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Captain marvel



Billy the reporter


Although Captain Marvel never appeared on-screen until "Clash", someone who looks like a slightly older Billy Batson makes a cameo appearance in the The New Superman Adventures episode "Obsession". He is among the reporters covering the fashion show early in the episode.


William "Billy" Batson was a young boy who, by saying the magic word "SHAZAM", became the powerful and popular crimefighter Captain Marvel. Still coming into his own as a young superhero, 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 — and was frequently late due to super-hero duties.

Billy's youthful chattiness and cheerful outlook led to a misinterpreted public endorsement of Lex Luthor's candidacy for the President of the United States of America. This immediately brought him a stern reprimand from the League, and Superman in particular. Though impressed by Marvel's powers, Superman was rubbed the wrong way by Billy's seemingly simplistic sense of right and wrong. Batman noted that Captain Marvel was exceedingly "sunny".

During a groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate "Lexor City", Lex Luthor's high-tech low-income housing complex of the future, Superman detected what he believed to be a destructive device far below the grounds. Despite Luthor's assurances that the machine was harmless, Superman ordered an evacuation and attempted to shut it down. Superman was opposed by Captain Marvel, and in an uncharacteristic show of frustration and anger, Superman attacked the younger hero. The battle destroyed much of Lexor City, and ended when Marvel attempted to harm Superman with his magical thunderbolt one time too many. Once Superman managed to turn the tables on Captain Marvel by causing him to be struck by his own lightning, the subsequent charge reverted him back into Billy Batson, and Superman was able to gag Billy (thus, preventing him from changing back) and destroy the device.

However, Superman's accusation was proven false by the Atom, and the Man of Steel was publicly embarrassed. His humiliation was further compounded when Lex took the loss in stride before television cameras, and offered to reconstruct Lexor City out of his own pocket. Naturally, the entire situation had been purposely created by Luthor and Amanda Waller to discredit the Man of Steel; In fact, it had gone even better than they planned thanks to Captain Marvel.

After the Lexor City debacle, a disillusioned Captain Marvel called a meeting of the founding members and quit the Justice League. Marvel felt that the League was sinking to their enemies' level and that they no longer acted like heroes.




Shazam really is a man out of time. In the sense that the town of Fawcett City and the hero that is Shazam, have basically gone untouched, even in the future Beyond timeline. This idea of a very Mayberry-type community and its outlook on heroes … somehow surviving (or left alone and forgotten) in this high-tech future world. The Batman Beyond show looked to the future. But this is a way for these future heroes to stumble into this preserved city from the past.

Shazam hasn’t aged after all these years — just part of the magic associated with the character. In that regards, one might think of him as a sort of Peter Pan. Ben Abernathy, my original editor on Justice League Beyond, chose to see the flip side to that … bringing up the idea to maybe explore a more tragic outlook to a child that doesn’t age (much like Claudia in Interview With the Vampire).

All that said, Shazam is as heroic as ever, with a wink and a smile. He’s very much the same classic throwback version of the character we all know, with a bit of an added twist on display in this last chapter to the story.