Mary Batson and her twin brother Billy were both nursed by a woman named Sarah Primm. When the Batson twins were orphaned after their parents died in a car accident, Primm substituted Mary for the baby girl of another family she nursed for, who had suddenly died, and sent Billy to an orphanage.
Over a decade after his parents' death, Billy was an on-air reporter for WHIZ Radio, hosting a quiz bowl with three young contestants. During a commercial break, Billy received an urgent letter from Sarah Primm requesting his presence. He immediately went to see the dying woman, who told Billy about his twin sister, and gave him a locket broken in half. Mary, Primm told Billy before dying, wore the other half of the locket.
After the quiz bowl broadcast was over, Billy recalled that one of the contestants, Mary Bromfield, wore a broken locket, and he and his best friend Freddy Freeman trailed Mary's limousine in their super-powered forms of Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr.. Before making it home, Mary was kidnapped for ransom, prompting the two Marvels to intervene, save her, and knock out the kidnappers.
Captain Marvel then learned that Mary's locket matched his own, and that she was indeed Billy's sister. The Marvels revealed their secret identities to Mary, who wondered if, since she is Billy's twin, she could become a Marvel by saying the magic word "Shazam." Billy, however, was assured that “Old Shaz—er—you know who—wouldn't give his powers to a girl!”
Just then, the kidnappers awakened and gagged Billy and Freddy, preventing them from saying their magic words. “Oh no,” exclaimed Mary, "Billy can't say 'Shazam!'" Just after inadvertently saying the word, a magic lightning bolt struck Mary Bromfield, and she was transformed into a super-powered version of herself. She then defeated the thugs by herself and freed Freddy and her brother.
Mary's super-powered self, christened "Mary Marvel" by her brother, wore a red short-sleeved blouse and red skirt, lined with gold trim, and including a lightning bolt insignia and "a cape—just like Captain Marvel's!” According to the wizard Shazam, Mary could transform into a Marvel because her “Shazam” powers were not derived from the male mythological figures who empowered Billy, but from a set of female benefactors.
- Divine Empowerment: By calling out the name Shazam, Mary Batson can transform into Mary Marvel with a bolt of magic lightning.
- Superhuman Strength: Strength gifted by the goddess Hippolyta.
- Tactical Analysis: Skill gifted by the goddess Ariadne.
- Superhuman Speed: Fleetness gifted by the goddess Zephyrus.
- Vulnerability to Electricity: A powerful enough electrical discharge will revert Mary back to her human form. Likewise, however, the same discharge can return her to her super heroine form if she cannot speak.
- Writer and Creator Otto Binder named Mary after his own preteen daughter Mary.
- A company was started by Whiz Comics called Mary Marvel Enterprises which sold products specifically for girls such as dresses and outfits. It was located at 215 West 40th Street, New York, N.Y..
- By the 1950s, it was decided to give Mary a slightly more mature look that included lowering the neckline of her costume and filling out her cleavage, such as it was. Fawcett editor in chief William Lieberson was interviewed later about how and why this change came about, and he gave this rather unexpected reply: "Perhaps Mary's mature change had something to do with her new editors. For a long time, Mary Marvel was edited by Mercy Shull, who could have fitted [sic] easily into a 32A bra. When Mercy left to open a dude ranch, she was replaced by Kay Woods, who would barely have fit into a 38C cup, and consequently, Mary's shape began to blossom."
- Mary Marvel is also known as the World's Mightiest Girl and the Little Red Cheese.
- Mary Marvel, and the Marvel Family, had enough strength between them to create an entirely new earth from scratch for a project. They made oceans, coastlines and mountains to imitate the earth. The planet continued to function long after the Marvels created it.
- 192 Appearances of Mary Batson (Earth-S)
- 27 Images featuring Mary Batson (Earth-S)
- 5 Quotations by or about Mary Batson (Earth-S)
- Character Gallery: Mary Batson (Earth-S)
|Marvel Family member |
This character is or was a member of the Marvel Family in any of its various incarnations, and an ally of Captain Marvel and the Wizard Shazam. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Marvel Family members."