DC has been keeping their cards very close to their chest in regard to Shazam!
We know a few basic details, and that Mark Strong will be playing Shazam’s only real rogue, Sivana. But a new line of Funko Pops has us thinking that DC has a massive plot twist up their sleeve that could change the face of the DCEU forever, and would lean into the classic canon of the iconic Fawcett Comics character.
To really understand the magnitude of this Twitter reveal, we have to go back to September 1941, when Whiz Comics #21 hit the newsstands and artist C.C. Beck introduced the so-called “Lieutenant Marvels.” It was the first time a comic book superhero had been accompanied by sidekicks who wore their own costumes. Though the Lieutenant Marvels have been long forgotten by most fans, the inclusion of Lt. Hill Marvel, Lt. Fat Marvel, and Lt. Tall Marvel (yes, those were really their names!) paved the way for Cap Marvel’s iconic young sidekicks who would come to be known as the Marvel Family.
Introduced in Whiz Comics #25, Captain Marvel Jr. was the superpowered alter ego of the young disabled newsboy Freddy Freeman (who shows up in the new film), followed a year later by Mary Marvel in Captain Marvel Adventures #18. The heroes were massively popular and were even at times joined by an anthropomorphic tiger called Tawky Tawny, a superpowered bunny, and a cranky Uncle Shazam, too. So what does any of this have to do with the upcoming movie?
Well, fans have long been theorizing that we might get to see Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel in the movie, since they cast breakout star Dylan Grazer in the role of Freddy and Grace Fulton as Billy’s older foster sister Mary. And these Pops which showcase the pair in costume alongside Shazam appear to confirm that. What’s really interesting, though, is the fact that all of the other foster kids—Darla, Eugene, and Pedro—also apparently have alter egos and powers, which probably won’t be surprising to anyone who read 2011’s Flashpoint miniseries.
In the Earth- (and timeline-) shattering event by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert, we met Eugene Choi and his friends Billy Batson, Pedro Peña, Darla Dudley, Freddy Freeman, and Mary Batson. In a radical reimagining of Shazam! lore, all of the children ended up on the subway that fateful day, and when they shouted the famed word they all became a singular hero known as Captain Thunder. Though it was always unlikely that we’d see the strange Voltron-style version of the superhero, the fact that the film chose to use the names of the kids from Flashpoint who would later become the New 52’s Marvel Family always pointed towards something bigger.
Backed up by the new Funkos, this theory would explain why we’ve barely see anything from beyond what appears to be the first third of the film. It would be a brilliant way for DC to expand their kids’ film content; we’d love to see a full-fledged
Marvel Family Shazam Family working inside the new DCEU, and it would be an incredibly exciting move for Shazam! to introduce not one but six new supers. We’ll have to wait until April 5 to find out, though!
Images: DC Comics, Warner Bros. Entertainment