top of page

SHAZAM! & Captain Marvel in Pop Culture

Shazam/Captain Marvel has been making society Safe since 1940.

Shazam/Captain Marvel and Billy  Batson
Shazam/Captain Marvel and Billy Batson in the 1940s.

The dual-personality character was developed by artist C.C. Beck and writer Bill Parker as a superhero in the American-brand comic books, published by Fawcett Comics.

According to Wikipedia, this Captain Marvel was the most popular superhero in the 1940s.

What's it about?

Shazam! is a command used by a boy named Billy Batson. This command summons powers from "Immortal Elders" that turn him into a grown-up superhero (a.k.a. Captain Marvel) with superhuman speed, strength, and all the other attributes you need to Fight Crime.

The Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)
1941 Movie Poster

SHAZAM is an acronym that names all the Immortal Elders, namely:

S = The Wisdom of Solomon

H = The Strength of Hercules

A = The Stamina of Atlas

Z = The Power of Zeus

A = The Courage of Achilles

M = The Speed of Mercury

There was no way Hollywood wasn't going to cash in on this premise. In 1941, Republic Pictures released the 12-chapter film series, The Adventures of Captain Marvel.

Then, in the 1970s, CBS Television developed a half-hour series, Shazam!, that ran for three seasons (1974-1977). Here, Billy Batson travels throughout the United States in a Winnebago, accompanied by his mentor. His prime directive is to fight Bad Guys and help others in need.

Here's the groovy intro for the TV series:

While Captain Marvel has appeared in other DC films, including the 2020 Lego action/adventure film, Shazam: Magic & Monsters, the next movie dedicated to Captain Marvel cast a woman in the lead role instead of a man.

Captain Marvel 2019

Captain Marvel (2019) stars Brie Larson and, despite any casting criticisms, it was a huge box-office success. A sequel, again starring Larson, is planned for release sometime in 2023.

2019 was also the year that Shazam!, starring Zachary Levi, was released. Produced, in part, by Dwayne Johnson, it also proved to be a box office smash.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Shazam!: Fury of the Gods plays at Stettler's Jewel Theatre from March 24-30. Check for showtimes, and plan to come early to beat the ticket and popcorn lines.

See you at the movies!


bottom of page