Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for Shazam! are ahead!
With all the money it’s made at the box office so far and the amount of positive reception it’s earned, it’s safe to say that Shazam! is another hit for Warner Bros and DC. It’s likelier than not that a sequel will move forward, and producer Peter Safran acknowledged that Shazam! 2 will have to come together quickly since the young cast members are quickly growing up.
Fortunately, like many superhero movie’s before it, Shazam! used its mid/post-credits scene to foreshadow set up what’s to come. Assuming a misdirect isn’t in the cards, it looks like this upcoming story will be based on the currently-running Shazam comic book by writer Geoff Johns and artist Dale Eaglesham, which hasn’t even wrapped up its first story arc yet!
For those who need a refresher on Shazam!’s mid-credits scene, Mark Strong’s Thaddeus Sivana was seen obsessively scratching ancient runes on the walls of his prison cell, desperately trying to get back to the Rock of Eternity so he can reclaim his last power. Suddenly, a nearby voice tells him that there are other ways to obtain powers, and by the forming alliance, Sivana and these two can conquer the “seven realms.”
We soon see that this voice doesn’t come from a giant, foreboding figure, but from a tiny, yet still unnerving, super intelligent caterpillar named Mister Mind. He was first seen in Shazam! trapped in a glass case when the adolescent Sivana was brought to the Rock of Eternity, but had managed to escape confinement by the time Billy Batson showed up at the wizard Shazam’s lair.
Although the Shazam! movie drew from all across Shazam’s comic book history, it was primarily based off the New 52 origin story written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Gary Frank. That story also ended with Mister Mind proposing an alliance to Dr. Sivana, although in this instance, the two of them met when Dr. Sivana tried to break back into the Rock of Eternity following Black Adam’s defeat, with Mister Mind trapped inside of a glass case. In this case, though, Dr. Sivana was desperate for magical power to “save his family,” hence why he’d entertain working with a sinister caterpillar.
Five years after Shazam’s New 52 origin story concluded, DC finally debuted an ongoing Shazam comic book series starring these new incarnations of the Shazam family. At the time of this writing, only four issues have been released, with issue #5 coming out on May 8.
However, Shazam!’s tease of Sivana and Mister Mind working together, Mind’s “seven realms” comment and some weirdness Billy Batson and his adoptive siblings deal with in the Rock of Eternity indicates that Shazam! 2 will be based off the tale that Geoff Johns and Dale Eaglesham are currently delivering on the printed page.
In the current Shazam comic book, Billy and his siblings discover a passage way in the Rock of Eternity that leads to a old fashioned-looking train station providing transportation to other corners of the Magiclands, which is comprised of seven magical realms: the Earthlands (a.k.a. our reality), the Funlands, the Gamelands, the Wildlands, the Monsterlands, the Woznerlands and the Darklands. Thus far, the latter three realms haven’t been shown yet, but the others are all kinds of weird.
There wasn’t a train station to be seen in Shazam!’s version of the Rock of Eternity, but it does have its own gateways to other worlds. While Billy and the kids were trying to escape Sivana, they came across a cavern filled with countless doors. One of them led to a room where three crocodile-men (modeled off the kinds of creatures that Shazam/Captain Marvel has battled numerous times in the comics) were playing cards, another door containing a tentacle creature resembling the Demogoron from Stranger Things, and a third door that just tried to suck in everyone.
Aside from visits to the Rock of Eternity, Shazam! only took place on Earth, but these doorways and Mister Mind aspiring for multi-dimensional domination foreshadow that Shazam! 2 will likely have the Shazam family visiting other magical realms. Whether or not these realms will directly resemble the Magiclands from the comics remains to be seen, although the presence of these crocodile men and the prospect of bringing the anthropomorphic tiger Tawky Tawny, a longtime member of the Shazam mythos (who was subtly referenced in Shazam! via a stuffed tiger toy), suggest that the Wildlands could at least appear.
Oh, and it’s also worth mentioning that Dr. Sivana and Mister Mind are involved in the current Shazam comic book. Thus far the full extent of their machinations hasn’t been revealed yet, but they’re definitely up to no good, as Mind instructed Sivana to kill a doctor because the “tongue of a medicine man” is required for a spell they’re casting.
We also learned how Mind is believed to have originated from the Wildlands and nearly destroyed the Council of Eternity. Perhaps this backstory will be retained for Shazam! 2, especially given that Mind was imprisoned at the Rock of Eternity for an untold period of time.
Assuming that Shazam! 2 is based off of Geoff Johns’ current Shazam arc, it would be just another way the writer’s work has influenced the DCEU. Justice League was based off of the opening issues of his New 52 Justice League run, and Aquaman drew from his acclaimed New 52 Aquaman run, as well as incorporated elements of his scrapped "Rise of the Seven Seas" event. Johns had previously helped guide the DCEU as DC Entertainment president, but he stepped down from that role and Chief Creative Officer last year to focus on comic book writing and producing more projects.
Shazam! hasn’t even been theaters for a week, so it may be a while before we hear any specific information about what’s in store for Shazam! 2. Still, much like how Aquaman set the stage for a Black Manta/Stephen Shin team-up in Aquaman 2, Shazam! showed audiences that Mister Mind is work with Dr. Sivana, and it’s a good bet that whatever they have planned will require the Shazam gang to venture out into the magical beyond.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on Shazam! 2, which will be written by the man who penned the first movie, Henry Gayden. But for now, you can pick up the Shazam comic book series digitally or at your local comic book store to get a sense of what might be depicted on the big screen, and don’t forget to look through our handy guide to learn what else the DCEU has coming up.