Captain Marvel (DC Comics)

fictional character in DC Comics

Captain Marvel, also known as Shazam (/ʃəˈzæm/), is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker created the character in 1939. His main villains are Black Adam, Doctor Sivana, and Mister Mind.

A Captain Marvel comic from the 1940s.

Captain Marvel first appeared in Whiz Comics #2 (cover-dated Feb. 1940), published by Fawcett Comics. He is the alter ego of Billy Batson, a boy who, by speaking the magic word "SHAZAM" (acronym of six "Immortal Gods": Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury), can transform himself into a costumed adult with the powers of the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the will of Atlas, the lightning of Zeus, the speed of Achilles, the charisma of Mercury, and other abilities.

Based on book sales, the character was the most popular superhero of the 1940s, outselling even Superman.[1][2]



The character has been adapted twice for television by Filmation: as a live-action 1970s series with Jackson Bostwick and John Davey as Captain Marvel and Michael Gray as Billy Batson, and as an animated 1980s series. Zachary Levi played Shazam and Asher Angel played Billy Batson in the 2019 DC Extended Universe movie Shazam! and the 2023 movie Shazam! Fury of the Gods.


  1. Tipton, Scott (April 1, 2003). "The World's Mightiest Mortal". Comics 101. Archived from the original on 2005-06-14. Retrieved 2005-06-17. I've always felt that it was this origin story and concept that made Captain Marvel instantly popular, to the point that it was outselling every comic on the stands for several years throughout the '40s.
  2. "Comic Book Success Stories". The Museum of Comic Book Advertising. Retrieved 2005-06-17. By the middle of the decade, Captain Marvel had received a self-titled comic book, Captain Marvel's Adventures [sic], which had a circulation that reached 1.3 million copies per month. Captain Marvel's circulation numbers exceeded National's Superman title and the rivalry between the companies led National to sue Fawcett for plagiarism.