The Rock Of Eternity’s Relics
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The movie travels to the realm of the wizard Shazam several times, so fans get the chance to glimpse the many mystical artifacts he’s been guarding for millennia. Some of these factor into the plot, like the Eye of Envy and Mister Mind’s dome (more on that later), but most of them are pretty obscure, so let’s just run through all the ones we spotted.
Magic Mirror – A magic mirror can be glimpsed to the left when Billy enters Shazam’s realm after being transported there from the subway. In The New 52 comics, the mirror’s home to a disembodied entity known as Francesca who appears to aid Shazam and can only be seen by those with magic powers.
The Ibistick Of Ibis – A golden staff can be seen in the entryway of the magical realm. The triangular shape on top tells us this is the powerful wand of the Egyptian prince known as Ibis the Invincible, a character who hails from the 1950s.
Burning Violin – Located by the mirror is a burning violin. This could be a historical reference to Nero playing his fiddle while Rome burned. Or it could be a nod to Captain Marvel Adventures #64, a 1946 tale inspired by the story which sees Oggar, a corrupted champion of Shazam’s, enchant his minion Nero’s violin to spew fire in an attempt to burn down New York.
The Importance Of John Glover
John Glover turns up in a small supporting role in Shazam! as Dr. Sivana’s father. The prolific actor might not be a household name but his face – and voice – should be very familiar to DC fans as he’s been appearing in their productions since the 1990s. Glover can be heard as the Riddler in Batman: The Animated Series and seen as Dr. Jason Woodrue in Batman & Robin.
However, his most famous DC role is as Lionel Luthor on TV’s Smallville, which he played for nearly 150 episodes across the show’s 10-year run. His turn as Lex Luthor’s pa is surely what landed him the part of Sivana’s father, too. Like Lionel, Sivana Sr. is the greedy tycoon father of a son who grows up to be a bald supervillain who murders him for his sins (or by his sins, in this case).
Those with a good knowledge of Shazam’s history will note that Billy Batson and his foster siblings attend Fawcett Central School. This is, of course, a callback to the fact that Shazam AKA Captain Marvel was originally created by Fawcett Comics in 1939 as a rival to Superman. As the company shut down in the 1950s, DC relaunched the character in their own universe in the 1970s where he’s remained ever since.
For decades, Billy Batson’s home was named Fawcett City as a nod to his publication origins. However, The New 52 relocated him to the more grounded location of Philadelphia. This is something that the movie – which is largely derived from The New 52 continuity – retains, but it’s nice that they still found a way to work in a Fawcett reference somehow.