October 21, 2017 21 min read
SHAZAM is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by C.C.Beck and Bill Parker and first appeared in Whiz Comics #2(1940) published by Fawcett Comics. He is the alter ego of Billy Batson, a boy who, by speaking the magic word "Shazam", can transform himself into a costumed adult with the powers of superhuman strength, speed, flight, and other abilities.
Shazam was created by C.C.Beck and Bill Parker and first appeared in Whiz Comics #2(1940) published by Fawcett Comics.
Based on book sales, the character was the most popular superhero of the 1940s, outselling even Superman. Fawcett expanded the franchise to include other "Marvels", primarily Marvel Family associates Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr., who can harness Billy's powers as well. Captain Marvel was also the first comic book superhero to be adapted into film, in a 1941 Republic Pictures serial titled Adventures of Captain Marvel.
Fawcett ceased publishing Captain Marvel-related comics in 1953, partly because of a copyright infringement suit from DC Comics, alleging that Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman. In 1972, DC licensed the Marvel Family characters from Fawcett, and returned them to publication. By 1991, DC had acquired all rights to the characters. DC has since integrated Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family into their DC Universe and has attempted to revive the property several times, with mixed success. Due to trademark conflicts over another character named "Captain Marvel" owned by Marvel Comics since 1967, DC chose to publish the character's adventures in a comic book titled Shazam! for many years, leading many to assume that this was the character's name.
Since the cancellation of the Power of Shazam! title in 1999, the Marvel Family has made appearances in a number of other DC comic books. Black Adam became a main character in Geoff Johns' and David S. Goyer's JSA series, which depicted the latest adventures of the Justice Society of America, Black Adam joining the team as a means of seeking redemption for his past criminal acts. Feeling that Black Adam deserves a chance, but wanting to keep a closer eye on him at the same time, Captain Marvel appeared regularly in JSA in 2003 and 2004 after joining the team to keep an eye on his old nemesis. He also appeared in Frank Miller's graphic novel Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, the sequel to Miller's highly acclaimed graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, which culminated in his death. The Superman/Shazam: First Thunder mini-series, written by Judd Winick with art by Josh Middleton, and published between September 2005 and March 2006, depicted the first post-Crisis meeting between Superman and Captain Marvel. By this time, the effect of Billy's transformation to Captain Marvel had been redefined to say that the force of the transforming lightning bolt was felt by the people around Billy when the lightning struck. Even though they themselves were not affected by the lightning bolt's changing power, they could be affected by the lightning bolt's force.
The Marvel Family played an integral part in DC's 2005/2006 Infinite Crisis crossover, which began DC's efforts to retool the Shazam! franchise. In the Day of Vengeance miniseries, which preceded the Infinite Crisis event, the wizard Shazam is killed by the Spectre, and Captain Marvel assumes the wizard's place in the Rock of Eternity, which is rebuilt by the Shadowpact, although he has trouble with the Sins imprisoned there when he hears their voices. The Marvel Family made a handful of guest appearances in the year-long weekly maxi-series 52, which featured Black Adam as one of its main characters and introduced Adam's "Black Marvel Family", consisting of Adam himself, his wife Isis, her brother Osiris, and Sobek. The series chronicled Adam's attempts to reform after falling in love with Isis, only to launch the DC universe into World War III after she and Osiris are killed. The Marvel Family appeared frequently in the 12-issue bimonthly painted Justice maxi-series by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, and Doug Braithwaite, published from 2005 to 2007.
The Trials of Shazam!, a 12-issue maxi-series written by Judd Winick and illustrated by Howard Porter for the first eight issues, and by Mauro Cascioli for the remaining four, was published from 2006 to 2008. The series redefined the Shazam! property with a stronger focus on magic and mysticism. Trials of Shazam! featured Captain Marvel, now with a white costume and long white hair, taking over the role of the wizard Shazam under the name Marvel.
In the pages of the 2007–2008 Countdown to Final Crisis limited series, Black Adam gives the powerless Mary Batson his powers, turning her into a more aggressive super-powered figure, less upstanding than the old Mary Marvel. By the end of the series, as well as in DC's 2008–2009 Final Crisis limited series, the now black-costumed Mary Marvel, possessed by the evil New God Desaad, becomes a villainess, joining forces with Superman villain Darkseid and fighting both Supergirl and Freddy Freeman/Shazam, who turns her back using his lightning.
A three-issue arc in Justice Society of America (vol. 3) undid much of the Trials of Shazam! changes. Issues 23 through 25 of Justice Society featured Black Adam and a resurrected Isis taking over the Rock of Eternity and robbing Billy Batson of his 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/Shazam, who is absent from the story.
Billy and Mary Batson made a brief appearance during DC's 2009–2010 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. In 2011, DC published a one-shot Shazam! story written by Eric Wallace, in which the still-powerless Billy and Mary help Freddy/Shazam in a battle with the demoness Blaze. Freddy would eventually have his powers stolen by Osiris in Titans #32 the same year.
In 2011, DC Comics relaunched their entire comic book lineup, creating The New 52 series. One of these relaunched series, Justice League, began featuring a Shazam! backup story with issue #7 in March 2012. The feature, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Gary Frank, introduces Billy Batson and his supporting cast into the new DC Universe. As part of the redesign, Captain Marvel received a new costume designed by Frank with a long cloak and hood. Johns noted that the character's place in the world will be "far more rooted in fantasy and magic than it ever was before". The character also was officially renamed "Shazam". The Shazam! origin story concluded in Justice League #21 (2013), a full-length Shazam! issue, preceding a DC's crossover "Trinity War" story line which heavily features the Shazam mythos.
In his revised origin, Billy Batson is an arrogant and troubled 15-year-old foster child living in Philadelphia who has gone through several foster homes. At his newest foster home, he gains five foster siblings, including new versions of Mary Bromfield and Freddy Freeman. When the evil Dr. Sivana unleashes the ancient magical warrior Black Adam from his tomb, the Wizard of the Rock of Eternity – the last of a council of beings who once controlled magic – begins abducting new candidates to assess them for the job of being his champion. He dismisses them all for not being pure of heart.
Eventually, the Wizard summons Billy, who is another unsuitable candidate, but Billy persuades the Wizard that perfectly good people "really don't exist". In desperation and seeing the "embers of good" within Billy, the dying Wizard passes on his powers and teaches Billy they can be accessed through the magic word "Shazam" when spoken with good intentions. After saying the magic word, Billy is struck by a bolt of lightning which transforms him into Shazam, a super-powered being possessing super-strength, flight, and vast magical powers. The Wizard dies and transports Shazam back to Earth, where Billy reveals his new secret to Freddy. The two scheme to make money with Shazam's new powers, until Shazam is attacked by Black Adam. After learning of Black Adam's troubled origin, Billy attempts and fails to reason with Adam, and is saved only by sharing his powers with his foster siblings, who all become magic-powered adult superheroes. Ultimately, Billy goads Adam into saying the magic word and transforming into his human form, at which time he promptly turns to dust.
Commencing the "Trinity War" story line, Billy flies to Black Adam's home nation of Kahndaq to bury Adam's remains. Shazam's entry into the country is interpreted by the locals as illegal US entry into their territory, following a similar international incident with Superman and Wonder Woman several weeks previously. Both the independent Justice League and the US-sponsored Justice League of America (JLA) arrive in Kahndaq to take control of the situation. Shazam is taken into US custody by the JLA, alongside the Justice League, after Superman inadvertently kills Doctor Light. Shazam travels with the Justice League to the Justice League Dark for further investigation of Light's death, and the sorcerer John Constantine briefly steals Shazam's abilities, fearing what a child will do with them. Shazam later tries to open Pandora's Box, a device which opens the doorway to Earth-3, and is infected with evil. His costume changes, giving him the appearance of Black Adam for a time. Following the successful defeat of Earth-Three's Crime Syndicate by Lex Luthor, Shazam is inducted into the League. While still a newcomer to the league, Billy has a number of new adventures while under the mentorship of Cyborg, such as taking up monitor duty while learning, accidentally, how to conjure items he wants with his magic.
SHAZAMis the World's Mightiest Mortal. Originally, he was a orphaned boy named Billy Batson, who was chosen by the wizard Shazam to be a champion of good. Shazam gifted Billy with the power of six legendary Greek figures, and when he spoke the Wizard's name, he became an adult superhero empowered by six legendary Greek figures. Later, Captain Marvel would gain the ability to share his power with Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr., creating the Marvel Family. Today, Captain Marvel remains as one of the world's greatest heroes.
Billy's parents - archaeologists C. C. and Marylin Batson - were killed by their treacherous assistant, Theo Adam, while on a dig at the tomb of Rameses II at Abu Simbel, Egypt. Theo Adam was the resurrected non-powered form of Teth-Adam aka Black Adam. He also kidnaps Billy's sister Mary, who ends up missing.
The wizard Shazam is made aware of all of these events, and (just as in the Fawcett origin) has Billy brought before him by the dark-clothed stranger, and grants the boy the power to become Captain Marvel. As Captain Marvel, Billy takes on the form of his late father, which is how Theo Adam guesses his identity, has a revelation about the power of Shazam, and becomes Black Adam using a scarab he stole from the tomb. After subduing Black Adam and his employer, the rich tycoon Doctor Sivana, Billy swears to find his sister as Captain Marvel.
Captain Marvel became a member of the revived Justice Society of America and was featured prominently in that group alongside his nemesis Black Adam. Captain Marvel had originally joined the team to keep an eye on Adam, who had joined the JSA claiming to have reformed. Black Adam eventually left the JSA to instigate a takeover of his home country of Kahndaq; he had a fondness for the country, and wished to see the totalitarian regime done away with, in what he saw as justice. Captain Marvel remained with the team.
During his tenure in the JSA, Marvel dated Courtney Whitmore, also known as Stargirl, which put him in an unusual position; while he could legally date Courtney as Billy Batson, it looked very strange for the grown-up Captain Marvel to be with the teenaged Stargirl. The Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick, another JSA member, confronted Marvel about the issue. Rather than telling Garrick and the team the truth about his age, Marvel chose to follow the Wisdom of Solomon and leave the team and Courtney.
The Marvel Family played an integral part the Infinite Crisis. The climax of the Day of Vengeance saw the Spectre engaged in a cosmic-level battle with the wizard Shazam. At the conclusion of this battle, Shazam was obliterated, and the Rock of Eternity burst apart into Earth's dimension, freeing scores of ancient magicks and evils that had been captured eons ago back into the Universe.
In the aftermath of the Day of Vengeance, Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family then helped Zatanna and several other beings to capture the Seven Deadly Sins and rebuild the Rock of Eternity. Captain Marvel was then required to take over Shazam's role as caretaker of the Rock. Marvel was later shown fulfilling this role, although teetering on the brink of insanity, constantly talking back to the Seven Sins around him. During this time, Marvel was shown helping Black Adam grant Adrianna Tomaz the powers of the goddess Isis. Later that year, Captain Marvel presided at the marriage ceremony of Adam and Isis in Kahndaq.
Black Adam's continued attempts to reform, and depicted Adam's formation of, with Captain Marvel's blessing, a "Black Marvel Family". Joining Black Adam in the Black Marvel Family were his wife Isis and her brother Osiris. Isis and Osiris are murdered by the "Four Horsemen", creatures engineered by a team of DC's mad scientist characters (Dr. Sivana among them). As a result, Black Adam takes his revenge out on the entire world, killing millions. Black Adam is halted for a few minutes, just the time needed for Captain Marvel to force a magic lightning bolt on him, turning Black Adam back to Teth-Adam and changing his magic word into an unknown one.
With Shazam dead, the Rock of Eternity chose Capain Marvel as its new caretaker. Captain Marvel recieved a new white suit and his hair became long and white, and assumed the name Marvel. form Trials of Shazam! featured Captain Marvel, now with a white costume and long white hair, taking over the role of the wizard Shazam under the name Marvel, while Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel lose their powers. A powerless Freddy Freeman is then drafted to prove himself worthy to the individual six gods evident in the "Shazam" acronym so that he can become their new champion and herald under the name Shazam, although a witch Sabina De La Croix from the Council of Merlin attempts to take the power herself, as ordered by her father Merlin. Atlas is killed by Sabina, but Apollo's healing replaces him. Marvel helps Freddy when he is trapped by the weight that Atlas bore. Later, Apollo takes Atlas's place in holding the world, while Marvel returns to the Rock of Eternity and Freddy continues his trials. The battle between Freddy and Sabina ends when Freddy is chosen to wield the gods's power, and becomes Shazam, while Sabina is destroyed. As the new Shazam, Freddy takes Marvel's former duties as a superhero.
Marvel is ambushed by Black Adam and Isis, who are intent on taking over the Rock of Eternity. Isis robs Marvel of his powers by saying Shazam from a spell book to send lightning at him, and banishes a powerless Billy Batson back to Fawcett City, where he contacts the Justice Society for help. Upon arriving at the Rock of Eternity with Billy, the Justice Society fights Black Adam and Isis. Billy is abducted by the now evil Mary Marvel, who shares her powers with him and turns him into an evil teenage Captain Marvel. The evil Billy and Mary join Adam and Isis in fighting the Justice Society. However, Adam switches sides when Isis sets into action her plan to kill off humanity and destroy modern civilization. With the help of the Justice Society's Flash and the spirit of C.C Batson (Mary and Billy's father), the dead wizard Shazam's soul is retrieved from an underworld realm known as the Rock of Finality, and Adam gives up his powers to resurrect him from the statue he is imprisoned in. Shazam promptly takes his powers back from the other three Black Marvels, turns Adam and Isis into stone statues, and banishes Billy and Mary from the Rock of Eternity upon stating that they have failed him. He threatens to come after Freddy Freeman, as his powers come directly from the Gods. They are later seen walking the streets of Fawcett City while homeless and pondering the fate of their father's spirit.
During Blackest Night, they are living in an apartment, and comment on how scary it is not to have their powers anymore.
Freddy is seen with Billy and Mary in their apartment. They reminisce about the past and how Mary now feels useless without her powers. Mary is later seen assaulting Freddy, Blaze appears. The scene cuts to a homeless shelter. Blaze is seen talking to Mary. She tells Mary that if she kills Freddy, she will restore Billy and Mary's powers. It cuts back. Blaze is seen breaking her promise to Mary. Seconds later the word 'Shazam' is heard, sending Blaze rocketing through the wall. It turns out Freddy was in on it too, only pretending to get killed. Blaze and Freddy fight in the streets. Blaze punches Freddy with a ring containing liquid from the river of the Styx, which is toxic to everyone besides the residents of Hell. Billy is seen telling Mary to distract Blaze while he helps Freddy wash off the toxic water. Freddy then follows by "killing" Blaze and sending her back to Hell. Later on, Freddy tells Billy and Mary that no matter what, he will find a way to restore their powers!
Billy Batson was a terrible foster child. After the death of his parents and his treatment thereafter Billy had become cold and cruel to most people. Growing selfish and heartless, he went from foster home to foster home until he landed in an orphanage in Philadelphia and was partially forced to live with a new family; the Vasquezes.
After being adopted he moves to the Vazquez's home where he meets the rest of their family, who are also adopted. It is immediately apparent that Billy does not fit in with the rest and he soon gets into a fight with the others, storming off into his room. Annoyed by his new family, which includes Mary, Freddy, Eugene, Pedro, and Darla, he decides to leave as he's done countless times before but as he does he's whisked away to the Rock of Eternity where he meets the Wizard. There, he searched the boy's soul and saw that he was not perfectly good. When he told him so, Billy was instantly enraged, telling the wizard off for thinking that perfect good exists. The Wizard, seeing the boy's point, witnesses all the good Billy has done and accepts that the world has changed and now perfection has been exchanged for the hope of becoming good. Although he stated that he won't be able to take them back once given, the Wizard grants Billy the ability to wield the Living Lightning, turning him to the Champion, Shazam.
During this however, Black Adam has been freed from his prison by Doctor Sivana who, through an accident, became able to see magic with his injured eye. Sivana showed Black Adam the new world which the past Champion was not satisfied with. He started his plans to change the world and to do that, he left to find the Rock of Eternity. There, he found out that there was a new Champion who Adam now desperately wants to find.
Meanwhile, Billy met up with Freddy and after convincing his foster brother about his change, went out for a night of shenanigans. Seemingly by accident however, the two seemed to find all sorts of trouble all of which Shazam solved. He helped a woman when she was being mugged, stopped a bank robbery and punched out a man who wanted to rob a store. All the while, Shazam and Freddy aimed for goals such as getting money to drink beer. Not fully responsible yet, Billy showed his age. He got into a fight with Freddy over not wanting to go home or to change back into his teenage form and the two split up.
When he was alone, Shazam was finally found by Black Adam who attacked without remorse. Billy managed to escape by changing back into his mortal form and hid in the Zoo with a tiger he called Tawny. That was where his foster siblings found him and where they decided to go back to the Rock of Eternity. When Billy found the metro station from where he originally travelled to the Rock, a magical spirit called Francesca spoke to him. She tried to talk to him previously as well, however Billy always thought that he was hallucinating before. Now, listening to what she had to say, Billy learned that the only way he could reach the Rock if he was underground and spoke the magic word. However, Francesca also told him that if he did, Black Adam will find him. Since Shazam and Black Adam were the only two beings in existence who possessed the Living Lightning, the two were connected and would always feel where the other was.
Then, Francesca showed Billy visions of a boy and his family who were enslaved in ancient Kahndaq, a country in the East where all magic originated from. There, the boy was forced to work in mines and was all alone before his uncle saved him from a guard. The two wanted to escape but in the process were found by the Council of Wizards. There, the Wizard Shazam decided to give the boy a connection to the Living Lightning but he refused and wanted to share it with his injured and dying uncle to save him. A wish the Wizard granted.
Seeing this, Billy thought that Black Adam was the boy of ancient times, a lost child just like he was. Not listening to Francesca's pleas, Billy ran out to meet Black Adam, revealing his mortal form to the other Champion. Wanting to talk Adam off of his unholy crusade, Billy tried to bring out Adam's emotions but was rebuffed. There, Adam revealed that he was not the boy, but the Uncle. He killed his nephew when he learned that he did not want to use his powers for revenge.
Billy was horrified by this and was saved by his foster family when they drove a car into Black Adam who let Billy go. Turning into Shazam, the Champion faced his nemesis only to find that Adam caught his foster siblings. Black Adam ordered Shazam to give him all his powers which the hero did try to do but accidentally enchanted his own siblings with the Living Lightning. They all tried to overpower Black Adam but needed to split up when the Sins Sivana gathered together summoned a demon who started to destroy the city. Shazam and Adam continued their battle and arrived at the Zoo where Tawny tried to help Billy and attack Adam. Fearing his long time friend's life, Shazam tried to enchant the tiger unsuccessfully. That spell broke the balance of his existing enchantments and his siblings instantly started to feel a loss of power.
Knowing that physically he was no match for Black Adam, Billy turned back to his mortal form and started goading Adam to do the same. The old Champion did so in rage, unwillingly killing himself. Because he did not change back in centuries, his mortal form aged hundreds of years in a single moment, making his body turn to dust.
After the defeat of Black Adam, Billy gathered his ashes and kept it in a jar. Understanding his enemy and even growing to respect him, Billy decided to honour him by burying his remains in Kahndaq. Unfortunately, the country was a war zone and no intruders were allowed. By deciding to go there, Shazam unwillingly became the sole reason the Trinity War began, the pinnacle of the existing tension between the Justice League, Justice League Dark and Justice League of America.
After Superman's accidental killing of Doctor Light, John Constantine lured Billy away from the battle with the promise of knowledge of his real family when in essence, Constantine just wanted to steal Shazam's powers to defeat a demon. Thanks to Billy's sharp mind, they managed to kill the demon and he got his powers back, deciding to rejoin the battle for Pandora's Box which was in Wonder Woman's possession. After he successfully battled Diana, Shazam touched the Box himself which he could not control. Turning his uniform black, Shazam was corrupted by the evils of the Box but it was wrestled from his hands by the other Leaguers. During the battle, the Box is revealed to open a portal to Earth 3, allowing the Crime Syndicate to enter Prime Earth. Not long after, Shazam, along with most of the other heroes, were then trapped in the Firestorm Matrix by Deathstorm.
Shazam was released from the Firestorm Matrix after the Crime Syndicate were defeated by Lex Luthor and a few other villains. Luthor then rebuilds the Justice League Watchtower and invites Shazam along, telling him that they will be joining the Justice League. Once the team arrives, they reject Luthor's attempts to join but accept Shazam.
Throughout his time in the Justice League, Billy manages to form a close friendship with Cyborg, which developed immediately during their first mission together: locating the Ring of Volthoom, whose current whereabouts were unknown after the Crime Syndicate fell.
The character obtains powers through a transformation from a human persona into a superpowered entity. When the human persona, Billy Batson, says the magic word "Shazam!", he becomes the multi-superpowered Captain Marvel/Shazam.
Though the link to the specific mythological figures is de-emphasized in many modern-day stories, traditionally the letters in the name Shazam each represent a specific superhuman ability:
|S||for the Wisdom of Solomon||As Captain Marvel/Shazam, Billy's neurons and synapses are supercharged with divine magics and energy. This allows him instant access to a vast amount of scholarly knowledge and objective, nearly infallible wisdom, including an innate understanding of most known languages and sciences. He has exceptional photographic recall and mental acuity, allowing him to read and decipher hieroglyphs, recall everything he has ever learned, and solve long mathematical equations. He also has a great understanding of divine phenomena in the mortal world. The wisdom of Solomon provides him with counsel and advice in times of need. In early Captain Marvel stories, Solomon's power also gave Marvel the ability to hypnotize people.|
|H||for the Strength of Hercules||This fundamental superpower is among Captain Marvel/Shazam's most definitive and chief abilities. Hercules' power supercharges Billy's muscles, tendons and bones; granting Captain Marvel/Shazam immense superhuman strength comparable to that of the legendary demigod now known as the Olympian God of Strength, making Captain Marvel/Shazam one of DC Comics' strongest characters. He is able to easily bend steel in his bare hands, do the work of several laborers in half the time, toss pickup trucks high into the air, punch through walls, and lift massive objects. In the comics, this strength has been compared to that of Superman and other godlike superheroes and villains. The strength of the Golden Age Captain Marvel was unlimited, and the character was strong enough to move stars and planets.|
|A||for the Stamina of Atlas||Using Atlas' stamina, Captain Marvel/Shazam can withstand and survive most types of extreme physical assaults, and heal from them within seconds without any seeming discomfort. In some stories, the stamina of Atlas makes Captain Marvel/Shazam nearly invulnerable in the same way as Superman and similar characters in that he is almost completely impervious to harm from such things as bullets, blades, fire, chemicals, and explosions. The stamina of Atlas also prevents him from getting tired and provides him with a supernaturally endued metabolism preventing fatigue, thirst and hunger.|
|Z||for the Power of Zeus||Zeus' power, besides fueling the magic thunderbolt that transforms Captain Marvel/Shazam, also enhances Marvel's other physical and mental abilities, and grants him resistance against all magic spells and attacks. The hero can use the lightning bolt as a weapon by dodging it and allowing it to strike an opponent or other target. The magic lightning has several uses, such as creating apparatus, restoring damage done to the hero, and providing fuel for magic spells. The current-continuity version of Shazam is able to personally generate and control lightning for various uses. He also can use it readily from his fingertips. The power of Zeus also enhances Captain Marvel/Shazam's other powers. From Zeus's power Captain Marvel/Shazam inherits his invulnerability.|
|A||for the Courage of Achilles||This aspect is mostly psychological and spiritual in nature. The courage of Achilles gives Captain Marvel/Shazam the courage and bravery of the legendary Greek hero. This magic stems from the Styx, endowing Captain Marvel/Shazam with an omnipresent presence of good will and inner harmony that protects him from doubt, renders him impervious to intimidation or forces of personality, and comforts him even in the most hopeless of times. In one story it is claimed to also give him fighting skills. In the Trials of Shazam! mini-series, this was changed temporarily to Achilles' near-invulnerability. It also aids the hero's mental fortitude against most mental attacks.|
|M||for the Speed of Mercury||By channeling Mercury's speed, Captain Marvel/Shazam can move at superhuman speeds and fly, although in older comics he could only leap great distances. The Captain Marvel of pre-1985 stories was also able to travel to the Rock of Eternity by flying faster than the speed of light.|
In classic stories, simply saying the word "Shazam!" transformed Billy into Captain Marvel and back again. But there are other ways that Billy can turn into Captain Marvel such as playing a recording of him saying the word "Shazam". When Captain Marvel shared his powers with his Marvel Shazam Family teammates, it was depicted as a finite source which would be divided in half, into thirds, or further, depending upon how many Marvels were super-powered at one time, and weakening them accordingly. In modern stories where Billy goes by the name Shazam, the word does not automatically summon the lightning without his intent that it do so. He can also share the power with friends of his to an unknown degree, without obvious ill effects on his overall power.
Captain Marvel/Shazam is not completely invulnerable. In several stories, he is shown to be susceptible to high-powered magic, which can weaken or de-power him, and, in some older stories, to significantly high voltages of lightning or electricity, which would revert him back to Billy Batson form. Later depictions also show his childlike innocence and immaturity to be a significant weakness.
Since the 2011 reboot, Shazam's powers have been slightly altered. The word "Shazam" does not cause a transformation if Billy does not want it to; he is able to use and manipulate magical lightning much more readily from his fingertips; able to share his magical powers and bestow unique powers onto those he chooses, without weakening himself but disrupting the enchantments cast. He also demonstrates the ability to use magic in as-yet-unexplored ways, on one occasion using it to conjure items. During the "Darkseid War" story line in 2015, his powers are altered in unexplored ways again when his connection to the six deities is disrupted, and he is given new magical patrons in the form of the Strength of S'ivaa (a New God), the Fires of H'romneer (Martian death god), the Compassion of Anapel, the Source Manipulation of Zonuz (another name for Yuga Khan, Darkseid's father), the Boldness of Atë, and the Lightning of Mamaragan, the Wizard himself.
In the late 2000s, when Billy replaced the wizard and took on white robes and the name of "Marvel", he commanded the various magical abilities once owned by the wizard. However, he was required to remain on the Rock of Eternity and could only be away from it for 24 hours at a time.
SHAZAM has anumber of allies including Shazam(Wizard), Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Osiris and many more.
Over the years SHAZAM has made a number of enemies including Black Adam, Anti Monitor, Despero, Eclipso, King Kull, Krona, Sinclair Batson and many more.
|Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil||Jeff Smith||Jeff Smith, Steve Hamaker|
|Shazam: The New Beginning||Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas||Tom Mandrake, Carl Gafford|
|The Power of Shazam||Jerry Ordway||Jerry Ordway|
|The Trials Of Shazam !||Judd Winick||Howard Porter|
|Kingdom Come||Mark Waid||Alex Ross|