30 March 2010

Spotlight on Shazam!

First appearing in 1940's Whiz Comics (issue #2), for years the boy Billy Batson has shout "Shazam!" to transform into the hero Captain Marvel. Although he appeared in an earlier episode teaser, this week on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Captain Marvel will be the featured guest star on the episode The Power of Shazam!

Captain Marvel's on screen debut occurred in 1941 in a 12-part film serial titled The Adventures of Captain Marvel.

This series marked the first superhero to appear on film!

Through a series of dull legal happenings, Marvel comics obtained the rights the the use of the name Captain Marvel for marketing and promotion, so even though the character can be called Captain Marvel, his shows have for the most part been titled Shazam!, a phrase he uses to transform (also the name of the wizard who gave Captain Marvel his powers).

From 1974 to 1977, Captain Marvel was the star of the live-action Shazam! show, part of the The Shazam! / Isis Hour.

In 1978, Captain Marvel had the dishonor of being a part of the line-up for the Legends of the Superheroes variety hour specials.

From 1981 until 82, Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family (including Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr.) appeared in animated segments of the television series The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam!

The cartoon intro pretty much tells it all.

Captain Marvel would not appear again for some time, though his alias Billy Batson did make a cameo appearance in the Superman: The Animated Series episode Obsession wearing his trademark red and gold.

In 2005, Superman and Captain Marvel would finally meet, though the two would wind up engaged in a knock down drag out conflict in Justice League Unlimited's episode Clash.

Superman and Marvel would clash again in 2009's direct to video Superman Batman Public Enemies.

Captain Marvel actually appeared in the 2008 movie Justice League: The New Frontier, though his appearance was limited to a couple of seconds in the background.

Although Captain Marvel didn't appear in the 2010 Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths movie, evil counterparts of the Marvel Family, the "Supers," appeared. Superwoman led Uncle Super, Captain Super and Captain Super Jr. against the League. They lost.

Captain Marvel promises to appear in a number of episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold along with his nemesis Black Adam and eventually his sister Mary Marvel. Hopefully the future is bright for The Big Red Cheese. A live action movie has long been in the works and perhaps will someday come to fruition.

1 comment:

  1. I had a Shazam! T-shirt when I was a kid, and specifically remember an episode where they were in some backwards-land and had to say Shazam backwards to activate their powers.