You may be looking for Shazam! (live action TV Show, 1974 to 1976).
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You may be looking for Shazam the Wizard.

Filmation Character
Captain Marvel
Cap (Shazam 1).png
Real name: Billy Batson
AKA: The World's Mightiest Mortal[1]
Species: Human
Homeworld: Earth
Universe: Earth-S
Hair: black
Eyes: blue
Height: 5'4 (6'2-6'3 in adult form)
Weight: 125 lbs
Relatives: Mary Batson (sister)
Captain Marvel, Jr. (apprentice)
Uncle Dudley
Occupation: Superhero
TV/radio news reporter
Base: Fawcett City
Marvel Estate
Affiliations: Marvel Family
part-time Justice Leaguer[2]
Rogue of: Dr. Sivana
Voiced/Played: Burr Middleton

Justice League of America Team Member

Marvel Family Member

Billy Batson as he appeared in Whiz Comics, #2 (1940).

Billy as he appeared in Shazam! #25 (October, 1976).

Captain Marvel as he appeared in Whiz Comics, #2 (1940).

Billy Batson is a reporter for the Fawcett City media conglomerate WHIZ Radio, but when he says the magic word, which is the name of an ancient wizard, Billy becomes Captain Marvel, a superhero. As Captain Marvel, he uses his fantastic powers to help defend his city from evil with the help of the rest of the Marvel Family.

Background Information

In the parallel universe of Earth-S, in 1940 Billy Batson is a homeless 10-12 year-old newsboy working for the Morning Herald.[3] He sleeps in the subway station of his home city, Fawcett City.[4]

One evening as Billy was hawking newspapers, a strange shadowy man in a long coat approached him. He beckoned Billy to follow him, and led him underground into a dilapidated subway station. A driverless subway car unlike any Billy had ever seen before, roared to the platform and the two got on board. The car sped off deeper underground, bringing them to a vast cavern known as the Rock of Eternity. Billy disembarked and both the subway train and the cloaked stranger disappeared. Before him Billy saw two rows of statues lining each side of the cavern. Each statue was forged in the likeness of a horrific monster, representing the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man. In the back of the cave sat an old man with a long beard wearing a robe sitting on a stone throne. Above him was a large boulder suspended from the ceiling of the cavern by a tiny, fraying thread. The old man introduced himself as a wizard Shazam, and told Billy that he had been chosen to be his champion against injustice. The wizard lit a container of hot coals to the left of the throne, illuminating the names of six mythological elders inscribed on the wall behind it: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury. He explained that each of these elders would bestow an aspect of their power unto Billy, and all the boy had to do to acquire such power was to speak the wizard's name. Billy will fight against evil, just as the wizard has done for last 3,000 years. He will secede the wizard who has grown too old to continue the fight. The wizard explains that Billy was chosen due to his misfortune: he had been thrown out by a greedy uncle who stole his inheritance following the deaths of his parents. He was also chosen because he was "pure of heart".[5]

Billy is ordered by the wizard to speak the name "Shazam." When he does, he is struck by a sudden bolt of lightning and transformed into a superpowered adult in a red costume with gold trim.[6] The Wizard Shazam then declares the new hero "Captain Marvel" and orders him to carry on his work, as a stone block suspended above his throne falls upon him, killing him as prophesied.[7]

Now, when young Billy says the word "Shazam" he summons the magic lightning becoming Captain Marvel, while Captain Marvel can say the magic word himself to become Billy again.[8]

Although Shazam was killed — as prophesied — by a giant granite block falling on him, Billy/Marvel could summon the ghost of Shazam for guidance by lighting a special brazier (a torch-like apparatus) in Shazam's lair, the Rock of Eternity.[9]

Young Billy Honors his commitment to the wizard, becoming the World's Mightiest Mortal – Captain Marvel. He begins to work as a radio announcer for WHIZ, becoming an ace reporter and the famous kid commentator.

While fighting evil, Captain Marvel comes across a young man who inadvertently got in evil’s way, Freddy Freeman. Billy is able to pass some of his powers onto this injured boy. All Freddie has to do is say Captain Marvel! Now Freddie is now as Captain Marvel, Jr..[10]

About a year later, the two meet Billy’s sister, Mary Bromfield. She apparently, by virtue of being his sister is able to utter the words Shazam and become super-powered. Billy calls her Mary Marvel.[11] In Mary's adventures, she comes across a man claiming to be her Uncle Dudley from California. He is aware of Captain Marvel and claims he has powers too. In reality, he is a quick change artist. He forms an 'Incorporation' called the Marvel Family. He uses the monies to aid the cause and support charities.[12]

After fighting evil with Marvel Junior and his sister Mary Marvel (in the form of Dr. Sivana or Black Adam) for about 13 years, Billy and his friends disappear. They were abducted by Doctor Sivana, his daughter Georgia and his son Sivana junior. They are put in 'suspended animation' so he could rule the world. Unfortunately for Sivana, he unwittingly trapped himself and his own family within the same 'stasis bubble'. As they approached the Sun, the heat began to vaporize the stasis bubble in orbit around Earth. Captian Marvel awoke first and was able to escape, freeing the others. Together, they destroyed the stasis bubble. Meanwhile, the Sivana family escaped.[13] In reality, 20 years have past. They all reappear in 1973, the same age. Interestingly young Billy has a job as a newscaster at WHIZ TV hosting a noon program.[14] Billy and his friends have many adventures fighting evil in many forms. Dr. Sivana returns, with new and plans for world domination. A few years later, Captain Marvel meets Isis.[15]

On the Captain’s next adventure he gets to do battle with our heroes from Earth-Two and Earth-One. The brutish villain, King Kull from Earth-S invades and takes over the Rock of Eternity, dwelling-place of Shazam and the elders. Only the swift Mercury escapes the attack, and the wizard Shazam (whose spirit inhabits the Rock since his earthly demise) telepathically instructs him to gather heroes from Earth-One, Earth-Two, and Earth-S to battle Kull's allies on three worlds. Superman of Earth-One teams up with Wonder Woman of Earth-Two to stop Blockbuster and Queen Clea of Atlantis, while Green Arrow of Earth-One and Spy Smasher battle Ibac and the Penguin, thus halting Kull's plan to obliterate humanity on Earth-Two.[16] With the powers of the elders inaccessible, Shazam's magic lightning no longer transforms Billy, Mary, or Freddy into the Marvel Family, so the newly recruited heroes of the JLA, JSA. and Squadron of Justice must act in their stead to save Earth-S. Batman and Robin of Earth-Two and Mr. Scarlet and Pinky overcome the Earth-Two Joker and the Weeper, while Hawkman and Hawkgirl team with Bulletman and Bulletgirl to defeat Dr. Light and the Shade.[17] The battle continues on Earth-One, as the two Flashes and Mercury tackle the robotic Mr. Atom, and Ibis joins forces with the two Green Lanterns to fight Brainiac. Meanwhile, Johnny Thunder's Thunderbolt takes the magic lightning's place and revives the Marvel Family: Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, and Captain Marvel, Jr. The Marvels and the victorious JLA/JSA/SSOJ heroes retake the Rock of Eternity, but not before Kull uses Red Kryptonite to turn Superman or Earth-One evil. Captain Marvel and Superman clash in a titanic struggle, which ends with a flash of Shazam lightning, curing Superman of the kryptonite's effects. Kull is captured at last, and the heroes return to their various Earths.[18]

Shortly after this, young Billy, Mary and Freddie are summoned to Shazam, along with a mysterious figure. It turns out to be Uncle Dudley! The wizard proceed to tell them that Dr. Sivana’s boasts of destroying America city by city and that its up to Captain Marvel to stop him. He will be accompanied by his Uncle, who tells Billy that Mr. Morris at WHIZ has arranged for the two of them to tour the country in an RV doing series of ‘specials on young people.’ The wizard then tells Dudley that he will be like ‘Mentor’ in “ancient times – the fiend of 'Odysseus' and teacher of that hero’s son, Telemachus”. Billy will not need to contact the wizard while on the road, he can contact the six elders directly via the "Eterni-Phone". Freddie and Mary are told to remain behind to fight injustice and evil awaiting Billy’s return. Billy and his ‘Mentor’ spend the next few years on the road.[19]

From Filmation's live-action series Shazam! (1974 to 1977)

As Billy Batson travels around the country with his Mentor, he learns a lot of valuable lessons. The highlight of this trip, is that he is able to help people and touch many peoples' lives. He on occasion teamed up with Isis (an Ancient Egyptian super heroine resurrected in the body of schoolteacher Andrea Thomas).[20]

From Hanna-Barbera's live-action Legends of the Superheroes Specials (1979)

It is revealed that Captain Marvel from Earth-S is a member or honorary-member of the Justice League from Earth-One (this may be due to his aid in defending the parallel worlds of Earth-One, Two and S.) He joins his fellow heroes at the Hall of Heroes in an honorary celebration of the retired superhero Retired Man, formerly known as the Scarlet Cyclone. The superheroes learn of an evil plot devised by a large group of supervillains, who plot to destroy the world. The heroes, including Captain Marvel, team-up to take down the villains. A short time later, he joins the same heroes in the Hall of Heroes once again, this time for a celebrity roast from Ed McMahon.

From Filmation's animated series The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam! (1981)

Billy Batson is back in his home city in Earth-S. He is a reporter for WIZZ-TV. Together, with his twin sister Mary Batson and his best friend Freddy Freeman they protect Fawcett City from Dr. Sivana, Black Adam, Mr. Mind and many other evil supervillains. They do this using Uncle Dudleys old name, the Marvel Family.

Powers and Abilities

As a young teenager, Billy Batson possesses the strength level of a boy his age, size and weight who engages in moderate regular exercise.

However, by speaking the name of the ancient wizard, "Shazam;" an enchanted lightning bolt comes down from out of the sky, striking Billy Batson, and transforming him into the adult Captain Marvel. When he wishes to return to his mortal form, he repeats the name "Shazam", and the same lightning bolt strikes Captain Marvel transforming him back into Billy Batson.

The various powers Captain Marvel has is derived from seven elder beings, all of whom form part of an acronym in the name Shazam. The following legendary figures can be found on a wall inside the Rock of Eternity (the lair of the wizard Shazam):

Divine Empowerment From:

 S olomon -     Great Wisdom:     From the Hebrew king, Solomon,[21] he derives great wisdom and the ability to hypnotize.    
 H ercules -     Great Strength:     From the Greek hero Hercules, he derives tremendous strength.    
 A tlas -     Great Stamina:     The stamina, allows him to go without food, sleeping or eating surviving unaided in space.    
 Z eus -     Olympian Powers:     This power grants him resistance against all magic spells and attacks.
  He is also able to use the lightning bolt as a weapon.    
 A chilles -     Great Courage:     He gains courage from the Hellenistic warrior Achilles; providing him enhanced mental fortitude.   
 M ercury -     Great Speed:
  He gains swiftness from the Roman god Mercury.
  By channeling Mercury's speed, Captain Marvel also has the ability to fly. He is also able to fly through space, faster than the speed of light and travel through time.[22]   


Captain Marvel's Origin

Captain Marvel and Mentor on the Road

Justice League Team Members


Shazam! live-action TV series (1974)

  • Episode list coming soon!

Legends of the Superheroes (1979)

The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam! (1981)

  • Episode list coming soon!


  • Captain Marvel was created in 1939 by artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker.
  • C.C. Beck modeled Captain Marvel's physical appearance after the American actor, Fred MacMurray.
  • The character first appeared in Whiz Comics vol. 1, # 2[23] (February 1940), published by Fawcett Comics.
  • Captain Marvel had a close analog called Captain Thunder on Earth-Forty (where he was Billy Batson)[24] and on Earth-276 (where he was William Fawcett). An unnamed analog also existed on Earth-423.
  • Originally, Captain Marvel was meant to appear in season 3 of the Super Friends series, but due to legal rights regarding the character, he couldn't be used until the live action adaptation. He did appear in some of the merchandise associated with the show.
  • In the late 1940's and early 1950's, Superman was being outsold by C.C. Beck's Captain Marvel line of comics -- until DC sued Fawcett for plagiarism and won. Some 20 or so years later, DC publisher Carmine Infantino decided to bring the Captain Marvel property back into print, and in 1972 he licensed the characters from Fawcett.[25] By by this time, Marvel Comics had produced their own character called Captain Marvel! Hence, the only way this comic could hit the stands was if it was called Shazam! It was -- and it ran for 35 issues.[26] Infantino attempted to give the Shazam! book the subtitle The Original Captain Marvel, but a cease and desist letter from Marvel Comics forced them to change the subtitle to The World's Mightiest Mortal, starting with Shazam! #15 (December 1974).[27]
  • The Shazam! comic series began with Shazam! #1 (Feb. 1973). It contained both new stories and reprints from the 1940s and 1950s. Dennis O'Neil was the primary writer of the book.[28] His role was later taken over by writers Elliot S. Maggin and E. Nelson Bridwell. C. C. Beck drew stories for the first ten issues of the book before quitting due to creative differences. Bob Oksner and Fawcett alumnus Kurt Schaffenberger were among the later artists of the title. Shazam! was heavily rewritten as of issue #34 (April 1978), and Bridwell provided more realistic stories, accompanied by similar art; the first issue was drawn by Alan Weiss and Joe Rubinstein, and thereafter by Don Newton, a longtime fan of the character,[29] and Schaffenberger. Nevertheless, the next issue was the last one, though the feature was kept alive in a back-up position in the Dollar Comics-formatted run of World's Finest Comics (from #253, October/November 1978, to #282, August 1982, skipping only #271, which featured a full-length origin of the Superman-Batman team story). Schaffenberger left the feature after #259, and the inking credit subsequently varied.
  • As all subsequent toys and other merchandise featuring the character have also been required to use the "Shazam!" label with little to no mention of the name "Captain Marvel", the title became so linked to Captain Marvel that many people took to identifying the character as "Shazam" instead of "Captain Marvel".[30]
  • Captain Marvel is noted as being as from Earth-S (as designated in Shazam! #1, 1973) though a Post-Crisis version from Earth-85 appeared. We have added him to the Earth-1A universe for continuity purposes.[31]
  • In the Superfriends universe, it is unknown if Captain Marvel is supposed to be a member of the Justice League of America or not. He was present in the live action episodes, but it was never confirmed if he was a member or not.
  • On Rebirth Earth 3 Captain Marvel had a counterpart called Mazahs (who was Alexander Luthor) whose magic word allowed him to absorb the powers of anyone he was in contact with.


Appearances in Other Media

Captain Marvel DCAU.png Captain Marvel Captain Marvel was a superhero who protected Fawcett City, and a former member of the Justice League. William "Billy" Batson was a young boy who by saying the magic word "SHAZAM" became the powerful and popular crime-fighter Captain Marvel. Still coming into his own as a young super-hero, Billy would strive to follow the example of his favorite hero: Superman. To his credit, Captain Marvel quickly became respected and admired, both in his home of Fawcett City and beyond. He was eventually extended an invitation to join the expanded Justice League. Billy believed in fair play, taking people at their word and giving them the benefit of the doubt, an optimistic viewpoint that very often borders on naiveté (but then, he's still in grade school). He attended C.C. Binder Elementary School.
- For more on Captain Marvel see article at 'DCAU'

External Links


  1. A very strange alias, considering he's immortal when he's Captain Marvel.
  2. It was established in Legends of the Superheroes that Captain Marvel is a member of the Justice League. It was also established that he is not from a parallel universe like his comic book counterpart, who was from Earth-S. He is from Earth-1A like all the other JLA members.
  3. Hamerlinck, P.C., ed. (2001). Fawcett Companion: The Best of FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America). Raleigh, NC: TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 28–29. ISBN 1-893905-10-1.
  4. Ordway, Jerry (1994). The Power of Shazam!. New York: DC Comics. ISBN 1-56389-153-0.
  5. This addition was added in later retellings of Billy’s origin. As revealed in Shazam! #1 (1973).
  6. As revealed in Whiz Comics, #2 (1940).
  7. As revealed in Shazam! #1 (1973).
  8. As revealed in Whiz Comics, #2 (1940).
  9. As revealed in Shazam! #1 (1973).
  10. As revealed in Whiz Comics, #25 (December, 1941).
  11. As revealed in Captain Marvel Adventures, #18 (December, 1942).
  12. As revealed in Wow Comics, #18 (October, 1943) and Issue #24 (April, 1944).
  13. As revealed in Shazam! #1 (1973).
  14. As revealed in Shazam! #5 (August, 1973).
  15. As revealed in Shazam! #25 (October, 1976).
  16. As revealed in Justice League of America, #135 (October, 1976).
  17. As revealed in Justice League of America, #136 (November, 1976).
  18. As revealed in Justice League of America, #137 (December, 1976).
  19. As depicted in Shazam! #26 (Dec 1976) - Shazam! #28 (April, 1977).
  20. Isis would later appear as part of a team called The Freedom Force but it is unknown if this was that reality.
  21. Solomon is the only figure in the list not taken from Greco-Roman mythology.
  22. Like the Silver Age Superman.
  23. Go to DC Database for more on Whiz Comics vol. 1, # 2
  24. Because he appeared in the ashcan comic Flash Comics #1, the Earth-Forty Captain Thunder predates Captain Marvel.
  25. Smith, Zack (31 December 2010). "An Oral History of CAPTAIN MARVEL: The Shazam Years, pt. 1". Newsarama.
  26. Smith, Zack (30 December 2010). "An Oral History of CAPTAIN MARVEL: The Lost Years, pt. 3". Newsarama.
  27. Mary, Cap, and Junior appeared in both new stories and reprints of their classic stories.
  28. McAvennie, Michael (2010). "1970s". In Dolan, Hannah. DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. In 1972, DC acquired the rights to Captain Marvel and in 1973 they launched the series Shazam!, which re-established the Captain Marvel mythos...Responsible for resurrecting the lightning-charged champion, writer Denny O'Neil and original artist C. C. Beck together explained Cap's absence.
  29. Wilson, Bill G. (1969). "Interview with Don Newton". The Collector (17).
  30. "Exclusive: Geoff Johns Hopes Lightning Strikes SHAZAM!". 2012-01-26.
  31. See article Earth-1A for more details.
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