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SHAZAM!
~ Shazam
Holy Moley!
~ Billy Batson

Shazam (real name William Joseph "Billy" Batson), originally known as Captain Marvel, is a superhero from the DC Comics and Universe. He was an orphan who was chosen by the Wizard Shazam to be a champion for good, and was gifted with six legendary figures when he spoke the Wizard's name, turning him into an adult superhero. Shazam later created the Marvel Family, a group of heroes who he shared his powers with, and became a member of the Justice League.

The character was created by C.C. Beck and Bill Parker, and first appeared in Whiz Comics # 2 in 1940.

Biography

Billy Batson was orphaned at a young age. After being kicked out of foster care, he was forced onto the streets. But he tried his best to stay strong and not conform to the corrupt world around him. Because of this, the wizard Shazam took notice of him. He chose to give Billy Batson his power. Billy used the power of Shazam to protect the world against threats like Black Adam and to protect his sister.

New Earth

Early Life

William Joseph "Billy" Batson was born in Fawcett City to archeologists C.C. and Marilyn Batson, and is the twin-sibling to Mary Batson. His parents were killed by their assistant, Theo Adam, who was the resurrected non-powered form of Teth-Adam, the former champion of the Wizard Shazam. In addition, Theo Adam kidnapped Mary, causing the two siblings to not be with each other at a young age.

Becoming a Hero

The Wizard Shazam learns of the recent events, and brought Billy to him to give him the power of Captain Marvel, and is gifted the abilities of legendary Gods and Goddesses. When turning into Captain Marvel, Billy takes the form of his late father to honor him. Theo Adam guesses Marvel's identity, and has a revelation about the power of Shazam, and becomes Black Adam after using a scarab. After defeating Black Adam and Doctor Sivana, Billy returned to his normal form and set out to find his sister.

Prime Earth

Early Life

On Prime-Earth, Billy was born in Zumbrota, Minnesota to bank robber C.C. Batson, and Marilyn Batson. Billy became an orphan after his parents' death, and became a cruel and distant youngster due to losing them. Billy grew up selfish and cold, and went to many foster homes until he landed in an orphanage in Philadelphia.

Adoption

At the age of fifteen, he was placed in the care of Victor and Rosa Vasquez, who were foster children themselves in their youth. Upon his adoption, he met his new foster siblings Mary Bromfield, Freddy Freeman, Eugene Choi, Pedro Peña, and Darla Dudley.

Billy refused to get close to the other children, but defended them the next day from some bullies who were picking on them at school. That night, Billy snuck out of the house and was followed by Freddy, and the two decided to hijack the car of the bullies' father. Billy was caught and escaped at the metro station, and was taken to the Rock of Eternity by the will of the Wizard Shazam.

Becoming Shazam

Billy met with the Wizard, who saw the boy's soul as not perfectly good, but Batson responded that everyone wasn't purely good or was flawless. The Wizard accepted Billy's point and looked deeper into his soul, seeing all the good that he had done in his life, the Wizard bestowed his power upon him. When saying the word of Shazam, Billy would transform into the champion, and the Wizard passed upon granting Billy his powers. At the same, Black Adam was reed from his prison by Doctor Sivana, and was shown the modern by the doctor, and wasn't satisfied with it. Black Adam started his plans to change the world, and discovered that the Wizard had a new champion.

Meanwhile, Billy met with Freddy, and the two went out to do shenanigans, and helped people along the way. When a spirit named Francesca appeared in a mirror to warn Shazam of Black Adam, Billy believed it to just be a hallucination. Eventually, Billy got into a fight with Freddy after telling he didn't want to return to the Vasquez's and wanted to stay an adult. When alone, Shazam was found by Black Adam who attacked him, but Billy managed to change back to his mortal form and hid in the zoo. Returning to his foster-siblings, they convinced him to turn back into Shazam to stop Black Adam.

The group traveled to Metro Station to try to return to the Rock of Eternity, and Francesca spoke to Billy about Black Adam's past. Upon learning of Black Adam's tragic past, Billy returned to his mortal form to reach Teth emotionally. However, Black Adam revealed that he killed his nephew when he learned that he didn't want to use his powers for revenge against their slavers. Horrified, Billy managed to turn into Shazam to save his foster siblings, and granted them the powers of Shazam to fight Black Adam.

During the battle, the Seven Deadly Sins were released, and Billy told his foster siblings to deal with them while be battled Black Adam. Seeing that he was no match for Black Adam, Billy turned back to his mortal form and goaded Adam to do the same. Black Adam did so in rage, but unwillingly killed himself because he didn't change back in centuries, as his mortal form was hundred years old. Black Adam's body turned into dust, and the Seven Deadly Sins retreated and the city was saved by Shaam and his foster-siblings. Afterward, Billy grew close to his foster family, and decided to continue to be a superhero.

Powers and Abilities

Shazam has a wide variety of abilities, similar to the powers of the gods.

He possesses:

  • The Wisdom of Solomon (super intellect).
  • The Strength of Hercules (vast super strength roughly on par with Superman).
  • The Stamina of Atlas (super endurance).
  • The Lightning of Zeus (ability to create and control lightning).
  • The Courage of Achilles (knowledge of hand-to-hand combat).
  • The Speed of Mercury (super speed and reflexes).

Portrayals

Films

  • In Adventures of Captain Marvel, Shazam was portrayed by Tom Tyler as Billy Batson was portrayed by Frank Coghlan, Jr.
  • In the DC Extended Universe, Shazam is portrayed by Zachary Levi (who also played Chuck Bartowski and voiced Flynn Rider) as Billy Batson is portrayed by Asher Angel.
    • Levi voiced the character for the DLC add-on for Lego Super Villains.

Animated Films

  • In Justice League: The New Frontier, Shazam was voiced by Corey Burton as Billy Batson was voiced by Rachael MacFarlane.
  • In Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, Shazam was voiced by Jerry O'Connell as Billy Batson was voiced by Zach Callison.
  • In Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Billy Batson was voiced by Jennifer Hale.
    • O'Connell voiced the character in Justice League: Unlimited and Infinite Crisis, and Callison reprised his voice for the character in Justice League: War.
  • In Justice League: War and Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Shazam was voiced by Sean Astin, who also played Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and voiced the character in several things.
    • Astin reprised his voice for the character in Justice League Action.

Television

  • In the 1970s Shazam! tv series, Shazam was portrayed by Jackson Bostwick in season one and John Davey in season two and three, as Billy Batson was portrayed by Michael Gray.
  • In Legends of the Superheroes, he was portrayed by Garrett Craig.
  • In The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam! tv series, Burr Middleton voiced Shazam and Billy Batson.
  • In Justice League: Unlimited, Billy Batson was voiced by Shane Haboucha.
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Shazam was voiced by Jeff Bennett as Billy Batson was voiced by Tara Strong.
    • Strong reprised her voice for the character in DC Nation and Teen Titans Go! animated series.
  • In Young Justice, Shazam is voiced by Rob Lowe and later by Chad Lowe, as Billy Batson was voiced by Robert Ochoa.
  • In DC Nation, Shazam was voiced by David Kaye.
  • In Teen Titans Go! series, Shazam was voiced by John DiMaggio, who also voiced Marcus Fenix in the Gears of War series.

Radio

  • Burt Boyar would voice Billy Batson in the radio serial Captain Marvel.

Video Games

  • In Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, the character was played by Stephen Scalabrino and voiced by Kevin Delaney.
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, he was voiced by Jeff Bennett.
  • In Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, he was voiced by Travis Willingham.
  • In DC Universe Online, he was voiced by Shannon McCormick.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, he was voiced by Joey Naber.
  • In DC Super Villains, Shazam was voiced by Brandon Routh, who also plays Ray Palmer in the Arroweverse, and also played Superman in Superman Returns.

Quotes

I believe in fair play. I believe in taking people at their word and giving them the benefit of the doubt. Back home, I've come up against my share of pretty nasty bad guys, but I never had to act the way they did to win a fight. I always find another way. I guess I'm saying I like being a hero. A symbol.
~ Shazam.
You've abused your power
~ Shazam in Injustice.

Gallery

Images

Trivia

  • Ranked 50th greatest comic book hero of all time by IGN.
  • Ranked as one of the top heroes of entertainment by UGO Networks.
  • Ranked 55th greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard magazine.

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