|Real name:||William Joseph "Billy" Batson|
|First Appearance:||Whiz Comics #2 (February 1940)|
|Created by:|| C. C. Beck|
|Abilities:|| Magically bestowed aspects of various mythological figures, including:|
Vast super-strength, speed, and stamina
Physical and magical invulnerability
Vast wisdom and enhanced mental perception
Control over and emission of magic lightning
Captain Marvel is a magically-empowered superhero and protector of Fawcett City. In his secret identity, he is William Joseph "Billy" Batson, a young boy who works as a radio news reporter. Billy was chosen to be a champion of good by the wizard Shazam. Whenever Billy speaks the wizard's name, he is struck by a magic thunderbolt that transforms him into an adult superhero empowered by six legendary figures.
Billy was separated from his sister Mary following the death of their parents and left in the care of their uncle Ebenezer, his father's half-brother. Unfortunately, Ebenezer threw Billy out and stole the youth's trust fund money which had been set aside for Billy's care and welfare. Left penniless and homeless, Billy eked out a sorrowful existence in Fawcett City as a newsboy. For shelter, he often slept in the subway terminals.
One night, a mysterious stranger - later revealed to be the spirit of Billy's father - convinced Billy to follow him deep into the subway tunnels. There, Billy found a marvelous train decorated in hieroglyphics and mystic runes. Billy and the stranger rode the train deep into the bowles of the earth and arrived in a cavern that held statues epitomizing the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man, including Envy, Lust, Greed, Pride, Wrath, Sloth, and Gluttony. Within the cavern, Billy met the ancient wizard Shazam, a champion of mankind for thousands of years. Withered with age, Shazam sat on a throne poised benaeth a giant stone block suspended above him as if by magic.
There, the ancient wizard revealed that he had selected Billy to be his champion to fight for good as the "strongest and mightiest man in the world--Captain Marvel!" To that end, Shazam ordered Billy to speak his name, which was actually an acronym for various legendary figures who had agreed to grant aspects of themselves to a willing subject:
S - for the wisdom of Solomon
H - for the strength of Hercules
A - for the stamina of Atlas
Z - for the power of Zeus (which enhances all Marvel's other physical abilities and allows for interdimensional travel)
A - for the courage of Achilles (which would include invulnerability from ancient mythology)
M - for the speed of Mercury (and, by extension, the power to fly)
Billy then said the wizard's name, and was immediately struck by a magic lightning bolt, turning him into Captain Marvel, an adult superhero. He then learned that he has only to speak the word again to be instantly changed back into Billy.
With that, Shazam was immediately killed by the large granite block that fell from above his throne. Billy vowed to fulfill his bestowed role. Whenever he needed advice, Billy could light a brazier near Shazam's throne, summoning the wizard's ghost.
Adventures as a HeroEdit
Marvel's first call to duty was saving the world from the evil mad scientist, Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana, who threatened to silence radio forever unless he was paid a large sum of money. Resuming his regular form, Billy told WHIZ radio mogul Sterling Morris that he could stop the Radio Silencer and Sivana; a disbelieving Morris offered Billy a job on the air if he could do so.
After finding the crooks' hideout, Billy transformed into Captain Marvel, destroyed Sivana's radio silencing machine and apprehended his henchmen. Sivana escaped, setting the stage for a long line of future confrontations. Marvel transformed back into Billy, who presented the captured criminals and destroyed Radio Silencer to Sterling Morris. True to his word, Sterling Morris made Billy an on-air news reporter for WHIZ radio.
Through his adventures, he soon gained a host of enemies, including Adolf Hitler's champion Captain Nazi, an older Egyptian renegade Marvel called Black Adam, an evil magic-powered brute named Ibac, and an artificially intelligent nuclear-powered robot called Mister Atom. The most notorious Captain Marvel villains, however, were the nefarious Mister Mind and his Monster Society Of Evil, which recruited several of Marvel's previous adversaries.
In the early 1940s, Captain Marvel also gained allies in the Marvel Family, a collective of superheroes with similar powers and costumes to Captain Marvel's. Early on marked the debut of the Lieutenant Marvels, the alter egos of three other boys who found that, by saying "Shazam!" in unison, they too could become Marvels. Soon a friend named Freddy Freeman, mortally wounded by an attack from Captain Nazi, was given the power to become teenage boy superhero Captain Marvel, Jr.. Eventually Billy and Freddy met Billy's long-lost twin sister Mary Bromfield, who discovered she could, by saying the magic word "Shazam", become teenage superheroine Mary Marvel.
The lives of the Marvel Family would soon change forever when they fought Doctor Sivana and his children, who planned to trap the Marvels in a suspended animation machine called the Suspendium. However, the Suspendium ended up trapping both the Marvels and the Sivanas in suspended animation for twenty years. They would only break free when the Suspendium moved closer to the sun. Afterwards, the Marvel Family would retake its place as protectors of the world.
Crisis on Infinite EarthsEdit
After many adventures. Captain Marvel and his friends would participate in the battle against the Anti-Monitor, an antimatter being who sought to destroy several parallel universes and recreate reality. The heroes managed to defeat the Anti-Monitor, but not before several universes were destroyed and the remaining universes were merged together into a single universe. After this battle, Captain Marvel was erased from existence and replaced by his modern self.
Captain Marvel is a completely separate individual from Billy Batson, with his own consciousness and opinions.
Captain Marvel is a brave and righteous hero with a strong sense of justice. He is very compassionate and wise, and does his best to improve the world around him. Gifted with the Courage of Achilles and the Wisdom of Solomon, Captain Marvel is an unyielding and resolute force for good.
Billy Batson is a brave and righteous boy capable of great acts of compassion and kindness despite of his miserable childhood. Although he lacks the Wisdom of Solomon or the Courage of Achilles, Billy is still a very courageous and resourceful person in his own right.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Power of Shazam: In order to access the powers of Captain Marvel, Batson must invoke the name of the Wizard Shazam, thereby summoning the spells and energies of those extra-dimensional beings once known as "the gods on Earth".
Batson must invoke the spell in order to call upon these powers. In a burst of supernatural thunder and lightning, Captain Marvel wields the mighty powers of the immortals. By calling upon Shazam again, Captain Marvel can once again return to his former identity.
Captain Marvel possesses the following superhuman and magical powers:
- S for the Wisdom of Solomon: Captain Marvel has instant access to a vast amount of knowledge. The wisdom of Solomon is sometimes known as the Wisdom of the Ancients. Captain Marvel has superhuman clairvoyance and awareness. He is provided with counsel and advice in times of need. Captain Marvel has knowledge of all languages, ancient and modern warfare, and can hypnotize or enchant people with his power. The power of wisdom lends him knowledge far beyond mortal comprehension.
- Superhuman Knowledge: Captain Marvel has exceptional photographic recall and mental acuity allowing him to read and decipher hieroglyphics, recall everything he has ever learned and solve long mathematical equations. Instantaneously he can make intuitive guesses based on limited data; to the point his guesses are almost always correct; also he has a great understanding of divine phenomenon in the mortal world.
- Clairvoyance: Captain Marvel possesses an uncanny awareness of his circumstances that allows him to turn disadvantages into advantages.
- Hypnosis: Through sheer power and magic he can hypnotize people for length of time (undetermined). Only those of great willpower can overcome this ability.
- Omni-lingual: He can speak every language known to humans as well as ancient or dead languages and is able to understand aliens.
- H for the Strength of Hercules: In his role as Earth's Mightiest Mortal, Batson has incredible super strength.
- Superhuman Strength: Give him the ability to lift and/or press volumes of mass far in excess to that normally possible for a human being functioning in Earth gravity.
- A for the Stamina of Atlas: The Titan known as Atlas had limitless endurance. Atlas cradled the Earth for time immemorial. He can overcome tremendous physical resistance. This superhuman ability lends to his ability to stay as Captain Marvel for elongated periods of time, survive in space and fight seemingly endless battles such as his fight with the Black Adam.
- Z for the Power of Zeus: Zeus was Olympus's high father and the god of magical lightning bolts. Zeus' power, besides fueling the magic thunderbolt that transform Captain Marvel, also enhances Captain Marvel's other physical and magical abilities. This power reinforces his physical invulnerability and resistance against magic spells and attacks. Captain Marvel can use the magical lightning as a weapon. He can summon Zeus's lighting bolts to strike his opponents. Zeus's lightning may be used to create mythic apparatus, restore damage done to Marvel, and act as a power source for magical spells. He knocked Superman unconscious with the speed of Mercury and with his fists wrapped in lighting bolts.
- Magical Resistance: This boosts his Invulnerability and Endurance powers to god-like levels. Making him only affected by the most potent of spells and abilities.
- Physical Enhancement: His muscles, height increase, weight, mass and all physical properties that differ from Billy Batson's are a magical enhancement.
- Inter-dimensional Travel: This can only be used to travel to the Rock of Eternity.
- Spell Source: He is the focal point and immediate source of Mary Marvel and Freddy Freeman's powers. Just as Shazam is the source of Billy Batson's powers.
- Sorcery: Captain Marvel is a creature of pure and ancient magic. This allows for his ability to resist and cast magic spells, Zeus's Lighting being the most notable.
- Advanced Healing: If he is injured in battle he may call on the magical lightning to heal himself and mend wounds. If wounded, his divine and supernatural energies enable him to recover at other worldly speed.
- A for the Courage of Achilles: Captain Marvel has heroic levels of inner strength from which to draw. He has the courage of the Greek Hero Achilles which in battle and while in the Captain Marvel form allows him to wield great bravery and spirit. Captain Marvel is blessed with an innate and harmonious good will. A divine cheerfulness that is characterized by his trademark grin. It gives him a perseverance that pushes him to always confront a challenge with a knowing optimism.
- Invulnerability: Captain Marvel is virtually invulnerable, and resistant to all types of physical injuries.
- Optimism: With the Courage of Achilles combined with the Wisdom of Solomon and the boyish personality of Billy Batson this creates a certain kind of optimism of which Captain Marvel is supremely known for. Able to smile down most opponents and using his powers in special ways other than fighting, Captain Marvel will forever remain the staple "boy scout".
- M for the Speed of Mercury: By channeling Mercury's speed, Captain Marvel can easily fly and move at speeds far exceeding Mach 10 (2 miles a second) while in earth's atmosphere. This is far from his limit as the Speed of Mercury allows him to move at speeds faster than light. Thanks to the power of Mercury, Marvel flies as swiftly as the messenger god of Greek and Roman myth.
- Superhuman Speed: He can move at incredible speeds. Captain Marvel can move fast enough to render himself invisible and seemingly vanish and disappear at will.
- Flight: Captain Marvel can also mystically fly through the atmosphere. This enables him to soar effortlessly sub-orbital levels and travel across the planet in blinding speed. He can travel through space, but has sometimes uses devices to ease communication during interstellar travel.
- Various. The knowledge he currently possesses is unending, therefore he is capable of anything.
- Multilingual: Thanks to the Wisdom of Solomon, he has the ability to understand, comprehend, and speak any language on earth.
- Genius-Level Intellect: He also is considered a genius among geniuses.
- Smooth Talker: Another facet of his intelligence is ability to talk his way out of situations, as a man with an unprecedented amount of wisdom, he prefers to talk, rather than fight.
- High Order Magic: Only the most powerful magic can hurt him, like that of Black Adam.
- Electricity: A powerful enough electrical discharge can transform Captain Marvel back into Billy Batson, and vice versa. This has often worked both to his advantage and detriment.
- Speech Impediment: The spell that allows Billy to transform into Captain Marvel is purely vocal. Therefore, if he is prevented from speaking, such as being gagged, he will not be able to transform.