The Fawcett Universe
Art by C.C. Beck
Billy Batson meets Shazam and is about to become Captain Marvel for the first time!
Alone and on the streets of a major metropolitan city, orphaned newsboy Billy Batson
was led into an
abandoned subway tunnel by a mysterious stranger
On an out-of-service rail-track an odd and driverless subway car stopped to pick-up Billy and his
companion. Following a brief trip, Billy and the stranger disembarked the train and walked down a
ancient hallway. On one side of the cavernous hall grotesque statues of the
Seven Deadly Enemies of Man
: Pride, Envy, Greed, Hatred, Selfishness, Laziness and Injustice loomed.
Art by C.C. Beck
The first appearance of the original Captain Marvel!
As mysteriously as he appeared the stranger vanishes. Sitting on a throne at the far-end of the
hall is a wizened old man with long white hair and a full, almost floor-length white beard. At
the old mans beckoning, Billy steps forward and stops in front of the throne.
The old man announces himself by proclaiming, "I am Shazam!," amid a peal of thunder and flash
of lightning. As the smoke clears Billy notices the wall behind the wizard is inscribed with the
names of six great elders which together form the name SHAZAM: Solomon- wisdom, Hercules - strength,
Atlas - stamina, Zeus - power, Achilles - Courage, and Mercury - speed. Shazam relates to the young
boy that he needs a new champion to battle evil and that he has chosen Billy. "Speak my name"
As Billy shouts the name of the ancient wizard, lightning drops from the ceiling of the chamber striking
him, while at the same time a deafening peal of thunder echoes off the cavern walls. As the smoke clears, Billy discovers that
he has been transformed into a man!
"Captain Marvel, I salute you," says Shazam! At that moment a slab of stone hanging above
Shazams head, held in place by a tattered thread, crashes down onto the old wizard crushing him.
From the dust and rumble a ghostly image of Shazam appears and lights a nearby brazier.
At that, Captain Marvel sets off to track down the evil radio silencer plaguing his fair city — and at that
Captain Marvel meets his arch-nemesis for the first time: Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana!
For the next thirteen years, Captain Marvel became one of the most popular and beloved characters in all
superhero-dom. Mysteriously as he began, Captain Marvel disappeared from site in 1953.
After a 20 year hiatus, it was revealed that in his attempt to place Captain Marvel in suspended
animation, Sivana also caught himself, the rest of the Sivana Family as well most of Captain Marvel's
friends and family in the same trap.
Sivana used a compound of his own invention, called
Suspendium, to pull off his nefarious feat. He transported the Cap and the other folks to
space where he placed them in the Suspendium globe. Sivana's son, Sivana Jr., accidently caused
Sivana's space ship to crash into the globe trapping themselves as well.
Art by C.C. Beck
Captain Marvel and the Sivanas come out of suspended animation!
After 20 years, the Suspendium globe moved close enough to the sun and started to melt.
Captain Marvel was the first to awaken and he freed the rest of Sivana's prisoners.
In the end, Cap captured the Sivana's and sent them back to jail.
It was during this time that it was revealed that the Marvels lived on Earth-S,
a parallel world existing in a different vibratory space from the DC Universes of Earth-1
and Earth-2. Earth-1 and Earth-2 were homes to the silver and golden age DC heroes including
Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the rest. It was only inevitable that the greatest heroes
of their respective earths should meet in battle.
Cap first fought Superman during one of the Justice League's annual cross-overs with the Justice
Society. The adventure also reintroduced many of the old Fawcett heroes including Spy Smasher,
Ibis, Bulletman and Bulletgirl, and Mr. Scarlet and Pinky. Although the battle was short-lived,
Art byRich Buckler and Dick Giordano
Cap and Superman settle their differences and become fast friends!
When Earths Collide!"
a major confrontation occurred nearly a year later and featured not only Cap and Superman
visiting each other's earths but also the first meeting between Mary Marvel and Supergirl.
Cap had many adventures both solo and with Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Junior.
Many of Cap's former foes seemed to also have been trapped in the Suspendium. Captain Marvel
was besieged by the likes of Mr. Mind, Ibac, Aunt Minerva, Sabbac and Black Adam among others.
Cap even traveled back in time to and shared an adventure with the Golden-Age All-Star
Squadron - this time battling the Earth-2 Superman!
Shortly thereafter, a cataclysmic, universal catastrophe called the Crisis on Infinite Earths occurred.
Cap joined the heroes from many earths to battle the evil Anti-Monitor - a being hellbent
on destroying all the parallel universes and restarting the universe from scratch. Cap and
the other heroes defeated the Anti-Monitor but not before the remaining earths were merged
together. For the first time, Cap and his family lived on the same earth as Superman and Batman.
But this union was not without its problems.
Cap's origin and adventures seemed to be plotted by a mysterious hand that kept erasing and
readjusting Cap's history. At one point, Captain Marvel lived in San Francisco with his real
Uncle Dudley and real uncle Sivana.
The Past Four Years
Billy Batson was permanently relocated to Fawcett City where he rents his own apartment.
He works at Radio Station W.H.I.Z. as Billy and on the docks as a disguised Captain Marvel.
Billy eventually found his long lost sister Mary. Mary discovered that she too could turn into
Captain Marvel by saying the magic word, Shazam! When Billy and Mary are both Captain Marvel their
respective powers are reduced by half.
Billy and Mary's foster parent's hometown of Fairfield was leveled by the malevolent robot, Mr. Atom
-- a pawn of that wicked worm, Mr. Mind. Luckily for both Billy and Mary, their parents were away
at the time.
Captain Marvel fought Superman, once again and Billy ended up coming to terms with Black Adam. Both Captain Marvel and Black Adam
are members of the JSA (Justice Society of America).
Your local comic shop will probably have a near complete run of Cap's last series,
The Power of Shazam!, for sale at a reasonable price. There is also a painted,
graphic novel by writer/painter Jerry Ordway that served as a prologue to the afore-mentioned series,
also called The Power of Shazam! Captain Marvel can also be found in JSA where he is a member.
Your local comic shop may also stock, or special order for you, the hardcover reprints of Cap's early
Fawcett adventures in DC Comics' Archives line - Shazam! Archives Vols. 1, 2 and
3. Each volume retails for about $50.