Who is Mister Mind - the classic comic book villain caterpillar set-up to be the main antagonist of the upcoming Shazam 2? Many movie-goers have been wondering about this curious character ever since he revealed himself in the post-credits sequences of Shazam! and for very good reason. Even by the standards of comic books, a talking caterpillar is something of an oddity.
The Golden Age comics starring Captain Marvel (as Shazam was originally known) were filled with all manner of villains, including dark wizards, mad scientists and Nazi supermen. Yet Mister Mind was the most unique and most evil of all these sinister scoundrels. It was for this reason, as well as his unparalleled intelligence, that he led one of the first supervillain teams in history into battle against Earth's Mightiest Mortal and why he continues to be one of Shazam's greatest enemies.
Mister Mind's origins and powers have changed nearly as much as his appearance in the comics. Originally drawn as a goofy-looking cartoonish being wearing tiny little glasses, the modern comics depict Mister Mind as a more horrific and alien-looking being. Yet whatever his appearance or his backstory, Mister Mind is no one to be trifled with.
- This Page: Mister Mind's Comic Backstory & Powers
- Page 2 of 2: Mister Mind Reveals Himself In Shazam's Post-Credits Scene
Mister Mind's Comic Backstory & Powers
Mister Mind first appeared physically in Captain Marvel Adventures #26 in 1943. However, his voice was first heard several issues earlier in Captain Marvel Adventures #22, where he was introduced as a new criminal mastermind interested in furthering the cause of evil on an intergalactic level. To that end, he organized several of Captain Marvel's greatest enemies against him. Billy Batson would not learn the truth of his new enemy's origins until several issues later.
Mister Mind claimed to be a mutant from an alien species of silkworm unknown to Earthlings, blessed with an enhanced intelligence in addition to their natural ability to communicate telepathically by touch. This enabled him to control the mind of any being with whom he made physical contact. He also possessed the ability to spin a cocoon of nearly unbreakable silk in seconds, moving faster than the naked eye could see.
Mister Mind's backstory and powers were changed slightly when he and all the other classic Captain Marvel characters were integrated into a single DC Comics universe following the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline in 1986. In the new reality, Mister Mind was specifically identified as a native of the planet Venus and the only survivor of his race, who had attempted to conquer the Earth. His telepathic powers were also increased, no longer requiring direct physical contact.
Recently, Mister Mind was introduced into the current reality of DC Comics, also known as the Rebirth reality. While his origins are still being unfurled, it appears that the latest incarnation of Mister Mind is a magical being who was trapped in a bottle by the Council of Eternity, rather than an alien telepath. An entry in the Encyclopedia Of Magical Monsters says the Council of Eternity were uncertain as to his exact origins, but they believe that he's a bookworm who acquired magical powers by eating the spell-books and scrolls of wizards.
The Monster Society Of Evil Explained
While notable as a unique threat on his own, Mister Mind is also infamous for his role in forming the Monster Society of Evil. The group was composed of over forty of Captain Marvel's greatest individual enemies, including the mad-scientist Dr. Sivana, the super-strong Captain Nazi, the giant beastman King Kull, the radioactive robot Mister Atom and the super-criminal Ibac. Their ranks also included entire armies of sinister beings, such as a race of alien crocodile men, a gang of thugs whom Mister Mind dubbed the Tough Guys and the Monster Brigade - a specially formed unit of kaiju Mister Mind genetically engineered just to protect his undersea base. Even the Axis Powers fell under Mister Mind's command, with Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Hideki Tojo named as members of the Society.
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While not the first supervillain team in comic book history, the Monster Society of Evil was easily the most ambitious. They also headlined the longest-running serialized story of the Golden Age of American Comics, with the whole Monster Society of Evil story arc running for two years across 24 issues. The story came to a close in Captain Marvel Adventures #46 with Mister Mind's capture, trial on 186,744 counts of first-degree murder and his execution in a specially constructed miniature electric chair.
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