Who's who in the Justice Society? Meet the new DC superheroes taking on Dwayne Johnson's 'Black Adam'

Brian Truitt

So who's taking down a souped-up Dwayne Johnson when Batman, Wonder Woman and the Justice League aren't around?

Meet the Justice Society of America.

Johnson's title character in the superhero movie "Black Adam" (in theaters now) emerges as a destructive loose cannon, and Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) make their film debuts.

This new group is one of the movie's "bold" aspects, Johnson says. "Look in the bible of the DC universe, and there are characters a lot of people are going to like." 

Justice Society actors break down their heroes.

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Aldis Hodge's 'savage' Hawkman leads the new squad

With signature helmet, wings and armor, Aldis Hodge strikes a formidable figure as Hawkman in "Black Adam."

A leader who runs the supergroup out of his high-tech Louisiana headquarters, Carter Hall is tasked by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis, reprising her role from the "Suicide Squad" movies) to deal with Black Adam. And he's up for the job, with a signature helmet and mace, impressive wings and armor and the knowledge of many past lives (thanks to reincarnation) dating back to ancient Egypt.

"I like to describe him as an elegant savage," says Hodge, 36, a fan of superhero comic books since his childhood fascination with Batman. "He's always had sort of that individual lane of being truly brilliant, but also very much a brute and very much a warrior." And like Black Adam, Hawkman strongly stands by his belief system: "When they clash, the conversation they have through every battle is, 'What is the true definition of justice?'"

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Pierce Brosnan's Doctor Fate brings the A-list magic

Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan) is a former archaeologist turned powerful sorcerer in "Black Adam."

As James Bond, Brosnan wielded a license to kill. Now he's got an ancient alien helmet as Kent Nelson, a former archaeologist who works as a magic man for the Lords of Order and a loyal No. 2 for Hawkman. "He is the most powerful sorcerer in the pantheon of superheroes, without question," Brosnan says. "He is a man who foresees the future. I can see people’s deaths; the demise of my colleagues.”

The 69-year-old Irish actor also gives a shoutout to his Marvel counterpart, Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange: “I did look at Benedict’s work, which is brilliant and wonderful. He always plays it with such alacrity. These characters are sort of bookends to each other."

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As Cyclone, Quintessa Swindell is a force of nature

Rookie hero Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) is a teenager who can harness the power of the wind in "Black Adam."

Maxine Hunkel was the subject of experiments by an evil scientist, and now the 19-year-old hero can harness the power of the wind with her mind. After researching the character in the comics, "I put a little bit of my personal jazz into it, put on my bomber jacket and was like, Cyclone should be punk and kind of cool and edgy. I just threw all of that into her," Swindell says.

And when Cyclone uses her powers, on set "there was always a massive fan, to the point where I felt my mouth was separating," Swindell, 25, says with a laugh. "It was incredible, though. This movie definitely ruined it for me, because now the only thing I want to do is action."

Noah Centineo shows growth as Atom Smasher

Like his uncle and grandfather before him, Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) can grow into a giant and is also super-strong in "Black Adam."

Marvel boasts a size-changing guy in Ant-Man, and now DC has one, too: A rookie like Cyclone, snack-loving Al Rothstein grows to enormous proportions and is superstrong like his heroic uncle and villainous grandfather. "It was fun to play a character that comes from a certain amount of privilege and nepotism who then gets a few phone calls and an opportunity to be recruited to the Justice Society," says Centineo, who starred in Netflix's "To All the Boys" rom-com movie trilogy.

Centineo, 26, wore a performance-capture suit to play the towering youngster. "If I'm big and there were cars coming, they would roll tennis balls or they'd put cardboard boxes up to represent buildings," he says. "I got to get back in touch with that little kid who has a crazy imagination."

Contributing: Bryan Alexander