Shazam! Referenced This Weird DC Character Before Peacemaker Did

Shazam! referenced weird DC character Matter-Eater Lad before Peacemaker did it. James Gunn’s HBO Max show centered on John Cena’s The Suicide Squad assassin has proven to be a treasure trove of Easter eggs for hard core DC fans.

Indeed Gunn seems to have a particular love for some of the more obscure characters featured in DC Comics over the years. The Suicide Squad of course had room for loads of less-than-well-known figures like Polka-Dot Man, Ratcatcher, King Shark and Javelin alongside famous ones like Harley Quinn. Gunn’s Peacemaker TV show has predictably followed suit by giving the stage to its own deep-cut DC characters like Vigilante, Judomaster and White Dragon. But it’s also shouted-out a few offbeat heroes from the pages of the comics without showing them, most notably Bat-Mite and Matter-Eater Lad.

Related: Everything We Know About Shazam 2

But it turns out Gunn isn’t the only DCEU movie director who has a fondness for the weirder nooks and crannies of DC lore. Shazam! director David F. Sandberg has also rummaged around in the DC attic and in fact shouted out Matter-Eater Lad before Gunn’s Peacemaker did it. In an exchange on Twitter, Sandberg confirmed a moment in Shazam! that pays tribute to the literal matter-eating Legion of Super-Heroes member Tenzil Kem. See the tweet in the space below:

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The above tweet indeed attests to the scene where Zachary Levi’s Shazam tests out his superpowers and discovers that sadly he does not possess the ability to eat matter. As it happens, Sandberg had prior occasion to (perhaps jokingly) express interest in directing a Matter-Eater Lad movie, proving his affection for that less-than-famous character. In true Peacemaker fashion, Gunn’s show made far wackier mention of Matter-Eater Lad, as Peacemaker told a story about being traumatized by his team-up with the character, revealing that he once watched MEL eat an entire restaurant because he was angry about how his fries were cooked.

Between Shazam!’s indirect reference and Peacemaker’s more direct shout-out it seems Matter-Eater Lad is having himself a little cultural moment. It remains to be seen however if this moment will lead to a ground swell of fan interest in seeing Matter-Eater Lad properly join the DCEU. Gunn surely would be the perfect person to realize such a bizarre character, and no doubt a reunion between Peacemaker and his former partner would make for some terrific off-the-wall comedy. But perhaps Sandberg still wants his own shot at making the character come to life somewhere down the road. Indeed, a battle could be brewing between Peacemaker creator Gunn and Shazam! helmer Sandberg over who ultimately gains ownership of Matter-Eater Lad in the DCEU.

More: Peacemaker Just Confirmed ANOTHER Joker Exists In The DCEU

Source: David F. Sandberg/Twitter