The highly anticipated sequel to Shazam!, appropriately titled Shazam! Fury of the Gods, arrives in theaters on March 17, 2023. The film stars Zachary Levi and Asher Angel as Billy Batson, a teen who becomes an adult with superpowers when he says, "SHAZAM!"
During the sequel film, Billy must face off against the formidable Daughters of Atlas, a group of mythical women played by Hollywood legends Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and rising star Rachel Zegler. Who are the Daughters of Atlas? What are their powers? And why do they have such an enormous grudge against Billy and his family? Here's what we know.
Who are the daughters of Atlas in 'Shazam! Fury of the Gods'?
It shouldn't be a surprise that many comic books, including both DC and Marvel, take inspiration from Greek mythology. In Greek mythology, the Titan Atlas, who holds up the sky, has many demigoddess daughters, including the Hesperides (who guard the golden apples of immortality) and Calypso, the nymph who seduced Odysseus.
In the comic book realm, Hespera (Helen Mirren), Kalypso (Lucy Liu) and Anthea (Rachel Ziegler) are the Daughters of Atlas. An official write-up by DC lists Hespera as "The eldest Daughter of Atlas and Guard of the Tree of Life, Hespera comes to Earth seeking retribution for the death of her father and fellow gods."
Similarly, Lucy Liu's Kalypso is described as "The deadliest of Atlas’s Daughters, and Guard of the Tree of Life, Kalypso holds the Power of Chaos. She whispers terrible, maddening, mind-controlling utterances to mortals in her bid to take revenge on the humans who destroyed the gods."
Rachel Zegler's character, Anthea, is the "quiet, mysterious new girl at school who befriends Freddy Freeman is actually the millennia-old goddess Anthea, Daughter of Atlas. With the Power of Axis, Anthea can rotate the earth beneath her feet, sending all those around her into a spin."
From very early in the trailers, Hespera tells Billy that "children stole the power of the gods" and the reason behind their feud is "very personal." Comic book fans recognize that the word "SHAZAM" is not a word but an acronym, standing for the different powers the superhero possesses.
The powers listed are: the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. Naturally, with one part of Billy's powers deriving from Atlas, the sisters believe that he and his siblings are responsible for the death of the gods.
Will Billy and the rest of the SHAZAM-ily save the world from the wrathful sisters? You can find out when Shazam! Fury of the Gods hits theaters on March 17, 2023.