Note: This post contains spoilers for the movie Shazam!
If you just left the theater after watching Shazam! and you stayed for the mid-credits scene, there’s a fair chance you’re asking yourself right now: What’s with the caterpillar?
At the start of the film, when a young Dr. Sivana is tempted in the Wizard Shazam’s Rock of Eternity cave, the film introduces a caterpillar in a case. In the middle of the film, the case is broken and the caterpillar has escaped. In the mid-credits scene, an imprisoned Dr. Sivana is scribbling symbols on the wall of his cell when the caterpillar appears and explains that he’s even more powerful than the Seven Deadly Sins or the wizard, and proposes an alliance.
This is definitely some comic book fan servicing here, as casual viewers will have no idea what this character is all about. But the character is apparently Mister Mind, whose first appearance goes all the way back to 1943 in one of the original Captain Marvel comics (the character Shazam, of course, was once called Captain Marvel, before all sorts of confusing things happened).
Leaning heavily on Wikipedia here, Mister Mind (a.k.a. Maxivermis Mind) is described as a hyper-intelligent two-inch alien worm from a distant planet who is affiliated with the rather bluntly titled Monster Society of Evil, one of comics’ original supervillian teams.
Mister Mind’s powers include telepathy (though he often speaks through a box around his neck), mind control, and mental image projection, as well as spinning indestructible silk at super-fast speeds. The current version has Mister Mind as the only survivor of a race of worms from Venus who once ruled our world. He aligns with Sivana and resides inside his ear.
Given that Shazam!’s box office (already topping $40 million worldwide) and reviews (92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) are both strong, a sequel is no-brainer, and this scene presumably sets up the next chapter of the story in which Mister Mind empowers Dr. Sivana to become an even greater threat to Shazam.