Note: Spoilers for Shazam!.
It has become commonplace for superhero films to lay the ground work for future cinematic installments through clues and hints, and yes – an additional scene stuck into the film’s credits – as to what may lie ahead in the hero’s future. And Shazam! is no different, setting up the reveal of a new villain that comes in the film’s mid-credits scene – the diabolical Mr. Mind!
Who is Mr. Mind, you ask? Well, depending on which creative era you are looking at, Mr. Mind is either a mutant worm from a distant planet or the nearby world of Venus. He has always been portrayed as a genius madman – Or is that mad worm? – with some limited telepathic powers thrown in. As a megalomaniac despot, Mr. Mind leads the Monster Society of Evil which has counted among its membership at various times everyone from other Shazam villains such as Dr. Sivana and his equally evil children, Captain Nazi, the genocidal robot Mister Atom and the super strong Ibac to the likes of Hitler and Mussolini. (Yes, really.)
But first, let’s start with how the film stealthily introduces Mr. Mind to film audiences. We first see him in the opening sequence of the film, as young Thaddeus Sivana is brought to the Rock of Eternity to see if he is worthy of the power of Shazam. As Thaddeus enters the cavern, the camera pans across the chamber and we see a bell jar with a green worm inside. It doesn’t really call too much attention to itself, as the room is full of a number of things that catch the eye. (Specifically, the statues of the Seven Deadly Sins.)
Jumping forward in time, when we return to the Rock of Eternity decades later when Billy Batson is summoned there, the camera does a very similar move as Billy enters. However, we see the bell jar is broken, and there is no worm inside. It doesn’t call too much attention to itself, and those who don’t know who Mr. Mind is from the comics will probably take the broken jar as just a sign of the decay of the years affecting the Wizard.
But the payoff to those two scenes comes at the end of the film. Sivana has been defeated by Billy and his foster brothers and sisters and carted off to prison. As the mid-credits scene starts, we find Sivana in his prison cell, scrawling the magical symbols he had been able to previously use but which now seem to be unresponsive to him. He is interrupted by a voice which scoffs at his “primitive symbols.” Sivana looks around and sees the green worm from before perched high up on a window ledge. The worm introduces himself as Mr. Mind and promises Sivana that “the Seven Realms are about to be ours…”
So obviously this suggests that if a Shazam sequel were to happen, we would be seeing Mr. Mind and Sivana teaming-up to take on Billy and his family. And it begs the question if we will see more of Billy’s nemeses also joining in.
Currently, Dwayne Johnson is signed to star in a film as Black Adam, a bit of an anti-hero in the Shazam canon. As a Middle Eastern prince, he was given the powers of Shazam but they wound up corrupting him. There were no nods to the character made in the film, but production is slated to start late this year or early next year, so the character will be introduced to audiences before a Shazam! sequel hits theaters.
The film also hinted at another classic Captain Marvel villain – the crocodile men. Yes, they are exactly what you think they are – humanoids with crocodile heads. In the film’s second act, where Billy and his foster brothers and sisters are running through the maze of caverns in the Rock of Eternity, they come across a chamber full of doors that open up to other worlds – one of which gave a quick glimpse of several crocodile men sitting around a table playing poker. In the classic era of the comics, the crocodile men were aliens from the planet Punkus, but more recently, in the 2006 weekly series 52, a crocodile man was featured by the name of Sobek who was revealed to have a much different back story. So Billy should look out. There may be some serious troubles on the horizon.