28 Aug 2020: #ComicBytes: Interesting facts about Shazam!
Alright, long story short: Billy Batson's parents died when he was still a baby. The orphan fended for himself, but one day, he reached the Rock of Eternity.
Here, the ancient wizard Shazam made teenage Billy his new champion, with powers to transform himself into an adult superhero by saying 'Shazam!'.
This superhero-boy has an interesting history. Read ahead to know more.
Captain Marvel: Earlier known as Captain Marvel till a controversy erupted
This character now known as Shazam, was published as Captain Marvel by Fawcett Comics in 1939.
However, DC Comics filed a lawsuit against the publication, calling the character a rip-off of Superman.
While Fawcett dropped the superhero, Marvel introduced their own Captain Marvel and claimed sole ownership of the name.
Later, DC bought the rights to Fawcett's Captain Marvel and reintroduced him as Shazam.
Universe: Shazam had his own parallel universe
This was kind of necessary to reintroduce the character, to be honest.
Since Shazam had too many similarities to Superman, writers didn't want to confuse the readers.
After renaming Captain Marvel to Shazam, Billy Batson and other Fawcett Comics characters were given an entirely original universe called Earth-S.
But, after Crisis on Infinite Earths, Shazam was brought into the mainline DC Universe.
Family: He is the first superhero to get a super family
Fawcett Comics established an entire family around Captain Marvel, which featured Captain Marvel Jr. (Freddy Freeman), and Mary Marvel, Billy Batson's twin sister, who also gained similar powers.
Lieutenant Marvels, who become Fat Marvel, Tall Marvel, and Hillbilly Marvel were also included.
DC introduced a modern Shazam! Family, with Billy's fellow foster kids, Freddy, Mary, Eugene Choi, Darla Dudley, and Pedro Peña.
Definition: Meanwhile, what does Shazam! mean?
Billy Batson is a normal being with the strengths of a boy his age. But when he says "Shazam!" and summons the magic of the Living Lightning, it transforms him into a superhero.
The abilities 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.
Pretty neat right?
Powers: In his magically empowered form, he is a demi-god
Shazam is almost immortal in his magically empowered form.
Not only can he recover from injuries quickly, he also has strength, speed, and stamina similar to Superman and Wonder Woman.
He's unaffected by Earth weaponry and attack because his skin and muscles are bullet-proof.
While the wisdom of Solomon enhances Shazam's mind, The Living Lightning gives him the ability to generate and control lightning.