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What the ‘Shazam!’ post-credits scene means

By Tracy Brown • Apr 10, 2019 at 6:00 PM

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article contains spoilers for “Shazam!”

In “Shazam!,” teenager Billy Batson is transported to a magical realm and inherits superpowers that he’s not quite ready to deal with.

At first, Billy (Asher Angel) is very much just a teenager with a chip on his shoulder trapped in the body of an extremely muscular adult (Zachary Levi). But in true comic book superhero movie fashion, he eventually realizes that his great power does come with great responsibility (regardless of brand affiliation), and embraces his role as Shazam.

After learning his lesson about the real meaning of family and saving the day, things are looking bright for Billy and his foster siblings.

The same can’t be said for the movie’s villain, Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong) — at least until the movie’s midcredits scene.

After losing the powers granted to him by the Seven Deadly Sins, Dr. Sivana has been locked up in solitary confinement. He is scrawling various symbols all over the walls of the room he is being held in, in what seems to be a desperate attempt to find his way back to the wizard’s lair (the Rock of Eternity).

Sivana then hears a voice saying it can help him, teasing that there is more than one way to get magic.

That voice is attached to a worm-like creature speaking to him from what appears to be an air vent.

Comic book fans will recognize the caterpillar-like being as longtime Shazam villain Mister Mind. Created by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck, Mister Mind is a Venusian worm that first made his appearance in a 1943 issue of “Captain Marvel Adventures” (yes, Shazam was previously known as Captain Marvel before a certain other publisher laid claim to the name).

Despite his appearance, Mister Mind’s intellect is beyond that of humans and he possesses powerful telepathic abilities that allow him to control people’s minds. He also can do insect-related things like spin strong silk very quickly.

In the comics he is the leader of an organization called the Monster Society of Evil and has a history with other “Shazam!” villains including Sivana and Black Adam.

Mister Mind’s appearance sets him up as a player in any potential “Shazam!” follow-ups, and his alliance with Sivana might even pave the way for an eventual appearance of Black Adam in a DC Comic movie.

(For what it’s worth, Levi told The Times that he doesn’t know anything about plans for a “Shazam!” sequel, or a Dwayne Johnson/Black Adam spinoff, just yet. But everyone involved is keeping their fingers crossed.)

Unlike the midcredits tease, the second “Shazam!” post-credits scene is more about fun than planting seeds about any future storylines.

Continuing their dynamic established earlier in the movie, Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Billy are still figuring out what other powers Shazam may possess, and their new test involves a goldfish bowl.

It turns out Shazam cannot talk to fish.

The scene is a nod to “Aquaman,” with a disgruntled Billy proclaiming that being able to talk to fish isn’t that cool of a power anyways — referencing the real-life joke people make questioning the effectiveness of Aquaman as a superhero.

But Freddy, in true DC fanboy fashion, jumps to Aquaman’s defense, insisting that commanding billions of aquatic creatures is pretty cool (cool enough to make $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office at least).

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©2019 Los Angeles Times

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