FULL SPOILERS ahead for the ending of Shazam!
That final scene featuring Superman isn’t the only DC character cameo at the end of Shazam!. The mid-end credits scene pays off an Easter egg planted earlier in the film by introducing viewers to Mister Mind, who is truly one of the strangest (and silliest) DC Comics supervillains ever.
A talking, evil alien worm with a genius-level intellect and hypnotic powers, Mister Mind is one of Shazam’s oldest adversaries, and a truly deep cut of a DC Comics reference. Briefly glimpsed earlier inside a glass case within the Rock of Eternity, that same case is later seen empty. These moments pay off in the mid-credits scene. As he furiously writes hieroglyphs on the walls of his cell — desperately trying to recalculate how to regain access to the magical powers he’s lost — Doctor Sivana (Mark Strong) is visited by none other than Mister Mind, who appears on the cell’s window ledge. (Shazam! director David F. Sandberg confirmed to IGN that he also voices the character.) The brief scene suggests a partnership of some kind between these two baddies is in the offering, with Mister Mind making a reference to the Seven Realms …
So who is Mister Mind anyway? Well, he first appeared way back in 1943 within the pages of Captain Marvel Adventures. In the original Fawcett Comics (and later DC), Mister Mind is a two-inch worm from the planet Venus who has designs on conquering Earth. Mister Mind relies upon his organization, the Monster Society of Evil, to execute his dastardly plans. Mister Mind has telepathic powers that give him the ability to hypnotize and control minds, and he can also spin super-strong silk at super-speed, His look gradually evolved from silly — a worm who wears glasses! — to sinister in the wake of DC Comics’ Infinite Crisis.
Over the years, the ranks of Mister Mind’s Monster Society of Evil have included the likes of Doctor Sivana, Mister Banjo, and Captain Nazi. Given Sivana’s ties to the Monster Society, is Shazam!’s mid-credits scene really setting up a sequel?
If Sivana and Mister Mind do team-up in a Shazam! 2 then perhaps the movie will draw inspiration from the current Shazam! comics written by Geoff Johns. This currently ongoing storyline, called “Shazam and the Seven Magic Lands”, sees Sivana and Mister Mind join forces while Billy Batson and his foster siblings explore various fantastical realms. Hmmm, Mister Mind did name-check the Seven Realms in the mid-credits scene …
When we recently spoke on the phone to Shazam! producer Peter Safran, he was reluctant to commit any potential sequel to necessarily paying off this mid-credits scene. “We have not figured out, at all, what we are going to do next. We were so focused — and this is just the truth — we were just focused on making a great standalone movie,” Safran told IGN, emphasizing that no sequel plans will be set until after the first film’s release.
As Safran explained: “The reason we put that character [Mister Mind] in there, and we have that scene is, we just love the idea, we love this character. The idea that he’s this criminal mastermind, but in the body of a space worm, is just f***ing hilarious to us. We kind of liked the idea of placing him in the Rock of Eternity so those with really keen eyes might spot him. Most people won’t. But people will spot him, and then you bring him back in the end. So we just thought it was a really fun and surprising thing to do. I think, for our audiences that are really engaged in the film, I wouldn’t be surprised if the movie ends and they rush back to their computers and try and figure out a little more about this character.” (Hopefully, they’re finding that out by reading this very article!)
Safran wouldn’t entirely close the door on Mister Mind returning for a sequel, however: “It’s certainly a path. And I like the idea that he’s been around longer than Lex Luthor. Why not have him be part of the DC Universe? The cinematic universe, at least.”
But Mister Mind and Dr. Sivana aren’t the only allusions to the Monster Society of Evil in the film. During the interdimensional doors sequence, one door opens to reveal some reptilian aliens playing cards. Director David F. Sandberg confirmed to IGN that these are the Crocodile Men from the planet Punkus, several of whom played a role in the Monster Society of Evil back during the Golden Age of Comics.
There are other notable Easter eggs peppered throughout Shazam!, including in the movie’s comedic post-credits scene which sees Shazam and Freddie poking fun at Aquaman’s ability to talk to fish. That Freddie is decked out in Aquaman merch is in line with the film’s earlier toy store sequence where the heroes of the DCEU even have toys and merchandising made of them in their own reality.
That toy store scene also includes an homage to the 1988 movie Big when Shazam steps on a floor piano, a clear wink at the iconic dance scene from that Tom Hanks classic. Big has long been cited as a model for the Shazam! movie, with its whimsical story of a boy who becomes magically trapped in an adult’s body.
And, no your eyes weren’t deceiving you. It turns out Lex Luthor and Doctor Sivana have the same dad — ok, the same actor playing them. Smallville’s John Glover, who played Lionel Luthor on the series, portrays Sivana’s similarly big business (and big bad) dad in Shazam!.
Director David F. Sandberg worked in two other and more personal Easter eggs into the film, both of which pay homage to his horror roots. His wife, actress Lotta Losten, who starred in his breakthrough short film Lights Out, cameos as the doomed scientist working with Doctor Sivana.
Eagle-eyed fans may also spot the demonic Annabelle doll in the Philadelphia pawn shop Billy Batson visits early in the film. Director Sandberg’s film prior to Shazam! was Annabelle: Creation, which was also produced by Safran.
Safran credited Sandberg with thinking of the demon doll cameo: “He and I share that history of Annabelle: Creation together, and we just loved the idea. Obviously, we put one in Aquaman as well. It’s just a fun little Easter egg, and it kind of organically fit in a pawn shop. It was great ’cause in the very first Annabelle movie, that’s where we first see the doll is in basically a pawn shop.” Annabelle comes home indeed!
What did you think of Shazam!’s end credits scene? Do you want to see Mister Mind appear in a Shazam! sequel? And what did you think of the film’s other Easter eggs? Let us know in the comments.
For more on Shazam!, check out our review, our breakdown of Superman’s cameo, and our explainer on the movie’s version of the Marvel family.
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