Billy Batson was a poor boy who was chosen by the Wizard Shazam in 1939 to have the power of his champion. When uttering the magic phrase Shazam (an acronym for Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, Mercury) to become Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel defends a city for decades.
Eventually Batson travels to the Blazing World.
Captain Marvel draws his powers from several Greek gods and Biblical characters. When Billy Batson says the magic word "Shazam!" he transforms from a kid into the adult Captain Marvel. Repeating the word "Shazam!" transforms Captain Marvel back into Billy. His powers are:
- Wisdom of Solomon: As Captain Marvel, Billy has instant access to a vast amount of scholarly knowledge, including most known languages and sciences. He has exceptional photographic recall and mental acuity allowing him to read and decipher hieroglyphics, recall everything he has ever learned and solve long mathematical equations. He also has a great understanding of divine phenomena in the mortal world.
- Strength of Hercules: Captain Marvel has immense superhuman strength. He is able to easily bend steel, punch through walls, and lift massive objects, (including whole continents like South America).
- Stamina of Atlas': Captain Marvel can withstand and survive most types of extreme physical assaults, and heal from them. Additionally, he does not need to eat, sleep, or breathe and can survive unaided in space when in Captain Marvel form.
- Power of Zeus: besides fueling the magic thunderbolt that transforms Captain Marvel, this power also enhances Marvel's other physical and mental abilities, and grants him resistance against all magic spells and attacks. Marvel can use the lightning bolt as a weapon by dodging it and allowing it to strike an opponent or target. The magic lightning has several uses, such as creating apparatus, restoring damage done to Marvel, and acting as fuel for magic spells. If Billy is poisoned, for example, transforming will enable him to survive.
- Courage of Achilles: This power gives Captain Marvel bravery and in one story it is claimed to give him fighting skills. It also aids Captain Marvel's mental fortitude against most mental attacks.
- Speed of Mercury': Captain Marvel can move at superhuman speeds and fly. This also gives Marvel the ability to fly to the Rock of Eternity by flying faster than the speed of light
Captain Marvel was created in 1939 by artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker for Fawcett Comics, and is currently the property of DC Comics.