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Captain Marvel

Captain marvel DC.jpg

Real Name
Billy Batson
First Appearance
Whiz Comics #2 (February, 1940)
C. C. Beck, Bill Parker
Team Affliations
The Marvel Family, The Justice League, The Justice Society of America, The Squadron of Justice, Justice League Unlimited (animation only)
SHAZAM (recent), Captain Thunder, Marvel, Black Billy
Base of Operations
Fawcett City, New York City (Earth-S)
Super-strength, speed and stamina, Physical and magical invulnerability, Flight, vast wisdom and enhanced intellect, Control over and emission of magic lightning
Skills and Abilities
Fighting Experience, Reporting experience
Tools and Weapons

Billy Batson is the first superhero named Captain Marvel created by Fawcett Comics and is currently a part of the DC Universe.


Billy Batson was an orphan who was chosen by the wizard Shazam to use the power of the gods to fight evil. Now, when he says SHAZAM, Billy turns from a young boy to an adult superhero named Captain Marvel.


Fawcett Comics[]

Billy Batson was born in 1930 in New York City, born to Merrill and Jocelyn Batson. When Billy was still 6 months old, Merrill and Jocelyn tragically died in a car accident. Billy was sent to live with his heartless uncle, Ebenezer Batson, but eventually he sent Billy out to live on the streets, forcing the child to survive on his own. By about 1940, he had become a newsboy in order to pay for food.

One evening while selling papers, Billy was guided into the subway by a mysterious stranger. He entered a strange, driverless subway car with drove into an underground cave that contained giant statues labeled the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man (Laziness, Hatred, Pride, Envy, Greed, Selfishness, and Injustice). He then met the mysterious man, an old wizard named Shazam, sitting on a throne under an enourmous boulder held only by a tiny thread. Shazam revealed that this was his lair, the Rock of Eternity, and that he had been watching Billy's hardships as an orphan. He also revealed the name of 6 mythical figures next to his throne: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury. Shazam told Billy that because of his goodness and determination that he was chosen to become the world's champion with each of these "mythical elders" granting him a signicant aspect of their beings. Shazam told Billy that he need only speak Shazam's name to become such a champion.

Billy did just that and was struck by lightning, which transformed him into a muscular adult. Shazam then dubbed the boy Captain Marvel and saluted him, but only moments after, the thread holding the boulder above Shazam snapped, causing the boulder to crush Shazam.  However, Shazam's spirit arose and promised Captain Marvel that he would always be available should he need guidance in the Rock of Eternity, should it be needed.

Captain Marvel[]

From then on, Billy Batson used his superhero identity to fight crime, turning into Captain Marvel by saying "Shazam!" when trouble arose. The next day, Batson had his first adventure, hunting down the criminal mad scientist, Dr. Sivana, who blackmailed radio stations by hijacking their airwaves. Though Captain Marvel defeats Sivana's schemes, the villain managed to escape and Marvel promised to one day catch him. Captain Marvel and Sivana (later with the beautiful alien Beautia) continued to match wits and Sivana even managed to learn Captain Marvel's identity but the two never seemed able to completely defeat the other, with Marvel foiling Sivana's schemes but Sivana always capable to escaping and surviving seemingly certain death. Marvel would also battle other villains as well but it would seem most of his early adventures pitted him against Sivana. Marvel also ends up befriending Beautia, who reveals to him that she, as well as Sivana's musclebound henchman Magnificus, are Sivana's Children.

Captain Marvel later has a battle against the hero Spy Smasher, a patriotic hero hypnotized into believing himself a villain. Billy Batson would also meet three other boys, all named Billy Batson, who through a twist of fate gained the same powers as Captain Marvel. Seeing this as a gift to help people, they called themselves as the Lieutenant Marvels (as well as the Squadron of Justice). They included Hill Marvel (a Southern member), Fat Marvel (an obese member) and Tall Marvel (a tall member). Together, they helped battle Dr. Sivana and his team, the Vengeful Four. Marvel and Billy also make the acquaintance of Whitey Murphy, a world traveler who gives them the heads up on various mysteries outside the country.

DC Origins[]

The basic elements of Billy Batson's and Captain Marvel's origin story remained more or less intact through 2012, with minor alterations over the years. Roy & Dann Thomas's 1987 miniseries Shazam! The New Beginning had a 15-year-old Billy being forced to move in with Doctor Sivana, who in this version is the cruel uncle who throws Billy out into the street. Jerry Ordway's 1994 Power of Shazam! graphic novel, which became the character's definite origin through 2011, featured a ten-year-old Billy being chosen as the Wizard Shazam's champion, due to the influence of his archaeologist parents; the mysterious stranger from magic subway car is the ghost of Billy's father in this version. Both the Thomases' and Ordway's retellings of the origin directly tie the need for the Wizard Shazam to draft a younger replacement to the coming re-emergence of Black Adam, the wizard's first champion from the days of ancient Egypt who became evil and was due to escape thousands of years of banishment.

New 52[]

In 2012, writer and then-DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns revised Billy Batson's origin for DC's New 52 universe, also renaming the character's alter-ego as "Shazam" at this time. In his new origin story, Billy Batson is a moody and troubled 15-year-old foster child living in Philadelphia who has gone through several foster homes. At his newest foster home under Victor and Rosa Vázquez, Billy gains five foster siblings: "den mother" Mary Bromfield, trickster and pick-pocket Freddy Freeman, shy and quiet Pedro Peña, brainy Eugene Choi, and energetic Darla Dudley. When the evil Dr. Sivana unleashes the ancient magical warrior Black Adam from his tomb, the Wizard of the Rock of Eternity—the last of a council of beings who once controlled magic—begins abducting candidates to assess them for the job of being his champion. He dismisses each of them for not being pure of heart. (In the New 52, Billy Batson has to be a superhero and at the same time the successor of Wizard Shazam, because he died shortly after giving them the powers and then Billy Batson uses it as the superhero name Shazam) Eventually, the Wizard summons Billy, who is another unsuitable candidate, but Billy persuades the Wizard that perfectly good people "really don't exist," and that, while he himself tried to be good, the world dragged Billy down to its level. In desperation and seeing the "embers of good" within Billy, the dying Wizard passes on his powers and teaches Billy they can be accessed through the magic word "Shazam" when spoken with good intentions. After saying the magic word, Billy is struck by a bolt of lightning which transforms him into Shazam, a super-powered adult possessing super-strength, flight, and vast magical powers. The Wizard dies and Shazam is transported back to Earth, where Billy reveals his new secret to Freddy. The two scheme to make money and score beer with Shazam's new powers, but Shazam is instead led to crime scenes where he is needed as a hero. Shazam and Freddy have a falling out when Shazam refuses to change back into Billy, and as soon as Freddy heads back home, Shazam is attacked by Black Adam. Billy is saved only by mending his relationships with Freddy, Mary, Eugene, Pedro, and Darla. When Adam again attacks, unleashing the Seven Deadly Sins on downtown Philadelphia and threatening to kill the other kids, Billy shares his powers with them, who all become magic-powered adult superheroes (except for Darla, who remains a child). Ultimately, Billy goads Adam into saying the magic word and transforming into his human form, at which point he promptly turns to dust. Although he had contemplated running away, Billy decides to stay with his new family, having learned to be a better and more open person.


He appeared in Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Batman the Brave and the Bold, and Young Justice. Later on he became a hero helping his city and the world where he joined the Justice League and one time he beat Superman in a fight taking place in Lex Luthor's city after that he quit the Justice League of America. But eventually joined back he also took care of the Young Justice team.


  • Captain Marvel's first appearance in Warner Bros. Animation's line of DC Universe Animated Original Movies direct-to-video films was a brief cameo in 2008's Justice League: The New Frontier. The character had a more substantial role in the 2009 animated film Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, based on a Superman/Batman comic book arc in which Marvel battles Superman under orders from United States President Lex Luthor. Captain Marvel was voiced by Corey Burton. An uncredited Rachael MacFarlane voiced Billy Batson.
  • An evil version of Captain Marvel, named Captain Super, has a minor role in the 2010 animated film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. One of the film's main villains, and Captain Super's superior, is Superwoman of the Crime Syndicate of the alternate universe Earth-3, who in this film is an evil counterpart of Mary Marvel.
  • Captain Marvel appears in a animated short film entitled Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, released on the DC Showcase Original Shorts Collection DVD compilation as part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies, 2010. Jerry O'Connell returns from the Justice League Unlimited animated TV show as the voice of Captain Marvel, with Billy Batson voiced by Zach Callison.
  • The New 52 version is used in the Justice League War and Shazam films!


He can turn into a grown man superhero. In this form he possess 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. The "power of Zeus" has always been described as the lightning bolt that appears out of nowhere and turns him into Captain Marvel, with him only being able to use it to attack if he evades him after he says the magic word and so he hits someone else. When the comics went through the New 52 restart, that was changed for him to have even electrical powers.

Enternal Links[]