No superhero movie is complete without at least one bonus scene during or after the credits, and DC's amazing Shazam gives us both.
One of Shazam's post-credit scenes is the kind of reference requiring the wisdom of Solomon (or at least his comic book knowledge) to decipher, so let's take a look.
Scene 1: Meet our next villain
Early in the movie, sharp-eyed viewers will spot a mysterious worm in a jar at the Rock of Eternity. We later see the jar cracked and empty, and there's no sign of the strange worm as Shazam (Zachary Levi) and his friends take down Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong) and the Seven Deadly Sins.
However, midway through the credits, we cut to an imprisoned Sivana scrawling on the wall of his cell. He's trying and failing to regain his lost powers, until he hears a mocking voice from the window.
It's the worm, which clearly has some sort of deal for the desperate Sivana.
"You assume there's only one way to gain magic," the worm says. "The Seven Realms are about to be ours."
What it means
This creepy character is Mister Mind, a super-intelligent alien worm with telepathic powers who first appeared in Captain Marvel Adventures No. 22 back in 1943. This version of the character was pretty cartoony, speaking through a "talk box" that hung around his neck (as seen in the movie) and wearing glasses due to shortsightedness. However, DC's comics continuity reboots gradually made the creature look a lot more sinister.
As the name suggests, Mister Mind can take control of people's minds. The worm can also spin extremely tough silk to quickly make cocoons and is linked to the Monster Society of Evil (a supervillain team, in case you hadn't guessed).
One of Mister Mind's biggest moments came in the series 52, which ran between 2006 and 2007, where the villainous creature evolved into a monstrous Hyperfly that fed on time itself rather than his usual diet of brainwaves. It might sound ridiculous, but 52 is well worth a read.
Mister Mind also had a comic book moment that was very similar to the movie's postcredits scene in 2013.
In Justice League No. 21, Sivana tries to get into the Rock of Eternity to acquire the magic within, but can't get through its shield. A trapped-in-a-bottle Mister Mind greets Sivana, saying they'll be "best of friends."
This version of the character's goal is domination over all powers of the Magiclands -- seven realms of magic. Most recently, the worm and Sivana have teamed up in writer Geoff Johns and artist Dale Eaglesham's ongoing Shazam comic series, which started last December.
Scene 2: King of the Sea? Maybe not …
After the credits have finally finished rolling, we return to find Shazam's foster brother/teammate Freddy Freeman (Jack Grazer) recording him talking to a goldfish. They're still trying to figure out the full range of Shazam's powers, and want to see if he can mirror Aquaman's ability to "command billions in the sea."
"Well, that's not that cool," Shazam says.
What it means
Turns out Shazam can't talk to fish, so he won't be challenging Aquaman for the throne of Atlantis any time soon. This is just a bit of fun, so it's up to you whether you want to stick around for the full length of the credits.
Originally published April 4.