1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Shazam (formerly known as Captain
Marvel) is a superhero originally published by Fawcett Comics
and later by DC Comics. Created in 1939 by artist C. C. Beck and
writer Bill Parker, he first appeared in Whiz Comics #2 (February
1940) with a premise that taps adolescent fantasy. Shazam is the
alter ego of Billy Batson who works as a radio news reporter and was
chosen to be a champion of good by an ancient wizard (also named
Shazam). Whenever Billy speaks the word "Shazam!", he is struck by a
magic lightning bolt that transforms him into an adult superhero
empowered with the abilities of six archetypal, historical figures.
Several friends and family members, most notably Marvel
Family/Shazam 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,
Shazam/Captain Marvel was nicknamed "The Big Red Cheese" by
arch-villain 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 books of
the time. Captain Marvel was also the first comic book superhero to
be adapted to film, in a 1941 Republic Pictures serial titled
Adventures of Captain Marvel.
Fawcett ceased publishing Captain Marvel-related comics in 1953, due
in part to a copyright infringement suit from DC Comics alleging
that Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman. In 1972, DC licensed the
Marvel Family characters and returned them to publication, acquiring
all rights to the characters by 1991. DC has since integrated
Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family into their DC Universe, and
have attempted to revive the property several times with mixed
Because Marvel Comics trademarked their Captain Marvel comic book
during the interim between the original Captain Marvel's Fawcett
years and DC years, DC has used the trademark Shazam! to promote the
property since 1972, instead of the name "Captain Marvel".
Consequently, Captain Marvel himself has often been referred to as
"Shazam", leading to DC to rename the character as such with their
New 52 relaunch in 2012.
Captain Marvel was ranked as the 55th greatest comic book character
of all time by Wizard magazine. IGN also ranked Captain Marvel as
the 50th greatest comic book hero of all time, stating that Captain
Marvel will always be an enduring reminder of a simpler time. UGO
Networks also placed him as one of the top heroes of entertainment,
quoting, "At his best, Shazam has always been Superman with a sense
of crazy, goofy fun".
Shazam Fan Art