Public Domain Super Heroes


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Real Name


First Appearance

Whiz Comics #2 (1940)

Original Publisher


Created by

Bill Parker and C.C. Beck

Golden Age Origin

Dressed in a black coat and hat a mysterious shadowy figures beckons Billy Batson to "follow him" into the subway.In the subway they take a magic train to a cave where the shadowy figure leads Batson to an old man sitting on a marble throne.The old man reveals that he is the ancient wizard Shazam who has been using his powers for 3000 years to fight the forces of evil. Now old he chooses Billy to be the successor of his power, to be Captain Marvel. Billy who with but a utterance of the wizards name "SHAZAM!" can transform into Captain Marvel. With his deed done Shazam sits back in his throne and is killed by a giant granite block falling on him that was suspended overhead by a slender thread.

The wizard later would appear to Captain Marvel in times of crisis or to give advice as a ghost. For example, when Shazam helped save the life of Freddy Freeman by bestowing some of Marvel's powers on the boy turning him into Captain Marvel Jr. or when he explained the powers of Mary Marvel.

Powers & Abilities

Shazam had 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 detailed in his name. In addition, the wizard was near immortal, a master of magic, and after his "death" gains a spirit form.

He also has a Historama in which he could see past, present and future events.


  • DC comics owns trademarks for the names Shazam. In order to use the wizard'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, Captain Marvel.
  • Only the golden age Shazam (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.

Public Domain Golden Age Appearances

  • Whiz Comics #2,25-27,47
  • Captain Marvel Adventures #2,8,12,23,41
  • Master Comics #23 (cover only), 28, 97, 123
  • Captain Marvel Jr. #1
  • Wow Comics #9 (cover)

Copyrighted Golden Age Appearances

  • Captain Marvel Adventures #45,47,53,61-62,79-80,85,100,121,137,144,150
  • Captain Marvel Jr. #63,71
  • Captain Marvel Storybook #4
  • Marvel Family #1-2,5,10,12,31-32,48,58,65,67-68,84,85
  • Whiz #78-80,104-105,107,109
  • Wow Comics #43

See Also


DC Database

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