Top 5 Reasons Why Captain Marvel (aka Shazam) Should Have an Animated TV Series

You’re probably looking at the top image and wondering “Who is this Superman ripoff?” While he’s not exactly a ripoff, he does looking strikingly similar to the Man of Steel. That’s because he’s DC Comics’ Captain Marvel (not to be confused with Captain Marvel from Marvel Comics), aka Shazam, aka Captain Thunder, aka pick an name already, DC.

You may not have heard of him before, but at one point, he was a superstar. Back when he first appeared in comic books in 1940, his comics were very popular, to the point where his comics outsold Superman’s comics at one point! And he had his own live-action TV series in the 70s called Shazam! It’s very 1970s, as you can see.

captain marvel shazam 1970s

Picture courtesy of Tvtropes.org

Nowadays, besides his own comic series, you may see him as a special guest in a Batman or Justice League TV show or a direct-to-DVD movie. There are two DC movies starring Captain Marvel and his arch-nemesis Black Adam (and going to be played by Dwayne Johnson of all people), but those won’t be coming out for another few years. It feels like DC sometimes forgets that Captain Marvel is a character within their continuity.

DC is missing out on a big chance to capitalize on the character. There’s potential here for a great animated kids show, one that would keep kids hooked while being entertaining for all ages! If DC even remembers him.

1) The premise is freaking awesome!

captain marvel transformation gif

Gif courtesy of Giphy

The premise sounds like a wacky action-comedy show: A young orphan boy named Billy Watson meets an all-powerful wizard after a bizarre subway ride. The wizard sees good in Billy’s heart, and decides to give Billy his magical abilities. All Billy has to do is shout out loud “Shazam!” and Billy is transformed by a bolt of lightning into…an adult! That automatically sounds cool! What kid hasn’t dreamed of becoming a buff, powerful hero, especially one that has magical electric powers?  There’s also the added bonus that while Captain Marvel looks grown-up, he still has Billy’s childish personality. He’s an all-powerful man child. The possibilities are endless.

2) His powers are pretty cool.

captain marvel using powers 2

GIF courtesy of justiceleague-archive on Tumblr

Besides the ability to transform via out-of-nowhere lightning bolt, Captain Marvel also has a variety of powers on par with Superman, only these powers were given to him by the Greek gods (and one Biblical figure).  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. Put all those cool-sounding  powers together, and you have a very strong, very fast, and very powerful being that shoots lightning bolts and can endure anything. He is what a kid wishes he could be, and more.

3) The villains are some of the strangest.

Captain Marvel villains

Picture courtesy of Imgur

Captain Marvel’s greatest enemy is Black Adam, the previous Captain Marvel, who turned evil and stands on par with the captain. Other than that, though, Captain Marvel has some really weird, but cool, villains. You got Doctor Sirvana, a petty mad scientist that created many monsters for the captain to fight. You got Mister Mind, an alien caterpillar with psychic powers. And you have Captain Nazi. Yes, because nothing says “comic books” like superpowered Nazis.

4) Team-Up Episodes with Superman!

Captain Marvel meeting Superman 2

GIF courtesy of jlu-gifs on Tumblr 

 Captain Marvel is a DC property, so of course he’s going to team up with some of DC Comic’s biggest stars. He already crossed over with the Justice League (DC’s version of the Avengers) multiple times, and is sometimes even a member. I can imagine super hero team-up episodes having some of the best fights of the show. But what will be most exciting to see his fights between Captain Marvel and the other superheroes. Is Captain Marvel stronger than Superman? The question of the ages.

5) Just The Amount of Fun (And Maybe Drama) To Be Had!

Captain Marvel looking cool

GIF courtesy of Giphy

Captain Marvel can be a goofy character when you think about it, but he’s also an incredibly powerful character, and still only a little kid. Weighing a kid with the full responsibilities of an adult superhero is a plot point waiting to happen. Add on the fact that he has to hide this from everyone he knows, and there is a lot of drama that the show could create. This could be one of the greatest shows of its time.

…if that ever happened. Again, there is no Captain Marvel show yet, and DC tends to put this character on the back burner so much that it seems like he’ll never get his own TV show, let alone his own comic book series again. But it could happen! DC is making a Captain Marvel movie, so let’s see where that takes us. For now, though, the small minority of Captain Marvel fans such as myself can only dream of the day he takes the spotlight.

I Just Watched…The Breakfast Club

You know how there are songs that have the same name as you? I was curious if there was one named after me, so I went searching. Almost immediately, I found “Sara” by Starship (formerly Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship). This song is one of the most 1980s song to 1980s. The synth! The heartbreak! The corn! It’s all there, and for some reason, it has resonated with me. Who doesn’t want to have the same name as a 80s love ballad?

Ever since then, I’ve been on a strong 1980s kick. I’ve been listening to Duran Duran and Tears For Fears. I’ve been rewatching the David Bowie cult film Labyrinth and other darkly-lit fantasy films like The Neverending Story and The Secret of NIMH. It’s gotten to the point where I am tracking down photographs from the 80s, trying to see what that time was like and how crazy the fashion could get. There’s something charming about this period, despite all the problems that were going on at the time.

But what I really wanted to do, above all else, was to watch the pinnacle of 80s movies- The Breakfast Club. It’s a movie that everyone has watched. They give me shocked looks when I say I haven’t watched it yet. It’s the quintessential teen movie, made with teens in mind. Thanks to my roommate, I was able to sit down and finally watch this movie.

It was…good. It was something, I guess.

That’s not something you should say when you’re talking about a very beloved movie, but I almost want to say that it wasn’t as big or glamorous as people made it out to be. What it was was simple- this is a simple movie where five kids are locked in a library with each other for an hour and a half, and they have to try to either survive the day or learn to get along with each other. There’s no major conflict happening here that could endanger the world. Just five teens that have some parental baggage and disgruntled personalities to boot. There’s not much more to it than that. I didn’t get why this movie is so lauded.

But after some reflection, and reading about everything that happened behind-the-scenes, what I think what this movie is to me was painful. Not like pain-inducing or whatever; I didn’t want to throw up or anything. It’s just that these characters are recognizable. You probably knew someone in high school like the criminal John Bender, self-destructing but aggressively charming. You probably knew a few princesses like Claire, or brains like Brian. They aren’t the standard stereotypes that flaunt the screens of other teen movies. They are people you have probably seen, or even talked to, when you were a high school kid.

I’ve been out of high school now for almost two years now. My memories of that time are iffy; there were some great things that happened, and there were bad things that happened. But for the most part, I felt like I was stuck. Stuck in a time loop that is filled with people who know way too much about me, who lived life through their hormones and sexual drives. These people were jackasses. They bullied people who they considered beneath them, scoffed at teachers they hated, and made the atmosphere totally unbearable. It made being an awkward geek hard, and being normal difficult.

So watching this movie feels like I’m watching (almost) real life footage of high schoolers trapped in a detention room together, wasting the hours brutalizing and hurting each other the way teenagers do. Granted, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a detention where everyone bonded over their tragic backstories afterwards, but their stories are very real and very true to life. It’s scary how much teenagers know about their parents, and how it reflects on their personalities and actions. Even as these five teenagers inch closer to adulthood, they are still kids in need of some TLC. And for now, they find it in the most unexpected way- through each other.

Did I mention this is a John Hudges film? Even before Home Alone he was making us feel.

I did like this movie. It’s extremely quotable, and the music is freaking great. But it’s still hard to watch. It just brings up too many memories of being an awkward teenager. We are all capable of being athletes, princesses, brains, basket cases, and criminals, but that doesn’t mean I want to remember that I’m capable of being those guys.