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Is Cap … Billy and is Billy … Cap?
Friday, October 03, 2008
One of the biggest head-scratchers of the Golden-Age was whether or not Billy Batson and Captain Marvel were two different people or one and the same person.

The issue was first raised in Whiz Comics #11 (Dec 1940) where Billy calls on Cap to help him with a college entrance exam. Instead of shouting his magic word, Billy whispers it and a ghostly projection of the World's Mightiest Man appears over the young lad's shoulder. This spectral Captain Marvel whispers the answers to the exam in Billy's ear and Billy explains, "Boy! This is a cinch now! Thanks Capt. Marvel".

What is clear from th story is that Billy doesn't consider Cap a different person, in fact, Billy doesn't consider getting help from cheating because as he puts it, "after all, he and I are the same person."

Captain Marvel's help is so great that Billy aces the exam when the results are posted.

One of two other interesting aspects of the story is that 10-year-old Billy applies for acceptance into Marvel College. While he needs help with the exam, the story shows another example of Billy's gutsiness and thrill for adventure.

This story and the subsequent one in Whiz Comics #12 (Jan 1941) show Cap without his cape. In this story, it made some sense, due to Captain Marvel's joining the Marvel College football team but is most likely due to Fawcett's attempt to visually distinguish Captain Marvel from his rival at National, Superman!


Shazam! Fun Fact Text
Captain Marvel and Billy Batson — one and the same — or two different entities?

One of the biggest questions about Captain Marvel and Billy Batson was whether they were one and the same or two different people.

While this panel seems to indicate that they are the same — there is some ambiguity!

Cap half-appears to help Billy with the examination and Billy refers to the ghostly figure as "Capt. Marvel." Yet, he is also Billy's other self!

Captain Marvel and Billy Batson are seen together for the first time in Whiz Comics #11 (Dec 1940)