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Captain Marvel? Shazam? DC Comics Will Now Just Call Him The Captain

Don't call him Shazam. Or Captain Marvel. Billy Batson's superhero form will now be known in the new Dawn Of DC series as The Captain.

Once upon a time, Shazam was known as Captain Marvel. But when the character was bought by DC Comics, the very company that had once stopped it from being published, they were now unable to call his comic Captain Marvel, over trademark issues with Marvel Comics. So his comic book was then called Shazam. And, in time, the character was no longer known as Captain Marvel inside the covers either, but Shazam. After all, they didn't want to give  Marvel's Captain Marvel any free publicity.

But Mark Waid, currently writing the character in a new Shazam series launching from DC Comics in June and drawn by Dan Mora, has a new name for him. Talking on the Comics Cube YouTube channel, he stated, "I'll just call him Captain. We don't call him Captain Marvel in the book, but I will never not be able to call him Captain Marvel when I'm just relaxed. So in the book, he's just called the Captain, and that is the other kids' name for him."

"We just do a one-panel thing where we showed there was a maritime accident, Captain Marvel was soaking wet somehow, the others, you know, Mary laughing at him and saluting him, and they start calling him Captain, just as a joke and the name sticks. In the same way that The Doctor sticks when it's Doctor Who. He doesn't go around calling himself The Captain, but when people ask him point blank, he's got to say something."

Because Captain Marvel… I mean The Captain… I mean Shazam, has to say the word "Shazam" to transform. And that could be tricky.

"He can't just say the magic word. I know for a while, in DC continuity recently, they said he could say the magic word Shazam, but he had to have intent to transform… I understand where that comes from but it takes all the magic out of the word. So we're using Lazarus Planet as our excuse to say 'magic works differently now in the DC Universe'. In Shazam one of the fallouts is you can't say the word anymore.  I like the limitation, I like when you put interesting limits on characters, because it forces you as a writer to just work harder and think harder."

Mary Marvel will still be called Mary Marvel again, and though the Lazarus Planet fallout means not all of the Captain Marvel family will be able to share his power right now, Mary will. Oh Captain, my Captain… Bleeding Cool's suggestions that he be named Captain Shazadam fell on stony ground.

Shazam! #1 by Mark Waid and Dan Mora will be published by DC Comics in June. " Billy Batson is back as the champion in the action-comedy comic about a boy with powers that rival Superman's and a whole lot of growing up left to do. We'll see Shazam hanging out at the Rock of Eternity, his secret clubhouse that can travel through space and time, as well as punching dinosaurs in the face, seeing how long he can hold his breath on the moon, and getting into wild and fun adventures with his tiger, Tawky Tawny, by his side."

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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