The Ultimate Surprises of 'Shazam!'


Ahead of the upcoming spring 2023 release of the second Shazam movie Shazam! Fury of the Gods(2023), all the fans and movie lovers can keep mind for the surprises in the first movie Shazam! Many of the surprises are connected to the original comics.



Speak out of my name


As many of you have known that Shazam's original name was Captain Marvel. The name was eventually changed to Shazam after a copyright dispute in which it was usurped by Captain Marvel from MARVEL, Disney.



Presumably to “get back at Marvel”, of course in a friendly way, there are two scenes in the movie that tease each other.

When Billy Batson is transformed into a hero, Freddy Freeman introduces him to passers-by as Captain Sparklefingers, after Marvel's Captain Marvel. In the Marvel Comics, Carol, the main character, was once nicknamed the Princess Sparklefists.


Freddy Freeman also named Billy Batson "ZAP-tain America" in an apparent play on Marvel's other Captain, Captain America.



Besides, Freddy Freeman even named Billy Batson the "Red Cyclone," a reference to his fellow DC superhero, the Red Tornado.



Billy Batson's life


In the movie, Billy's parents split up when he was young, and his birth mother, the only one he could rely on, also chose to leave him.


In the comics, Billy's parents, both archaeologists, discover Black Adam's tomb on a mission, only to be killed by his out-of-control companion, Teth-Adam.


It should be noted that Billy's biological father is named C. C. Batson (as the same in the comics), an apparent nod to Shazam's creator C. C. Beck.



The family of Shazam


Of the children in the foster home, Freddy and Mary get a lot of screen time because they are the central characters in the comics.


Freddy Freeman


In the cartoon, he was originally an ordinary fishing boy. While fishing with his grandfather, he saved the Nazi captain who had been knocked into the water by Shazam, only to have his grandfather killed and Freddy beaten into a coma.



When Billy finds Freddy's injuries untreatable, he shares his magical powers with him, and Freddy becomes Shazam's partner, Captain Marvel Jr. Unlike Shazam, Freddy still looks like a teenager and wears his own blue suit.



Mary Bromfield


Mary Bromfield was originally Billy's long-lost twin sister in the comics, Mary cries out the magic spell "Shazam" when she discovers her brother can transform into a superhero, and thus Mary Marvel is born.



Billy, Freddie, and Mary form the original Marvel Family, which is later joined by more and more companions, including Wonder Uncle, who has no superpowers, and Tawki Tawney, a talking tiger.



By the New52 series, Billy's foster siblings were the new Shazam Family, joined by Eugene Choi, Pedro Peña and Darla Dudley in addition to Mary Bromfield and Freddy Freeman. (The Shazam family in the movie is based on the New52 comic book setting.)



The Tiger, Tawky Tawny


The tiger is featured in the movie several times, including a tiger doll at a carnival booth, a tiger pattern on Billy's school bag, and even Shazam's uniform. In fact, there is a tiger character named Tawky Tawny in Shazam comics, who can talk, wear clothes and walk like a human, and is an important member of the magic family.


In the New52 comics, Tawki Tawney becomes a real tiger kept at the zoo, whom Billy confesses to his family, and later becomes more receptive to Shazam's magic and becomes a fierce tiger.



Eternal Rock


When Sivana first arrived at Eternal Rock, he could see a small bug inside a glass box. It was Mr. Mind, the famous villain from the comics. When the adult Sivana returns to the cave, the glass has broken, foreshadowing the first post-credits egg.



When Billy first arrives at the Eternal Rock, there is a mirror, which in the comics is a magic mirror, in which lives a female spirit named Francesca, who shows Billy the way at critical moments.


Billy picks up an Egyptian-style scepter from the Rock of Eternity, a DC Universe magic artifact called the Ibistick, which performs every miracle imaginable to its holder. The staff was originally owned by Amentep, an Egyptian prince who, like Shazam, was a Fawcett character.



The Black Adam


In the movie Shazam! When the wizard tells Billy about the past, he mentions a traitor who is Shazam's old enemy, Black Adam. Born as Teth-Adam, he was born thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt and was given the power of the six gods to become the guardian of Egypt. However, his mind was corrupted by powerful forces, and he was eventually banished to an alien planet by Shazam.


However, in the New52 series, Black Adam comes from the ancient Kahndaq and suffers from slavery for a long time. Later, he and his nephew obtain the Shazam power together, but Black Adam kills his nephew who opposes him in order to get revenge. Finally, he is sealed by the wizard for a thousand years. After Billy Batson became Shazam, Black Adam returned to earth, where he had accumulated thousands of years of revenge and was determined to destroy anyone who stood in his way, so he repeatedly made enemies with Shazam and the Justice League.



A movie version of Black Adam has been featured with super star Dwayne Johnson, "The Rock", and a solo movie has already out, but with the low box-office, the Black Adam has been cut by James Gunn, With changes in the DCU, it's not clear when fans will get to see Black Adam fight Shazam in the future.


Dr. Sivana


The movie shows us the darkening story of Sivana's childhood and explains why he pursued magic.


In the comics, Dr. Sivana is an evil entrepreneur (like another famous bald man, Lex Luthor) and a typical mad scientist who specializes in crafting high-tech weapons and props. In the New 52 comics, Sivana is struck in the right eye by a lightning seal while exploring Black Adam's tomb, giving him an eye that can see through magic and spirit bodies.



In the movie, Sivana is possessed by the Seven Sins and gains great power, becoming a villain with the same abilities as Shazam. In the comics, however, Sivana is unable to withstand the power of the human body, and whenever he uses magic, he becomes weak.


Seven Sins

Derived from Christian theology, the seven deadly SINS contain seven monsters that represent the evils of man: pride, jealousy, greed, anger, sloth, gluttony, and lust.



Crocodile Men


When Billy and his siblings arrive at Eternal Rock, they find a number of strange doors, including one that opens to reveal three Crocodiles in suits playing poker. In the comics, they are usually the servants of the Mr. Mind, so they are often beaten by Shazam. It's worth noting that one of the crocodiles is guest-starred by director David F. Sandberg.



The Black Mercy


Behind another door appeared a bizarre tentacled monster, most likely Black Mercy, a deadly plant from the comics. It drains mental energy from the parasite's brain and makes them dream of their perfect world.


Here are some other comments:


As Shazam and Freddy test their powers in a dilapidated building, the sign for "ACE Chemical" can be seen in the background. A famous DC Comics landmark, the Joker, Batman's Nemesis, was created from a potion that fell into the ACE Chemical Plant.



Shazam threw a Batman toy from the '90s cartoon version at Sivana. On the toy stand can be seen the heavy armor that Sheriff Gordon wore in the comics when he temporarily replaced Batman.



We can also see some toy figures with the DC logo on them, indicating that there is a company in the universe called DC that is offering superhero accessories.


Fawcett Publications


Just like the New52 area, the movie is set in Philadelphia, USA.


In DC Comics before the reboot, Shazam stories took place primarily in the fictional City of Fawcett, a nod to Fawcett Publications, the company that created Captain Marvel. The movie pays homage to the character's origins in a similar way, changing the school Billy and his friends attend to Fawcett Central.



Easter eggs come from TV, movies and games


Freddy joked to Billy that foster homes are like Game of Thrones, it looks like Freddy knows a lot about GoT.


The famous scary doll, Annabelle, appears in the store where Billy initially tricked the police into entering, because the movie's director, David F. Sandberg, previously directed Annabelle: Creation (2017).


When Billy transforms into Shazam, he asks Freddy to meet him after "Lights Out," a nod to director David F. Sandberg's famous movie after the Lights Out (2016).


Shazam and Freddy mentioned Rocky on the famous Rocky Steps in Philadelphia.


Shazam stepped on a giant piano in a toy store, a nod to Tom Hanks dancing on the floor piano in the movie Big (1988). Big is a classic of "kids become adults" and an important reference for the movie Shazam!



Shazam and Freddy played Mortal Kombat X in the movie, which is a popular game franchise, also owned by Warner. Shazam played Raiden, the god of Thunder who can also use lightning, while Freddy played JohnnyCage, a funny character.


Director Cameo


In the movie, Billy's biological mother's boyfriend, who is only a voice but not a face, is actually the movie's director, David F. Sandberg.


Former DC Actors come back to DC in Shazam!


John Glover, who plays Sivana's father, is a regular on DC movies and television, having voiced the Riddler in the Batman animated series, played Luthor's father on Smallville, and played Dr. Jason Woodrue in George Clooney's Batman & Robin (1997).



Adam Brody, who plays the adult Freddy, and D.J. Cotrona, who plays the adult Pedro, had their chance to join the DC family early on. In Mad Max (2015) director George Miller's Justice League movie, they played the Flash and Superman, respectively, but the movie was cut in half.


Man of Steel


From the beginning, the character Shazam was often said to be too similar to Superman that National Comics (the predecessor of DC) took Fawcett Comics to court.



Although DC eventually won the copyright battle, the comics actually "borrowed" a lot of Captain Marvel elements, such as Luthor's bald head references Captain Marvel's Nemesis, Dr. Sivana, and even Superman, who was only able to bounce, only "learned" the ability to fly after Captain Marvel was published.


At the end of the movie, Superman makes a surprise entrance to surprise Freddie (and us). However, although Superman is dressed in the familiar red and blue costume, the movie ends only as far as the body below the head.


Notably, Superman's entrance is played to the soundtrack of the 1978 movie version.


The director reportedly wanted Henry Cavill to guest-star as Superman, but for various reasons that didn't happen, so the Superman we see in the movie is actually Shazam's body double.


Easter egg #1st in the end of the movie Shazam! Mr. Mind


At the end of Shazam! After the credit, the crew credits are presented in a cheerful anime style, with fun adventures of big kid Shazam and a host of DC heroes, including Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and The Flash.


The first post-credits Easter egg appears after the animation, when a defeated Dr. Sivana is in a prison cell with ancient Egyptian symbols written all over the walls, and he hears a voice telling him, "There is more than one way to get magic," leading to a mysterious worm character named Mr. Mind.



Easter egg #2 in the end of the movie Shazam!


The second easter egg, which was teased earlier in the movie trailer, shows Shazam (Billy Batson) talking to fish in his tank at home, but te turns out that it seems like Billy has not the ability to talk to fish. Freddy Freeman says he can command an underwater army with it, but Shazam says, "So what?"



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