With the ‘Shazam!’ trailer out in the wild, we’ve all gotten to see the first live action version of the character since he was flanked by ‘Clue Club’ and ‘Isis’ on CBS Saturday mornings.  Though Stephen is worried about it being ‘Big’ with a cape, I’m less worried about that than I am about there being a sudden left turn into Murderville halfway through.  There’s also the bigger issue for me: I grew up expecting that Captain Marvel was a separate entity from Billy Batson, summoned by the magic of the lightning, but distinct in characterization and thought processes.  That’s something that we haven’t seen in the character since at least the 1990s, though, and much like the arguments about changing his name, it’s really a matter of taste.  (‘Doc’ Shaner made the salient point on Twitter this week that Captain Marvel is no longer viable as a name for DC Comics and that we as fans have to accept it if there’s going to be ANY more material featuring the good Captain.  And he’s absolutely, one hundred percent right in his thinking.)  Still, there’s something about the idea of saying one magic word and having your guardian angel/big super-powered brother step in and handle your problems, leading to today’s Wisdom of Solomonic query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) appreciates both takes, and even likes the idea that Mary does NOT transform into a separate entity, which seemingly makes no sense, asking: Do you prefer your Captain Marvel/Shazam! to be a separate entity or just a transformed Billy?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. I prefer him as a separate entity simply because the bit of “I’m a child in a man’s body” can get kind of grating if it’s done for too long or if it becomes his only defining character trait.

  2. Daniel Langsdale on

    I think that a transformed Billy is exponentially more interesting than having the hero be a different entity.

  3. I liked the idea of a transformed Billy much better, but only when it is written well. It is a tough balance to master, but it makes for some interesting stories when you’ve got a kid in a grown-up body and having the kid mind deal with serious stuff. Sometimes it is funny, sometimes it is heartbreaking and sometimes it makes you roll your eyes, but it is a more enjoyable premise to me than swapping places (though that can also be written well and be very enjoyable).

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