This is the main character of the comic series, a character with so many personality, that he even outsold Superman once!
But for this, Billy Batson has paid a high price in both of his origins (Golden Age and Modern Age), and the price has been his family... although he has a Marvel Family with him.
Originally, this newsboy is an orphan who was living with his uncle Ebenezer when his parents died, the greedy uncle, takes for himself Billy's inheritance and drove him out to the street. Being a survivor, Bill sells newspaper to make a living, one night, an stranger approaches Billy and tell him to follow him who brought him to a cave where both, ride an strange subway that leaves them in a mysterious cavern, where he meets the old wizard Shazam.
Shazam explains to Billy that he has being on a crusade against evil for more than 3,000 years using some powers bestowed by six different gods and heroes, using the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury (who first letters of each name read as Shazam), who, knowing Billy as a virtuous boy, wants to pass on his legacy to the young boy. Billy accepts, as he utters the magic word that will transform him into the World's Mightiest Mortal, Captain Marvel. Of course, the magic word is the name of the Wizard... SHAZAM!
As the World's Mightiest Mortal, Billy transforms himself into the idealized version of an adult, and from there, he adopts the candid name of Captain Marvel. When transforming in Captain Marvel for the first time, the Wizard dies when a granite block buries him, but he still guides Captain Marvel (and Billy), as a ghost. Captain Marvel knows that, if he wants to summon him, the only thing he has to do, is light up an special brazier.
Billy obtains a job at WHIZ radio, impressing the owner of this radio station, Sterling Morris, when, with the help of Captain Marvel, Billy demonstrates his incredible journal skills. Billy finds Mary, his long lost sister, and the Wizard grants her the powers of Shazam, but with a different set of goddesses and heroines, as she adventures as Mary Marvel.
His 'family' of sorts begins to grow, when he helps young Freddy Freeman to save his life asking the Wizard to help save him. Freddy Freeman becomes Captain Marvel Jr., possessing the abilities of his hero, Captain Marvel, later, other members will include, Mary's uncle, Dudley, and three Lieutenants, all named as Billy Batson, and who shouting the name of the wizard become this assistants to Captain Marvel.
Billy's secretary at the Radio Station, Joan Jameson, knows his secret identity, and Billy's friend, a beautiful blonde, Cissie Sommerly, are some other characters that were important to Billy in the Golden Age.
After some adventures, Captain Marvel (in the real life) is put into a forced sleep, consequence of the DC-Fawcett court case. DC Comics tried to brought back the World's Mightiest Mortal, treating him, very much like the famous Captain America, where Sivana, one of the greatest foes of Captain Marvel, put the Marvel Family into hibernation in ice, but accidentally he, and his family, suffer the same.
Placed in Earth S, Billy and the Marvel Family returned briefly, to be put into sleep once more, although some of the Earth S characters survived to the Crisis on the Infinite Earths.
After this, Captain Marvel comes back during the Legends mini-series, where Billy Batson comes back living in San Francisco in this occassion, and being now, the nephew of Sivana (!) and Dudley, who is his legal guardian. Apparently, his sister didn't have powers on this stage, as Marvel is qualified as one of the biggest legends of the DCU. As a result of this, Billy acts briefly, in the Justice League, until this heroic association becomes International, and he decides to leave the team.
Until the Zero Hour affair, Billy is brought back, this time, thanks to Jerry Ordway's graphic novel, this time, closer to the original version of Captain Marvel's first apparitions.
This time, both of his parents died once more, but this time, due the responsibility of the reincarnation of Black Adam, named Theo Adam in Egypt. Once more, Billy lives with his uncle Ebenezer who sent him to the streets, Billy once more follows the stranger to the cave and finds the wizard Shazam who bestows him once more the powers of the six gods and heroes, Billy stops the responsible of the deaths of his parents, ruins Sivana (who was this time a very much alike Lex Luthor-ish mogul of the recently created Fawcett City) gaining a terrible enemy.
The novel finishes when Billy decides to keep the identity (and powers) of Captain Marvel to find his lost sister, who now was adopted by Nick and Nora Bromfield, a rich couple who loves her as if she were her biological true daughter.
The novel continues in the Power of Shazam! series, where Billy finds his sister, who becomes Mary Marvel but this time, sharing the powers of the mystic sextet, both brothers once more, share there powers saving Freddy Freeman Jr., and becoming in the process in Captain Marvel Jr. when shouting the name of his hero, Captain Marvel Jr.
Even though, the relations between Freddy and Billy aren't as good as in the past, when Billy tries to protect his newfound sister from Freddy when he discovers that both are in love. Freddy, disappointed at his hero's reaction, leaves Fawcett to live in New York City.
During this period, Captain Marvel is revealed as the "purest heart" of the DC Universe, when Neron began his quest for possessing his soul when he finds out that this "pureness" makes him unreachable for the Lord of Hell.
The Marvel Family helps to stop Black Adam, complete, with the help of Uncle Dudley, who now is just the janitor of the school where Billy attends classes, Tawky Tawny, who helped to bring back Mary into full power, and save the Rock of Eternity.
When Captain Marvel goes to Venus in a rescue mission, he finds Dr. Sivana working for a race of evil worms who want to conquer the Earth, Marvel stops them, freeing Sivana, with the price of the death of almost all the Venusian worms... almost, for one of them survives and becomes the recipient of all of its race mental powers and becomes Mr. Mind!
But Sivana escaped in the process, and he finishes at, of all the possible places, the Rock of Eternity. Being the twisted genius that he is, he taps into the incredible powers of this place trying to restore his life by trying to erase all the mistakes he comitted in the past.
The timeline is changed, Billy and Mary still live with their parents, this time, C.C.Batson and Marilyn (the names of the parents of our heroes) received the powers of Shazam. Sivana is still the powerful mogul of Fawcett City, and he even is major of the city. But the guardians of time, The Linear Men realize this occurrence.
They travel and insist to the wizard that he must do something to restore the 'normal' timeline, before this event cause a crisis of cosmic proportions. Anyway, Shazam had concluded the same before being confirmed of this by the Linear Men, and C.C. Batson shows how heroic he is, accepting his fate (and the one of his wife), but doubts grew in the Captain Marvel's heart when he ponders the destiny that awaits his children after the true timeline is restored. Waverider promises to make some 'arrangements' to change this, and so, Billy and Mary once more are orphaned.
As a result of this 'arrangements', Billy is adopted by the Bromfield (reluctantly, by the way), since it is difficult for him to adapt to a new family.
But then something happens, the Godwave, the energy released after the end of the First World sweeps the universe, taking with it the powers of the gods and some meta-humans. Of course, being their powers of 'godly' origins, both Captain Marvels suffer directly, but Shazam is unreachable, both kids have to reveal their secret identities to their parents so they release Dudley from the jail, since he was in there as suspect of having kidnapped the kids. By the way, their relation being difficult today, since Dudley, without a true purpose, wished for the deaths of some people near Billy, including his own sister.
Bill meets later Deanna Barr, daughter of the original Fawcett heroes, Bulletman and Bulletgirl, and the young woman falls in love with the handsome hero, but James order the kidnapping of the young man, trying to avoid that her sister becomes 'hurt' when she finds out the true identity behind the Big Red Cheese's persona.
Even though, Captain Marvel demonstrates his good heart defending Bulletman from a lie that makes him appear as a traitor to the nation back in the World War II era.
After this, a big change in both Captain Marvel's lives come. Mr. Mind returns with a vengeance, now controlling Sarge Steel, who sends the robot Mr. Atom to destroy the house of the Bromfields in Fairfield, a suburb near Fawcett City, place where both Captains were at that moment. The great magician Ibis, with his considerable powers, helps to minimize the destruction, but the whole town is gone after this.
The wisdom of Solomon makes both Captain Marvel's of the possible responsible behind this strange event, and the World's Mightiest Mortal tries to stop Sarge Steel, facing the Man of Steel, Superman, who confirms to Captain Marvel that there isn't no worm in Steel's ear... although the menace lurks since Mr. Mind is inside the steel hand of Sarge Steel.
After some problems, Mr. Mind faces both Captains Marvels and two Green Lanterns (Kyle Rayner and Hal Jordan, who has journeyed from the past to this era), who battle Captain Marvel thinking that he is Mr. Mind. Once more, tapping into Solomon's wisdom, Captain Marvel discovers that the Venusian worm is deceiving them, both Marvels and both Lanterns work as a team to stop the menace of Mr. Mind who wants to cause a nuclear holocaust that will destroy the whole humankind.
After this, the Bromfields move into the former Batson Manor, with the reluctance of Ebenezer, during a going to the movies, the Batsons and Freddy Freeman almost died in a terrible car accident obviously they suffer this in their mortal forms. While their longtime enemy Black Adam reappeared, apparently to take their places, the one, true, original Captain Marvel ultimately defeated Black Adam.
Since then, the chronicles of the Marvels, and most prominently, Captain Marvel have been less and less, appearing as guest in some adventures, such as Our Worlds at War, where he was part of a team comprised by 'the most powerful beings' on the DCU, namely, Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain Atom and Captain Marvel.
It has been revealed that Billy is going to assume the mantle of the wizard in the future, granting the powers of the mystic sextet to a girl named Cecebeck of a human colony in the far future, as he lives in the Rock of Eternity.
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