The World's Mightiest Mortal
Whiz Comics #2 (1940)
Bill Parker and C.C. Beck
Golden Age Origin
Billy Batson, a teenaged radio broadcaster and orphan, was brought by a magic train to an underground lair where he met the wizard Shazam. The wizard gives him superpowers to combat the forces of evil. All Billy had to do to use these powers was to say the wizard's name "Shazam!"
Captain Marvel's nemesis was Dr. Sivana, a mad scientist bent on world domination, who called Marvel the "Big Red Cheese". Marvel also fought Captain Nazi, Ibac, and the nefarious Mister Mind and his Monster Society of Evil. The Society ranks included Marvel's greatest foes and new ones such as Herkimer and even the axis leaders Adolf Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo.
Captain Marvel was assisted in his fight against crime and evil by the Marvel Family. The family includes Billy's twin sister Mary who becomes Mary Marvel when she says "Shazam." It also includes Freddy Freeman, who after being mortally wounded by Captain Nazi was given the power to become Captain Marvel Jr. when he says "Captain Marvel." There was also the Lieutenant Marvels who were all boys who were named Billy Batson and when they said "Shazam!" in unison would become Lt. "Tall" ,Lt. "Hillbilly", and Lt. "Fat" Marvel. Finally, Uncle Marvel was an honorary member of the Marvel family even though he possessed no powers.
Powers and Abilities
Captain Marvel has 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.
- Captain Death
- Dr. Allirog
- Ebenezer Batson
- Germ People
- Ghost of the Deep
- Herr Phoul
- Macro the Giant
- Monster Society of Evil
- Seven Deadly Enemies of Man
- Spider Men of Mars
Public Domain Golden Age Appearances
- All Hero Comics #1 (cover only)
- America's Greatest Comics #1-8
- Captain Marvel Adventures #1-2,4,7-41
- Captain Marvel Thrill Book(unnumbered one-shot)
- Captain Midnight #1 (cover only)
- Flash/Thrill Comics #1 (Ash-can)
- Master Comics #21, #50
- Special Edition Comics (unnumbered one-shot)
- Whiz Comics #2, 7-60
- Wow Comics #9
Copyright Renewed Golden Age Appearances
- Captain Marvel Adventures #3,5-6,42-150
- Captain Marvel Story Book #1-4
- Mary Marvel #1 (cover only)
- The Marvel Family #1-89
- Whiz Comic #3-6, 61-155
- Marvel Comics owns the trademark for the name Captain Marvel. DC comics owns trademarks for the names Shazam and Billy Batson. In order to use Captain Marvel's name it must be used in the interior of the story, the same way DC does to avoid Marvel's trademark on the name.
- Only the golden age Captain Marvel (as depicted in the comics that fell into public domain) is public domain. Non-public domain Golden Age appearances are under copyright of DC Comics, which owns the version of the character based on those comics and all subsequent versions published under DC comics banner.
- Captain Marvel had a funny animal spin-off called Hoppy The Marvel Bunny.
- Captain Thunder was the original name considered for Captain Marvel, but Fiction House already had a Captain Thunder (Captain Terry Thunder of the British Army) so Fawcett changed the name to Captain Marvel.