The history of Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel was the brain child of Bill Parker and C.C. Beck. He was created in 1939 and first published in Whiz Comics #2 by Fawcett Comics in 1940. Captain Marvel’s real identity is Billy Batson… a mere young boy. He was bestowed his powers by an ancient wizard named Shazam to become a champion of justice. Whenever Billy would speak the word “Shazam” he would be transformed in to the powerful Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel was highly successful. DC took notice of Fawcett’s success and decided that Captain Marvel was a rip-off of their own hero: Superman. They took Fawcett to court, but Fawcett settled, abandoning Captain Marvel to the clutches of DC.

DC published Captain Marvel under the title Shazam! thus thoroughly confusing anyone unfamiliar with Captain Marvel, as it appeared Shazam was the name of Billy Batson’s alter ego.

Enter, me.
I never knew much about Captain Marvel, but he’s a featured player in the current Infinite Crisis event. In Day of Vengeance (a title leading in to the Infinite Crisis) the Specter apparently went crazy, turned evil and started a campaign to destroy all magic (and thus, magic users)… including Captain Marvel himself.

Well upon reading this I decided I would check out an old issue (#9) of Shazam! that I had purchased from an antique store. In this issue, Captain Marvel battles Mister Mind and an army of worms. As if that wasn’t stupid enough, the cover made me wonder if Archie Andrews had been transformed in to Captain Marvel. The comic was much worse than I was expecting. I could barely get through the issue. The comic was light-hearted and child-oriented and horribly boring.

These days, Captain Marvel maintains his innocent outlook, after all he’s really just a child. Thus he isn’t easily corruptible. He’s like a less complex, more pure version of Superman. Although the Captain may be the same as he was in the past, the stories surrounding him have definitely darkened. In the end of Day of Vengeance, Shazam is killed by the Specter, and Captain Marvel (as Billy Batson) apparently gets the axe… apparently.

3 responses to “The history of Captain Marvel”

  1. Infinite Crisis is one of the main comics I read write now since this mini-series/maxi-series started. I write a review of each one I read. I don’t get all of the crossovers but I did just finish reading Day of Vengeance – Infinite Crisis Special and hope to post a review of it soon.

  2. I think this is a helpful site. I am doing a superhero unit in class and I drew Captain Marvel. It gave me lots of information I needed. Thanks for all the help

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