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Quote1 Holy moley! Quote2
-- Captain Marvel src

Billy Batson is Captain Marvel, Earth's mightiest mortal.

Origin

Billy Batson was born in New York City in the early 20th Century. When he was approximately six months old, his parents were killed in a car crash, and Billy went to live with his uncle, Ebenezer Batson. The life with his uncle was hard. Billy was ill-fed and his uncle forced him to try to get money. The uncle suggested theft, but Billy instead sold pencils. Whatever value Billy brought home, Ebenezer whipped him. Uncle Eben eventually kicked him out of the house. When Billy was on the street, suffered from hypothermia and starvation and was brought to a hospital. When he recovered his health, Billy discovered that his uncle had fled with an inheritance that was destined for him. [2] It forced him to fend for himself on the city streets. By 1940, Billy had managed to secure himself a part-time job as a newsboy.

One evening as Billy was hawking newspapers, a strange shadowy man in a long coat approached him. He beckoned Billy to follow him, and led him underground into a dilapidated subway station. A driverless subway car unlike any Billy had ever seen before, roared to the platform and the two got on board. The car sped off deeper underground, bringing them to a vast cavern known as the Rock of Eternity. Billy disembarked and both the subway train and the cloaked stranger disappeared. Before him Billy saw two rows of statues lining each side of the cavern. Each statue was forged in the likeness of a horrific monster, representing the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man.

At the anterior of the cavern, he found an old man with a flowing white beard sitting on a stone throne. Above him was a large boulder suspended from the ceiling of the cavern by a tiny, fraying thread. The old man introduced himself as a wizard named Shazam, and told Billy that he had been chosen to be his champion against injustice. The wizard lit a brazier to the left of the throne, illuminating the names of six mythological elders inscribed on the wall behind it; Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury. He explained that each of these elders would bestow an aspect of their power unto Billy, and all the boy had to do to acquire such power was to speak the wizard's name.

Billy spoke the name "Shazam", and a bolt of mystic lightning struck down from nowhere transforming the twelve-year-old boy[3] into a powerful, muscle-bound man. Shazam christened his new champion as Captain Marvel and saluted him. Moments after the startling transformation, the thread securing the boulder above Shazam's head snapped, and the rock came down, crushing the wizard. Shazam's spirit rose from the debris and told Billy that his ghost would always be present inside the Rock of Eternity, should the neophyte hero ever need his guidance. Honoring his commitment to the wizard, Billy Batson became the World's Mightiest Mortal – Captain Marvel. [4]

Adventures

Throughout his adventures, Captain Marvel had fought a host of villains. These included mad scientist Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, the Egyptian Marvel renegade Black Adam, the Venusian Mister Mind and the Monster Society of Evil. Captain Marvel also gained allies in the Marvel Family, who shared powers similar to Captain Marvel's, which consists of his friend Freddy Freeman, who becomes Captain Marvel, Jr., Billy's long-lost twin sister Mary Marvel, and the anthropomorphic talking tiger Tawky Tawny. Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family would team up with other heroes such as Ibis the Invincible, Bulletman and Bulletgirl, Spy Smasher, and Mr. Scarlet.

Captain Marvel later participated in the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and joined with many heroes from alternate Earths to battle the Anti-Monitor from destroying the Multiverse. The heroes defeated the Anti-Monitor but not before the remaining Earths, including Captain Marvel's, were merged together. Captain Marvel along with the Marvel Family was recreated as a new person with a restructured history.

Convergence

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This section of the history takes place during Convergence, a massive crossover event revisiting characters from past eras and realities. The villains Brainiac and Telos plucked them from their own timeline and stored them together, causing them to cross over into each others' reality. Its precise chronological placement and canonicity may be unclear.

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Pre-crisis Billy's Fawcett City is taken to Convergence by Brainiac and Telos and he loses his powers for a year. Before the dome goes down, he is captured by Sivana and the Monsters of Evil.[5]

Powers

  • Divine Empowerment - All of the powers granted collection of six by gods and figures of legend either directly or through Shazam.
    • Transformation: The ability to transform from a mortal to the entity empowered by the six.
      • Lightning Bolt: A mystical lightning bolt from the skies is responsible for change him to and from his alter ego; Some rare times, he used it as a destructive power against an opponent. [6] Once Dr. Sivana measured this lightning -- more than 600 000 000 000 000 000 mega-volts! [7]
      • Accelerated Healing
      • Clairvoyance: The ability to understand situations from many angles, including future and past consequences with superhuman clarity and accuracy. [citation needed]
      • Divine Grace: Innate luck and divine guidance that allows finesse in actions and dealings with others.
      • Eidetic Memory: Captain Marvel has memorized the location of every island on Earth.[8]
      • Enhanced Intellect: Intellect and wisdom are heightened to superhuman levels. This also provides great or comprehensive knowledge in many areas, including:
        • Metallurgy: He created Marvellium, a metal capable to binding ghosts.[9]
        • Hypnosis: He could combine hypnotism with a punch to take away the memories of a victim; it was known as "Amnesia Punch".[10]
        • Language: He knew all languages, ancient and modern.[11]
        • Mathematics: He could square the circle.[11]
        • Science
        • Tactics of War
      • Enhanced Vision: He could calculate the prescription of a pair of eyeglasses, and match them to another pair, simply from casual observation.[12]
      • Enhanced Senses: Captain Marvel could detect evil in an artifact[13], or feel where a bad person is[14].
      • Flight: The ability to hover or soar at high speed through an act of sheer will. By flying faster than light, he was able to access the Rock of Eternity, where he could travel to any time or dimension.
      • Healing: The ability to use the transformative lightning to heal others or ones self instantly.
      • Indomitable Will: An incredible amount of willpower that allows perseverance in overwhelming odds and seemingly unbeatable situations.
      • Intangibility: Shortly after Dr. Sivana developed a mathematical formula which, when recited, enabled him to become intangible, Captain Marvel deduced that formula, and used it against Sivana.[15] He has rarely if ever used it since, but he does have an eidetic memory, so he hasn't forgotten it.
      • Invulnerability
      • Magic Resistance
      • Self-Sustenance: The ability to survive without sleep, food, water, or air.
      • Superhuman Speed: The ability to run or fly at incredible rates of speed. He could fly from New York City to the Aleutian Islands in thirty-seven and three-quarters seconds.[16]
      • Superhuman Reflexes
      • Superhuman Agility
      • Superhuman Strength

Weaknesses

  • Vulnerability to Electricity: He can be reverted to his alter ego with enough electricity.[18][19]
  • He will continue in his mortal form if he can't be striken by his mystical lightning (being unable to talk, or if the energy is deflected or absorbed [19]).

Equipment

Transportation

  • WHIZ Van
  • This version of Captain Marvel, including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
  • Originally, the city protected by Captain Marvel was unnamed, and eventually revealed to be New York City. [19][20] His hometown was changed to Fawcett City in Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #4.
  • Shazam #1 was Captain Marvel's first appearance in a comic published by DC Comics, after a 20 years hiatus since his last Fawcett Comics published story.
  • C.C. Beck modeled Captain Marvel's physical appearance after the American actor Fred MacMurray.[citation needed]
  • Billy's age was elaborated in a writers' guide by Fawcett, which specified Billy's age as 12 when he got his powers, and 14 in appearances from 1942 forward.[3]
  • Captain Marvel is also known as The World's Mightiest Mortal and the The Big Red Cheese. The latter nickname is almost exclusively used by his archnemesis, Doctor Sivana.

Related


Footnotes


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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."