When Billy Batson says the magic word “Shazam!” and transforms into Captain Marvel, he is granted the following powers:
S- For the wisdom of Solomon: As Captain Marvel, Billy has instant access to a vast amount of scholarly knowledge, including most known languages and sciences. He has exceptional photographic recall and mental acuity allowing him to read and decipher hieroglyphics, recall everything he has ever learned and solve long mathematical equations. He also has a great understanding of divine phenomena in the mortal world. The wisdom of Solomon also provides him with counsel and advice in times of need. In early Captain Marvel stories, Solomon’s power also gave Marvel the ability to hypnotize people.
H- For the strength of Hercules: Hercules‘ power grants Captain Marvel immense superhuman strength, making him one of DC Comics’ strongest characters; he is able to easily bend steel, punch through walls, and lift massive objects, (including whole continents like South America). In the comics, this strength has evolved in parallel to that of Superman.
A- For the stamina of Atlas: Using Atlas‘ stamina, Captain Marvel can withstand and survive most types of extreme physical assaults, and heal from them. Additionally, he does not need to eat, sleep, or breathe and can survive unaided in space when in Captain Marvel form. Pre-Crisis, it was implied in some stories to give him invulnerability.
Z- For the power of Zeus: Zeus‘ power, besides fueling the magic thunderbolt that transforms Captain Marvel, also enhances Marvel’s other physical and mental abilities, and grants him resistance against all magic spells and attacks. Marvel can use the lightning bolt as a weapon by dodging it and allowing it to strike an opponent or target. The magic lightning has several uses, such as creating apparatus, restoring damage done to Marvel, and acting as fuel for magic spells. If Billy is poisoned, for example, transforming will enable him to survive. Pre-Crisis, it was claimed in some stories to give him invulnerabilty. It can also turn other Marvels back by striking them. It aids interdimensional travel at the Rock of Eternity.
A- For the courage of Achilles: This aspect gives Captain Marvel the courage of Achilles, giving him bravery and in one story it is claimed to give him fighting skills. In the Trials of Shazam! mini-series, this was changed to Achilles’ near invulnerability. It also aids Captain Marvel’s mental fortitude against most mental attacks.
M- For the speed of Mercury: By channeling Mercury‘s speed, Captain Marvel can move at superhuman speeds and fly, although in older comics he could only leap great distances. This also gives Marvel the ability to fly to the Rock of Eternity by flying faster than the speed of light.
Famous Quote: “Boy-o boy, there’s nothing like the feel of the wind in your hair, cruising at mach speed. Forget your worries, your pressures…Forget you’re late for school!” –CAPTAIN MARVEL
Short Bio: Captain Marvel was given a twelve-year-old boy named Billy Batson as his alter ego. In the original story a homeless newsboy, is led by a mysterious stranger to a secret subway tunnel. An odd subway car with no visible driver takes them past Seven statues depicting the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man (Pride, Envy, Greed, Hatred, Selfishness, Laziness and Injustice) to the lair of the wizard Shazam, who grants Billy the power to become the adult superhero Captain Marvel and shows him his life, after which a stone above Shazam’s head crushes him, although his ghost says he will give advice when a brazier is lighted. In order to transform into Captain Marvel, Billy must speak the wizard’s name, an acronym for the six various legendary figures who had agreed to grant aspects of themselves to a willing subject: the wisdom of Solomon; the strength of Hercules; the stamina of Atlas; the power of Zeus; the courage of Achilles; and the speed of Mercury. Speaking the word produces a bolt of magic lightning which transforms Billy into Captain Marvel; speaking the word again reverses the transformation with another bolt of lightning.
Costume: Captain Marvel wore a bright red costume with gold trim and a yellow lightning bolt insignia on the chest. The body suit originally included a partial bib front, but was changed to a one-piece skintight suit within a year. In 1994, the DC Comics version of the costume had the partial bib restored. The costume also included a white-collared cape trimmed with gold flower symbols, usually asymmetrically thrown over the left shoulder and held around his neck by a gold cord. The cape came from the ceremonial cape worn by the British nobility, photographs of which appeared in newspapers in the 1930s.