Shazam! was one of the funniest and most entertaining DC films. However, underneath all of the jokes, there were a bunch of Easter eggs and hidden secrets that referenced the future of the DCEU, other superheroes, and several movies. So, with the wisdom of Solomon and the speed of Mercury, let’s check out everything you missed in Shazam!
Annabelle Lurking in the Pawn Shop
At the very beginning of the film, Billy Batson asks two police officers to come inside Pawn Shop Bishop’s for what turns out to be a trap. However, if the police officers had actually been scouring the shop, they might have come across something very sinister.
When the officers enter the store, you’ll find Annabelle on the left side of the door, waiting for her next victim. This is because David Sandberg, the director of Shazam also directed Annabelle: Creation and decided to give a shout out to the evil doll in the film.
ACE Chemicals and the Joker
You definitely caught all the Batman Easter eggs in the film, but did you catch this hidden reference to the Joker?
When Billy and Freddy are testing and filming Shazam’s powers in the abandoned warehouse, there is an ACE Chemicals logo on a steel tank in the background. Of course, if you’re a Batman fan, you know that ACE Chemicals led to the birth of the Joker when he fell into a vat of chemicals, much like the one featured in Shazam.
The Number 73 and Shazam’s Debut
We hear the number “73” in the film a couple of times. Billy’s social worker, E.B. Glover tells Billy that he contacted 73 Batsons in search of his mom. Then, Billy and Freddy get $73 from the lady that was “mugged” in the park.
73 is a reference to Shazam’s debut in the comics. Although Billy Batson was created in the 1940s under the name “Captain Marvel”, DC Comics changed the name to Shazam to resolve trademark conflicts with Marvel Comics. Therefore, Shazam #1 released in 1973.
Freddy’s Room Hints at a Scene We Didn’t See in Justice League
When we first meet Freddy, we come to find that he’s a lover of superhero memorabilia. In his room, you most likely saw a Superman hat, Batman figures, and of course the bullet and Batarang. However, pay close attention to the news clippings throughout his room and you’ll find some really cool Easter eggs that hint at the future of the DCEU.
One of the newspapers hanging on Freddy’s wall says “Superman is Back” which references his resurrection in Justice League. However, take a look at the text underneath the headline. On the bottom left, the text begins with “Alien Attack on the World” and “Russia Cleans Up”, referencing the battle between the Justice League and Steppenwolf. Then, lower down the paper says “The Top Suspect: As a worldwide search begins for those responsible, specialists say early signs point to Lex Luthor and his associates”.
This shows that the world believes that Lex Luthor was behind Steppenwolf’s attack and that he has “associates”. These associates could be the Legion of Doom, which Luthor talks about with Deathstroke at the end of Justice League.
Furthermore, there’s also a TIME magazine on Freddy’s shelf that references Man of Steel. The magazine’s headline says “An Act of War? As Metropolis lies in ruin how shall the world respond? Inside an alien invasion”. The magazine is dated June 14, 2013, one day after Man of Steel came out in theaters.
References to the Suicide Squad
We all know that James Gunn is directing the second Suicide Squad, which should hit theaters in 2021. Well, it seems like Shazam may have added some references to the upcoming movie.
When Billy Batson is on the train unknowingly heading to the Wizard, there are a bunch of ads that say “Kingsburgy Publishing”. Kingsbury could potentially reference Vanessa Kingsbury, an escaped mental patient that was eventually recruited into the Suicide Squad. She ends up dying on her first mission, but was interestingly related to Suicide Squad Vol 1 #67: Blackest Night.
Now, if you look at the cover for Blackest Night, there are some interesting characters that relate to Shazam. There’s Bronze Tiger, a martial artist, and the Fiddler, a thief with a mystical evil fiddle. Tigers show up a lot in Shazam (Billy wants one as a kid at the carnival and has one on his backpack) and there’s a burning fiddle in the Wizard’s lair, The Rock of Eternity. So, could this be a hint to what’s to come? Could the next Suicide Squad feature these characters or potentially the Blackest Night storyline?
Billy’s Dad References His Creator
Eugene tells Billy that his mom’s name is Marilyn and his dad’s name is C.C, which is a direct reference to C.C. Beck, the co-creator of Captain Marvel/Shazam. Eugene then goes on to say that Billy’s dad is in prison in Florida. Beck died on November 1989 in Gainesville, Florida. So, I guess the “prison” Eugene references is Beck’s grave.
Tawky Tawny Tiger
Billy Batson loves tigers. That’s why he asks for a tiger at the carnival, has a tiger on his backpack, and gives the little girl a stuffed tiger at the end of the movie. The movie even plays the song “Eye of the Tiger” to further cement the animal’s importance. However, Billy Batson’s love for tigers isn’t just a connection to his mom – it’s also a reference to Tawky Tawny Tiger.
Tawky Tawny is an anthropomorphic tiger that appears in Captain Marvel/Shazam comics. He travels from India to the United States in hopes of integrating into American society and therefore typically wears a tweed suit and talks in a dignified manner. He becomes Shazam/Billy’s best friend in the comics until the Captain Marvel Adventures ceased publication.
Tawky Tawny was introduced again in DC Comics and even plays a role in Black Adam’s origin story. In the comics, Black Adam uses a stuffed version of Tawky Tawny to hide part of the scarab necklace that first allowed him to gain his powers.
If you take a look at Shazam’s outfit when Billy changes to him, you’ll also find tigers on the buttons near his chest as an extra shout out to Tawky Tawny.
Freddy’s Connection to It
You may remember the actor that plays Freddy, Jack Dylan Grazer from the horror film, It. Well, Shazam definitely remembered the role because it featured the clown’s iconic red balloon throughout the film.
In Freddy’s home, there is a painting on the wall that features skeletons surrounded by red balloons. Then, when Sivana is looking for Shazam/Billy Batson in the mall, there is a TV showing a kid with a red balloon.
Keyboard Scene from Big
When the trailers for Shazam first hit, fans felt that it was very reminiscent of Tom Hank’s 1988 film, Big – with the addition of superpowers. Therefore, Shazam acknowledges the similarities with a shout out in the movie.
When Sivana chases Billy through the mall, they end up inside a toy store full of DC relics. However, the giant toy keyboard is what you should be focusing on. It’s a reference to a similar scene in Big where Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia jump on a giant keyboard and play “Chopsticks”.
Also, the winter festival where Sivana once again chases Billy is similar to the carnival in Big where the fortune teller machine turns Josh Baskin into Tom Hanks.
Shazam’s Potential Names Reference Other Comic Characters
Freddy and Billy go through a number of different names before settling on Shazam. If you pay attention to the ones they suggest, you’ll notice that a lot of them reference other comic characters.
- Captain Sparklefingers: This name is actually a reference to the other Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers. Since she can shoot photon blasts from her hand, the modern comic series refers to her as “Princess Sparklefists”.
- Red Cyclone: This is a nod to the 1940s DC Comic hero, Red Tornado. Originally called Ma Hunkel, she was a working mother who fought crime with a saucepan on her head. Eventually her granddaughter, Maxine Hunkel took the title and went by both Red Tornado and Cyclone.
- Power Boy: The name Power Boy references DC Comics’ own hero, Power Girl. She is the cousin of Superman and hails from the world of Earth-two.
- Human Power Storm: This one could be either a DC or Marvel reference. Human Power Storm could reference Marvel’s Human Torch from the Fantastic Four, or Firestorm, a nuclear-powered DC hero with a similar fire-y look.
Somehow, Billy and his entire foster family all attended Fawcett Central. Not only did the school magically host kids of all ages, but it’s also a reference to the comics.
In the original comics, the Wizard, Billy Batson, and Sivana all live in Fawcett City – not Philadelphia. Therefore, naming the school Fawcett Central was a way to keep elements of the comics alive in the film.
Fawcett Comics is also the name of the comic book publisher that created Captain Marvel, the original Shazam.
The Burning Fiddle
In the wizard Shazam’s lair, you might have noticed a burning violin/cello. This image is a reference to Captain Marvel Adventures #64. In this comic, Oggar, another corrupted student of the wizard, enchants the violin of one of his henchmen to spit fire. It almost burns down New York City, which is why it’s probably locked up in the Rock of Eternity in Shazam.
The Watchmen are Back
After Billy Batson gets caught by the police, he is taken to see his social worker E.B. Glover. In this scene, you’ll find a lot of smiley face objects hidden in plain sight on her desk. These smiley faces are a reference to the smiley faces that have become the symbol of Watchmen.
With the resurgence of the Watchmen in the comics, there have actually been a couple of Watchmen Easter eggs hidden throughout the DCEU. In Batman v Superman, when Batman and Sups start their epic battle, there is graffiti on the wall that says “Quis custodiet Ipsos custodes” which is Latin for “Who watches the watchmen”. There is also a copy of Alan Moore’s Watchmen book in Lois Lane and Clark Kent’s apartment.
The Magic Golden Mirror
During some of the scenes in the Wizard’s lair, you might have seen a golden mirror hidden in the background. Although it seems like the mirror from Snow White, it’s actually a reference to a magical mirror from the Shazam comics.
The magical mirror resides in the Rock of Eternity and takes the form of a woman named Francesca. Francesca helps Billy Batson when he needs assistance and even helped him realize that he can fly. She can also only be seen and heard by people with magical powers like Shazam.
The Number 7
Warner Bros. apparently loves the number seven because it was used many times throughout the movie. Billy’s social worker says Billy found 73 Batsons that he thought were his mom, Billy’s real mom had Billy when she was 17, and she also lived on the 7th floor of her apartment building in room 707. There are 7 thrones for 7 wizards according to the Wizard, 7 deadly sins, 7 realms, and Sivana has to repeat 7 symbols 7 times to enter the Rock of Eternity.
The Video Game References
There are a lot of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter references throughout the film. For example, Eugene says “Hodouken” when he uses his Shazam powers at the end of the movie, referencing Street Fighter. However, the most interesting reference occurs when Billy and Freddy are playing Mortal Kombat.
Billy is playing as Raiden, which is very fitting for his character. Raiden has lightning abilities, just like Shazam. Billy, on the other hand, plays Johnny Cage who is actually a martial arts film actor. This is fitting for Billy since he is the one filming Billy’s adventures as Shazam.
All of Freddy’s Shirts
Every single time we see Freddy, he’s a literal human Easter egg. His shirts are all branded merchandise that market the rest of the DCEU’s franchises. When we first meet Freddy, he’s wearing an Aquaman shirt. Then, he wears a red shirt with a black Batman symbol in the school cafeteria the next day. When Shazam is charging random people’s phones, Freddy is wearing a Wonder Woman shirt and then the next day in school he has on an Aquaman lifeguard shirt.
Interestingly, when Freddy is in the cafeteria convincing his friends that he knows Shazam, he is wearing a Superman shirt, which foreshadows the Sups coming to lunch at the end of the film.
Sivana’s Assistant is the Director’s Wife
The lady that plays Sivana’s assistant is Lotta Losten, director David Sandberg’s wife. She has also been seen in some of Sandberg’s other films such as Lights Out, Annabelle: Creation, and Sandberg’s short Closet Space.
Billy’s School Bus References a DC Writer
When Billy and Freddy get in a fight outside the school, Billy runs off and you might have noticed an odd school bus in the background. Although it looks like a normal yellow school bus, the wording on the side of it says “Denny Bus Lines Ltd.”
This is a reference to Denny O’Neil, a DC Comics writer. O’Neil wrote the Shazam! series once DC Comics acquired the rights to print the comics.
Shout Outs to the Film Crew
Shazam may have included some small shout outs to members of their production crew. The pawn shop where Billy tricks the two police officers is called “Pawn Shop Bishop’s”, which could be a reference to the film’s stunt actor, Sally Bishop.
One of the police officers that came inside the pawn shop was named Simonelli, which could also be a reference to Maria Simonelli, assistant property master for the film. Then, if you look outside the pawn shop, there is a “Mackenzie” poster. Mackenzie refers to John Mackenzie, the film’s construction supervisor.
Remember security guard Moran? He is also likely a reference to John Moran, the first assistant art director for Shazam.
Caped Wonder Stuns City Under Siege
When the other foster kids confront Billy about being Shazam, there’s a newspaper behind him that says “Caped Wonder Stuns City”. This is a reference to Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie. The front-page story of the paper appeared in the film when Superman rescued Lois from a crashed helicopter.
The Batman Backpack Girl
Every time we were taken to Billy and Freddy’s school, there was always the same girl outside the building providing a Batman shout out. She’s wearing a burgundy colored jacket and a black backpack with the Batman logo on it.
When we see the YouTube videos that Freddy was posting online, one of them says “Zaptain America Transportation Challenge”. This is a very clear reference to DC’s mian compeitor and a jab at Captain America.
The Introduction of Black Adam
When the Wizard meets Billy, he says that he chose a champion before but “chose recklessly”. Their original champion was corrupted by the Seven Deadly Sins and almost destroyed the world. This is a reference to Black Adam.
Black Adam will be introduced in the DCEU in the near future and will be played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The Lair is a Batman Reference
When Billy and Freddy tell a realtor that they want a secret lair, the two of them say they want a base overlooking water with a waterfall that you can drive through. This is a direct reference to Batman’s Batcave in the Christopher Nolan movies. Basically, Freddy just wants the realtor to replicate the Dark Knight’s tech-savvy home.
The Three Crocodiles Playing Cards
When Billy and his family are trying to escape Sivana in the Rock of Eternity, they come to an area full of Monster’s Inc-like doors. The first door they open reveals three crocodiles playing poker, which is a reference to the Crocodile Men in the Shazam comics.
These Crocodile Men are from the planet Punkus and are highly intelligent antimorphic crocodiles. One Crocodile man named Herkimer becomes Mister Mind’s second-in-command and takes over the Monster Society of Evil when the talking caterpillar loses his memory.
The Talking Caterpillar
During the end-credit scene, Sivana is approached by an evil talking caterpillar. This insect is Mister Mind, and he escaped from the Wizard’s Rock of Eternity when Sivana unleashed the Seven Deadly Sins.
Mister Mind first appeared in Captain Marvel Adventures #22 and is a Venusian worm with high intelligence and telepathic powers, who stowed away on a NASA spacecraft used to map the surface of Venus. In the comics, Mister Mind conducts evil acts with Dr. Sivana and created the Monster Society of Evil, which includes Sivana, Black Adam, the Crocodile Men, and…. Hitler. Therefore, we’ll likely see Mister Mind in the sequel as the DCEU introduces Black Adam and brings the Rock into the universe.
Did you notice any other Easter eggs in Shazam? Let me know in the comments!