‘Here’s the thing about power. What good is power if you got nobody to share it with?’ – Shazam
Shazam! The Magic word turns a little boy into one Shazam, one of the strongest DC superheroes of all time. Shazam, alias Captain Marvel (in DC), was originally Billy Batson. Billy Batson was an orphan boy who got adopted by a couple & parents of five adopted kids. When some kids in school bullied Billy’s foster siblings, Billy fought for them and then ran away from the school, taking a metro. Billy ended up at the Rock of Eternity, where the Wizard chose Billy as his Champion Successor. He gave Billy the magic word, Shazam, which made him a superhero.
The powers of Shazam essentially lie in his name. Shazam is an acronym derived from the six immortal gods who bestowed Shazam his powers:
S for Wisdom of Solomon, a biblical Israelite king blessed with supernatural wisdom to lead Israel.
H for Strength of Hercules, the Olympian God with the power of durability, speed, superhuman strength, stamina, reflexes, and endurance.
A for the Stamina of Atlas, the Titan God of endurance and strength.
Z for Power of Zeus. Zeus was lord of the sky and magical lightning bolts. Zeus enhanced Shazam’s powers, making him physically invulnerable and resistant against powerful casts and spells.
A for the Courage of Achilles, the great Greek warrior who blessed Shazam with innate and harmonious goodwill, soul, and courage.
M for the speed of Mercury, who bestowed Shazam with super strength and speed, enabling him to fly at 2 miles/second.
Can Shazam give his powers to others?
Yes, Shazam can share or give his powers to his close friends, allies, or family. Shazam can share the Living Lightning with anyone he deems is a true family or friend to him. It first featured in comics in 1941 when Billy saved Freddy’s life when he turned him into his magical sidekick known as Shazam Jr. He has shared his powers countless times with his friends and allies. Another instance is when Billy uses the magical staff to share his powers among his foster siblings to fight Doctor Sivana and the seven sins captured in his eyes.
With all these powers and abilities, Shazam is one of the sturdiest superheroes in DC comics. His might is unmatched by any other superhero. But does that make him immortal? Can he die? Well, let us find out!
Shazam, as a superhero, is immortal, but he can die if he is in his human form, i.e., Billy Batson if unable to say the magic word Shazam at the right moment. If Billy Batson dies, then the powers of Shazam continue as they can find a new soul. Besides that, if Shazam ever gets injured, he could be healed by the lightning of Zeus. Shazam has died several times in the comics but he does not remain dead for long and it is why he is considered Immortal. A few Instances where Shazam died are:
In the game Injustice, Superman kills Shazam with his heat vision rays when Shazam argues with him. But it just seems lazy writing, so let us move forward with more convincing deaths of Shazam. Shazam died in the very first appearance in WHIZ Comics #2. Although dead, he could summon the mystical brazier by lightning. He also died in Shazam! The New Beginning #1. In post-Crisis, when he got killed by a granite block that fell on him, he was revived by the brazier. He can summon the mystical brazier using his spirit only until he has a Shazamium bracelet, without which his anima will disappear forever.
Is Shazam Immortal?
Yes, Shazam is Immortal because Shazam is not a physical form but the magical spell that the Wizard granted Billy. Nonetheless, his human form is not Immortal, he will age like any other human, get sick, injured, and all other factors that can lead to death. Concludingly, Billy Batson cannot die until he is in the Shazam form, so in that sense he is Immortal.
Can Shazam die of old age?
Technically, Shazam cannot grow old like others. He has a lifespan of almost 5000 years before dying. But his human form can grow old even when it becomes Shazam. If Billy Batson becomes Shazam and stays like that for five years then he will be five years older as soon as he returns to his human form. No matter how old his human form grows, he will always be in his greatest potential whenever he becomes Shazam.
What Is Shazam’s Weakness?
Shazam does not have full-blown weaknesses, though he does have some exploitable vulnerabilities. If Shazam or Billy Batson cannot vocalize the magic word, “SHAZAM,” then he cannot transform to and fro his mystical, heroic form. He has to speak it aloud with the intent to ‘activate’ the Living Lightning spell. So, bind his lips together, debilitate his vocal cords, anything to stop him from speaking will do the trick. Billy Batson, himself, is Shazam’s other weakness. Shazam is a crazy powerful character as he can go toe-to-toe with Superman and has the power of six gods but his opponents get him when he turns into Billy. In the Flashpoint storyline, Wonder Woman used her Lasso of Truth to force Shazam to turn back into Billy. She then decapitated the kid. Billy is often the reason for Shazam’s demise.
Shazam’s weakness also lies in his immaturity. His kiddish immaturity proves advantageous for his opponents. It is also one of the reasons why the Justice League members do not want him in their team. Shazam is also susceptible to electricity and a powerful blast of electricity will again transform him into Billy Batson. Moreover, his power-sharing abilities also make him vulnerable.
Taking advantage of these weaknesses, his opponents beat him quite easily. Having said that, let us find more about the characters who have beaten Shazam.
Shazam is one of the strongest Superheroes, but that does not mean he cannot be conquered. Numerous superheroes can defeat Shazam proving that he is not stronger than them. Some of those are-
Silver Surfer: Silver Surfer is the herald of Galactus with cosmic power, prodigious strength, lightning speed, and many more, which are enough to defeat Shazam. Although Shazam is fast and powerful, he is still not quick enough to beat Silver Surfer. He can beat Shazam with lightning speed, cosmic energy, and matter manipulative powers.
Hyperion: Hyperion is the superman of Marvel. He has the same powers and strength as superman, like having superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and atomic vision, which manifests energy burning at excess of 12,000 Fahrenheit! Even though it will be a good fight, still, Hyperion has the upper hand against Shazam because of his absolute strength and power.
Jean Grey: Jean Grey is one of the strongest and dangerous telepaths on planet Earth. She can beat Shazam by using her telekinetic powers. She can get into Shazam’s mind, learn about his weakness and force him to shout the word Shazam so that he transforms back to Billy, who would be an easy target for Jean Grey.
Hulk: Hulk is the strongest Avenger, as announced by Friday in Thor: Ragnarok and also proven many times in comics. In the case of Hulk VS Shazam, Hulk would hit Shazam so hard that the latter would have no chance to duck.
Thor: Thor is God of Thunder as against Shazam, who got his powers from gods. Thor has cosmic powers and can defeat Shazam after a dynamic fight.
Even though Shazam is a strong character with god-gifted powers, he still cannot beat Superman because
- Shazam is just a naive kid and does not have the maturity of an adult. In contrast, Superman is an experienced and mature fighter.
- Superman’s power source is the sun, and he can replenish his power infinitely using the sun. Shazam, on the other hand, possesses no such special abilities.
It is why Shazam’s powers seem limited before Superman. Here are the two instances to prove our point:
- Shazam: Kingdom Come – Lex Luthor brainwashed Billy and sent Shazam to break Superman’s metahuman prison, Gulag. When Shazam struck Superman with his lightning, instead of getting harmed, Superman reverted the lightning to strike Shazam, which turned him into Billy Batson. It was how Superman won the fight.
- Again, in the animated series, Justice League’s Clash, Lex Luthor manipulated Captain Marvel into fighting with Superman. Both fought using their full powers and attacks like speed, strength, and punches. However, Captain Marvel gained the edge over Superman, when he started blasting him with his magic lightning. Once more, Superman struck Shazam with lightning, turning him to Billy.
So these two major battles proved that Superman is more powerful than Shazam. However, it was due to Superman using the lightning against Shazam to revert him. If Shazam gets into his full potential while fighting he can beat Superman, but his human form becomes frailty.
In spite of his shortcomings, Shazam is a wholesome superhero, the champion of humankind, and the generous protector of magic.
HOW POWERFUL IS KANG THE CONQUEROR?
WHY IS THANOS THE MOST POWERFUL BEING IN THE UNIVERSE?