The name “Captain Marvel” is not just a name for one superhero. It was shared by various characters across three different publishers. Throughout the years, there have been nine Captain Marvels with a substantial percentage coming from Marvel Comics.
One of the most popular superheroes of the 1940s was the original hero named Captain Marvel. Billy Batson, a radio reporter, first became the alter-ego of the superhero called Captain Marvel. He was turned into a hero once he pronounced the magic word “Shazam,” the name of the wizard who gave him his powers. Captain Marvel was the biggest hit in the comic book industry from 1940 to 1950. He was a certified revenue source for its publisher, the Fawcett Comics.
However, DC Comics saw Captain Marvel as a rip-off of their own Superman. With this, DC sued the Fawcett Comics for copyright infringement. Finally, DC prevailed, leaving the trademark entirely unused, and Fawcett was forced to retire writing Captain Marvel. Once the name Captain Marvel had fallen into the public domain in 1966, a small publisher called MF Enterprises created their own Captain Marvel — one that almost no one still remembers.
In the meantime, DC Comics gained the right to produce new material featuring the original Captain Marvel of Fawcett. Thiswas ironic to see given thatthey once sued the character right off the printed page. On the other hand, considering Marvel had their own legally trademarked Captain Marvel, DC was unable to print a comic with the same title. Now, all the comic books that featured DC’s Captain Marvel were called ‘Shazam.’During this time, Billy Batson was stillthe Captain Marvel of DC.
Meanwhile, MarvelComics’s Captain Marvel went through many iterations. Mar-Vellaka Walter Lawson was the first to use the title, followed by Monica Rambeau. Mar-Vell lasted from 1967 to 1982. Moreover, Monica Rambeau was introduced as Captain Marvel in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual # 16, until the mid-1990s. After Monica was Mar-Vell’s son, Genis-Vell. Although he had been known as the hero named ‘Legacy’ in 1993, he became Captain Marvel in the comic series, Captain Marvel Vol. 3 in 1995. The name was later on passed to Genis’ sister, Phyla-Vell, who appeared in Captain Marvel series in 2003.
Subsequently, there was also a Kree, an alien named Noh-Varr, who had become Captain Marvel at comic series of Dark Avengers in 2009. Then, a Skrull, named Khn’nr, was brainwashed into believing that he was Mar-Vell, between the 2007 Civil War: The Return and the 2008 Captain Marvel series.In 2012, Ms. Marvel, the former love interest of Mar-Vell, eventually became Captain Marvel.
DC Comic’s Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel, also known as ‘Shazam,’ is an American superhero in comic series originally published by Fawcett Comics, and currently published by DC Comics. In 1939, an artist named C. C. Beck and the writer, Bill Parker, developed the character. In the following year, Captain Marvel first appeared in Fawcett Comics’ Whiz Comics # 2 in 1940.
Shazam’s comic series under DC Comics had started with Shazam! # 1 released in February 1973. This includes new stories and reprints from the 1940s and 1950s. Dennis O’Neil was the primary author of the book. However, his role was later taken over by the writers E. It’s Nelson Bridwell and Elliot S. Maggin. Moreover, C. C. Beck illustrated the book’s first ten issues before leaving due to artistic differences.
The essential parts of the origin story of Billy Batson and Captain Marvel remained almost unchanged through 2012, with slight modifications over the years. In 1987 miniseries ofShazam!: The New Beginning, Roy &Dann Thomascreateda 15-year-old Billy being forced to move in with Doctor Sivana. In this version, he was Billy’s cruel uncle, who throws him out into the street. However, in 1994, the graphic novel series of ‘Shazam’s Power!,’ created by Jerry Ordway, became the character’s definite origin through 2011. The new version featured a ten-year-old Billy being selected as Wizard Shazam’s champion because of his parents’ influence as an archaeologist.In 2012, Geoff Johns, the writer, and former creative officer, modified Billy Batson’s story for DC’s New 52 Universe. He even replaced the alter-ego character as “Shazam” during this time. He made Billy Batson into a cranky and troubled 15 year-old foster child, living in Philadelphia.
The Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941 Film)
Adventure of Captain Marvel is an American film released in 1941. It was a 12-episode movie series directed by William Witney and John English. This black-and-white- film starred Tom Tyler as Captain Marvel along with Frank Coghlan as Billy Batson, his alter-ego.The film series featured Captain Marvel as he fought a masked crime boss called the Scorpion, who is determined to take control of an ancient weapon. It was adapted from the famous Captain Marvel comic book character, which appeared in the Whiz Comics published by Fawcett Comics.
Marvel Comic’s Captain Marvel
Mar-Vell: aka Walter Lawson
Mar-Vell was an alien military officer of Kree Imperial Militia, who was sent to study planet Earth. However, Mar-Vell grew tired of the malicious intent of his superiors and allies himself with the Earth. Because of that, he was branded as a traitor by the Kree Empire. From that moment on, Mar-Vell has been fighting to protect Earth from all threats.
Captain Marvel, also known as Walter Lawson (also Mar-Vell), is a superhero written by writer-editor Stan Lee and was designed by an artist named Gene Colan. The character was published under Marvel Comics and first appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes # 12 in December 1967. Mar-Vell was the original bearer of the name “Captain Marvel,” under the Marvel’s comic series.
In 1982, Roger Stern, a writer and artist John Romita Jr. created the second Captain Marvel. She was first featured in The Amazing Spider-Man comic series # 16. Monica Rambeau gained her superpowers after being blasted by extradimensional energy. She was known as the New Orleans Louisiana police lieutenant who has the power to transform herself into any form of energy. Later on, she joined in and finally became the Avengers’ leader.
The third to bear the name Captain Marvel was Genis-Vell. He first appeared in the Silver Surfer Annual # 6 in 1993 using “Legacy” as his codename. Genis-Vell was Mar-Vell’s son to his lover Elysius. He was a superhero that later on turned out to be a supervillain along with Monica Rambeau.
Phyla-Vell was developed by Peter David and Paul Azacetahe in 2004.She was the younger sister of Genis-Velland was the fourth Captain Marvel. Phyla-Vell was created when Genis recreated the universe. This resulted in the resurrection of his mother as well as bringing his sister into existence.
The fifth known Captain Marvel was Khn’nr. He was from the alien species called Skrull, which first appeared in Civil War: The Return in March 2007.
Noh-Varr is a fictional character created by author Grant Morrison and artist J.G. Jones under the Marvel Comics. He appearedas Marvel Boy in Marvel Boy # 1, released in August 2000. Later on, Noh-Varr joined the Dark Avengers, using the name Captain Marvel.
Carol Danvers became Ms. Marvel’s first encarnation after her DNA was fused with Mar-Vell’s. She first appeared in the comic series of Ms. Marvel # 1 released in 1977. However, In July 2012, Carol Danvers, assumed the role of Captain Marvel, in a continuing series written by Kelly Sue DeConnick.