Public Domain Super Heroes

Uncle Marvel

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Uncle Marvel
First cover appearance

Real Name

Dudley H. Dudley

First Apearance

Wow Comics #18 (October, 1943)

Original Publisher


Created by

Otto Binder & Mark Swayze


An old, rotund man named Dudley, Uncle Marvel did not have any real superpowers. He found Mary Batson's good deed ledger which she kept to record her good deeds but had dropped and read it, learning her secret. Claiming to be the uncle of Mary Batson, Mary Marvel's teenage alter-ego, from California, Dudley attempted to con his way into the Marvel Family. The Marvels, possessing the wisdom of Solomon, saw through Dudley's machinations, but since he was, in their opinion, such a "lovable old fraud," they allowed Dudley to join the team as their manager, Uncle Marvel, and humored his pretense of having Marvel powers. When asked to make use of his supposed superpowers, Dudley would always complain that his "shazambago" was acting up and was interfering with his powers, though the Marvels always knew better.

A young woman, Freckles Marvel, claimed to be his niece.

Public Domain Golden Age Appearances

  • Wow Comics #18,24,34,35

Copyrighted Golden Age Appearances

  • Captain Marvel Adventures #43,53,59,69
  • Marvel Family #1-3,5-6,8,10,14,80-82
  • Marvel Marvel #7,9-10,17
  • Master Comics #61

Legal Note

  • Only his apearances listed above are public domain. His other appearances in "Captain Marvel Adventures," "Mary Marvel Comics" and "Wow Comics" are NOT, and any of the elements from them, including his city of Marveltown, The vehicle of the Birdmobile, and the names of his immediate family and friends are also not in the public domain.
  • Marvel Comics owns the trademark for the name Captain Marvel. DC comics owns trademarks for the names Shazam and Billy Batson, and Mary Marvel. 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.


  • A live-action Shazam! television series, which aired on CBS Saturday mornings from 1975 to 1978, featured Captain Marvel and his young alter-ego Billy Batson, accompanied by an old man known as "Mentor". The Mentor character was loosely based upon Uncle Marvel, who in concurrent 1970s issues of the Shazam! comic book began sporting a mustache to resemble Les Tremayne, the actor who appeared as "Mentor" on the Shazam! TV show.
  • Uncle Marvel appeared alongside the rest of the Marvel Family in The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam! voiced by Alan Oppenheimer.
  • Uncle Dudley appears in the Young Justice episodes "Alpha Male" and "Misplaced" voiced by Corey Burton. Captain Marvel tells him about his adventures before reverting to Billy Batson and heading to bed. Later, he makes a cameo where he worries about Billy's disappearance.
  • An evil, alternate version of Uncle Marvel, with a full set of Marvel family superpowers, appears as a villain in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. According to the credits, he is named "Uncle Super" and voiced by Bruce Timm.

See Also

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