Watch This Before You See Shazam!

Who is Shazam? What makes him unique? And in an era with so many superhero movies,
why did it take so long to bring him to the big screen? Let’s take a look at The World’s Mightiest
Mortal with all the stuff you need to know before you see Shazam! A secret identity is at the core of nearly
every superhero. Some, like Spider-Man, keep it secret to protect
their loved ones. For Shazam, it’s more because when he’s not
being a superhero, he’s literally a child. Comics can be weird. Unbeknownst to the DC Universe at large, Shazam
is actually Billy Batson, played in the movie by Asher Angel. After a fateful brush with mystical forces,
Billy gains the ability to transform into Shazam, “The World’s Mightiest Mortal.” Decades before Stan Lee rocked the comic book
landscape with the idea that kids could relate to teenage heroes like Peter Parker, Billy
Batson was the first mainstream kid protagonist on the comic book scene. That might have been part of the reason that
his stories sold better than any other character’s in the 1940s, including Superman, at one point
moving over 2 million copies per month. And it makes sense. What kid wouldn’t want to transform into an
unstoppable magical superhero? With a single magic word, Billy Batson becomes
Shazam, a lightning-powered hero played in the movie by Zachary Levi. Exactly what that means, however, usually
depends on who’s writing the comic. While he always turns into a pile of altruistic
super muscle with an A+ jawline, Shazam himself has been a number of different things. Sometimes, like in the movie, he retains Billy’s
childlike mind in a superpowered adult body. In other iterations, he’s a completely separate
entity who magically changes places with the kid. Either way, he’s got a pretty impressive set
of super-powers. The magic word “SHAZAM” is actually an acrostic
listing the names of the legendary figures from whom he draws his considerable powers. He has the wisdom of Solomon, the strength
of Hercules, the courage of Achilles, the vaguely defined power of Zeus, the stamina
of Atlas, and the fantastic speed of Mercury, which is usually used to explain how he can
fly. Luke had an Obi-Wan, Harry had a Dumbledore,
and Shazam has… Shazam. Yes, Shazam’s mentor is also called Shazam,
and yeah, it’s always awkward working with someone who has the same name as you. Wizardly superhero exploits are sort of a
specialized field; you have to play the cards you’re dealt. “Shazam?” You’re probably going to hear the word “Shazam”
a lot in this movie, so you might as well get used to it now. In the movie Shazam!, Billy receives the power
to turn into a hero named Shazam by saying the magic word “Shazam,” thanks to an ancient
wizard, who is helpfully also named Shazam. The wizard is a mystical being who guards
the world from his magical cave, but you know how it goes – a couple thousand years on the
job and you start feeling ready to clock out. In the comics, he summons Billy to be his
new champion, granting him the aforementioned abilities because Batson is a generally decent
dude with a pure heart. In the original story, the wizard is immediately
and permanently squashed by a rock after handing out the super-powers, but in true Obi-Wan
fashion, he occasionally returns as a wise ghost to help guide Billy. In the movie, he’ll be played by Djimon Hounsou,
who eagle-eyed viewers will notice has already showed up in Guardians of the Galaxy, Aquaman,
and Captain Marvel. That last one’s a pretty interesting note,
but we’ll come back to that in a second. Being a superhero is a stressful job, so it’s
important for a crimefighter to have a place they can call their own. Somewhere they can relax, talk to the ghost
of their dad who lives in a crystal, or have their butler help them build a rocket car. You know, the stuff we can all relate to. “A lair?” “Yes, like if you have something overlooking
a cliff…” “overlooking some water…” Shazam’s secret hideout has traditionally
been the place where everything started for him: the Rock of Eternity. Like so much of Shazam’s story, it’s changed
over the years, but generally, the facts are these: it’s a magic lair, it’s distinctly
rocky, and it has a rad throne. In many versions, the Rock of Eternity sits
in an otherworldly realm outside of space and time, joined up to our world by mystical
means like the magic subway train that summoned Billy Batson to inherit his objectively awesome
destiny. It’s also used as a prison for magically bound
enemies of the Shazam company of heroes, including the sinful septet known as the Seven Deadly
Enemies of Man. The first time Billy Batson was summoned to
the Rock of Eternity, the Wizard Shazam had some pretty unsettling furniture: a difficult-to-ignore
collection of giant statues depicting humanity’s worst vices. Surprisingly enough, they weren’t just statues. They were stone prisons built to contain the
demonic personas of each of the Seven Deadly Sins. Originally referred to as the Seven Deadly
Enemies of Man, they included Pride, Envy, Greed, Hatred, Laziness, Selfishness, and
Injustice. Once the Comics Code lightened up a little,
they swapped the “Enemies of Man” from their name with “Sins” and switched out Selfishness
and Injustice for Gluttony and the definitely not code-approved Lust. Needless to say, they’ve occasionally escaped
their stone prisons, always with the intention of wreaking havoc and general bad behavior. It’s been confirmed by director David F. Sandberg
that they will be appearing on the big screen in Shazam!, and it’s easy to suspect that
we’ll see them as more than just a set of statues. Since his introduction in 1941, Freddy Freeman
has been Billy’s right hand man. As a comic book character with an alliterative
name, he was pretty much locked in to getting powers at some point, and sure enough, he’d
become Shazam’s sidekick by the end of his first appearance. Like Billy himself, Freddy was another down
on his luck orphaned kid, with a disability that required him to have a crutch to walk. “You’re like, why so dark? You’re a disabled foster kid, you’ve got it
all!” In the Golden Age comics, Freddy’s leg and
spine were casualties of a fight between Captain Marvel and a villain named Captain Nazi. Captain Marvel, feeling two heaping scoops
of superheroic guilt, shared his powers with Freddy, giving him the ability to transform
into the ever so slightly condescendingly named Captain Marvel Junior. The New 52 reboot of the character was a little
more rascally. A pickpocket with just a hint of jerk, he’s
one of Billy’s foster siblings. The two become close, and Freddy eventually
gets a superpowered adult persona of his own. He’s played in Shazam! by Jack Dylan Glazer,
familiar to many viewers thanks to his appearance as Eddie in 2017’s It. Doctor Thaddeus Bodog Sivana has been the
conniving arch-nemesis to Shazam since day one. A moral and polar opposite to the hero, he’s
a small, stooped mad scientist, with his eyes perpetually obscured behind thick round glasses. He sneers. He jeers. He brings good guys to tears. His frequent early appearances were almost
always accompanied by a new contraption designed to foil his nemesis, who he delighted in calling
the Big Red Cheese. Hey, that was a pretty sick burn back in 1941. Like most comic book villains, Sivana took
a darker turn in modern stories, with a much more tragic origin story. After losing his family, he tries everything
from science to magic to try to bring them back. A mystical accident grants him a magic-sensing
eye, the use of which slowly decays his body. Mark Strong, who plays Sivana in Shazam!,
already has a superhero movie pedigree: he appeared in Kick-Ass and played Sinestro in
DC’s kinda regrettable Green Lantern. If Doctor Sivana is Shazam’s Lex Luthor, Black
Adam is his General Zod. See, the Shazam from Shazam! wasn’t the wizard
Shazam’s first Shazam. In other words, there was another guy who
got powers from the wizard back in ancient times. This previous Shazam was named Adam, originally
from Egypt and sometimes from the fictional nation of Kandaq, but always from several
thousand years ago. The wizard granted Adam powers, thinking that
Adam was pure of heart, but sadly, power corrupts, and super power corrupts superbly. Instead of a hero, he became Black Adam, a
supervillain overlord on his bad days and a giant jerk of an antihero on the few good
ones. There haven’t been any official announcements
with regard to Shazam!, but Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been signed on to play Black Adam
for years. Could we see him in this movie? Well, no one’s sure yet, but you should really
know better than to leave before the credits finish if you want to find out. When DC relaunched their universe in 2011
as the “New 52,” all of their flagship characters got a modern reimagining. It wasn’t the first time that Shazam had been
updated, but it was definitely the reboot that changed him the most. That’s how Billy Batson got a family. During his reboot in Justice League, he was
taken in by Victor and Rosa Vasquez, foster parents who had grown up in the system. Along for the ride were Billy’s new foster
siblings, Freddy Freeman, Darla Dudley, Eugene Choi, Mary Bromfield, and Pedro Pena. During his climactic fight with Black Adam,
Billy learned that he could share his abilities with his family and transformed all of his
brothers and sisters into new, lightning-cracklin’ superpowered versions of themselves. Victor and Rosa are set to appear in the movie,
and while Freddy’s gotten the most screen time in the trailers, the Shazam siblings
are along for the ride, too. DC and Warner Bros. are definitely shooting
for a franchise with this movie, so don’t be too surprised if you see them power up
by the time the credits roll, too. Superhero movies always throw in a few easter
eggs for die-hard fans, and Shazam’s long history has plenty of pretty weird characters
who might show up in the movie. Just in case they decide to toss in some oddballs,
here’s who to watch out for. Obviously, Freddy Freeman is showing up in
the film, and sharp-eyed fans already know that Mary Bromfield has connection to Billy
that goes back a little bit further than the other kids. But then you had sort of super heroes… like
Uncle Marvel. He was just a chunky old dude who dressed
up in tights and hung out with a group of children. It was a different time. One of the more enduring bits of extra strength
weirdness came in the form of Tawky Tawny. When he was introduced in the ’40s, Tawky
Tawny was a literal tiger who learned how to talk, wear clothes, and walk on his hind
legs because he wanted to be like people. He was grrrrrrreat! There’s a more modern version of the Shazam
story that recast Tawny as a stuffed animal, which would give the movie an easy way to
throw him in for fans. As for whether that stuffed tiger would come
to life and start eating bad guys, the odds are pretty slim, but hey, you never know! If saying your own name to transform into
a physical ideal seems a little self-centered even for a superhero, take a little comfort
in the fact that Shazam didn’t start out that way. When he was introduced in 1939 the character
was called Captain Marvel, which technically makes Shazam! the second Captain Marvel movie
of 2019. “Wait, for real?” “Just say it!” Here’s where things get loopy. When Fawcett Comics put out their new comic
book about Captain Marvel, the Shazam one, back in 1940, DC noticed a number of similarities
to the character they’d debuted in 1938. He was a big, dark-haired dude in a cape who
could leap tall buildings and had strength that could only be called super. His costume had a familiar design to it. He was even throwing a car on the cover of
his first issue, which felt a little familiar to the company that had introduced Superman
in Action Comics #1. DC sued for copyright infringement, leading
to a messy dispute that ended with Fawcett out of business, and Captain Marvel going
out of print for about two decades. In those intervening 20 years, a rival company
had appeared called Marvel Comics. Since the copyright on the “Captain Marvel”
name had lapsed, these new guys had snatched it up for their own character, who – purely
by coincidence, we’re sure – also changed places with a younger alter-ego. After years of using “Shazam” as the title
for comics and confusingly calling the hero “Captain Marvel” in the stories themselves,
DC would wind up officially changing the character’s name to Shazam. Meanwhile, Marvel would just keep making more
and more heroes called Captain Marvel, eventually beating the Distinguished Competition to the
screen with their latest version by about a month. Seems like the speed of Mercury only takes
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100 Replies to “Watch This Before You See Shazam!”

  1. ain't nobody talking about that black guy who showed up in the subway that refrences that other black guy in SHAZAM/Superman: Return of black Adam

  2. I don't get the part where Shazam with the wisdom of Solomon. Billy still acts like a kid in most instances.

  3. What happens at the end of the movie is billy bats on aka gives all of his adoptive family powers apart from the adoptive parents your welcome for spoiling the ending for you

  4. when i was a young lad Billy Said Shazam to become Capt. Marvel as did Mary to become Mary Marvel and Freddie said Capt. Marvel to become Capt. Marvel Jr.

  5. I just watched the movie,it was amazing and hilarious most of time.I Recommend Watching It.

  6. By the way Why should I watch this before watching the actual movie?
    And you are just spoiling the movie

  7. Best DC movie yet; last 20 minutes get a little flakey but overall better than any sup, bat, wonder flick…. why cause it’s funny af. Perfect casting. The villain was cheeky….perfect straight man to the goofy hero

    And way better than that boring af cot marvel money grab that came out. Here it’s evident that dc is nurturing a fan base, while the established marvel is taking folks for granted

  8. Billy Batson didn't officially "Become" Shazam!, until 2012, in the comics, with the New 52. In the movie, he didn't really have a name, as I recall, from the time I saw it, Friday — although the 3D projector was out of focus, at the beginning, and it was me who had to go tell the idiots. "Captain Sparklefingers" seemed to be the name that stuck the most, in the flick… 😂

  9. I will never watch this cos zachary is shazam….another stupid DC movie after green lantern. director if ur gonna make a superhero at least 10 issues of the movie ur gone make…

  10. Wanna know who's more powerful SHAZAM or Superman?

    Throw both of them Inside Sun and see the results after few minutes!

  11. I've seen shazam movie on Sunday night and I can say that's the best movie and especially superhero movie I've seen since Iron man back in 2008, it's pure awesomeness ⚡⚡⚡

  12. the bus scene,they screwed up,his hands are on the glass windshield instead of the metal frame on the bus…and the glass was already cracked!!hmm….yeah,little thing,but really irritating!!

  13. Captain Marvel (back when the character was a guy and not named "Shazam" due to licensing issues) was about the only TV/movie superhero (arguably aside from the Incredible Hulk) where one might not know Billy Batson/Captain Marvel are the same person because of the physical transformation, vs. just wearing glasses or changing hairstyles and clothes, like the others.

  14. i like how whenever you show the "jumping off the building part of the trailer" the narrator always says shazam right on time

  15. I have a question for marvel they cant make a movie about different universes for all superheroes the only movie i have seen is spiderman into the spiderverse

  16. "Billaye"
    Several times, "Billaye"
    Even though he also says Billy correctly several other times….

  17. Dude you need to get your facts straight. Billy Batson turns into captain by saying Shazam. 1936

  18. Hey, random stranger standing right next to me, who has apparently saw everything I just saw, I just ask that guy you know that one right there with the Red suit and a white Cape with that Lightning Bolt on the front of him what his name is and he said Shazam. And random stranger Who is apparently astonished at the fact that another stranger is talking to him without any particular reason but two now State the obvious.. wouldn't you know it, that the guy was hit by lightning and turned into this little kid then the kid, with the reddest face I ever saw said Shazam, and he turned back into the that guy again right there. It was amazing. Hey!, Hey you with the lightning bolt on your chest, tell me your name again! Hey where you going? Oh my Gosh he flew away. Must have needed to go pee.

  19. You can click the dislike button for this this comment. Yes the dislike button because likes is not everything in life cause there is other stuff that are way more important than likes in life

  20. Captain Marvel coming out around the same time as Shazam…👀 You stole his name, and now his spotlight?

  21. Originally, he is really Captain Marvel but Marvel Comics Stan Lee stole his name and gave it to a lady of the same name. Shazam has become a victim of identity theft by some broad who wants to be Captain Marvel.

  22. I actually liked both captain marvel and shazam. But I like shazam more. Finally DC made a movie worthy of the comics. They have the coolest heros and somehow Marvel always makes much better movies.

  23. Just imagine when Shazam jumps off the building then he turns into a creeper and then struck by lightning, therefore, Shazam will become the godly creeper who controls lightning.

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