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.
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!
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.
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’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 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 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.