Today the When It Was Cool website celebrates one of the only pure and true heroes of the superhero genre- Captain Marvel! Let's go ahead and clear up the confusion right out of the gate. The character's name is Captain Marvel even though he has often been called Shazam. Now, if only it were that simple. In the golden age of comics, the character's name was Captain Marvel and the old Wizard who gave him his powers was named Shazam. By saying the Wizard's name, young Billy Batson, could transform himself into the powerful Captain Marvel.
However, DC Comics sued Fawcett Comics over the similarities between Captain Marvel and Superman. Ultimately, DC Comics would come to own the character outright. Of course, Marvel Comics also came out with their own various Captain Marvel characters over the years. DC Comics revived Captain Marvel in the 1970's under his own comic book "Shazam" and the character also got a live-action Saturday morning television show and a cartoon series and culturally many kids began simply calling him Shazam. In the current era of comics, DC has thrown in the towel trying to call him Captain Marvel and have simply renamed him Shazam... so I suppose technically speaking he now IS Shazam... though in my heart he will always be Captain Marvel.
One of the movies tentatively scheduled to be added to the Warner Brothers DC Cinematic Universe line-up is Captain Marvel. Already, Dewayne "The Rock" Johnson has been vocal about playing the Captain Marvel arch-villain Black Adam.
There is a marvelous (sorry) appeal to the Captain Marvel character. Captain Marvel is really the young homeless boy Billy Batson who becomes a childhood radio personality (at WHIZ Radio of course). Captain Marvel has a refreshing innocence about him that is sorely needed in this era of the dark and brooding super hero. Even Superman has been presented in the current era in the DC movies as an unsmiling dark hero. Captain Marvel could be the perfect antithesis to that if allowed to be. However, the handling of the (now named) Shazam character in the modern DC Comics continuity has left a lot to be desired and is a vast departure from the classic character.
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