Who Is [SPOILER]? Shazam 2 Villain Origin & Powers Explained
Who is Mister Mind - the classic comic book villain caterpillar set-up to be the main antagonist of the upcoming Shazam 2? Many movie-goers have been wondering about this curious character ever since he revealed himself in the post-credits sequences of Shazam! and for very good reason. Even by the standards of comic books, a talking caterpillar is something of an oddity.
The Golden Age comics starring Captain Marvel (as Shazam was originally known) were filled with all manner of villains, including dark wizards, mad scientists and Nazi supermen. Yet Mister Mind was the most unique and most evil of all these sinister scoundrels. It was for this reason, as well as his unparalleled intelligence, that he led one of the first supervillain teams in history into battle against Earth's Mightiest Mortal and why he continues to be one of Shazam's greatest enemies.
Mister Mind's origins and powers have changed nearly as much as his appearance in the comics. Originally drawn as a goofy-looking cartoonish being wearing tiny little glasses, the modern comics depict Mister Mind as a more horrific and alien-looking being. Yet whatever his appearance or his backstory, Mister Mind is no one to be trifled with.
- This Page: Mister Mind's Comic Backstory & Powers
- Page 2 of 2: Mister Mind Reveals Himself In Shazam's Post-Credits Scene
Mister Mind's Comic Backstory & Powers
Mister Mind first appeared physically in Captain Marvel Adventures #26 in 1943. However, his voice was first heard several issues earlier in Captain Marvel Adventures #22, where he was introduced as a new criminal mastermind interested in furthering the cause of evil on an intergalactic level. To that end, he organized several of Captain Marvel's greatest enemies against him. Billy Batson would not learn the truth of his new enemy's origins until several issues later.
Mister Mind claimed to be a mutant from an alien species of silkworm unknown to Earthlings, blessed with an enhanced intelligence in addition to their natural ability to communicate telepathically by touch. This enabled him to control the mind of any being with whom he made physical contact. He also possessed the ability to spin a cocoon of nearly unbreakable silk in seconds, moving faster than the naked eye could see.
Mister Mind's backstory and powers were changed slightly when he and all the other classic Captain Marvel characters were integrated into a single DC Comics universe following the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline in 1986. In the new reality, Mister Mind was specifically identified as a native of the planet Venus and the only survivor of his race, who had attempted to conquer the Earth. His telepathic powers were also increased, no longer requiring direct physical contact.
Recently, Mister Mind was introduced into the current reality of DC Comics, also known as the Rebirth reality. While his origins are still being unfurled, it appears that the latest incarnation of Mister Mind is a magical being who was trapped in a bottle by the Council of Eternity, rather than an alien telepath. An entry in the Encyclopedia Of Magical Monsters says the Council of Eternity were uncertain as to his exact origins, but they believe that he's a bookworm who acquired magical powers by eating the spell-books and scrolls of wizards.
The Monster Society Of Evil Explained
While notable as a unique threat on his own, Mister Mind is also infamous for his role in forming the Monster Society of Evil. The group was composed of over forty of Captain Marvel's greatest individual enemies, including the mad-scientist Dr. Sivana, the super-strong Captain Nazi, the giant beastman King Kull, the radioactive robot Mister Atom and the super-criminal Ibac. Their ranks also included entire armies of sinister beings, such as a race of alien crocodile men, a gang of thugs whom Mister Mind dubbed the Tough Guys and the Monster Brigade - a specially formed unit of kaiju Mister Mind genetically engineered just to protect his undersea base. Even the Axis Powers fell under Mister Mind's command, with Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Hideki Tojo named as members of the Society.
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While not the first supervillain team in comic book history, the Monster Society of Evil was easily the most ambitious. They also headlined the longest-running serialized story of the Golden Age of American Comics, with the whole Monster Society of Evil story arc running for two years across 24 issues. The story came to a close in Captain Marvel Adventures #46 with Mister Mind's capture, trial on 186,744 counts of first-degree murder and his execution in a specially constructed miniature electric chair.
Mister Mind Reveals Himself In Shazam's Post-Credits Scene
While Mister Mind appeared in Shazam!, his presence was not immediately obvious. He can first be seen trapped within a glass bottle in the foyer before the wizard Shazam's throne room when a young Thaddeus Sivana is first summoned to the Rock of Eternity. Later, when Billy Batson arrives in the same foyer, the same bottle is seen to be broken, apparently destroyed when Dr. Sivana released the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man as an adult. Mister Mind finally reveals himself in the post-credits scenes, visiting Dr. Sivana in his prison cell.
Ever contemptuous of humanity, Mister Mind mocks Sivana and his efforts to recall the symbols that let him open a gateway to the Rock of Eternity, which he is desperately scribbling on the walls of his cell. While not dropping his name, Mister Mind tells Sivana that when it comes to acquiring magical power there are "more ways than a mind can imagine." The scene concludes with Mister Mind speaking of the fun that he and Dr. Sivana are going to have together.
While not a word-for-word recreation of Mister Mind and Dr. Sivana's first meeting in the comics, this scene is remarkably similar to the one which closed out the 2013 Shazam mini-series that reintroduced the characters of Billy Batson, Dr. Sivana and Mr. Mind into the current DC Comics universe and acting as the inspiration for Shazam! That scene showed Dr. Sivana, who had evaded arrest, in the foyer of the Rock of Eternity, unable to proceed any further thanks to a magical barrier. It is here that Mister Mind calls out to the would-be wizard, introducing himself and saying that the two of them "shall be the best of friends."
Mister Mind's Plan In Shazam 2
The post-credit scene of Shazam revealed something of Mister Mind's plans. They also revealed the possible setting of the sequel. As Dr. Sivana looks down with disbelief upon the talking worm with the little speaker, Mr. Mind boasts that "The Seven Realms are about to be ours!"
Also known as The Magiclands, the Seven Realms are a collection of worlds accessible through a magical subway station in the Rock of Eternity. Including the world of Earth (aka The Earthlands), there are the Funlands, the Gamelands, the Wildlands, the Darklands, the Monsterlands, and the Wozendorlands. The opening story arc of the current monthly Shazam comic sees Billy, Mary, Freddy, Darla, Eugene and Pedro deciding to start exploring these realms, starting with the Funlands - a true magic kingdom resembling a giant amusement park that puts Disneyland to shame.
Apart from the Earthlands and the Funlands, the only realms seen in the comics so far are the Gamelands and the Wildlands. The Gamelands resemble a giant arcade game full of races, like Tron mixed with Wreck-It Ralph. The Wildlands resemble the society of Zootopia, with anthropomorphic animals that wear clothes and act like humans. It is theorized in the Encyclopedia Of Magical Monsters that Mister Mind originally came from the Wildlands, though it seems likely he may also have come from the Monsterlands, which are completely sealed-off inside the magical train station.
Wherever the DCEU version of Mister Mind is from, it seems clear that, much as Shazam! borrowed heavily from the 2013 Shazam mini-series for its story, so too will the current storyline in the Shazam comic act as the basis for Shazam 2. It is unclear just how Mister Mind and Dr. Sivana will manage to pose a threat to seven whole realms, though it seems likely that an alliance with the denizens of the Monsterlands is a distinct possibility. Indeed, raising a literal society of monsters against Billy Batson and his super siblings may be just the thing to put Mister Mind back on the A-list of comic book supervillains.