Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Easter Eggs And References You Missed In Shazam! Fury Of The Gods

As Prometheus can tell you, the Greek gods do not take kindly to mortals stealing their power, and unfortunately for Shazam (Zachary Levi), he takes a half dozen of them at once. Therefore, it's only right that "Captain Every Power," as best friend Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer) nicknames him, faces divine wrath in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," but even that can't stop the hero's ceaseless stream of sarcasm, superhero worship, and meta-references to the genre.

Shazam and the rest of the Marvel Family, aka Shazamily, are superheroes who grew up watching superheroes, both in their movies and the world around them, so it makes sense that they're prone to shout-outs — and their movies prone to Easter eggs. Just like his starring characters, director David F. Sandberg loves connecting the dots between the Shazamily adventures and the larger DC Universe around them. Unlike the characters, however, Sandberg has the luxury of planning those adventures in advance and controlling their every shot, allowing him to sneak his nods and callbacks into backgrounds, props, text, and rapid flashes of dialogue. 

If your own speed of Mercury and wisdom of Solomon decided to take a couple of hours off while you enjoyed the film, here are some of the Easter eggs and references you may have missed in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods."

I'm fast but he's faster

In the movie's opening moments, Shazam unloads his existential problems on his doctor, and they are myriad. The events of the first film were a lot on his teenage mind (and enough that they bear recapping in this scene), and his current issues are arguably worse. Shazam simply doesn't know who he is, and that makes sense. He is, after all, both the adult superhero Shazam and the teenage high school student Billy Batson (Asher Angel). On top of the typical adolescent problems and the less-typical crime-fighting problems, Shazam also has an image problem, and it all stems from the Flash.

In one of the movie's first big shout-outs to its DC brethren, Shazam wonders aloud what he adds to the superhero community, given that the Flash already exists. "There's already a superhero with a red suit with a lightning bolt on it," he whines. "I'm fast, but he's faster." Clearly, the hero is talking about the Flash, a famed member of the Justice League and the fastest hero on Earth. 

The name-drop is fun, but it may imply something much more fun took place between movies. Shazam has his own speed of Mercury, so how can he be sure that the Flash is faster? He might have found out if the two had raced, something the childish heroes would both find amusing and something the Flash has already done before — in "Justice League," with Superman.

In memory of Starro the Conqueror

In DC Comics, Starro the Conqueror is a legend. Not only because the alien starfish ends up being the Justice League's first villain, but also because it gives birth to Jarro, who becomes Batman's sidekick in a totally ludicrous but amazing "Justice League" storyline arc. Starro has also made its debut in the DC Universe, appearing in 2021's "The Suicide Squad," where the poor creature is eaten alive by rats.

Starro is gone but not forgotten in the DCU. In "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," the starfish receives a moment to be immortalized in the greatest manner: As a letter of the alphabet. The scene occurs early in the film when Shazam lies on a couch and unpacks his woes. The bespectacled man behind the table reminds him that he's a pediatrician and not a psychiatrist, gesturing to the kids' play area in his office. There is an alphabet chart on the wall with pictures. And who is the image accompanying the letter S? It's Starro, of course.

Wayne graffiti

Billy may have the last name Batson, but there's at least a small chance that one of the "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" Easter eggs may reference another bat son — the son of Batman, Damien Wayne. The Easter egg can be seen in the Rock of Eternity, the erstwhile abandoned magical fortress that Shazam and the rest of his superpowered siblings have turned into their lair between movies. Amidst all the childlike decorations and clutter, one name has clearly been graffitied on one of the cave's statues: "Wayne."

The Wayne name may be the most famous in all of the DC Universe due, quite obviously, to Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. It's entirely possible that Shazam knows Batman — the ending of "Shazam!" showed that the hero knows Superman, at least — but even if the Dark Knight chose to hang out in the Shazamily lair, he is not much of a tagger. The more plausible solution is that Batson and his siblings had over another teenage superhero, one far more likely to engage in some adolescent graffiti — Damien Wayne. 

We know that this is a stretch, but there simply isn't another Wayne that fits the bill. Plus, the DCEU is overdue for a decent Robin.

Annabelle comes home (again)

Before "Shazam!" and "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," David F. Sandberg directed another feature film entry in a massive cinematic universe — "Annabelle: Creation," part of the Conjuring Universe. Like the other movies, "Annabelle: Creation" focused on the titular doll controlled by a demon whose only apparent interest is playing deadly games with its owners. Throughout her three solo movies and her appearances in the main Conjuring series, one of Annabelle's most enduring qualities is her uncanny ability to appear out of nowhere wherever you would least expect her. Surprisingly, she retains this ability in both "Shazam!" movies, popping up to add her uniquely terrifying visage to the background of a scene in each.

In the first "Shazam!," Sandberg chose to sneak Annabelle into the pawn shop scene at the start of the movie, placing her on a shelf among the plentiful junk — and making the fact that the two police officers are locked in the room much worse. In "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," she's found her way into the pediatrician's office, either by sneaking in or somehow seeming to the doctor like a toy who could cheer a child up. As odd as it may sound, Annabelle also has another DCEU cameo, this time in "Aquaman," directed by Conjuring Universe creator James Wan.

The wisdom of Saruman

As funky a name as it can be, Shazam works because it has a deeper meaning, as it's actually an acronym for the six mythological figures from which the hero draws his power. There's Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury — although Shazam himself evidently believes it isn't Solomon but rather Saruman, the White Wizard from "The Lord of the Rings." The mistake is understandable, though, as another Easter egg demonstrates that Freeman — Batson's "superhero manager" — is a huge "The Lord of the Rings" fan himself.

At one point in the film, Freeman wears a "The Lord of the Rings" t-shirt, which may just be a nerdy shirt for a nerdy dude, but perhaps not — it's a fitting depiction. Specifically, the tee features the White Tree of Gondor and the Seven Stars, both of which are symbols of Elendil, one of the greatest heroes of all men. Elendil was pure of heart and famous for both height and handsomeness — both traits that Freeman repeatedly brags about upon assuming his hero form (Adam Brody). 

Likewise, Shazam name-dropping Saruman may also be an intentionally fitting Easter egg. The Wizard spent thousands of years safeguarding men until his resentment and lust for power caused him to turn on them and attempt to destroy them all — the exact arc of the new movie's three villains, Anthea (Rachel Zegler), Hespera (Helen Mirren), and Kalypso (Lucy Liu).

Tawny the tiger (or kitten) debuts

Fans familiar with "Captain Marvel Adventures" comics will remember a furry friend named Tawky Tawny. The anthropomorphic tiger is an ally of the Marvel family and looks rather sophisticated and dapper when he dresses up in his suit and tie. Some comic book elements teeter on the edge of being almost too ridiculous to feature in a live-action film — such as a talking tiger among human characters — and directors tend to shy away from them. (Plus, Disney has probably had the rights for that look locked down since it introduced Shere Khan as a suave businessman in "TaleSpin.")

In the first "Shazam!" movie, David F. Sandberg included a few subtle Easter eggs as a tip of the hat to Tawny, but he pays even bigger tribute to the fan-favorite character in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods." When the Shazamily swoops in to save the people on the bridge, Darla spots a basket of kittens and saves them first — naturally. A while later, Darla walks into the house with the cutest kitten in the world, which she has named Tawny. Well, that's settled then. James Gunn and Peter Safran better make Tawny a part of the new DCU, or we riot.

Not the Batman you expected

For anyone hoping for a Batman cameo in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," we have good news and bad news. To get the bad news out of the way first: no, Ben Affleck's Batman never appears in the movie. However, the good news is that another recent Bat-actor shows up: none other than Diedrich Bader.

If you don't know the name, that's understandable, but Bader is actually a big Bat-deal. In recent years, he has voiced the Caped Crusader in shows such as "Batman: The Brave and the Bold," and "Harley Quinn," movies like "JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time," and video games like "Justice League: Cosmic Chaos," becoming a go-to Bat-voice for Warner Bros only overshadowed by Jason O'Mara and, arguably, Bruce Greenwood. Bader's take on the character has all the requisite gravel and depth, but the actor's comedic sensibilities (like those on display in "Office Space") harken back to Adam West's campy earnestness and charm.

Bader's inclusion is a fun Easter egg for fans of the wider DC franchise, especially its long-celebrated animated films and series. It's also a treat for fans of the on-again-off-again sitcom "Community," as one of the show's fan-favorite bits from "Modern Espionage" featured the main characters all assuming code names related to different Batman actors such as Bale and Keaton — the Dean, of course, chooses "voice of Diedrich Bader."

The burning violin's tie to comic book history

The Shazamily's lair is a little piece of heaven. It's kitted out like the ultimate fun cave, complete with big screens and everything a child could dream of. Inside the Rock of Eternity is also a burning violin, which appears in the first film. Shazam admits it is "super weird but definitely keeps the lair cozy" in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods."

While this might seem like a random magical item, not unlike Steve the Pen, it's actually a deep cut of Shazam's history that only the diehard fans may remember. Even director David F. Sandberg remarked on the "DC Standom" podcast that executive producer Geoff Johns thought only a few people would understand where it comes from and its significance to the lore.

The burning violin is a reference to 1946's "Captain Marvel Adventures" #64 and the story "Flames of the Magic Fiddle," which sees Oggar's henchman, Nero, come in possession of a violin. Oggar bestows it with magical flames that keep it burning while Nero plays, and voila! There's the origin of the burning violin. That said, Captain Marvel smashes the violin in the comic and stops it from burning, but considering comic book continuity is about as stable as a matchstick, we're not about to quibble over it still being around.

The Dungeons & Dragons spellbook

The Easter egg machine that is Freddy Freeman keeps running throughout the film, this time delivering a series of references to the most iconic fantasy role-playing game of all time, "Dungeons & Dragons." As Freeman says throughout both movies — even convincing Batson to begin saying it too — he's an expert in all things superhero and fantasy. Boasting that when your only competition is Batson makes sense, but in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," Freeman even makes the claim to the Wizard (Djimon Hounsou), one of the oldest, most powerful, and most knowledgeable magic users in Earth's history. Embarrassingly, when it comes time for Freeman to drop his knowledge, it all comes straight from "The Player's Handbook."

While he and the Wizard are trapped in a magic prison on another plane, Freeman spouts out three ideas for escape. There is Giant Strength, a popular spell (usually in the form of a potion of magic belt) that predictably grants inhuman strength. There's Gaseous Form, an arcane spell that (if it were real in their world) would allow Freeman and the Wizard to become clouds and gas and slip through their bars. Lastly, Freeman asks if the Wizard at least has an Arcane Focus, an item that helps magic users channel their powers.

Mortal Kombat is now canon in the DCU

"Mortal Kombat" and DC have crossed paths in the video game world, thanks to the 2008 fighter game "Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe." Considering both brands are housed under Warner Bros., it's easy to imagine them crossing over flawlessly to other mediums. Yet, seeing Sub-Zero rip someone's spine out after an uppercut might be a little too graphic for comic book movies, so fans will have to settle for the "Mortal Kombat" Easter egg in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods."

The Shazamily's lair is bursting with all sorts of surprises. However, there's one that will capture the eyes of gamers everywhere: The "Mortal Kombat II" arcade cabinet. First of all, it shows that, if nothing else, the kids have great taste in video games. But it's also a neat touch to keep that franchise top of mind, since the "Mortal Kombat 2" movie is in the early phases of production. Let's hope the love is reciprocal and Lord Raiden wears a Shazam shirt or something in the movie.

Look both ways for street signs

Some Easter eggs can come across as unintentional or only referential in a certain light, but some are as clear as if they were written across a series of giant, bright signs. In "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," there is a third option, as many of its Easter eggs are literally written across a series of giant, bright signs.

Some of the most glaring examples appear once the Daughters of Atlas have planted the Tree of Life in downtown Philadelphia. Aside from the word "park," which appears numerous times (thanks to the Philadelphia Phillies' stadium Citizens Bank Park), we also see the tree's roots spread through "Hedgerow Lane," "Spring Garden St.," and finally end up in front of a plant store. Its sign reads "plants give people" and then tantalizingly cuts off, though with the role of the Tree of Life in the movie, plants give people essentially the entire story.

There are a ton of other, non-plant examples, as well. After Shazam decides to sacrifice himself to defeat Kalypso and her dragon, a marquee behind him reads "the decision hurt." Even better is when Freeman and Anthea are trapped in a parking structure with Kalypso and the dragon, as a big sign labels the location the "ow center."

Hey, Khaleesi!

In the third act of "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," as the movie nears its climactic final struggles, Shazam finally takes on Kalypso and her dragon, Ladon, in earnest. They battle throughout and above downtown Philly, with the dragon seemingly obeying all of Kalypso's commands like a loyal pet, mount, and friend. The connection between Kalypso and Ladon is strong, bringing to mind one obvious parallel — Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons, especially Drogon, from the hit HBO series "Game of Thrones." Shazam made the connection, as well, which is why he gets her attention by yelling, "Hey, Khaleesi!"

If you've seen "Game of Thrones," you know the term Khaleesi (and even if you haven't, as long as you haven't been living under a soundproof rock, there's still a solid chance you've heard it). In the series, it means wife of the Khal, a chieftain of the Dothraki people. Daenerys becomes a Khaleesi early in the show and the title sticks with her throughout, becoming a nickname even after her Khal has died. That Khal, coincidentally (or not), was played by Jason Momoa, who also portrays the DCEU's Aquaman, so you have to wonder if Batson and Freeman have ever drawn a connection between the real hero from their world and the TV warrior.

Captain Marvel

If you're a comic book reader, especially a longtime one, you might know Shazam by another name: Captain Marvel. For more casual fans, or those more familiar with Marvel characters, this may sound confusing, but it's true — Shazam only became the character's official name recently, and for the vast majority of his history, he went only by Captain Marvel. This other name never came up in "Shazam!" — but it finally has its day in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," when a Philly citizen proudly proclaims, "You're the best, Captain Marvel!"

The history of the name is as convoluted as any in comic books, but if you rewind all the way to its beginning, it was the DC hero we now call Shazam that first used the moniker. The character was created back in the '30s and enjoyed a successful run in early comics throughout the '40s, though (in a move that will eventually become superhumanly ironic), the character's publisher, Fawcett Comics, was sued by DC for copyright infringement — they felt that Captain Marvel was too similar to Superman. 

Fast forward to the '70s and by then, legal maneuvering has allowed Marvel to create their own Captain Marvel and DC to incorporate that old Fawcett Comics Captain Marvel into their own universe — prompting a brand new legal conflict over the name. Regardless of the title's dubious history, this Easter egg in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" finally gave Billy Batson the chance to be dubbed Captain Marvel on the big screen.

A.R.G.U.S. returns

Another name that will likely ring a bell for fans of DC comics, and likely not so for more casual fans, is A.R.G.U.S. The government agency has been around for just over a decade in the comics but has already become somewhat of a major force therein, acting as support for super-powered groups like the Justice League and the Suicide Squad. The organization has even branched out onto the big screen, appearing under the leadership of Amanda Waller to fund and maintain the different incarnations of the Suicide Squad (officially Task Force X), as well as the Justice Society. If you're just watching "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," however, you might have no idea who these people are, even the two famous members who show up in an Easter egg that appears during the film's mid-credits scene.

Shazam agrees to meet with two A.R.G.U.S. agents, who fans of James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad" and "Peacemaker" will recognize as John Economos (Steve Agee) and Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland). Their presence alone is somewhat of an Easter egg, meant solely for fans of the DCEU as a whole, but they have another goal in meeting Shazam. In fact, they formally invite him to join the Justice Society, the super-team first shown on screen in "Black Adam" that has been a mainstay in DC Comics almost since their very inception.

The Avengers Society?

While Economos and Harcourt make the trek to their hidden meeting spot with Shazam, they go over their briefing for the mission (something you would expect seasoned agents to do before setting out, but movies are movies). They mention that Shazam is "as strong as they get" but also immature, and the hero doesn't do anything to prove the intel false. Among his many childish quips, he begins rattling off better names for the Justice Society, one of which is a delightful — and unexpected — Easter egg.

Pointing out (rather correctly) that the Justice Society is a confusing name for a superhero team when the Justice League is already a superhero team, Shazam brainstorms a few other ideas. Most, like the "Authority Society," are bland and, as Shazam himself even admits, reminiscent of a law office name, but one just works. Shazam suggests the "Avenger Society," adding, "I like that one for some reason!"  — in an apparent reference to Marvel, specifically their famous Justice League counterpart, the Avengers. 

As a few Avengers themselves have pointed out in the MCU, the Avengers isn't exactly a great team name itself, but that's irrelevant here. The faintest connection between the two dominant superhero franchises is enough to make for a satisfying Easter egg — just one of the many great surprises in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods."