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Captain Marvel is a comic book superhero, originally
published by Fawcett Comics and later by DC Comics.
Created in 1939 by artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill
Parker, the character first appeared in Whiz Comics #2
(February 1940). With a premise that taps adolescent
fantasy, Captain Marvel is the alter ego of Billy
Batson, a youth who works as a radio news reporter and
was chosen to be a champion of good by the wizard
Shazam. Whenever Billy speaks the wizard's name, he is
instantly struck by a magic lightning bolt that
transforms him into an adult superhero empowered with
the abilities of six mythical figures. Several friends
and family members, most notably Marvel Family cohorts
Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr, can share Billy's
power and become "Marvels" themselves.
Hailed as "The World's Mightiest Mortal" in his
adventures, Captain Marvel was nicknamed "The Big Red
Cheese" by archvillain Doctor Sivana, an epithet later
adopted by Captain Marvel's fans. Based on sales,
Captain Marvel was the most popular superhero of the
1940s, as his Captain Marvel Adventures comic book
series sold more copies than Superman and other
competing superhero books during the mid-1940s.
Excerpt: "Iíve always felt that it was this origin
story and concept that made Captain Marvel instantly
popular, to the point that it was outselling every
comic on the stands for several years throughout the
'40s."} Captain Marvel was also the first comic book
superhero to be adapted to film, in 1941 (The
Adventures of Captain Marvel).
Shazam Captain Marvel