Billy Doesn't Understand His Own Magic
It won't be news to any viewer to say that Billy Batson doesn't have the first idea about how his powers work, where they come from, or the true range of their abilities. In fact, a good chunk of the movie is devoted to Billy and Freddy cataloging his powers based purely on trial and error. And along the way, Billy ends up causing as much trouble as he solves.
Forget destruction of property, inflicting harm on criminals without even deciding to, and the emotional torment of seeing a man come flying into the windows of an office building. Billy shoots a bolt of lightning directly from his hand into the sky, only to watch it discharge onto a bus filled with passengers (whose lives he technically saves). So as thrilling as it may be to see him share his power with a family of magic champions... that seems doomed to result in six times the risk and accidental disaster.
By the end of the movie Billy comes to understand the true purpose of his powers, sharing them with his family by "opening his heart" and creating almost enough champions to fill the seven empty Thrones. But even if Billy learns a great lesson, he never actually learns the rules. And from the looks of things in the Rock of Eternity, the wizard was doing a lot more than just sitting and waiting. If the surprise cameo of three classic Crocodile Men in Shazam! is the direct tease of the Wildlands--one of seven other magical realms Billy and his siblings must oversee--then the sequel story is starting to take shape. There's just one problem: Billy and his foster siblings have no idea what they're doing.
Black Adam May Be Their Only Hope
When the kids run through the endless halls and doorways of the Rock of Eternity, the surprises they find make one thing perfectly clear: the world of magic existing out of View of the rest of the DC movie universe is wide, weird, and wildly beyond the understanding of Billy, Mary, Freddy, Darla, Eugene, and Pedro. In the comic book version of their origin, the kids only had to worry about the death of the wizard Shazam allowing Black Adam to escape his years of imprisonment. Now that the movie makes the Rock of Eternity not only a nexus, but the "source of all magic" in the DCEU, all bets are off.
Interestingly enough Shazam! makes a direct connection to Suicide Squad, and it was in that movie that Enchantress warned about magic returning to the world bit by bit. If the death of the wizard has broken the dam in film as it did in the comics, audiences can take their pick for the next threat. Will it be Dr. Sivana? The newly escaped Mr. Mind? The terrible inhabitants of the Monsterlands?
Whatever the answer may be, Black Adam will know more about how to set things right than Billy ever could. As hellbent on his revenge, or as brutal in his punishment of those who enslave as Adam may be, he isn't evil for evil's sake. And certainly not compared to the other threats that would put his own magical powers in jeopardy. Threats that only exist because Billy and his siblings don't truly grasp the powers they're dealing with... making him the only chance they have, and as far from a villain or enemy as one can get.
At least, that's the choice that the filmmakers could make. But we won't know more until Black Adam makes his debut in a movie of his own. But if early word starts to describe Adam as misunderstood, misguided, or simply mistaken more than evil, ignorant, or murderous? Then the studio may see the potential for an unlikely team-up in Shazam 2, as opposed to another lightning-fueled fistfight.
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Black Adam release date:
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021