Filmation Character
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel
Real Name  Billy Batson
AKA  The World's Mightiest Mortal[1]
Species  Human
Sex  Male
Homeworld  Earth
Universe  Earth-1A
Height  5'4 (6'2-6'3 in adult form)
Weight  125 lbs
Hair Color  black
Eye Color  blue
Relatives  Mary Batson (sister)
Captain Marvel, Jr. (apprentice)
Occupation  superhero; TV/radio news reporter
Apprentice to 
Affiliation  Marvel Family
part-time Justice Leaguer[2]
Base  Fawcett City
Marvel Estate
Enemy of  Dr. Sivana
Played by  Burr Middleton
You may be looking for Shazam! (live action TV Show, 1974 to 1976).
You may be looking for The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam! (the 1981 animated series).
You may be looking for Shazam the Wizard.

Billy Batson is a reporter for the Fawcett City media conglomerate WHIZ Radio, but when he says the magic word, which is the name of an ancient wizard, Billy becomes Captain Marvel, a superhero. As Captain Marvel, he uses his fantastic powers to help defend his city from evil with the help of the rest of the Marvel Family.

Background Information

On the parallel dimension known as Earth-S, Billy Batson was born in New York City in 1930. When he was approximately six months old, his parents were killed in a car crash, and Billy went to live with his uncle, Ebenezer Batson. Uncle Eben wanted nothing to do with the boy, and eventually kicked him out of the house, forcing him to fend for himself on the city streets. By 1940, Billy had managed to secure himself a part-time job as a newsboy.

One evening as Billy was hawking newspapers, a strange shadowy man in a long coat approached him. He beckoned Billy to follow him, and led him underground into a dilapidated subway station. A driverless subway car unlike any Billy had ever seen before, roared to the platform and the two got on board. The car sped off deeper underground, bringing them to a vast cavern known as the Rock of Eternity. Billy disembarked and both the subway train and the cloaked stranger disappeared. Before him Billy saw two rows of statues lining each side of the cavern. Each statue was forged in the likeness of a horrific monster, representing the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man.

At the anterior of the cavern, he found an old man with a flowing white beard sitting on a stone throne. Above him was a large boulder suspended from the ceiling of the cavern by a tiny, fraying thread. The old man introduced himself as a wizard Shazam, and told Billy that he had been chosen to be his champion against injustice. The wizard lit a brazier to the left of the throne, illuminating the names of six mythological elders inscribed on the wall behind it; Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury. He explained that each of these elders would bestow an aspect of their power unto Billy, and all the boy had to do to acquire such power was to speak the wizard's name.

Billy spoke the name "Shazam", and a bolt of mystic lightning struck down from nowhere transforming the ten-year-old boy into a powerful, muscle-bound man. Shazam christened his new champion as Captain Marvel and saluted him.

Moments after the startling transformation, the thread securing the boulder above Shazam's head snapped, and the rock came down, crushing the wizard. Shazam's spirit rose from the debris and told Billy that his ghost would always be present inside the Rock of Eternity, should the neophyte hero ever need his guidance.

Honoring his commitment to the wizard, Billy Batson became the World's Mightiest Mortal – Captain Marvel.

Continuity from Filmation live-action series Shazam! (1974 to 1977)

A very young Billy Batson goes on a vacation trip around the country with his Mentor. He learns a lot of valuable lessons along the way. And he is able to help people and touch many peoples' lives.

Continuity from the Hanna-Barbera live-action Legends of the Superheroes specials (1979)

After joining the Justice League at the Hall of Heroes in an honorary celebration of the retired superhero Retired Man, formerly known as the Scarlet Cyclone, the superheroes learn of an evil plot devised by a large group of supervillains, who plot to destroy the world. The heroes, including Captain Marvel, team-up to take down the villains.

Sometime later, he joins the same heroes in the Hall of Heroes once again, this time for a celebrity roast from Ed McMahon.

Continuity from Filmation animated series The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam! (1981)

Billy Batson is now a reporter for WIZZ-TV and now in addition to him, his twin sister Mary Batson and his best friend Freddy Freeman, are now agents of Shazam, known as the Marvel Family. Together, they protect Fawcett City from Dr. Sivana, Black Adam, Mr. Mind and many other evil supervillains.

Powers and Abilities

As a young teenager, Billy Batson possesses the strength level of a boy his age, size and weight who engages in moderate regular exercise.

However, by speaking the name of the ancient wizard, "Shazam;" an enchanted lightning bolt comes down from out of the sky, striking Billy Batson, and transforming him into the adult Captain Marvel. When he wishes to return to his mortal form, he repeats the name "Shazam", and the same lightning bolt strikes Captain Marvel transforming him back into Billy Batson.

The various powers Captain Marvel has is derived from seven elder beings, all of whom form part of an acronym in the name Shazam. The following legendary figures can be found on a wall inside the Rock of Eternity (the lair of the wizard Shazam):

 S olomon -     Great Wisdom:     From the Hebrew king, Solomon,[3] he derives great wisdom and the ability to hypnotize.    
 H ercules -     Great Strength:     From the Greek hero Hercules, he derives tremendous strength.    
 A tlas -     Great Stamina:     The stamina, allows him to go without food, sleeping or eating surviving unaided in space.    
 Z eus -     Olympian Powers:     This power grants him resistance against all magic spells and attacks.
  He is also able to use the lightning bolt as a weapon.    
 A chilles -     Great Courage:     He gains courage from the Hellenistic warrior Achilles; providing him enhanced mental fortitude.   
 M ercury -     Great Speed:
  He gains swiftness from the Roman god Mercury.
  By channeling Mercury's speed, Captain Marvel also has the ability to fly.
  He is also able to fly through space, faster than the speed of light and travel through time.[4]   

SuperFriends Team Members

SuperFriends Founding Members:

SupermanBatmanWonder WomanAquamanHawkmanSamuraiGreen LanternFlashBlack Vulcan

Expanded Team:
HawkgirlApache ChiefEl DoradoAtomGreen ArrowPlastic ManRima

Comic Book Team Members:
Black CanaryElongated ManRed Tornado

Junior SuperFriends:
Marvin WhiteWendy Harris

GleekWonder Dog

Other Known Justice Leaguers:
The HuntressBlack OrchidCaptain MarvelMary MarvelSupergirlGreen Fury


  • Shazam! live-action TV series (1974)
(episode list coming soon!)
(episode list coming soon!)


  • Captain Marvel was created in 1939 by artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker.
  • C.C. Beck modeled Captain Marvel's physical appearance after the American actor, Fred MacMurray.
  • The character first appeared in Whiz Comics vol. 1, # 2[5] (February 1940), published by Fawcett Comics.
  • Originally, Captain Marvel was meant to appear in season 3 of the Super Friends series, but due to legal rights regarding the character, he couldn't be used until the live action adaptation. He did appear in some of the merchandise associated with the show.
  • Traditionally Captain Marvel is noted as being as from Earth-S (as designated in Shazam! #1, 1973). We have added him to the Earth-1A universe for continuity purposes.[6]
  • In the Superfriends universe, it is unknown if Captain Marvel is supposed to be a member of the Superfriends or not. He was present in the live action episodes, but it was never confirmed if he was a member or not.


Publication Information

Captain Marvel was the subject of a dispute between Fawcett comics and DC Comics due to the similarities to their Superman character. The situation is eventually resolved when Fawcett decided to stop publishing Captain Marvel stories. DC later ends up acquiring the rights to the Fawcett characters anyway, and they continue publishing Captain Marvel stories under the new name "Shazam!," due to the fact that Marvel might take legal action in regards to the name Captain Marvel.


Billy Batson 5

Michael Gray as
Billy Batson
in his 1974 appearance

Billy Batson

An animated Billy Batson
in his 1981 appearance

Jason Bostwick 1

Jackson Bostwick in his
1974 appearance

John Davey 1

John Davey in his
1974 appearance

Capt. Marvel 3

Garrett Craig in his
1979 appearance

A Captain Marvel

An animated Captain Marvel
in his 1981 appearance

Appearances in Other Media

Captain Marvel DCAU Captain Marvel Captain Marvel was a superhero who protected Fawcett City, and a former member of the Justice League. William "Billy" Batson was a young boy who by saying the magic word "SHAZAM" became the powerful and popular crime-fighter Captain Marvel. Still coming into his own as a young super-hero, Billy would strive to follow the example of his favorite hero: Superman. To his credit, Captain Marvel quickly became respected and admired, both in his home of Fawcett City and beyond. He was eventually extended an invitation to join the expanded Justice League. Billy believed in fair play, taking people at their word and giving them the benefit of the doubt, an optimistic viewpoint that very often borders on naiveté (but then, he's still in grade school). He attended C.C. Binder Elementary School.
- For more on Captain Marvel see article at 'DCAU'

External Links


  1. A very strange alias, considering he's immortal when he's Captain Marvel.
  2. It was established in Legends of the Superheroes that Captain Marvel is a member of the Superfriends. It was also established that he is not from a parallel universe like his comic book counterpart, who was from Earth-S. He is from Earth-1A like all the other JLA members.
  3. Solomon is the only figure in the list not taken from Greco-Roman mythology.
  4. Like the Silver Age Superman
  5. Go to DC Database for more on Whiz Comics vol. 1, # 2
  6. See article Earth-1A for more details.

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