#3. Shazam/Captain Marvel

Ugh, the name change makes writing this one a little bit of a problem. I’ll just stick with Captain Marvel for the rest of it.

Origin: Young Billy Batson was chosen by the wizard Shazam to be his champion for his pure heart. By saying the name “Shazam” Billy transforms into the adult superhero Captain Marvel. The word Shazam represents the six gods that he derives power from. Billy’s friend Freddy also gains the powers of Shazam becoming Captain Marvel Jr. Freddy’s sister Mary also gains the powers, calling herself Mary Marvel.

Life: Being one of the oldest comic characters, a lot of history and retcons have been made to Captain Marvel. Sometimes he’s been depicted as two different people. At other times it is just Billy’s body growing up. Billy often clashes with Dr. Sivana an insane scientist, making a magic vs technology duel. His biggest rival is Black Adam, the original champion of Shazam. In the New 52, Billy becomes Shazam and his new adopted family can share his powers.

Why he’s on the list: No matter what he’s called, Billy is still one of the strongest superheroes. Going by the name “The World’s Mightiest Mortal,” he frequently is compared to Superman. Him being a magic superhero causes many clashes between the two in Elseworlds. Billy’s cheery attitude is one of the defining traits of his character and series. There’s also a sense of family between him and the other Marvels. One last thing, they have a tiger butler named Tawky.

Recommended Reading: The Trials of Shazam, Superman/Shazam: First Thunder, Shazam (New 52)

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