18. ACE Chemicals
Yes, believe it or not the Shazam! movie doesn't just reference Batman through use of his batarangs or "caped crusader" nickname, but using his greatest enemy, The Joker. Well, at least the chemical company that indirectly led to the birth of the Joker when the man he was before tumbled into a vat of madness inducing toxins. Toxins that bleached his skin, dyed his hair, and snapped his psyche for good.
Oddly enough, ACE Chemicals is also the birthplace of Billy Batson's superhero identity, since they own the warehouse where he and Freddy test out his powers on camera. The ACE Chemicals logo is only visible on the massive steel tanks filling the space in one shot, but keep a look out and you can't miss that iconic logo.
17. ZAP-tain America
The legality of the Shazam/Captain Marvel name means that DC only makes general, passing jokes to the name that the hero originally claimed. But thanks to one invented moniker by Freddy Freeman, fans may be able to confirm that Shazam takes place in the same universe as Marvel's Avengers.
When Freddy begins to upoad video after video of Billy's superhero exploits and abilities, he does so under a variety of names. The most commonly visible are "Red Cyclone" and "Thundercrack," but at least one described him as "ZAP-tain America." That's a clever name, given his superpowers over electricity... but the joke really only makes sense if Captain America is a common icon. Either as a living hero or a comic book invention, it's nice to see DC and Marvel can play nice outside of the spotlight.
16. Captain Sparklefingers
The odds that both Marvel and DC's versions of the superhero "Captain Marvel" would release a movie within weeks of eachother must be astronomical, but they are making the most of it. Stars Zachary Levi and Brie Larson are sharing the love, and the Shazam! movie actually makes a Captain Marvel joke, even if fans will miss it in all but the rarest of circumstances.
Among the names Freddy cooks up for Billy's hero, the worst is without question "Captain Sparklefingers." Believe it or not, that's a reference to Carol Danvers, as her modern comic series from writer Kelly Sue DeConnick makes the same joke. With Carol referred to playfully as "Princess Sparklefists"--a nickname actually made into MCU canon by the tie-in novel--at least Billy Batson gets to have the "Captain" name back.
15. The Nolan Batman Batcave
Fans would assume that it would be Ben Affleck's version of Batman being referenced in this movie, considering it's part of the DCEU. But just as Christopher Reeve's Superman legacy is incorporated, so too is Christian Bale's take on Batman. At least judging by Billy Batson's vision of the ultimate superhero lair.
When Freddy describes the kind of secret base they're looking for to a real estate agent, his vision is an acceptable, universally cool castle. But Billy? Billy is looking for a base overlooking water, with a waterfall that you can drive through to access. That's a perfect and key description of the Batcave from Christopher Nolan's trilogy, and as unforgettable to fans as it is to Billy.
14. Holy Moley, Billy!
At this point its practically mandatory for a superhero movie or TV show to adapt a super hero's signature catchphrase. Or lacking that, at least use their most iconic exclamation when pushed to the limits. For the original Billy Batson of the comics, that's an old fashioned "Holy Moley!"--and the movie delivers it twice.
Fans will remember when Shazam first zooms beneath the bus teetering off a bridge, and let's out an exasperated "Holy Moley" in response to... well, having no idea how to solve the problem. But it's also the very first words Billy speaks when he enters the film, feigning a 'gee golly' innocence to get the better of the police.
13. Jim Gordon's Batman... Confirmed?
The explosion of DC Universe merchandise is felt the strongest when Billy and Sivana's first fight smashes into a toy store filled with Justice League toys. And director David F. Sandberg made a point of explaining that every product in the store is available in the real world. In fact, that meant the studio needed to approve every toy, so as not to confirm characters they had yet to adapt, or work into canon.
Which makes the appearance of the Batman: Superheavy mech so exciting. The armor can be seen as Billy flees the toy aisles (what looks like the Fisher Price version), but in the comics, it's the mech suit worn by Jim Gordon in the absence of Bruce Wayne. So if it exists as a product for kids in the DCEU... can we confirm Jim wore the suit at some point in the past? Intended or not, we're just going to assume.
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020