|Real name:||Mary Willow Batson|
|First Appearance:||Captain Marvel Adventures #18|
|Created by:|| Jerry Ordway|
|Affiliations:|| Marvel Family|
Formerly Justice League of America
|Portrayed by:||Dawn Jeffory (Voice)|
Mary Marvel is superheroine in the DC Comics Universe and a member of the Marvel Family, a group of heroes associated with Captain Marvel. She is the alter ego of Mary Batson, twin sister of Billy Batson, Captain Marvel's alter-ego. Like her brother, Mary is granted the power of the wizard Shazam and has to speak the wizard's name to transform into Mary Marvel.
Mary joined her brother and his friend Captain Marvel, Jr in fighting the forces of evil.
The Power of Shazam!Edit
Mary Batson was re-introduced in The Power of Shazam! graphic novel by Jerry Ordway, who also revised the origin of her super-powered alter-ego in issues 3, 4, and 16 of the Power of Shazam ongoing series that followed the graphic novel. Several of the details remain the same, while others are noticeably altered.
Mary and Billy’s parents are archaeologists, and Mary accompanies her parents on an expedition to Egypt while Billy remains at home. Mary’s parents are killed by their associate Theo Adam, who then kidnaps the young girl. Upon Theo Adam's return to the United States, Adam’s sister, a maid named Sarah Primm, learns what Theo has done, and takes Mary into her care. Primm has Mary illegally adopted by Primm’s childless employers, Nick and Nora Bromfield (based on Nick and Nora Charles). As Mary Bromfield, the young girl grows up living an idyllic life in a wealthy family, but continuously dreams of another family with a brother she has never seen.
Meanwhile, Billy, eventually finding himself on the streets, is given the power to become Captain Marvel. He learns that Mary is still alive, but after four years of searching, neither he nor his benefactor, the wizard Shazam, can find the girl. The only thing Billy has to remember Mary by is her favorite toy, a "Tawky Tawny" doll, which was shipped to America with the Batsons’ possessions after their murders.
As a young teenager, Mary enters a regional spelling bee held in Fawcett City and emceed by Billy. After saving Mary from kidnappers twice as Captain Marvel, Billy notices how much Mary Bromfield reminds him of Mary Batson, and has an undercover cop named “Muscles” McGinnis retrieve the girl’s forged adoption record. Learning that Mary is indeed his sister, Billy tries to figure out a way to let Mary know he is her brother. The old "Tawky Tawny" doll suddenly transforms into a full-sized tiger and comes to life a la Hobbes (animated by Lord Satanus, the son of Shazam), and instructs Billy to take the doll to Mary. As Captain Marvel, Billy flies out to the Bromfields’ hometown of Fairfield to deliver the doll and the adoption papers to Mary.
Arriving at the Bromfield estate, Billy delivers the package, but is immediately kidnapped by the thugs who helped Primm forge Mary’s adoption records. Mary takes the package and opens it, discovering the adoption records and the Tawky Tawny doll. Once again, the doll comes to life, and instructs the bewildered girl to say the magic word “Shazam” and save her brother. Mary complies, and is transformed by a bolt of magic lightning into a super-powered adult woman that resembles her deceased mother. She saves Billy, who transforms into Captain Marvel to help Mary out, but the two Marvels cannot save Sarah Primm, who is murdered by one of the thugs.
For the early years of her career, Mary's superhero identity was called Captain Marvel, just like her brother, as Jerry Ordway, the writer for the Power of Shazam! series believed that "Mary Marvel" was an illogical superhero name. After Power of Shazam! ended, Mary's alter ego was officially renamed Mary Marvel. The female Captain Marvel has the same powers, from the same benefactors, as the male Captain Marvel. In fact, they both draw their power from one finite percentage of Shazam’s power: when they both use it, each of them is only half as strong, half as fast, and half as invulnerable. After the Captains share their power with crippled friend Freddy Freeman so that he can become Captain Marvel Jr., the power is split three ways when all three Marvels are active.
Mary Marvel’s costume was originally exactly the same as that of her Fawcett Comics incarnation. Beginning with Power of Shazam! #28, she began wearing a white costume to distinguish herself from her brother.
Super Buddies and BeyondEdit
In 2003, Mary became a member of an offshoot of the Justice League known as the Super Buddies in the Formerly Known as the Justice League miniseries, which juxtaposed her Golden Age-era personality with the modern-day world for comic effect.
While with the Super Buddies, her innocent ways often clashed with Fire, her new roommate. Warrior's opening of a bar next door and making lewd comments to the females of the team only furthered their discomfort.
Mary was later held by demons in hell--where Shazam's power does not work. As ransom, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold were forced to work for 'BeelzeBurger', a fast food joint that was literally from hell. They escaped only to find themselves in a world with twisted and evil versions of themselves. They were all saved by Dr. Fate. Mary and her other Super Buddies teammates were later seen battling the OMACs.
Mary appeared at Black Adam and Isis' wedding, and later Isis' and Osiris' funeral, and fought Black Adam in World War III. Mary lost her powers in mid-flight as an after-effect of the death of the wizard Shazam, and fell from a height of 3 miles. Mary survived the fall, but ended up in a coma in New York City; Freddy spent all of his money to pay for her care.
Mary emerged from her coma. A note from Freddy Freeman left with a nurse asked her not to look for him. When Mary attempted to call on the power of Shazam, she found that she was still powerless. Madame Xanadu warned Mary not to visit Gotham City, telling her it would be especially dangerous, but she made her way there nonetheless. At the entrance to the subway station where her younger brother first met Shazam, Mary was chased by criminals. As they cornered in the abandoned Kandaqi embassy, her pursuers were attacked by a fully-powered, unhinged Black Adam, who then directed his fury at her. But after nearly choking her, Adam took pity on the powerless Mary and instead gave her his powers. While Adam once again became his mortal alter-ego, Teth-Adam, Mary transformed back into her adult Marvel form, but this time she was wearing a black, form-fitting costume with a skirt and since Adam was not sharing his powers with anyone else when he granted them to Mary, she held all of Black Adam's powers.
Finding Adam's power to be more than she bargained for, Mary went in search of a tutor. She first sought out Zatanna, who took her to Shadowcrest for training. But when Zatanna refused to give her access to any of the magical weapons, Mary began to believe that Zatanna was merely planning to steal her power and attacked her. Zatanna thus banished Mary from Shadowcrest.
Wandering around, Mary ended up in Chung Ling Soo Square, a flea market of magic located in China. When one of the locals attacked her, she was saved by the witch-boy, Klarion Bleak, who offered to help her control her powers in exchange for a small fraction of it. She accepted, but when he tried to steal all her power, she beat him off and left him to the mercies of Chun Ling Soo's locals.
Drawn away by a mysterious voice, she arrived in Ephesus, Turkey, where she found Eclipso, who offered mentorship with seemingly no strings attached. Under her tutelage, Mary went on a campaign of cruelly-twisted justice, punishing terrible crimes in an excessive manner.
Their alliance, however, seemed to break down when Eclipso, hoping to please her master, Darkseid, offered him the young and pretty Mary to serve as his new concubine, reasoning that the two women could always leech Darkseid's arcane knowledge, slay him and take his place. Mary refused to sell herself for more power, beat Eclipso with her own crystal, and fled. Eclipso caught up to her and regained the diamond. Eclipso then departed, leaving Mary alone again. Some time later, Eclipso returned to try and finish her off, but Mary was too strong for her.
Mary experienced a change of heart, and upon realizing that Black Adam's powers were as responsible for her corruption as Eclipso, divested herself of them, feeding the lighting bolt into Eclipso. Both women lost their powers and fell into the ocean. However an unpowered Mary landed on Themysciran soil, where Queen Hippolyta drafted her in the rebellion against Granny Goodness, who was posing as the goddess Athena.
Mary, Holly Robinson and Harley Quinn managed to reveal Granny's deception, and the trio followed her to Apokolips. After escaping the Female Furies, Mary started to hear the voices of the gods. The group managed to free the gods from an Apokaliptan chamber, and Mary Marvel's powers and a new variation of her classic costume, now with a gray lightning bolt and long sleeves, were restored.
However, this did not last, and through the actions of Darkseid she was corrupted and turned into a vessel for one of Darkseid's servants. She was in Bludhaven just before the Apokolitian forces spread the Anti-Life Equation worldwide, and she was instrumental in turning Wonder Woman into a "plague vector" for a new strain of the Morticoccus virus.
During the superhero's attack on Bludhaven, she was part of the force that defended Darkseid's fortress. She clashed with Freddy, Tawky Tawny, and Black Adam. Almost immediately, Adam tried to kill her, telling Freddy that it was not Mary who was in control — just "a leering old man" as Adam put it. As the battle continued, Mary focused on Supergirl, flying across the city and damaging the remaining buildings. Finally, Freddy managed to grab ahold of Mary and shouted "Shazam", transforming them both back to normal and supressing or removing DeSaad's influence from Mary. She broke down crying over what she had done, as Freddy reassured her that it wasn't her fault.
Desiring the power of the Marvels, Blaze strikes a deal with Mary. She will return Mary's powers, provided that she kills Freddy Freeman. Mary, still desperate for her power, agrees, but discusses it with Freddy, and they double cross Blaze. After Blaze is sent back to Hell, Billy, Mary and Freddy continue their search for their powers.
- See: Captain Thunder
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Power of Shazam: In order to change form, Mary has to call upon the name of Shazam, thereby invoking spells involving the energies of those extra-dimensional beings once known as gods on Earth. When Mary Batson said the magic word "Shazam!", she would be transformed into Mary Marvel. In her Mary Marvel form, Mary possesses the following attributes:
- S for the Wisdom of Solomon: Mary Marvel instant access to a vast amount of scholarly knowledge, exceptional photographic recall and mental acuity allowing her to read and decipher hieroglyphics, solve long mathematical equations instantaneously and make intuitive guesses based on limited data to the point her guesses were almost always correct. The wisdom of Solomon also gave Mary clairvoyance and provided her with counsel and advice in times of need. She had knowledge of all languages, ancient and modern, and could hypnotize people.
- H for the Strength of Hercules: Mary Marvel had incredible amounts of super strength, was strong enough to lift at least 100 tons , and was able to effortlessly bend steel, punch through walls, and lift massive objects. Mary's strength is enough that she has fought beings such as Captain Atom to a standstill. Her Olympian flesh and bone was about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the Olympians' superhuman strength and weight.
- A for the Stamina of Atlas: Using Atlas' endurance, Mary Marvel could withstand and survive most types of extreme physical assaults; if she were somehow wounded, her godly energies would enable her to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of her bodily molecules to cause her a physical death. Even then, it might have been possible for a god of significant power, such as Zeus, Poseidon and Apollo or for a number of Olympian gods of equal power working together to revive her. Additionally, her Olympian metabolism ensured that she did not need to eat, sleep, or breathe when in Mary Marvel form.
- Z for the Power of Zeus: Zeus' power, besides fueling the magic thunderbolt that transformed Mary Marvel, also enhanced Marvel's other physical abilities, provided physical invulnerability and resistance against most magic spells and attacks, and allowed her to access the Rock of Eternity. Marvel could use the lightning bolt as a weapon by dodging it and allowing it to strike an opponent or target. The magical lightning had many other uses, including creating apparati, restoring damage done to Marvel, or acting as fuel for magical spells.
- A for the Courage of Achilles: Like the wisdom, this aspect is primarily psychological, and gives Marvel superhuman amounts of inner strength from which to draw. She was always supported by an innate and harmonious presence of good will and strength of perseverance so that she never backed down from a challenge.
- M for the Speed of Mercury: By channeling Mercury's speed, Mary Marvel, while not as fast as the Flash, could fly and move at hypersonic speeds exceeding Mach 10 (2 miles a second) while in Earth's atmosphere, and could fly at close to light speed through space. She could move fast enough to not register in the normal peripheral range of humans and seemingly vanish and disappear at will. At this speed, her mind processed information on par to a computer or at least on a subliminal level that she was aware of her surroundings. She could also mystically fly through the atmosphere through sure act of will, enabling her to soar through the atmosphere at sub-orbital levels and travel across the planet. She was immune from the effects of extreme height, such as dizziness and lightheadedness. With effort, she could travel from the earth to the moon, but required extra-precautionary paraphernalia for interstellar travel. Hermes Trismegistus (Greek for "thrice-great Hermes"), an occultist aspect of Hermes/Mercury, also gave her the ability to wield magic and cast spells, though she never used this as Mary Marvel, apparently because she didn't know how.
Since becoming possessed by DeSaad, the nature of Mary's powers has changed. While she still retains superhuman strength, speed and endurance, her powers now seem to be fueled by Anti-Life instead of magic. She claims she has new gods now, and a new "dirty magic word" that triggers her transformation.
- While possessing Black Adam's powers, Mary was capable of lifting around 100,000 tons. Her current strength level is unrevealed.
High Order Magic: Only the strongest of magics can affect Mary Marvel in any particular way, such as those wielded by the Spectre.
Speech Impediment: The spell that allows Mary to transform into Mary Marvel is purely vocal. Therefore, if she is prevented from speaking, such as being gagged, she will not be able to transform.
Electricity: A powerful enough electric discharge can transform Mary Marvel back into Mary Batson and vice versa. This has worked both to her advantage and detriment oftentimes.
In Other MediaEdit
- Along with the rest of the Marvel Family, Mary Marvel appeared in the 1981 Shazam! Saturday morning cartoon, aired as one half of The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam! voiced by Dawn Jeffory.
- Mary Marvel (as Mary Batson) appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Power of Shazam!" voiced by Tara Strong. As with the origin of her appearance, both Mary and Billy are reunited at the end of the episode when they discover a locket that helps them reconect as brother and sister after Batman did some detective work that found her. She returns in "The Malicious Mr. Mind!", this time with the ability to transform into Mary Marvel. She and the other members of the Marvel Family, along with Batman, battle the Monster Society of Evil.
- On the forums of Comic Book Resources, writer Dwayne McDuffie confirmed that the Superwoman (voiced by Gina Torres) portrayed in the film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is the Crime Syndicate of America's version of Mary Marvel, instead of Wonder Woman. A second, alternate version of Mary appeared on a computer page of the lesser members of the Syndicate. While initially unnamed in the movie, designer Jerome K. Moore identified her as Mary Mayhem.