Oh MAGIC 8 BALL, tell me the DCEU’s future…
During the first scene where we are introduced to a young Thaddeus Sivana, his brother uses an 8 ball to mock him multiple times. The phrase “Outlook Not So Good” from the classic children’s toy was rapid foreshadowing to the car accident that would occur in the beginning, defining how Lex Luthor’s dad from the nineties would view Sinestro from the doomed adaptation of Green Lantern.
Whereas Sivana’s childhood was shaped by a sphere full of blue liquid and a prognostic pyramid-shaped random phrase generator, Billy Batson’s childhood was shaped by another orb-like toy, that of a compass keychain. While Sivana was focusing on negative messages, Billy was focusing on what direction he needed to go next, since the trinket his mom won for him at a carnival was always there to guide him to a cop car to look up addresses of people with the last name Batson.
Sivana and Shazam are two peas in a comic book pod, both focused on recreating past events that they felt would finally make their lives whole again. The twisted doctor was finally able to make his way back to the mysterious Rock of Eternity and gain the dark power that fascinated him as a child. The child endowed with the “Wisdom of Solomon” was able to find his birth mother that he was separated from as a young child.
When both of the characters got their wishes, however, they learned that the old adage “be careful what you wish for” is painfully accurate.
Dr. Sivana reveled in how gaining the power of the seven sins corrupted his soul though since his father taught him that power was the number one thing to chase after in this life. Billy has been looking for love instead of power, and his birth mother proved to be sorely lacking in both departments.
The difference between how Billy and his mother remembered the original scene where he became an orphan is staggering and heartbreaking. At first, we see a loving mother doting over her child, exaggerating the importance of a small toy to make him feel better about not getting what he wants. The affection Billy’s mother shows him by embellishing in this scene is the real gift that he gets, one that sticks with him the rest of his young life that we cut in order to get straight to the action.
Then we see how the mother remembers the scene, as a single, young teenager who is terrified about having a child. She doesn’t know what to do with this burden and she is just rattling off whatever she can make up to shut her bratty child’s mouth for one second so she can breathe.
“Outlook not so good,” indeed.
Dr. Sivana and Billy Batson both eventually confront the parents that wounded them, Thaddeus kills his father by pushing him out the window (no doubt he was singing “Somebody saaaaaaave meeeeeee” because he was in Smallville, get it?) while the young Batson hands back the compass to his mother, saying to her “you might need it more than me”. Sivana and Billy both found their family, Sivana’s was the “Seven Deadly Sins” and Billy’s is the “Seven Members of The Most Wonderfully Cast Foster Family Ever.”
At this point, I’m afraid that reconciliation for Sivana and dear old daddy and even the brother that used to ridicule him with a round-shaped bauble since he did kill them. The only way they can get back together is if their corpses will be used to torment the evil doctor in a cinematic adaptation of Geoff Johns’ amazing Blackest Night comic book story.
One can dream, right?
I doubt that this will become a reality though, as DC’s adaptation of that era of Green Lantern came to a screeching halt ever since the movie that only I seemed to enjoy was critically and commercially panned by the rest of the planet Earth. Mark Strong was a great Sinestro in the film, how cool would it be to see him fight himself as Dr. Sivana?!
I wrote a blog with ideas for Warner Bros to become a contender in the Avengers-style moviemaking franchise, but they didn’t listen and we got Batman vs. Superman instead.
However, there might be a glimmer of hope for the relationship between Billy Batson and Derelict Mama Batson. When Billy handed her the compass, it was a moment of growth in his life, a moment where he accepted the wrong that had been done to him and was able to move on and “get back to my real family” as he put it. The exchange mirrored the time where his mom ultimately gave him a toy and pushed him out of the nest.
Billy absolved her of all future responsibilities in his life, pushing her out of the nest while leaving a door open for her to come back whenever she finds a way to move beyond the moment as well. The question is not whether or not she loves him, it’s “will she be able to get away from that mysterious angry male yelling at her during the end of the scene?”
Shazam was a box office success for Warner Bros, following the heels of other critically and commercially successful DC Movies like Wonder Woman and Aquaman, so it seems very likely that there will be sequels. And come on, we all know that Dwayne “The Igneous” Johnson is slated to play Billy’s future nemesis, Black Adam, it’s gonna happen.
I won’t even spoil the cool post-credits scene I saw in the theaters (unless you click on the external link I will undoubtedly place here).
Hopefully, Shazam 2 will see a brighter future for Billy’s mother, laying the groundwork for a heartwarming reunion between family members.
“Outlook Not So Good”?
Try “Outlook So AWESOME!”
Shazam is now out on Blu Ray and a bunch of other types of media, watch it again and let us know if you think the outlook is good or not…
Husband, parent, writer, emcee, cassette tape collector