The future for the hero is in DC Studios’ hands.
This article contains spoilers for Shazam! Fury of The Gods.
Billy Batson learns what it takes to become a hero in Shazam! Fury of The Gods, but does he have a future in the DC comic book universe? One of the credits scenes seems to hope so, but it’s extremely complicated.
The first movie was about teen Billy (Asher Angel) unlocking the powers of Shazam — the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury — transforming him into a full-grown superhero (played by Zachary Levi). He learned to control that power, and share it with his siblings.
Fury of the Gods is about the responsibility and duty of being a super-powered family that has to protect Philadelphia. Philadelphians are notoriously a tough crowd to win over, and that task is made even more difficult when a trio of super-powered goddesses (Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, Rachel Zegler) threaten to destroy not only Philly but also all of planet Earth.
What does it mean to be powerful? Where’s the line between personal responsibility and the responsibility owed to people who can’t defend themselves? Why is Helen Mirren so mean in this movie? And why does she get body-slammed so many times?
Through this trial, Billy learns what it means to be a hero, a god even. At the end of the film, he makes the ultimate sacrifice to protect the world and is rewarded with a happy ending as Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot in a brief cameo) resurrects him and reunites him with his loving family.
A mid-credits scene attached to the movie seems to indicate he’ll be back for more! Maybe even with Wonder Woman in some capacity.
But it’s not that simple …
Shazam’s credits scenes point to an uncertain future for the hero
Fury of The Gods’ mid-credits scene opens with two agents walking and talking about how Amanda Waller, the character played by Viola Davis who commands the Suicide Squad and Justice Society, told them to be careful when recruiting their next target. He’s apparently very powerful, one of the most powerful forces they’ve ever come into contact with.
That target? Billy Batson/Shazam.
We find Billy doing some target practice with empty soda cans, zapping each one with lightning bolts. Waller’s operatives tell him that she’d like him to join the “Justice …” before Billy cuts them off. He says yes, thinking they’re recruiting him to be part of the Justice League. They correct Billy, telling him that it’s not the Justice League, but rather the similar-sounding Justice Society.
Billy is confused, wondering why someone would give the teams such similar names. And he obviously wants to join the team that Wonder Woman is on. One of the Waller operatives walks away exasperated, having had enough of this horny himbo. Meanwhile Billy, goes on to suggest other names for the Justice Society — including “the Avengers Society” — before the scene cuts.
Normally, this is the part where Warner Bros. and DC would want all of us to speculate whether or not Waller will add Shazam to her roster of superheroes. It also harks back to the Black Adam credits scene where Waller calls in Superman to deal with Black Adam. If Waller has both Superman and Shazam on speed dial, clearly she has something in mind and could be shoring up defenses against the next big bad.
But wait! This isn’t a regular credits scene because the DC universe at Warner Bros. is getting a reboot.
Back in October, director James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad, not to be confused with plain old Suicide Squad) and Peter Safran were named co-chairs and co-chief executive officers of DC Studios, i.e., the people who are in charge of all of DC’s superhero storytelling. When Gunn and Safran were named, a cinematic overhaul of the universe began.
The sequel to Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam didn’t get a green light. Neither did director Patty Jenkins’s bid for a third Wonder Woman movie. Henry Cavill, who was rumored to return as Superman, was out too. And though Gunn and Safran announced a slew of new projects on both the film and television side in January, none of the heroes we’ve already met — including Shazam — appear to be part of the first chapter of Gunn and Safran’s storytelling.
The first projects announced have veered away from spotlighting DC’s most famous heroes — Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman — and instead will share focus with characters like Super Girl, Swamp Thing, and the superhero group known as The Authority. There are stories involving DC’s big three, but they’ll either feature a different era of that superhero’s life (a Superman reboot movie is in the works) or feature that hero in a roundabout way (a TV show about Themyscira, the Amazon island where Wonder Woman was born, is scheduled but it doesn’t seem that Wonder Woman will be a central character in it).
Fury of the Gods’ credits scene seems to have been made before the overhaul, since it’s now teasing a team that isn’t part of the Gunn-Safran schedule. Billy Batson’s future in the Justice League (he’s a member in the comic books) as well as his future in the DC cinematic universe seems to be in doubt. It’s not a good time to be a Shazam fan.
All that said, he did have a very good point about the similar-sounding names.
Fury of the Gods’ second credits scene is an inside joke from the first movie
The end-credits scene opens in a jail cell, Doctor Sivana’s (Mark Strong) to be exact. It’s been four years or so since we last saw the villain from the first Shazam! movie! And just like before, he hears a familiar voice emanating from a grate in his cell. Upon further inspection it’s Mister Mind (voiced by Shazam! director David Sandberg), the tiny, telepathic, worm-like villain who visited him in the credits scene from the first movie.
Sivana asks Mister Mind why he hasn’t come sooner. They were supposed to be launching some grand plan together. It’s been years and, Sivana says, he’s 57 years old. Villainy, apparently, is not for anyone pushing 60.
Mister Mind apologizes, and explains that despite his genius intellect and powers of telepathy, physically speaking, he is a tiny worm who has to slither everywhere slowly. He does not have wings. Nor does he have legs. Visiting Sivana takes time.
Sivana apologizes for rushing Mister Mind and not recognizing his physical limitations. He asks, now that Mister Mind is here in his wormy flesh, if they can start on the plan. Mister Mind says yes, but he has to take care of one more thing before they can begin, and starts — to Sivana’s complete frustration — inch out of the cell, leaving Doctor Sivana to wait a few more years.
I almost feel bad for Doctor Sivana. Given Shazam’s uncertain future at Warner Bros., Mister Mind’s snail pace might not be the only reason we’ll have to wait to see the two villains reunite.