be in one movie or TV show at a time is finally ending.
As recently as the Arrowverse’s heyday, Warner Bros. and DC were notoriously reticent about multiple versions of characters appearing across different live-action media. This restriction stopped things like the DCEU and the Arrowverse from simultaneously having their own versions of the Suicide Squad, or explained why Bruce Wayne never made a physical appearance on Smallville during The Dark Knight trilogy’s run. There was the occasional exception to this rule, such as Superman Returns being released in the middle of Smallville’s run or the DCEU and Arrowverse having their own versions of The Flash, but these were indeed the exceptions to an otherwise steadfast rule.
DC moving into a Multiverse era lifted that restriction in one fell swoop with Crisis On Infinite Earths introducing the Multiverse – with The Flash set to utilize it further cinematically. Even still, much of Warner Bros. own restrictive rhetoric in 2021 threatened to undercut the potential of DC’s Multiverse and the many possibilities it offered to both filmmakers and fans. Yet Black Adam and Superman & Lois both including Intergang in their upcoming stories is a significant signal of that mindset subsiding.
The close proximity of Black Adam and Superman & Lois Intergang narratives seem to further argue to remove long-imposed imits of when and where DC characters can appear. Superman & Lois concluded season 2 on June 28th, 2022, teasing Intergang less than four months before Black Adam’s scheduled theatrical debut. With Superman & Lois season 3 likely to arrive in early 2023 as part of the series’ release format, two versions of Intergang will not only be featured in DC’s Multiverse for the first time but will make their debuts right next to each other. For fans eager to see what the Multiverse can bring, that’s a big win.
The whole purpose of DC properties being canonized under the Multiverse banner is to enable the filmmakers involved to tell whatever stories they wish with different characters in their own worlds without having to be a building block for anything but the particular Earth they inhabit. Black Adam and Superman & Lois both featuring the villainous team of Intergang as antagonists heavily indicates that DC’s possibilities as a Multiverse are at last coming to eclipse the former hesitation of different versions existing in parallel worlds at once. That’s a change that both DC fans and all involved with the creation of DC cinematic and televised adaptations should rejoice for.