Shazam (comics)

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Shazam is a comic book character created by Bill Parker and C. C. Beck for Fawcett Comics. He is an ancient wizard (Whiz Comics #2 gives his age as 3,000 years) who gives young Billy Batson the power to transform into the superhero Captain Marvel. Because DC Comics has billed Captain Marvel's adventures under the name Shazam! since 1973, the superhero is often mistakenly referred to by his mentor's name.

Contents

Fictional character biography

Creating Captain Marvel

Shazam informs Billy that he is an ancient Egyptian wizard who has been using his powers for many centuries to fight the forces of evil, but that he is now old and not long for this world. He therefore passes along part of his power to Billy, who shouts his name — "SHAZAM!" — to transform into Captain Marvel. Although Shazam is killed — as prophesied — by a giant granite block falling on him, Billy/Marvel can summon the ghost of Shazam for guidance by lighting a special brazier (a torch-like apparatus) in Shazam's lair, the Rock of Eternity. More superheroes soon joined Marvel in carrying on the legacy of Shazam, including Marvel Family members Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. Shazam tells that once, 5000 years before, he gave powers to Black Adam, but banished him to the furthest star in the Universe for trying to use them to take over the world. He originally was called Shazamo from the immortal god of magic Oggar, a former pupil of his. When Oggar became evil and attempted to defeat Shazam along with the witch Circe he was defeated by Shazam's magic and banished by Shazam to live among mortals at which point Shazam dropped the -O, and gave Oggar cloven hooves so he could be recognized as the evil god he was. He also banished the evil god Satyr, an evil manifestation of Pan. Both of the evil gods would eventually return and be defeated by Captain Marvel.

Origin

When Billy first meets him, Shazam tells Billy that his name is an acronym for six Greco-Roman deities and heroes, and Judeo-Christian prophets. These deities empower him with certain attributes:

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