Captain Marvel has been a mainstay of the DC Comics universe for decades. Young Billy Batson meets the wizard Shazam and receives powers based on six legendary figures: the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury. All Billy has to do is say the wizard’s name and, after getting struck by a magical thunderbolt, he turns into Captain Marvel.
Ever since the DC reboot a few months ago, Captain Marvel has been missing from all of the books, but the DC writers haven’t forgotten about him. The original owners of the rights to Captain Marvel, Fawcett Comics, lost the rights to the name in the 70s and Marvel Comics quickly snapped up the name and made the space hero, Captain Mar-Vell, who died (for good) in 1981. The name has bounced from one hero to another, occasionally held by the original Mar-Vell for one-shot issues and story arcs that dealt with time travel or alternate dimensions. This forced DC to name all Captain Marvel comics Shazam! to avoid any legal battles.
With the new continuity comes a new name and a new costume. Billy Batson’s alter-ego will know be known as Shazam to avoid any confusion as to why the name of the hero was different from the name of the comic. His new costume looks much better than the half jacket thing he wore in the past. Plus, he has a hood! Luckily, DC seems to have put serious thought and effort into rebranding the character as a mysterious and magical hero as opposed to the campy, fluffball he was in previous volumes. I’m looking forward to see how this new Captain Marvel does. Unfortunately, he won’t be joined by his long time friend Tawky Tawny, a walking talking tiger that dresses like a true gentleman. You will be missed my furry friend.