Crocodile Men Confirm The Wildlands in The DCEU
At first glance, there's a good chance that most viewers will assume that the collection of doors stumbled upon in The Rock of Eternity are merely portals through space (using the same magical transportation that brings all potential champions before the Wizard). Or, recalling how the Wizard explained his efforts to round up magic from the outside world, the doors may be viewed as prison cells, or spaces meant to confine magical beings from unsuspecting mortals--like Muggles in the Harry Potter universe.
But the truth is far more exciting, and far grander, as Billy and the rest of the kids-turned adult heroes of The Shazam Family have learned in their comic book adventures. They have learned that the world of superheroes and humans of the DC Universe, the "normal Earth" itself, is just one of Seven magical Realms coexisting behind a mystical curtain. And the Crocodile Men? They likely confirmed the same is true in the movie universe.
The Earthlands may seem all-important to those who inhabit them, but Billy and the rest of his foster siblings soon learn that The Magiclands they are charged with protecting go far beyond our mundane planet. Previously, Geoff Johns had re-imagined the classic Captain Marvel character Tawny the "Talky" Tiger as an actual tiger. But in the new comics, the true Mr. Tawny has arrived: a walking, talking, suit-wearing tiger living in a world where Crocodiles doing the same is the norm. Because in The Wildlands, it's the animals who got "civilized."
The Seven Magic Realms May Be Coming...
This may all seem like a great deal to spin out of the appearance of three Crocodile Men--all played by director David F. Sandberg--but there isn't much ambiguity about the mythology they show at work. And considering how much of Geoff Johns' modern reboot of Shazam and the surrounding fiction the movie adapts completely faithfully, there's no reason to think that this would be the exception. Johns took the idea of Shazam, and crafted a new explanation, earning accolades. Johns took the idea of the supervillain Black Adam, and creating a new origin story, warning accolades. And Johns took the idea of walking, talking, magical creatures, and created Seven Magical Realms to explain them. Why wouldn't a sequel make good on this tease?
Fans may want to restrict their expectations somewhat, since the comic book acting as a sequel to the Shazam relaunch inflates the scale and spectacle faster than a sequel budget would allow (even if Shazam! had set box office records). So there may be some waiting until The Gamelands, The Funlands, or even The Wildlands in all their glorious animal splendor are revealed in the DCEU. But the first step in going to the other magical realms the Justice League's never even heard of is confirming they exist.
By including the Crocodile Men as Shazam! director David F. Sandberg does, the movie does just that. Which will prepare fans of every DC movie to have their minds blown if Shazam 2 becomes a reality.