- SHAZAM! – After exploring five of the seven magiclands and meet again with his estranged father, C.C. Batson, Billy discovered than many of these events had been manipulations of Mr. Mind who had just released the Monster Society of Evil on earth, ready to destroy him and his family.
When young William Joseph (Billy) Batson’s parents were killed by their treacherous assistant Theo Adam (who was revealed to be the ancient villain Teth-Adam – better known as the nefarious Black Adam), he was separated from his sister Mary and sent to live with their Uncle. Unfortunately, his uncle soon kicked Billy out and stole his inheritance. Living on the streets, Billy survived by selling newspapers until one day a strange cloaked man lead him to a part of the subway which he had never seen before. A marvelous train awaited them, covered in hieroglyphs and runes. Billy and the stranger boarded and rode the train deep into the bowels of the Earth eventually stopping in a long cavern which housed statues of the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man. There Billy met the ancient wizard Shazam who had protected mankind from the Seven Deadly Enemies for thousands of years. Shazam had observed Billy as he dealt with and endured the trials and hardships of his young life. Shazam was impressed with Billy’s irrepressible altruism and optimism. He determined Billy was the worthy and proper recipient of the power of the Elders, and it was thus that Billy was chosen to become Shazam’s latest champion and granted the powers the Elders; Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury whenever he spoke the wizard’s name (SHAZAM!) aloud.
Billy Batson is a bright young man with a warm and light-hearted personality. He is kind, optimistic, courageous and altruistic. Although he will usually try to avoid physical confrontation, he will always stand up for what is right no matter the personal risks or cost. Billy idolizes Superman and, despite their many clashes, has tried to follow the Man of Steel’s heroic example. Billy is quite protective of his twin sister Mary, both before and after she was also given the power of the elders and became Mary Marvel. Billy’s altruistic and protective side was also evident when he defended Freddy Freeman against Captain Nazi and even persuaded the wizard SHAZAM to give the injured/crippled Freddy a share of the elders’ power transforming him into Captain Marvel, Jr. In this new super-powered identity, Freddy used his powers to fight crime, injustice and evil as a member of the Marvel Family. Throughout the super-human community Billy is generally perceived as Boy Scout, perhaps even more so than his idol Superman. Captain Marvel’s pure heart, good nature and irrepressible good nature have made him extremely hard to dislike, thus, appropriately, he gets along with the vast majority of people he meets.
Noticing the success of Superman at National Comics (DC’s forerunner), Fawcett Publications decided to publish their own comic book stories. In 1939, artist C.C. Beck and writer Bill Parker created ” Captain Thunder” and published Flash Comics #1 (also known as Thrill Comics). Due to trademark concerns, Flash Comics was renamed Whiz Comics for issue #2. Before the comic went into print, artist Pete Costanza suggested changing the name of the issue’s lead character “Captain Marvelous” which was shortened by editors to Captain Marvel. He first appeared as the featured character in Whiz Comics #2. The physical appearance of Captain Marvel was based on that of Hollywood movie actor Fred MacMurray.
In 1941, National Comics sued Fawcett for copyright infringement. After several years of litigation, the case eventually went to trial in 1948 and was ruled in Fawcett’s favor in 1951 with the judge deciding that Superman hadn’t been properly copyrighted by National. After an appeal Judge Billings Learned Hand found Superman’s copyright was valid but Captain Marvel did not infringe it, only some of his stories. In the face of further action, Fawcett agreed to stop publishing the character and settled out of court for $400,000 in 1953. Shortly after these events Fawcett also decided to shut down its comic book division due to the declining sales of comic books. Ironically, DC later licensed the character from Fawcett in 1972. However, DC couldn’t officially publish or market a comic book called “Captain Marvel” because during the years between 1953 (when Fawcett stopped publishing Captain Marvel comics) and 1972, Fawcett’s copyright on the name had lapsed and was subsequently picked up and used by DC’s chief competitor; Marvel Comics. Because of this legal (copyright and trademark) complication, DC was forced to come up with a different name for the comic book. They decided to call the book SHAZAM! after Captain Marvel’s magic word. In the comics and ads DC published and marketed, they officially referred to Captain Marvel as “Shazam” and called his cast of characters the “Shazam Family.” Despite this legal, official name change, within the comic stories Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel, Jr. and the Marvel Family were still identified using and referred to by their original “Marvel” names.
Pre-Crisis Captain Marvel was from a different earth (Earth-S) than the other mainstream DC heroes, this is why in some silver age crossovers there is a character very much resembling Captain Marvel but referred to as Captain Thunder, this character was a pastiche to Captain Marvel. The Pre-Crisis Captain Marvel’s origin is only slightly different from the current Captain Marvel. Originally, the wizard Shazam was apparently killed after Billy’s first transformation into Captain Marvel, though he would often appear as a ghost during the run of the series.
At the Rock of Eternity, Billy learned that the stranger who led him to the wizard was in fact his father. Billy chose to remain Captain Marvel and, naturally, to use Shazam’s gifts for good. He also searched for his twin sister, Mary, eventually finding her. Once they were reunited, Billy decided to share his power with her. Having received the power of the Elders from her brother, Billy, Mary was also transformed by speaking the wizard’s name (Shazam!) and became Mary Marvel. Later, Billy also shared his power with his and Mary’s mutual friend, Freddy Freeman, who became Captain Marvel Jr. whenever he spoke the name “Captain Marvel.” Billy gave Freddy the power of the Elders after he’d been crippled by Captain Nazi. The power of the Elders is thus split evenly between these three heroes. Other members of the Marvel Family include the non-powered but similarly attired Uncle Marvel, a “lovable old fraud” who first met the Marvel’s when he sought out Mary to return her “Good Deed Ledger.” Dudley claimed he had the same superpowers as the Marvels and to be Mary’s long lost uncle. Despite the fact that he had no powers and he wasn’t Mary and Billy’s uncle, he endeared himself to the Marvel’s so much that they accepted him into their family anyway.
The 1940`s version of Captain Marvel is in public domain, but the DC Comic’s version is not.
The first post-Crisis appearance of Captain Marvel was in the late 80s, 1986 Legends miniseries. In 1987, Captain Marvel appeared as a member of the Justice League, and that same year (spinning-off from Legends), he was also given his own miniseries titled Shazam! The New Beginning. With this four-issue miniseries, writers attempted to re-launch the Captain Marvel mythos and bring the wizard Shazam, Dr. Sivana, Uncle Dudley, and Black Adam into the modern DC Universe with an altered origin story.
The most notable change that DC introduced into the Captain Marvel mythos was that the personality of young Billy Batson is retained when he transforms into the Captain; this change would remain for most future uses of the character as justification for his sunny, Golden-Age personality in the darker modern-day comic book world instead of the Golden Age depiction which tended to treat Captain Marvel and Billy as two separate personalities. At the end of the arc, presented in the mini-series Shazam! The New Beginning. it was announced that this would lead to a new Shazam! ongoing series, which failed to materialize.
Captain Marvel would return to his own title with writer/penciler Jerry Ordway as his main creative force. This return started with the publication of the graphic novel Power of Shazam (1994), which was followed by an ongoing series with the same name. In this series, many of the most classic elements from the original Captain Marvel were recovered and adapted, including the return of old fiends such as Black Adam, King Kull, Ibac, Captain Nazi, Doctor Sivana, Mister Mind, the Monster Society of Evil and more. Captain Marvel joined the Justice League of America and served with them for a brief time. He also joined the Justice Society of America with keeping an eye on another member; the “reformed” Black Adam who also happened to be one of his greatest and most powerful enemies. Interestingly, Captain Marvel stayed with the team even after Black Adam left. As a member, Marvel began to date Stargirl, however he eventually left the team due to a misunderstanding with other members.
After the Infinite Crisis the wizard Shazam was killed by the Spectre during the Day of Vengeance. The Rock of Eternity was also destroyed spreading many ancient and evil magics. With help from Zatanna and other heroes, Captain Marvel imprisoned the Seven Deadly Sins and rebuilt the Rock. He was then appointed to take the Wizard’s place as Lord Marvel, and chose Freddy Freeman to be his champion, Shazam.
This unstable status quo would exists until 2010.
In the 2011 wide line DC reboot know as the New52, Captain Marvel was rebooted along many other characters and officially rebranded as Shazam. This time the personality of Billy Batson was more tough and brash, being qualified as a problem child. However despite his personality, he was still a good person in his heart, good enough to be considered worthy of the power of Shazam for the Wizard. This time Billy also is member of a extended and multiracial foster family, The Vasquez, who would share his power.
In the line know as Rebirth, Shazam finally received his own title again. Shazam elements from the new52 retconning were keep, including the exploration of the realms known as magiclands and the mystery behind the search of Sivana. The series is still in publication.
Shazam also has been relevant in the saga of the Year of the villian. Infected by one of the Batarangs from the Batman who laughs with elements from the Dark Multiverse, Shazam evolved int King Shazam, an evil distortion pf his own self. Thanks to Lex Luthor the infection was stopped.
Major Story Arcs
For Further Information: Superman/Shazam First Thunder
This series was intended to be the first meeting and collaboration (continuity-wise) between the Last Son of Krypton and the World’s Mightiest Mortal. The Wizard Shazam chooses young Billy Batson to wield the power of the gods because of his innocent soul and pure heart. Superman stumbles onto a museum robbery. When inspecting it, he finds thieves and when confronting them they release a magical monster to distract Superman long enough to escape. Elsewhere, Captain Marvel is fighting giant robots in Fawcett City. Not having the bad luck Superman had, Captain Marvel prevails in his battle. Dr. Thaddeus Sivana; with the defeat of his robots, calls the aid of a person whom has difficulty with another caped hero, Lex Luthor. After seeing the theft of the museum in the paper, Billy takes the initiative and stakes out The McKeon History Museum in Fawcett City. Transforming into Captain Marvel, he enters the building and finds the men whom Superman had ran across previously. After the thieves used the stolen magical items to release the creatures, Captain Marvel struggled for a moment, but is visited by an unexpected helper, Superman. With the help of Superman, they defeat the monsters; however the thieves have yet again escaped. While having a conversation on Mount Everest, the thieves’ use the magical items they stole to bring magical beings of their own, Sabbac and Eclipso.
They quickly move to Fawcett City when Superman hears panic. Captain Marvel and Superman encounter the newly formed villainous duo and each quickly pick his target. Captain Marvel engages vile Sabbac and discerns his secret/weakness during the battle; his power derives from a magical word. Tricking Sabbac into saying it, Captain Marvel quickly puts an end to the battle. Superman, having some difficulty dealing with Eclipso, eventually sees the thieves who are empowering him and quickly puts a stop to both them and Eclipso.
While teaming-up with Superman, Captain Marvel was unaware that a few days earlier Lex Luthor had helped Sivana track Billy to his place of rest. Using this information, Dr. Sivana sent mercenaries to kill Billy. The mercenaries found Billy at his home and attempted to kill him with guns, but Billy changed into Captain Marvel before being shot and and easily defeated them. Tragically, however, the ricocheting bullets struck Billy’s best friend. Captain Marvel sped him to a hospital, but they couldn’t do anything for him. He died. Filled with anger, Captain Marvel went to the police station where one of the mercenaries was being held and persuaded him to name of the person who had hired them to kill Billy. Now knowing who was behind the attempted assassination, Captain Marvel found and confronted Dr. Sivana at his building. Grabbing and choking him, Captain Marvel resists the urge to kill Sivana and flies off before casing any serious harm. An inaccurate news report states that it was Captain Marvel who’d killed Billy’s best friend. Clark Kent sees this and, as Superman, he finds Captain Marvel atop of where the last spoke, Mount Everest. Captain Marvel tells him everything and shows him that he is just a kid. Superman asks to see the person that did this to him. After a heated argument with Shazam, Superman leaves for Fawcett City. Billy alone in a building; a suited man enters, Billy wonders who it is and the suited man reveals that he is Clark Kent and Superman.
Marvel vs DC
Captain Marvel fought valiantly against Thor. As both the Marvel and DC Universes were at war, and the Champion of the Lightning was matched up against the God of Thunder. The two regretted having to battle, and both decided to pray before they clashed. Captain Marvel scores a good looking blow with a stiff right hand, but Thor manages to punch the good Captain away with the mighty Mjolnir, sending Captain Marvel hurtling into a Ferris wheel.
Calling upon the strength of Zeus and Hercules, Captain Marvel rips the structurally compromised ride from it’s bearings, and hurls it like a discus at his Norse foe. Mjolnir makes light work of the ride, sending it back as a falling pile of scrap metal.Pinned down by a massive piece of the structure, Captain Marvel lets out the mighty cry, “SHAZAM!”, shrinking down to the nimble but vulnerable Billy Batson.
Unwilling to be immobile for even a second, Batson shouts his cry again, but this time Thor, recognizing the lightning based powers, hurls his hammer to intercept the bolt. Explosive energy sends Thor and the frail Bill Batson into next week, the mortal unable to battle on any further. As Thor gathers himself, however, he realizes victory has come at a price. Not only is his honor questionable, but his mighty hammer is apparently lost…
Lightning Strikes Twice
For Further Information: Action Comics
Rage fills the streets of Metropolis. Many people are committing suicide because of this hatred. One causes a train to derail and before it makes contact with the ground, Superman arrives in
time to save the passages. A woman gains his attention; she works for S.T.A.R Labs, Dr. Jeanine Tracey, he escorts her to the ambulance. Later during the day, Dr. Tracey enters S.T.A.R Labs and acquires Lex Luthor’s Warsuit.
Superman hears an explosion at S.T.A.R Labs and quickly gets there, however the woman in the armored suit is Eclipso, who has taken control of Dr. Tracey. After a battle, Superman saves the woman but Eclipso seems to have vanished. Later, Clark Kent (Superman) is at home with his wife Lois Lane, but Lois seems off, purposely trying to anger Clark. Before Clark can even begin to realize Eclipso has taken control of Lois, Eclipso leaves Lois and transfers to Clark. Now in control of Clark, Eclipso changed into his Superman suit to wreak havoc, only to be headed off by Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel fights a very tough battle against the combined power of Eclipso/Superman. The battle ends when Eclipso leaves Superman and takes control Captain Marvel. Eclipso had barely gained control of the World’s Mightiest Mortal when he was attacked by the Wizard Shazam. To defeat Eclipso, Shazam ended up summoning the Spectre to deal with him. The Spectre accomplished this by imprisoning Eclipso within the black diamond from which he focuses his power and then sending it away into the distance.
For More Information: Infinite Crisis
During the Infinite Crisis he changed Black Adam’s magic word, stripping him of his power. Black Adam is Captain Marvel’s ruthless equal, Black Adam does not have any morals. Though it his as been shown that Billy has been capable of defeating Black Adam, this could suggest that Billy is more powerful than Black Adam. Though Captain Marvel and Black Adam have been shown to settle their differences for a short period of time.
Day of Vengeance
For More Information: Day of Vengeance
The Spectre has cast it upon himself to eradicate the forces of magic. The world of magic is in turmoil, an unlikely group of heroes form together to try and stop this crisis, the Y call themselves the Shadowpact. While this group forms, the Spectre acquires an unexpected ally, Eclipso. Now hosted within the body of Jean Loring, they form a deadly alliance against the magical world. Eclipso is still harboring vengeful feelings towards the wizard Shazam. The wizard Shazam sends his champion, Captain Marvel to stall the Spectre while he powers up to face him. The unlikely group of magical heroes venture to where the Spectre is to beat him others travel elsewhere for more help. They arrive at Budapest where Spectre is in the middle of a battle with Captain Marvel. The Shadowpact use this opportunity to take out Eclipso while the Spectre has his hands full.
Once Eclipso is dealt with, one of the members, Enchantress uses her powers to convey the world of magic into Captain Marvel to help him against his losing battle with Spectre. This gives him a colossal boost in power that for the length of the time Enchantress holds it. When she loses control of the magic the balance of the battle shifts again from the now low powered Captain Marvel to the Spectre for enough time for him to knock Captain Marvel out. Spectre, low on power he reacquires Eclipso and they escape. The rest of the Shadowpact return with help in the form of a teenage girl, Black Alice. They recuperate while the Spectre is gone. Captain Marvel returns to the Rock of Eternity where the wizard has gained his full power. The Shadowpact now wait for the Spectre to return, when he does they use Black Alice to obtain Spectre’s power. In doing so, she takes away his powers and his form making it impossible to hit him. They focus their attention on Eclipso, she teleports her away to orbit the sun, now powerless in the light. The Spectre arrives at the Rock of Eternity to face Shazam, Captain Marvel charges for him but the Spectre simple summons the lightning and changes him back to a teenage boy and sends him to sleep. Just before the Spectre enters Shazam’s domain, he uses his power against Mordru who was kept within the rock. Now in a weaken state he faces the Spectre and looses and during the battle, the Rock of Eternity is destroyed. The Shadowpact summon Nabu, who battles against the Spectre while the rest repair the Rock of Eternity. The Spectre finally beats Nabu, but at a cost. The powers above can not ignore him any longer, casting him back to heaven.
World War III
For More Information: World War III
During World War III Captain Marvel is seen fighting off Black Adam, he is beaten by Black Adam in their ensuing battle at the beginning of the story but it was Captain Marvel that struck Black Adam with the lightning bolt that reverted him back to Teth Adam in the end. Captain Marvel changes his magic word, preventing Adam from changing form.
Trials of Shazam
For More Information: Trials of Shazam
The next time we see Billy he has had a year to adjust to his new role as guardian of the Rock of Eternity. We see him helping Zatanna with a creature she’s never faced before, and explaining to her that the Books of Magic have been re-written. He then returns to the rock of Eternity. When he responds to an occurring crisis, to save the lives of children and keep a Demon from being summoned everything changes. Having defeated the villains, and ready to rescue the children, he summons the lightning to return to his Billy Batson form and is struck with a bolt that changes him forever. When we see Billy next he has just called Freddy to the Rock of Eternity. He explains that the power of Shazam had withdrawn upon itself to heal after the death of the Wizard, explaining the Marvel’s power loss. He also explains that the magic has healed itself and returned seeking a container, Billy. He has now fully taken over the former responsibilities of Shazam. He is not only everything Captain Marvel was, but is also imbued with all that Shazam was. Explaining to Freddy that he is still Billy, he just simply had to “grow up”, Marvel then explains to Freddy that the Books of Magic have been re-written. He is now Marvel, keeper of the powers of Shazam, and he has tapped Freddy, as his successor, as acolyte to the power. He offers Freddy the opportunity to earn the powers of Shazam by taking trials from each of the Lords of Magic. When Freddy accepts Marvel then sends him on his quest. Being as he cannot leave the Rock of Eternity for more than 24 hrs at a time, he appoints a guide for Freddy, but Marvel still plays an important role. He watches over Freddy as he takes his trials, congratulating him after his completion of Solomon’s trial, and explaining the change in his powers, regarding his magic word, after the trial of Achilles. When Atlas is killed, Marvel takes over holding the world from Freddy until a replacement can be found. He manages to do this and still watch over Freddy, and talk with Zareb, while he takes his trail from Apollo. Marvel is also with Freddy when he gathers the forces of good magic to help in his search for Mercury. While they search, he and Freddy monitor from the Rock of Eternity planning the next step. He is also present with Freddy when he goes to ask the Justice League for assistance. Marvel senses when Sabina goes to Merlin for help, and he also senses and notifies the forces of good magic when she attacks. Marvel continues to fight, helping the side of good, until Zareb senses that Freddy has passed his trials and transforms into Zeus. Then he and Captain Marvel bestow the power of Shazam upon Freddy, making him into the new Shazam and becoming Marvel’s champion.
Justice Society of America – Rebirth of Shazam
For More Information: Justice Society #23-25
In the pages of Justice Society of America, Black Adam and a resurrected Isis taking over the Rock of Eternity and rob Billy Batson of his Lord Marvel powers. Billy calls the Justice Society to intervene, while Adam and Isis enlist the evil Mary Marvel to turn Billy into an evil Marvel as well. By the end of the story arc, Adam realizes that Isis and the evil Batson siblings are out of control, and gives up his power to resurrect the wizard Shazam. The angry wizard promptly takes back his powers from the others, threatening to also deal with Freddy Freeman. The aftermath of the event left the powerless Billy and Mary to roam through the streets of Fawcett trying to find a way to contact the wizard.
For More Information: Blackest Night
Billy and Mary Batson made a brief appearance during the Blackest Night saga in a one-shot special, The Power of Shazam! #48. The siblings watch the rampage of the once-dead Osiris, now revived as an undead Black Lantern, on the internet from their apartment, helpless in stopping him.
In 2011, DC published a one-shot Shazam! story written by Eric Wallace, in which the still-powerless Billy and Mary help Freddy Freeman in a battle with the demoness Blaze, Freddy would eventually be rendered powerless as well by Osiris in Titans #32
Billy Batson made his debut in the new 52 in the form of back up stories in Justice League. The story is titled “The Curse of Shazam” and is written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Gary Frank.
On March 5th, 2012, DC revealed in a New York Post article that Captain Marvel will be renamed “Shazam” for his New 52 incarnation. He made his debut on March 21st in Justice League #7.
At Comic-Con, it was revealed by Geoff Johns that Shazam would be joining the Justice League, and that he would have a close friendship with Cyborg, similar to that of Hal and Barry or Booster Gold and Ted Kord.
Billy Batson is an orphan, one of the older children living in a foster home. He met his prospective foster parents, the Vasquezes and seems surprised that they would want him rather than a toddler or younger child. When they leave, he reveals his true colors – Billy Batson is trouble. Billy arrives at the Vasquez’s and meets Mary and Freddie Freeman, as well Pedro, Eugene, and Darla. He quickly negates the fact that he is part of this new family, claiming none of them are really related. This causes Darla to become upset, and Mary to become angry with Billy. After, he sit in his new room, looking at an old photograph of his parents at a zoo, and regretting his harsh statements.
The next morning, Darla wakes billy, already forgetting about the events prior, and the children all head to school. As the day ends and the group head home, the Breyer brothers begin to pick on the adopted family. Billy intervenes and beats them up, because he “doesn’t like bullies”, but is caught and sent to the principle. He is scolded by the principle, but gets off the hook with the help of his foster father. On his way out, Mr. Breyer threatens Billy, throwing both he and Mr. Vasquezes to the ground before speeding away.
Later that night, Billy sneaks out to visit Mr. Tawny at the zoo from the photograph, and is followed by Freddy. Billy is startled at first, but after learning how his clash with the Breyers helped his adopted family, he and Freddy plan to “get back at them”. Their plan fails due to a car alarm, and the Breyers make a mad dash after them. Billy shoves Freddy into the bushes, knowing he couldn’t outrun them, and distracts the boys leading them on a wild goose chase through the city. As Billy narrowly escapes the boys onto the subway, it transforms around him into a magic train, and open it’s doors to reveal the old mystical fortress known as the Rock of Eternity.
Billy wanders the halls in awe, looking at the magical sights and touching everything. As he flicks on illusions of the Seven deadly Enemies of Man, a voice calls him down a dark hallway to the throne-room of the Wizard. The aging Wizard claims to be the last of his brethren, the others murdered by his prior champion Black Adam, and explains to Billy that he needs a new champion, one of pure good, to defend the realm of magic. The Wizard tests Billy for pure good, but finds that he, like every other mortal, is not pure of heart. Billy argues with the Wizard that pure good does no longer exist, due to the corrupting nature of the modern world, and the wizard sees wisdom in the boy and tests him for the “embers” of good. When Billy passes this test, the Wizard demands to speak the word “SHAZAM!”, but must do so with purpose and belief, with good intentions, and he shall transform into his greatest potential. Billy utters the word and is magically transformed into the magical musclebound champion of the lightning, and as he does so the Wizard dissolves, telling him he is all that remains between the world and magical threats.
Billy is then returned to earth, and reveals his new super-identity to Freddy. His first deed is preventing a mugging by punching a robber through a car. The lady kindly thanks him and rewards him with $20, to which he and Freddy decide to use these new powers to get rich.
We next see the two spending their $20 fortune, they purchase some clothes for Billy’s super-hero form, which is a bit of an issue because of how “jacked he was”. The two then decide to spend their last 10 buck to get food.
In the next issue, Billy and Freddy are fooling around with the powers of Shazam. Freddy convinces Billy to try to use his lightning to get money from an ATM. Instead the electricity makes the machine surge and spit out bill after bill, and meanwhile, a bank robbery is in progress. Three goons in animal masks bump into Billy and shoot up his disguise. Angered, Billy throws them back into the bank, unwittingly saving the day. The hostages run out, asking for the hero’s name, to which Billy responds “Uh… Shazam?”, and Freddy drags him away from the scene along with $40.75.
“Shazam” and Freddy make their way to a liquor store, wondering what drinks to get (neither having any prior experience with alcohol), when another robber appears and attempts to rob the owner. Shazam knocks out the robber, and the owner graciously asks how he could ever repay Billy for saving his life. They end up asking for “all the junk-food [they] could carry”, and depart from the liquor store, and soon walk into a guy hot wiring a car. Shazam tosses him into a stop sign and continues on his way.
As they continue walking, Billy is warned by the mystical mirror Francesca to beware of Black Adam, and that he needs to become the champion he was destined to be. Immediately following, Billy suddenly begins to float, Freddy pushes him on and begins to plan out awesome things for the new found hero to do, but soon realizes they need to return to the Vasquez’s. Billy states he doesn’t want to return, and that he’s done being a kid. He and Freddy argue, and Freddy leaves, telling him he’s starting to sound like an adult and calling him a “condescending tool”. Billy soon realizes he was wrong and turns to see Freddy already gone. He tries going after him, but gets attacked by Black Adam. Billy Batson will have to fight off Black Adam in a battle for power his first enemy as a hero in the DC Relaunch series.
Billy recovers from the sudden shockwave Black Adam created when landing, and comments on how Adam’s black costume is way cooler than his own. Adam then claims he is the rightful keeper of the Rock of Eternity, and uppercuts Shazam, sending him flying down main street and into the mall. Billy gets back on his feet and realizes he’s bleeding, the lights go out and Black Adam strikes from behind. Billy sends a strong punch right back at Adam, but Adam catches it and beats him back down. He then throws Shazam back out the mall, and the fearful Billy calls down “SHAZAM!”, reverting to his normal self and disappears into the crowd, fleeing the scene. Black Adam managed to grab Billy Batson and then proceeded to take Billy into his mind, where he saw a flashback of Black Adam, his Uncle and his nephew saving him from the death of his parents and in turn, Black Adam killed his nephew for a sacrifice. Black Adam then threw Billy Batson on the ground, giving Billy the opportunity to change back into Shazam. After he had changed to his superhero persona, Black Adam took a hold of both Freddy and Mary after they had hit a truck into his body, prompting Billy to defend his adopted family.
In the conclusion of the Curse of Shazam, Black Adam holds Billy’s adoptive family hostage, demanding him to relinquish the wizard’s powers to him. Billy, not wanting to cause any more injury, agrees and says his magic word. However, instead of transferring his magic into Black Adam, it splits off into his adoptive family, granting each of the children the powers of Shazam! It is also hinted that each kid is given a power somewhat related to the Pre-52 Shazam gods (Eugine can communicate with machines resembling the wisdom of Solomon, Pedro “feels like he could carry the world” with the strength of Hercules, and Darla receives super-speed akin to the speed of Mercury). Meanwhile, the Seven Deadly Sins wander Philadelphia to find a rotten host, and all fuse into Mr. Breyer, changing him into the demonic Sabbac.
The six Shazam kids team up to take down Black Adam, but soon branch off to protect the city from Sabbac and save the citizens, leaving Billy to go after Adam alone. Adam blind-sides Billy, sending them into the zoo where Mr. Tawny comes to Billy’s aid. Billy tries to use his magic to strengthen Tawny, but in doing so, the spell enchanting the Shazam Kids begins to wear off. He then realizes that he can’t defeat Black Adam with his inexperience as Shazam, so he reverts back to mortal form and sways Adam to do the same and fight him. Black Adam says the magic word, but his years in enchanted form catch up with him and he collapses into dust.As the battle clears, the nearby onlookers recognize Shazam as a Hero, and school is cancelled due to it’s destruction in the mayhem. The comic then cuts to Christmas morning with Billy’s adoptive family and reveals that he has decided to stay with them in an overall happy ending. However, the issue ends in a cliffhanger with Dr. Sivana entering the Rock of Eternity and meeting Mr. Mind… and they have plans to do to get Shazam.
After the Curse of Shazam, as the road to Trinity War begins, Billy is home with his foster family and the remains of Black Adam. Deciding to bury them in Kahndaq, because “even bad guys deserve to be buried”, Shazam heads out to the Middle East. However, the Justice League picks up on the new hero as he enters the boarder to the off-limits country and decide to intervene before he starts trouble making. Just as Billy begins Adam’s eulogy, the Kahndaq Army catches up with him and begins shooting. They destroy Adams urn, upsetting Billy, but before he has a chance to react, Superman tackles him into a distant sand – dune. Shazam, not realizing what happened , strikes back at his opponent, and is baffled when he’s able to knock down Superman. Soon the whole league is restraining him for questioning, until the Justice League of America shows up and invoke a fight against the Justice League. Shazam will play a part in the Trinity War series and find all the answers to what cause all the events that occurred.
Shazam did not play much part in this story arc but after the Crime Syndicate was defeated , he was brought by Lex Luthor to join the Justice League , but he was rejected at first but was later shown to be on monitor duty with cyborg while asking him various questions like if there was a ping – pong table or an Xbox in the watch tower which Cyborg replied to him that he has an Xbox in his left shoulder and went further to tell him to be serious with the work at hand and he should try to use his magic to look for Power Ring but when he tried he mistakenly created a ping – pong table. When the ring became active after having assimilated with Jessica Cruz Shazam and the whole of the Justice League depart to Portland after the new Power Ring begins laying heavy siege to it saving countless civilian lives in the process.
Helping Cyborg distract her while Vic went in to analyze the ring he blasts her long enough to destabilize its hold over her, after suffering a feed back that knocked the former out Shazam went on to engage the doom patrol for possession of the Power Ring. But soon after checking up on the incapacitated Victor Shazam warned the new Power Ring of how much trouble they was in for what she had done to only to be subdued himself after a massive release of green energy blasted him into unconsciousness. After Batman had finally calmed and pacified the fearful Jessica Billy, Snart and Lex Luthor were officially integrated into the Justice League.
While watching the news where Lex and Superman were battling Gorilla Grodd in Metropolis, Shazam impatiently waits for Cyborgs tune up to finish after hid deep scan of the Power Ring entity nearly fried his systems. After he gave the latter for Shazam to leave in order to check up on the battle, billy ported out of there in a flash of lightning.
As Batman and Ra’s Al Ghoul do hard battle pitting their forces of the League of Shadows against those of Glorious Godfrey and his Parademon Armada from Apokolips. The Entirety of the Justice league came and intervened when the tide turned in the New Gods favor, Shazam in particular saving Batman’s bacon after he was about to be executed. After losing the body of Damien Wayne to the forces of Apokolips Batman declared he was going to Apokolips to bring him back alive, adamantly opposed to this The Justice League tried to dissuade him from such action due to the extremity of the situation only for the Dark Knight to hack into Cyborgs functions with his utility belt in order to port to the Watchtower when the latter tried to console him.
Eager to Test his might against him, the young hero bolted up towards their HQ after Bruce had disabled its transportation tech only to have Wonder Woman wrangle Billy back to earth stating they would handle this together and that this was not a battle royal to rush off into. Aquaman went onto say that batman is a founding League member and Billy was still new to the team, Shazam simply groaned stating the full grown would just screw everything up on their own.
After finally making it to the tower, Shazam looks eager to engage as Diana and Arthur explain to their renegade member that they can’t run off half cocked trying to play god when Batman states they do so all the time using Wonder Woman and Shazam; the former being the daughter of a god and goddess of war while the later, a preteen boy whose been empowered by magical gods to be the champion of magic. Aquaman continues on to say that getting darksieds attention is something they’re not ready for; a snide remark by Shazam gets him reprimanded by Cyborg. Unfortunately negotiations break down as Batman tries to grab at the HellBat armor and Billy plus the rest of the Leagues resident powerhouses have to physically restrain him until he finally relents. Shazam warning bats he’ll kick his butt if he ass too.
After having initiated a cleaver distraction that served to keep the rest of the league busy. Diana deduces that batman is making a ply for the HellBat again with Lex Luthor being the only recipient on the watchtower to stop him, not trusting the businessman however Arthur Curry ordered Diana and Billy to fly to the Tower post haste with Shazam beating her there by small margin. Even going so far as to boat about it to her after arriving too late to stop batman’s departure.
Amazo Virus Outbreak
While doing his regular routine heroics with the league, He Diana and Cyborg had finished busting a kidnapping while Cyborg states everybody loves Wonder Woman when he compliments this while double backing saying he has a girlfriend in Coast City. During the quarantine of a dangerous artificial plague created within Lex Corp which was accidentally released when a failed attempt on the aforementioned CEO released it.
The battle between Anti-Monitor (Mobius) and Darkseid began, it ultimately ends with the defeat and death of Darkseid, which caused Billy to lose connection to the gods, who empowered him, but the Wizard found new gods who would replace Billy’s old pantheon, but now he had to help those gods to defeat Zonuz, Yuga Khan, who was revealed to Darkseid’s and Highfather’s father, who wanted to escape the Source, but for that he needed the Living Lightning essence of the Wizard Mamaragan and the power of the other 4 new gods, who empowered Billy. Entering the Source, he met the new gods who empowered him, and saw a weakened Wizard fighting Zonuz. The Wizard lost, and Zonuz took the Living Lightning stuff, and opened a hole in the Source to escape. Billy transformed into his super-powered form and defeated Zonuz, returned the Living Lightning to the Wizard, and left the Source with him.
Powers & Abilities
The wizard’s name, SHAZAM, is an acronym with each letter standing for an Elder who grants his power to Shazam’s champion.
When young Billy Batson speaks the wizard’s name, a magical lightning bolt charged with the power of the Shazam Elders transforms Billy from an adolescent boy into the adult hero, Captain Marvel/Shazam, empowered by the gods. As Captain Marvel/Shazam, he is granted powers from these Elders:
S for Solomon
S is for the wisdom of Solomon. The wisdom of Solomon gives Billy great knowledge, perception, comprehension and insight. By mystical means, Solomon is actually able to speak to Billy during his times of need. The wisdom of Solomon gives Billy many intellectual abilities, some known and other yet unknown. Some of these specific abilities are a photographic memory, omni-linguistic and advanced knowledge of war strategy and tactics.
Superhuman Knowledge: Captain Marvel posses a vast amount of knowledge about facts that he had no encountered previously. Billy is able to make guesses about subjects that he had no prior knowledge to but is able to answer with incredible accuracy.
Clairvoyance: Captain Marvel is able to change disadvantages to advantages even though he is not fully aware of the situation at hand.
Hypnosis: Marvel is able to hypnotize his opponents but this does not work on people who are of a very strong mind.
Omnilingual: Captain Marvel has the ability to speak any language and can even communicate with aliens.
Good Conscience: Marvel always has help from Solomon with making decisions, an example would be when he wanted to divulge the info of his identity to the JSA, Solomon strongly advised against it.
H for Hercules
H is for the strength of Hercules, strongest of the gods. Billy is empowered with Hercules’ nearly limitless superhuman-strength which is often compared to that of Superman. As such, Captain Marvel’s strength is of the highest level and is sufficiently vast enough that it enables him to lift/move unbelievably massive and/or heavy objects possibly on a planetary scale or higher with little effort. Because his strength level is so high and potentially dangerous, Billy Batson constantly uses great restraint, thus he usually only uses as much strength or force as is necessary to accomplish whatever his given task or challenge requires. Because of this he is not often seen moving objects of a planetary scale though accomplishing such tasks are well within his abilities.
Superhuman Strength: Captain Marvel has the ability to lift well over 100 tons with minimal effort and has battled top tier beings such as Superman, Wonder Woman and Black Adam. Captain Marvel has stalemated Superman in an arm wrestling contest and has at least matched Wonder Woman in raw strength. The limits, if there actually are any, of Captain Marvel’s strength are unknown.
Corporal Enhancement: When Billy Batson transforms into Shazam he gains the added muscle of a very well developed full-grown man as well as the accompanying height and weight, often appearing larger and more muscularly bulky than Superman himself.
A for Atlas
A is for the stamina of Atlas, Titan who bears the heavens on his shoulders. This means he doesn’t need to sleep or eat as Captain Marvel and has virtually limitless superhuman endurance. Due to Atlas’ stamina, Captain Marvel doesn’t fatigue during or after any exertion; no matter how strenuous or how long in duration.
Self-Sustenance: While in the form of Captain Marvel, Billy Batson does not need to eat. sleep or breathe. The godly energies that transform his body into Earths Mightiest Hero is enough to sustain his body. From Black Adam, who also shares the same powers as Billy Batson (but from different sources) we have seen that he was able to survive crossing the universe in his return to Earth which took him 5,000 years to accomplish.
Superhuman Stamina: Captain Marvel’s godly energies do not require him to rest because they prevent any kind of fatigue toxins from building in his body. This grants him a virtually inexhaustible amount of endurance regardless of how strenuous the physical activity he engages in or how long it lasts. His endurance may indeed be limitless.
Z for Zeus
Z is for the power of Zeus, most powerful of the gods. Though the term “Power of Zeus” is vague, this grants Billy many abilities, with many possibly unknown as of yet. Through Zeus, Captain Marvel has high-level magic resistance and can call down the lightning that changes him back and forth between his two personas. He has even used the lightning as a weapon before; calling it down and then dodging it while allowing it to strike an enemy. Captain Marvel has also stated that with this power also comes the “Wrath of Zeus.” This implies supreme, righteous anger/rage, though it’s unclear how this ties into Billy’s powerset. The power of Zeus is vast and hard to define completely. It may augment some of Captain Marvel’s other powers and abilities and it may grant him powers and abilities even he has yet to discover. From Zeus Captain Marvel inherits sheer unbelievable power rendering him utterly invulnerability (Captain Marvel Adventures 144, DC Comics Presents Annual 03). The power of Zeus adds to the other powers of Captain Marvel giving him the wisdom of Solomon and Zeus, the strength of Hercules and Zeus, the stamina of Atlas is beeded up with the immortality of Zeus (World’s Finest 254 and Shazam the Monster Society 04). Captain Marvel can still blend all the strength of Hercules, stamina of Atlas and power of Zeus to increase his strength (Adventure Comics 492 and Power Of Shazam 46).
Magical Resistance: The power of Zeus gives Captain Marvel a resistance against magic and only magic of the highest order is able to harm him.
Lightning: Captain Marvel gains his power from being struck with a magical lightning bolt, and can use it as a weapon as well by interrupting the flow between the bolt and himself. In certain situations, Marvel has been known to spark lightning off of his body, and even direct it as a projectile at a target.
Sorcery: Captain Marvel is a being of pure and ancient magic. This gives him the ability to resist the negative effects of magic.
Healing: Although Captain Marvel has the power of the Gods it is possible to harm him. Captain Marvel is able to call down the lightning that gives him his powers in order to heal his body if he is injured. Captain Marvels healing factor is also of a godly level and is able to heal himself from almost all injuries in an incredible amount of time.
A for Achilles
A is for the courage of Achilles, greatest hero of the Trojan War. This grants him an inner strength and confidence.
Courage: Captain Marvel usually protects others before himself, and also often putting himself in harm’s way to protect another. He also tends to stand up for the little guy, and asserts himself between larger fights to find a mutually beneficial solution. Achilles has bestowed on Captain Marvel with the great fighting abilities (Captain Marvel Adventures 144).
Invulnerability: Captain Marvel is virtually invulnerable to all forms of physical harm. His resistance to harm is comparable to that of Superman’s but he does not share his weaknesses to Kryptonite or magic.
Optimism: Captain Marvel is a combination of the Wisdom of Solomon as well as the child personality of Billy Batson which create a fairly optimistic character in the DC Universe. He is able to stay positive and keep his spirits up even the most dire and desperate situations.
M for Mercury
M is for the speed of Mercury, swiftest of the gods. This grants Marvel his god-like speed and his power to fly.
Superhuman Speed: Captain Marvel is able to move at incredible speeds and is able to move so fast that he can seem invisible to the eye of the human being. Captain Marvels speed is said to surpass even that of Superman and rival that of the Flash, and can move at several times the speed of sound while running, swimming, and even performing “mundane tasks.”
Flight: The power of Mercury grants Captain Marvel the ability to defy gravity. With this, he is able to travel through space and through the atmosphere of the Earth at incredible speeds. He tries to limit his atmospheric speed to MACH 10 (so that he will not cause catastrophic damage with his flight wake), but he has the ability to fly at near light-speed.
Teleportation: Captain Marvel has the ability to transport to the Rock of Eternity from wherever he is at by speeding between the space between dimensions.
The wizard passed his magic to Billy he told Billy to utter the word SHAZAM with believe, good intention, and family thoughts to transform into his full potential as the Champion of Magic. When Billy transforms into the champion of magic, he has the following powers:
Supernatural Strength: The Wizard told Billy that he has the strength of a ‘demigod’ which makes him far stronger than any human and makes him equal with the likes of other demigods like Hercules. He has demonstrated his strength by lifting vehicles with little to no effort and pushed a man several meters before he crashed into a car while he said he never meant to hit him that hard, and knocking Superman and Wonder Woman down with a punch (though they stood up later). His upper limit are still unknown.
Supernatural Speed: The Wizard said he would be able to move like the lightning he wields making it possible for him to fly at multi-mach speeds. He has matched Superman’s reflexes in battle with him; Billy also raced Diana from Earth to the Watchtower [22,300 miles above earth] in less than 6 minutes without using his top speed. His top flight speed is still unknown, but it is assumed to be near light-speed.
Supernatural Invulnerability: He has the strength of a demigod, this also extends to his durability. He has resisted punches from Superman and Black Adam without any strain or noticeable effect. In New 52, he has power of Achilles (not courage) giving him invulnerability.
Supernatural Perception: He can hear and see things only magical beings can hear and see, and he can also speak to entities and spirits only accessible by adepts of magic..
Supernatural Guardian: When he first transformed and left the Rock of Eternity, the first set of places he went to where all needed his help (a woman was being robbed at his first place, the bank beside him was being robbed by masked men, the store he decided to go to was in the middle of a stick up and finally where a carjacker was hot wiring a convertible).
Magical Lightning Manipulation: He can project magical lightning from his hands and fingers. He could not control it at first as any electrical device overloads then explode (even car lights) when he touches them (but he seems to have had control as nothing he electrical he touches overload then explodes). He has recently been seen having greater mastery over this ability, being able to use it as an offensive projectile blast, or bolt, and to also manipulate the energy to give him some telekinetic ability (as seen in the animated film, “Justice League: Throne of Atlantis”).
Magic: His powers are magical. Before the Wizard died he told Billy that he is the Champion of Magic as he wields the Living Lightning. During his fight with Black Adam, Billy transformed his foster family, giving them not only his but their own unique powers as well seemingly without any effort. He did not become weaker after he transformed them, he also transformed Tawny who helped him against Black Adam. He created a ping-pong table in the Watch Tower with magic. Billy can control what happens when he says Shazam. He can transform, stay the same or cast a spell. Billy also learned a spell which shrink him down to Mr Mind size.
Teleportation: Billy can teleport from underground to the Rock of Eternity and also uses teleportation to get out. He also teleported out of Star Labs after seeing Victor Stone to battle Grodd in Metropolis.
Flight: The magic bestowed unto him by the wizard enables billy to fly unaided at will, how proficient he is with the ability is still in question, but he has shown capable of moving, bolting and dodging rather acrobatically with little to no difficulty at all and while flying with passengers no less.
NOTE: He was not weaker after he transformed his foster siblings to super powered beings, but they lost their abilities when he decided to transform Tawny.
In the wake of the status quo shaking events of Darkseid War, Billy’s powers were revealed in greater context once he had reached The Source of all things. When the dreaded lord of Apokolips breathed his last during the war with the Anti-Monitor, his death echoed throughout the infinite of reality severing Billy’s connection to his patron gods who originally empowered him.
Desperate not to leave his champion powerless, the original Shazam (the wizard who gave him his abilities) sought out new gods for him to derive ability from, it is revealed that most any champion is merely a receptacle to channel the power of six gods.
While Billy was given such a title by the mystic it is said beings deal with a pantheon of differing deities that gives him his abilities, initially deriving power from Solomon, Hercules, Achilles, Zeus, Atlas and Mercury. The Ancient Wizard, revealed to be the Aboriginal deity Mamaragan went on a pilgrimage through the Source to find six new gods for young Batson to draw power from. These New Gods are:
S for S’ivaa
S stands for the Strength of S’ivaa the dancer of destruction, an third world shadow elemental. In his words S’ivaa states the strength he has now vastly surpasses that of Hercules as his is the strength of all the Old Gods of Urgrund.
H for H’ronmeer
H is for the Fires of H’ronmeer the Martian God of fire, death and rebirth. While disoriented by the numerous entities speaking in his mind, billy finds his hands are wreathed in fire. It has been assumed that with greater practice and mastery, Billy would be able to manipulate this magical fire much like he does with lightning.
A for Anapel
A bestows the compassion of the Siberian Goddess Anapel. The gift of Anapel also bestows him with great wisdom; it is yet to be seen if other clairvoyant gifts are also at his command, as was the case with the Wisdom of Solomon.
Z for Zonuz/Yuga Khan
Z withholds the limitless abilities of Source Manipulation from the Old God Yuga Khan. This now serves as his source for his vast superhuman speed, stamina, and durability. As Billy becomes more familiar with these new powers, it can be assumed that a host of new abilities will also be available to him.
A for AtÃ«
A grants Billy the Boldness of AtÃ«, daughter of Zeus and goddess of impulse and ruination. AtÃ«’s blessing grants Billy superhuman inner-strength, invulnerability to harm, superhuman speed, and flight.
M for Mamaragan, The Wizard
M lastly bestows the mystical lightning of The Wizard himself to his champion. Which stands to believe that all of his mystical understanding and power now falls under his champion enabling the creative usage of magic to continue weaving various spells.
God of Gods
An entitlement bestowed upon him when Darkseid died at the hands of the Anti-Monitor; as the god of evil lay motionless in the wake of the Darkseid war everyone was gifted with an honorific relating to what power or aspect they represented. Being empowered by new deities, Shazam was given the title of the God of Gods, what new powers this bestows upon him remains to be seen. However, his newfound powers were taken by Grail.
High Order Magic: Although Captain Marvels abilities give him a resistance to most magic, magic of a high enough order or level does have the ability to harm him at times. It would, however, take a being of great knowledge and extreme proficiency in magic and it’s use to wield it in manner capable of causing harm to Captain Marvel. A being such as the Spectre or possibly Dr. Fate, Zatanna, Atlan or Shazam himself.
Magic Lightning: The same magic lightning that brings forth the power of the elders also has the ability to transform Captain Marvel back into his mortal form of young Billy Batson. This dual purpose word has been used against Captain Marvel from time to time by some of his more cunning foes.
Naivety: Though Captain Marvel looks to be an adult, he is really a teenager inside, and tends to be more optimistic and gullible than other heroes. In some cases this works to his advantage, but it can also cause his peers to look down upon him. However, Billy’s naivety also gives him strong moral values and helps him find the good in everybody.
Inexperience: Due to his relative lack of understanding in the usage of his abilities, Shazam doesn’t quite understand the true extent of his mystical abilities. Failing to Grasp how to properly use his divine magic has backfired on him more than once. Such as when Billy’s transformed state used to short out electrical and mechanical appliances or how to cast enchantments on multiple host avatars at once without backlash and using his magic to illicitly earn money from an ATM without being able to shut it off.
- Height: 5′ 6″ (as Billy Batson), 6′ 3″ (as Captain Marvel)
- Weight: 125 lbs. (as Billy Batson), 250 lbs. (as Captain Marvel)
- Hair Color: Black
- Eye Color: Blue
His visual appearance was modeled after that of Fred MacMurray, a popular American actor of the period.
Captain Marvel wore a bright red costume with gold trim and a yellow lightning bolt insignia on the chest. The body suit originally included a partial bib front, but was changed to a one-piece skintight suit within the first few issues. In 1994, the DC had the partial bib restored. He also wore a gold sash along with golden armbands and golden boots. This costume also included a white-collared cape trimmed with gold flower symbols, usually asymmetrically thrown over the left shoulder and held around his neck by a gold cord. The cape design was inspired by types of ceremonial capes worn by British Nobility at least into the 1930s.
The Captain’s trademark “Thunderbolt” has appeared to be different sizes over the years and, recently, has been given a thick golden border. Due to this striking, bright red costume Captain Marvel has been known as the “Big Red Cheese” for most of his existence.
In the wake of the wizard SHAZAM’s death, Billy stopped being Captain Marvel and assumed SHAZAM’s role as the caretaker of the Rock of Eternity. In this new role he has a costume similar to his previous uniform/costume but with minor alterations. This suit was white where it had previously been red and his previous yellow buccaneer boots were replaced by white boots with golden shin and calf guards. Also, the cape is a quite bit longer, has a hood and is worn evenly across the back and shoulders. As Lord Marvel, Billy also has white hair, hair which is noticeably longer than before.
As part of the redesign, Shazam received a new costume designed by Frank with a long cloak and a hood made to look like it hailed from a much more magical source than before. The costume still retains classic elements, the majority being red with gold highlights and a white cape with golden trim. The wrist bands are now more visually similar to Wonder Woman’s bracelets, and both his belt and boots seem to be made of a metallic material. His classic lightning-bolt insignia is now pulsing with electricity, containing Kirby-dots. The white cape is now much longer and along with the collar has a hood. It seems to lack the flower symbols, but still has golden trim around the edges and is attached by golden medallions instead of rope
God of Gods
In wake of the event known as the Darksied War; Shazam’s attire changed upon the loss and acquisition of a host of different gods to keep him strong, as well as upon becoming the God of Gods after the New God of evil had died. Still holding to the classic look of his old costume but now sporting darker shades in it’s colors; Brick Red in costume lining with deep bronze in the bracelets and boots as well as the fastenings of his cape. The lining along which is now inscribed precarious runes which are aglow with arcane metaphysical power. The Cowl harnessing rings also beam with energy as does the new thunder emblem, now teaming with odd patterns etched around it in a lightning style pattern stretching along and around the midsection.
Captain Thunder (1974)
For More Information: Captain Thunder
In an alternate universe, Billy Batson is known as Willie Fawcett who can transform into Captain Thunder by rubbing his belt buckle and speaking the word “Thunder”
Captain Thunder (1982)
In the early 1980s, a proposal for an updated Captain Marvel was submitted to DC by Roy Thomas, Don Newton and Jerry Ordway. This version of the character, to be an inhabitant of DC’s main Earth-One universe rather than the Fawcett-based universe, would have featured an African-American version of Billy Batson, who spoke the magic word “Shazam!” to become Captain Thunder, Earth-One’s Mightiest Mortal. This alternate version of the character was never used.
Dark Knight Strikes Again
For More Information: Dark Knight Strikes Again
Captain Marvel appears in the miniseries Dark Knight Strikes Again, as a member of the Justice League to support Superman. In this story, Captain Marvel fights a powerful monster that threatens to destroy innocent lives and sacrifices himself to save a collapsing building. This incarnation has billy and Captain Marvel as different beings, switching back and forth, and he claims that he hasn’t changed back so long because billy had passed on due to poor health.
For More Information: Kingdom Come
Like most of his peers in the Kingdom Come universe, Captain Marvel chose years ago to retire from public service. In point of fact, Marvel vanished early; as one of the purest, most noble heroes, Billy had the hardest time adapting to the grim new world around him. One day, Marvel spoke his magic word for the last time, and Billy Batson’s life was completely his own again. Unfortunately, given young Billy’s immaturity and rather naive outlook on the world, his attitude towards Marvel has in the intervening years grown into something quite twisted. In a society that has come to view super-heroes as undesirable monsters, Billy’s secret shame is that he has one hiding deep down inside him somewhere. By the time we meet the adult Billy (grown into the spitting image of the Marvel of old), he’ll be a leading champion of human rights, and a stew of schizophrenic psychoses. He is manipulated by Lex Luthor into attacking Superman’s Gulag. Superman tries to prevent this, but is unsuccessful. Billy battles Superman, gaining the edge by using his lightning bolt. Superman finally grabs Billy’s mouth, just as a bomb is dropped on the area. Superman then explains to Billy that he must decide weather or not to stop the bomb as he is both mortal and superhuman. Superman then flies off to stop the bomb. Billy shouts “Shazam!” and stops Superman. Billy then grabs the bomb and continually yells “Shazam!” This caused the bomb to go off, killing many metahumans, but sparing some. In the end Billy made the right choice, saving humanity and the metahumans. He is hailed as a hero and his cape is hung as a flag at the UN.
In the final issue of the maxi-series 52, a new Multiverse is revealed, originally consisting of 52 identical realities. Among the parallel realities shown is one designated Earth-5. As a result of Marvel Family foe Mister Mind “eating” aspects of this reality, it takes on visual aspects similar to the pre-Crisis Earth-S, whereas the Marvel Family are the predominant heroes of this world
The Earth-5 Captain Marvel and Billy Batson appeared in the Final Crisis: Superman Beyond miniseries, assisting Superman, Ultraman, Overman and the Quantum Superman in Limbo. The miniseries established that these versions of Captain Marvel and Billy are two separate beings and that Billy is a reporter for WHIZ Media, rather than a radio broadcaster. The Earth-5 Captain Marvel re-appeared in Final Crisis #7 leading an army of Supermen from across the Multiverse to prevent its destruction by Darkseid.
In Multiversity, earth 5 also know as Thunderworld, the Captain Marvel, along with his family was relevant to stop the Legion of Sivanas, Sivanas from different realities joined together to conquer the multiverse. However the own greed of the Sivanas, a weakness exploited by Captain Marvel, was the cause of their downfall. Ironically, the Sivanas were unwilling pawns from the Gentry and the Empty Hand. But the help of Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family they were defeated.
Superman: Distant Fires
For More Information: Superman Distant Fires
In this Elseworld, after a nuclear bomb wiped out civilization leaving everyone powerless, Billy was one of the few survivors in this tale and had a relationship with Wonder Woman. But after Superman was revealed to be alive and brought back by Wonder Women, she decided to leave Billy for Superman or they seem to be having problems already. Diana marries Clark and they both have a child, leaving Billy with more anger. Then he goes to a forest screaming the wizard’s name with granted hit powers to come back temporarily, the he falls into the forest blaming it all on Superman. He continued screaming the wizard’s name in which also granted the return of everyone else’s powers. he then decided to separate the group of survivors and wished to conquer what was left of the planet. Sometime later, Billy kills Martian Manhunter and Cheetah and gives Wonder Woman an ultimatum, to be with him or die, she refuses and he chokes her to death.
Devastated Superman decides to fight Captain Marvel and they fight only realizing that after billy had called out the wizard’s name for so long it caused a nuclear reaction on the planet’s core, causing it to explode soon. After a a few punches a lightning strikes Batson and Superman holds him and throws him at the lava.
For More Information: Flashpoint
In the alternate time line invented in Flashpoint, Billy is one of six kids (also including Freddie Freeman and Mary Batson, as well as new comers Pedro, Eugene and Darla) that has the ability to combine to form “Captain Thunder“, who is badly scarred on his face from an encounter with Wonder Woman. The origin of this power comes from Billy and the other children all being on a subway train together (this time the train was hijacked and crashed) and each getting imbued with the power of an individual god instead of Billy gaining the power of all six. Billy has the courage of Achilles, and is the leader of the children that call themselves S!H!A!Z!A!M!
The Flash, Cyborg and Batman recruit Captain Thunder to help strike against the Amazons and the Atlanteans, who are at war in Europe. He is betrayed however, and the group is split apart into six children again. An Amazonian takes the opportunity and kills Billy, ruining their chances of calling back Captain Thunder. Tawky Tawny also appears with the group as a house-trained tiger who appears as a cat to the normal eye, and is also able to transform into a battle-ready tiger, similar to He-Man‘s Battle Cat, Cringer.
Shazam! TV Series (1974-1977)
For More Information: Shazam!
A popular show during it’s run, Shazam! took some creative liberties with the Captain Marvel source material, going so far as to have an impact on the temporary direction of the comic book itself. The premise of the television series was the same as the comic; a teenage Billy Batson speaks the word “Shazam!” and is turned into the world’s mightiest mortal, Captain Marvel. Only, in the television show, Billy speaks directly to the animated character giving him the specific power (e.g. Achilles for Courage). The series established that Billy was on leave from his radio job and was living a more or less nomadic life, traveling around in a van with Mentor alongside him.
Legends of the Superheroes (1979)
For More Information: Legends of the Superheroes
In this special Captain Marvel along with other heroes first unite to celebrate the birthday of the retired hero named Scarlet Cyclone in The Challenge but get interrupted by Legion of Doom. The Legion announce a part of their evil plan and the existence of a bomb. The friends has to solve clues in order to save the peoples. In the process they get trapped to drink Mordru’s de-powering potion, powerless they still manage to beat the villains, disarm the bomb and win the day. A bit late, when all is said and done, Cyclone arrives to help the team. In The Roast a few events occur, we see a new hero named Ghetto-man who perform a stand up comedy in front of the superheroes and Aunt Minerva seeking for a sixth husband between the roosters.
The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam! (1981-1982)
For More Information: The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam!
First Segment:Hero High
Airing for the first time as a NBC Saturday morning Cartoon, Hero High is about a bunch of superheroes in a high school who learn how to fight crime, during a fight against evil, Captain Marvel was passing by and he gave them a hand. Captain Marvel is rarely on and he’s a minor character. This segment is both a Live Action with musicians acting as the characters and a Animated part where superkids save the day.
Second Segment: Shazam!
Billy Batson own series, over the run, he faced:Gorilla Grodd, Mister Mind, Hiss-men, Doctor Sivana, Black Adam, Sivana Family, Aunt Minerva, Night Owl, Mister Atom, the smasher and Star Master with the help of Hero High by times.
Justice League Unlimited
For More Information: Justice League
Captain Marvel’s plays the role of the bighearted optimist in the episode Clash where he develops a less-than-amiable relationship with Superman in part because he supports the idea of giving Lex Luthor a second chance and also, it seems, because his power rivals that of the Man of Steel. Captain Marvel is also described as even more of a “Boy Scout” than Superman, which also seems to cause some jealousy in Superman. The two heroes have an epic battle, destroying much of the city while showing just how evenly matched they are in physical power. This is Captain Marvel’s only appearance in the JLU cartoon series. Billy Batson was voiced by Shane Haboucha and Captain Marvel was voiced by Jerry O’Connell
Batman: The Brave and The Bold (2009)
For More Information: Batman The Brave and the Bold
Captain Marvel appears in the episodes The Siege of Starro!: Part 1 and Part 2 where he helps save the world from Starro. He also appears in “Night of The Batmen” when he dresses like Batman when he is injured and defeats Bane, Blockbuster, Solomon Grundy, and Killer Croc who are trying to steal “Lady Liberty”. He appears in Death Race to Oblivion! and is the featured team up in the episode The Power of Shazam! Billy Batson is voiced by Tara Strong and Captain Marvel is voiced by Jeff Bennett.
Young Justice (2011-2013)
For more information: Young Justice
Captain Marvel appears in multiple Young Justice episode and is voiced by Rob Lowe, and later by his brother, Chad Lowe.
He first appears in the “Alpha Male” and takes over for Red Tornado as their “den mother”, since Tornado had fled with Red inferno and Red Torpedo after an attack on Mount Justice. Captain Marvel is eager to join the group and take part on missions, but Robin and Kid Flash believe he’s only there because the league doesn’t trust them. They travel to India to investigate a recent gorilla attack on Gotham City’s Mayor Hill, and the team quickly separate because they are not willing to cooperate. Captain Marvel is perplexed by the whole situation, and sticks with Aqualad, noting that he didn’t lay down a plan. The two are later attacked by gigantic mutant elephants, and stop them by breaking the collars around the behemoth’s necks. Cap then sees a tiger and follows into the jungle, falling into a trap set by Monsieur Mallah. He awakens on a surgeon table, and is about to be dissected by the Brain. He is rescued by the team before surgery, however the Brain and Mallah escape. At the end of the episode, Captain Marvel returns to Fawcett City, where it is revealed he is really a 10 year-old boy living with his Uncle Dudly
In “Revelation“, as the team heads off to confront the Injustice League, he begins to join them, but is stopped by Batman and ordered to help the league. He is seen fighting Poison Ivy‘s plant monsters, and throwing one into the sun.
In “Humanity“, Captain Marvel tends to Wally’s every whim (due to an arm injury the previous episode). As Zatanna and the team plan to sneak out and find Red Tornado, and Marvel is eager to join them. Superboy asks him to go play with Wolf instead, and Cap misses the mission. At the end of the episode, He comes inside, soaked from rain, and desperately asks if the team is going to come out and play.
In “Failsafe“, Captain Marvel is briefly seen in the end, consoling a troubled Miss Martian.
In “Secrets“, the team is preparing for a Halloween party and Marvel appears with make up to look like a zombie. Much to his disappointment, the party is only for team members, and Cap is very disappointed. He leaves via Zeta Tube, claiming he’s going trick-or-treating, and that he won’t share any of his candy.
In “Misplaced“, all adults (18+) disappear, and Billy Batson goes to investigate. He tries to enter Mt. Justice by Zeta Tube, but cannot be teleport because he can’t be recognized as a kid. He sneaks into an airport and convinces Amber to give him a plane ride to Happy Harbor. Halfway there, they cross a timezone and Amber turns 18, teleporting her to a dimension without kids (18-), Billy changes to Captain Marvel and saves her, then flies to Mt. Justice. Both the league and the team are shocked that Captain Marvel is really a 10 year-old, but he helps both dimensions develop a plan to merge the worlds. Along with Zatara and Zatanna‘s magic, the world returns to normal, but Zatara is forever locked inside Dr. Fate .
In “Agendas“, the Justice League debates continuing Captain Marvel’s membership because he failed to mention his true age. He does remain apart of the league, and new members Plastic Man, the Atom, Icon, Dr. Fate, and Red Arrow join in “Usual Suspects”.
In “Auld Acquaintance“, Captain Marvel is under mind control by “Bio-Nanotech Chips”, and tries to catch and control Zatanna. She uses the spell “Trulb tuo Mazahs!” to make Cap to call the lightning and revert back to Billy, he sticks with her while the team saves the others.
In “Happy New Year” (which takes place 5 years after the previous episode), Marvel arrives on the scene with the rest of the Justice League members after Blue Beetle III, Robin III, and Lagoon Boy saved the hostages from the Kroloteans.
Marvel’s next appearance is in “Cornered“, Despero lands on earth to face it’s greatest heroes. Since Superman and the rest of the Leaguers are off-world, he searches for Captain Atom And Captain Marvel, so that he can place their heads in his trophy room. He finds Marvel first at the Hall of Justice, helping Zatanna and the team recover salvaged items from Mount Justice, and his servant L-Ron initiates the “caged fight” and traps them in a large force-field. Despero paralyzes Zatanna into a trance like state, preferring an old fashioned hand-to-hand combat to magic users, and sends Marvel flying through the Hall of Justice with a quick punch. The two exchange blows for a while, partially destroying the building doing so, and Cap soon realize he cannot beat the alien physically. He calls down the lightning with the word “SHAZAM!”, but instead of striking Despero, it shocks himself and transforms him back to Billy Batson. Disliking this magical trick, Despero paralyzes Billy as well and goes off to fight Superboy and Mal, who is dressed like Guardian. Miss Martian later telepathically frees Zatanna, Billy, and Bumblebee from their trance like states, allowing Zatanna to paralyze Despero and billy to take out L-Ron with his mystical lightning. Afterwards, Captain Marvel and Captain Atom attempt to take down the force-field, but are unable, until a Reach ambassador disables it with his space technology, once again making the Justice League look bad and furthering earth’s citizens trust in the alien race, unbeknown to them their ulterior motives…
Justice League Action (2016)
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Shazam appears as part of the Justice League in the series, with both of the character’s identities voiced by Sean Astin.
Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe
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Captain Marvel appears as a playable character in Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe
MK vs DCU: “Young Billy Batson was an orphan who wandered into a deep cavern. There he encountered the ancient wizard Shazam, who granted Billy the ability to transform into the hero Captain Marvel. Whenever Billy speaks the name “SHAZAM!”, a mystical lightning bolt recreates him as a hero with super-strength, flight, speed, and other powers of mythological heroes. In return he must always fight evil in its form as the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man.
In order to regain control of his power, Captain Marvel was guided by the wizard Shazam through a focusing ritual. At its apex, Captain Marvel unexpectedly visited a strange, ethereal world, finding himself face to face with godlike beings calling themselves the “Elder Gods.” Now able to tap into these gods’ powers, Captain Marvel has new abilities he is only just beginning to master.”
- Solomon Escape: Cap flies in the air and then mystically teleports from the ground behind his opponent.
- Strength of Hercules: Cap charges a fist with lightning and then rushes forward punching the opponent.”
- Atlas Clap: Cap performs a thunder clap, clapping so hard it creates a shockwave that knocks the opponent away.
- Power of Zeus: Cap throws a thunderbolt at his opponent.
- Achilles Bolt: Cap says the magic word “Shazam!”, calling a lightning bolt from the sky right in front of him.
- Mercury Bear Hug: Cap grabs his opponent, lifts them up from behind, calls down a lightning bolt, then throws them.
DC Universe Online
For More Information: DC Universe Online
Captain Marvel appears in the game DC Universe Online (PlayStation 3 and PC, 2010). He initiates the Level 25 mission thread that takes place in and around Gotham University to stop Black Adam and Felix Faust from raising Adam’s deceased wife, Isis, from the grave. He also rewards flying characters with emblem styles for achieving platinum medals in flight races around Gotham and Metropolis.
The Aegis of Eternity is an Iconic Battle Suit for Heroes with a Shazam theme. Strangely, the armor piece is only available from Aquaman in the Magic Wing of the JLA Watchtower, rather than from a Marvel Family member or a Magical being.
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
For More Information: LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
In LEGO Batman 2, “Shazam!” plays no role in the story but is available on the console version through downloadable content, in a “Heroes Character Pack DLC”. In the portable version Shazam! is an unlockable character. His mini-kit can be found in the level Assault the VTOL. He costs 100,000 studs.
“Shazam!” can fly, has super strength, is invincible, immune to electricity, and is able to shoot lightning bolts from his chest to destroy golden objects.
Injustice: Gods Among Us
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Billy is a playable character in Injustice and is classified as a “power user”, using magical powers derived from six ancient Gods and Heroes.
Young Billy Batson was chosen by a mysterious wizard to become Earth’s Mightiest Mortal. By saying the word “Shazam,” Billy transforms into an adult with magical powers granted to him by the gods. Being young, Billy Batson was more apt to be persuaded and bullied into working for Superman. As the regime’s oppression grows, Billy begins to have second thoughts about the justness of his actions and grows uneasy with their decisions.
In the parallel dimension, Billy First appears with the Flash in an attempt to create a peace treaty between Atlantis and the Regime. He later prevents Lex Luthor from killing Superman, by crippling his armor allowing Superman to snap Lex’s neck. Later in the Fortress of Solitude, Shazam overhears Superman discussing his plans to level both Metropolis and Gotham, along with his intentions to invade the duplicate’s dimension in retribution for interfering in their world. Shazam is horrified by Superman’s plans, calling it crazy and saying they’re going too far. Wonder Woman claims they must have order, but Billy argues that they must impose limits on themselves, and attempts to convince Superman that Lois would have never agreed to what he was planning. The thought of his deceased wife angered Superman, and he lobotomized Shazam on the spot by burning through his skull with his laser vision.
Following the events in the parallel dimension, Shazam’s fellow heroes returned home. But an alien virus contracted during the transfer created in them acute mental instability. They turned on their fellow crime fighters in a deranged fury. Alone and desperate, Shazam shared the power of the Word with his adopted brothers and sisters. Their purity of heart gave them courage. The Army of Shazam incapacitated the former heroes. Eventually they took the place of the Justice League as primary defenders of Earth.
Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)
This serial is notable because it was the first time a comic book superhero made it to the silver screen. Republic Pictures’ “Adventures Of Captain Marvel” is also regarded as “The finest serial ever made.” which is quite a compliment considering the popularity and success of both “Flash Gordon” serials and the “Buck Rogers” serial. The 12 chapter Captain Marvel serial tells a reworked version of Captain Marvel’s origin and a challenge to uncover the identity of the mysterious villain, The Scorpion. Frank Coghlan, Jr. plays Billy Batson and famed cowboy actor Tom Tyler was cast as in the lead role of Captain Marvel.
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
For More Information: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
Captain Marvel appears in the animated film, “Public Enemies” which was closely based on the first story-arc of the “Superman/Batman” comic series. As in the comic book story, there is a fight between Captain Marvel and Superman.
In this feature Captain Marvel is voiced by Corey Burton, while Billy is voiced by Rachel MacFarlane. Their battle is precipitated when U.S. President Lex Luthor orders all heroes to try to bring in Superman for the apparent “murder” he committed Captain Marvel is among the heroes sent to bring Superman to “justice.”
Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010)
For More Information: Superman/Shazam The Return Of Black Adam
Young Billy Batson is attacked by Black Adam, but is helped by Superman, but Black Adam is able to take advantage of Superman’s vulnerability to magic. Billy meets the wizard Shazam, who grants him powers. Captain Marvel finally beats Black Adam and is about to kill him until Superman convinces him otherwise. After this the homeless man who Billy had earlier tried to help appears and is revealed to be Tawky Tawny. Tawny tells Adam that the wizard will banished him from Earth and with this threat Adam decides to utter the words “Shazam” causing himself to turn to dust. Jerry O’Connell reprises the role from Justice League Unlimited, while Billy is voiced by Zach Callison.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
In the Flashpoint Paradox, Cyborg is creating a Justice League to help save the world from the Atlantean/Amazon war. He recruits Batman (Thomas Wayne) and Flash (Barry Allen, trying to find the Reverse-Flash and restore time). He brings up pictures of all the other recruits, including “The Shazam Kids”. Shazam is now multiple kids who say Shazam all at once to turn into Shazam. The kids join the League and Rebellion (Grifter, Canterbury Cricket, etc.) in fighting both The Amazons and Atlanteans. While Flash and Batman struggle to defeat Wonder Woman, they turn into Shazam and take over in the fight. After a long and vicious fight, Wonder Woman traps Shazam in her magic lasso. She asks what word gives them power, and they say Shazam. Now turned back to children, Wonder Woman slaughters them before they can transform again.
Some of the kids resembled Billy, Mary Batson, Freddie Freeman, Osiris, and other kids. They had no major speaking roles. Billy was voiced by Jennifer Hale, while Shazam was voiced by Steven Blum.
Justice League: War (2014)
Shazam appears as a main character in the film, marking the first movie to officially refer to the character as Shazam rather than Captain Marvel.
This version of the character displays childish behavior, which made Hal Jordan call him an immature hothead. He has also been adopted into a family with Darla and Freddie as his foster siblings and has a close relationship with Victor Stone [Cyborg] who helped him keep his secret of being a kid from the rest of the heroes. He was voiced by Sean Astin.
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
In the movie Billy was ecstatic too cheat school in order to answer hails from the Justice League. Having gotten into a discussion over what had tor apart a naval submarine and stripped it of its nuclear payload, being his usual obnoxious self he spends some of the movie acting as the foil to the otherwise serious elder leaguers. He also offered some helpful words of wisdom which aided them in finding out clues as to the location of the mythical mystical undersea kingdom of Atlantis before disaster struck. Sean Astin reprised his role.
Former Chuck star Zachary Levi will portray Shazam in the 2019 live-action film. The film, which is directed by David F. Sandberg, also stars Asher Angel as Billy Batson, Mark Strong as Doctor Sivana, Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman, Grace Fulton as Mary Bromfield, Ian Chen as Eugene Choi, Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley, Jovan Armond as Pedro Peña and Djimon Hounsou as the Wizard.
Untitled Shazam! sequel (2022)
A sequel is set for release on April 1, 2022 with Levi reprising his role.
- Due to the popularity of his live-action show in the 1970s, Captain Marvel was one of the superhero characters to receive a figure from Mego. Due to licensing restrictions, the character was referred to as “Shazam” rather than Captain Marvel.
- DC Direct released a Captain Marvel figure based on his appearance in Kingdom Come. He was once again referred to as “Shazam” on the packaging.
- DC Direct released a line of vintage-style Shazam figures.
- DC Direct also released other Shazam figures, including one based on his New 52 appearance.
- DC Direct released a number of Captain Marvel/Shazam figures based on his appearances in the various DC animated films, including Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and Justice League: War.
- Various companies like DC Direct, Iron Studios, Diamond Select, Eaglemoss and Kotobukiya released statues and busts of Shazam.
- Shazam was featured in Mattel’s action figure line for Justice League Unlimited.
- Shazam was also featured in Mattel’s DC Universe line of figures.
- Shazam was featured in Mattel’s Imaginext line.
- Funko produced a Shazam bobblehead for their Pop! line.
- Mezco released a Shazam figure as part of their One:12 Collective line.
- A Shazam Lego minifigure was released as a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive.