Billy Batson was born in New York City in 1930. 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. Uncle Eben wanted nothing to do with the boy, and eventually kicked him out of the house, forcing 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 ten-year-old boy 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.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Divine Empowerment - All of the powers granted collection of six by gods and figures of legend either directly or through Shazam.
- Accelerated Healing
- Clairvoyance: The ability to understand situations from many angles, including future and past consequences with superhuman clarity and accuracy.
- Divine Grace: Innate luck and divine guidance that allows finesse in actions and dealings with others.
- Eidetic Memory
- Magic Resistance
- Enhanced Intellect: Intellect and wisdom are heightened to superhuman levels. This also provides great or comprehensive knowledge in many areas, including:
- Flight: The ability to hover or soar at high speed through an act of sheer will.
- 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.
- 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.
- Superhuman Reflexes
- Superhuman Agility:
- Superhuman Stamina:
- Superhuman Strength
- Teleportation: The ability to access the Rock of Eternity.
- Transformation: The ability to transform from a mortal to the entity empowered by the six.
- C.C. Beck modeled Captain Marvel's physical appearance after the American actor, Fred MacMurray.
- Captain Marvel is often erroneously referred to by the name, Shazam -- an error caused by the fact that DC Comics must publish any comic book series featuring him as the main character under the title Shazam. (Marvel Comics has the legal right to publish any comic book series featuring their version of Captain Marvel under the Captain Marvel name, further adding to the confusion.) Shazam is in fact his mentor, the wizard responsible for granting him his powers.
- Unlike his later successive incarnations including Captain Marvel (Billy Batson) and Captain Marvel (Fred Freeman), Captain Marvel of Earth-S powers were NOT shared when Mary and Freddy transform into their Marvel Family counterparts. Unlike the current Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel of Earth-S powers levels are maintained at peak level and not halfed or quartered when the other members of the Marvel Family access the powers of Shazam at the same time.
- Unlike his later successive incarnations including Captain Marvel (Billy Batson) and Captain Marvel (Fred Freeman), Captain Marvel of Earth-S was shown to normally be a totally separate person from Billy Batson which would on some occasions lead to problems that Marvel would have to puzzle out why Batson transformed in instances of no immediate danger, such as in one instance during a Christmas shopping event so that Batson would not be robbed.
- This version of William Batson, 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.
- Captain Marvel is also known as World's Mightiest Mortal and the Big Red Cheese.
- Captain Marvel and Billy Batson are actually two separate beings who are connected through the magic incantation of the wizard Shazam. Batson normally can not remain transformed as Captain Marvel for a long period of time without problems emerging from such prolonged transference (though was able to remain transformed for over 20 years while he and the bulk of the Marvel Family were in suspended animation). While Captain Marvel is a muscular, adult male, Batson is still a teenager with all the emotional turmoil and physical limitations of a normal human teenager. Captain Marvel also had a tendency to squint his eyes, making his pupils barely (if at all) visible.
- Appearances of William Batson
- Images featuring William Batson
- Quotations by or about William Batson
- Character Gallery: William Batson
|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."