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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 22 July 2018 at 9:34am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

So, Iíve not really read much Captain Marvel and this may be a stupid question. Was CM always just Billy in a grownup body like Tom Hanks in BIG?

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Some writers have portrayed Captain Marvel as a separate persona while some portray him as Billy whose mind has matured with his body, but the teenager in an adult body is a more recent take.
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 22 July 2018 at 2:30pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Originally, Captain Marvel was a separate persona, back in the 1940s Fawcett Comics days.

In his DC incarnation, at least post-1987, he was usually a more mature Billy Batson.

"Shazam," who debuted with the New 52, seems to be just Billy Batson in an adult body. And I hate it. 
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 22 July 2018 at 3:47pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Of course they went with the modern, shitty take on the character, from the name, the hooded cape and the immature Captain Marvel. There was nothing the trailer that made me want to see it. 
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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 22 July 2018 at 4:58pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

In one Golden Age story, Billy and Captain Marvel get each other Christmas presents, so they were definitely separate.
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David Miller
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Posted: 22 July 2018 at 5:45pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

My favorite was the time Billy whispered the magic word so an intangible Captain Marvel could invisibly help him cheat on a test by whispering Solomonic wisdom into his ears. 
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 22 July 2018 at 6:07pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I can't express just how disappointed I am that the Powers That Be have done
this to Captain Marvel.
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 9:53am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Personally, I think it looks great.  I think DC is playing it smart in keeping it more relateable for kids by having fun with it and being a little more goofy.
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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 11:11am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I'm with you, Wallace.... disappointed with the "52" version of this character.... the original was better.

-C!
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 8:52pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

"BIG... only with super-powers!" is the kind of high-concept pitch no studio would walk away from. That being said, that is not who the character was back in the day, and those earlier adventures displayed far more storytelling skill, craft, charm, and intelligence than anything done with the character in the past thirty years since he became a thumb-sucking naif or an edge-edge-edgy angst monster in a grown-up suit. 

#HaveYouHuggedaBastardizationToday?

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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 24 July 2018 at 11:17am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I'm with you Kevin Brown. It looks like a fun movie, aimed more towards the younger audience. A nice change of pace from most modern superhero movies (especially the DC films). A friend said it reminded in of the Spy Kids franchise, in tone. I think that fits.

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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 5:37am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Watching the trailer again...and I find it odd that in ĎShazamísí failed attempt to fly....he appears to have hurt himself in the fall.   How could that be?  ĎShazamí should be able to fall from many times that height and not feel a thing.  

Unless the story in the film is that his powers are not fully developed in that scene.....hence he canít totally fly?

In any case....Iím not in a big hurry for this.  


Edited by David Allen Perrin on 25 July 2018 at 5:38am
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 7:24am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Apparently the "wisdom of Solomon" doesn't get passed on to this version of Captain Marvel.
I like Zachary Levi but I wish they'd played this more like classic Captain Marvel, a combination of Billy's wide-eyed view of the world tempered by wisdom.
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 8:00am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I strongly suspect that the majority of the scenes in the trailer all happen within the first 30 minutes of the movie.  So the "fully realized" Captain Marvel doesn't appear until the final third of the movie.  The hero who knows he can fly, has the wisdom, etc.
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 10:31am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

The film's still 10 months away, I'm sure there's still plenty more to learn about it, which I expect to see in future trailers closer to the release date. Like we only briefly see Sivana, but no details of him or his plans in the film. And, apparently, Talky Tawny is actually in this film, I'm curious to how they pull that off. So far I'm just happy that it seems like they got the tone right (although I know that could easily be misleading too).

The only thing I don't think I'll ever get used to is the name, that he's actually called "Shazam" now. I understand the reasoning of not wanting to use the name Captain Marvel anymore, but I would have rather that they'd come up with a new superhero name, like Captain Magic or something.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 10:47am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

97% of any movie-going "civilian" would continue to call him "Shazam", anyway.

I grew up with a bunch of comic readers that insisted on calling him that, even though he was referred to as "Captain Marvel" throughout any book he was in.

I would even try to correct them. 
You mean, "Captain Marvel?" 
"No, Shazam! The boy says his name and turns into him!" 

The 70's live-action starring Captain Marvel was also titled "Shazam!"  Probably didn't help. 


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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 9:00pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Yeah, I know that was the reasoning they used back when they changed it in the comics. So I knew this was coming in the film. Still bugs me.

Anyway, I stopped at my 68 year old mother's place on my way home from work (this is the woman who introduced me to the Marvel Family via those old Viewmaster  reels when I was little kid), and I showed the trailer to her on my phone. She loved it (it helps that she was a huge fan of the "Chuck" TV show), and wants to see the film. 
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 9:32pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

How odd that there will be 2 Captain Marvel movies within the same year.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 26 July 2018 at 10:17am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I also had those Viewmaster reels.

You'll notice in the link the name "Captain Marvel" is not used anywhere on the front or back of the sleeve. 
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 26 July 2018 at 11:05am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Shazam! reveals first details on the film's mysterious villain
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James Best
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Posted: 26 July 2018 at 5:36pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

My wife is a big fan of Zachary Levi and enjoyed the trailer a lot. Not sure if she will fork over money for a ticket when it comes out, but at least it got her attention.

I didn't see much in the trailer that appealed to me. I like Levi okay in the role (he was terrific in the TV series CHUCK) but my dislikes were many...

1) The obviously padded suit, which gives the character a rather campy image. Levi is tall enough to play the role, and we know that Christopher Reeve hit the gym to build up his physique (some say as much as adding 30 lbs.) to play Superman back in 1978. Why we couldn't have given Levi the same chance is beyond me, especially given the advances in training and nutrition that Reeve didn't have but are now available to every actor in Hollywood. The padding looks cartoonish and if that is the look the director was going for then okay. But given a few more weeks in the weight room I think Levi could have pulled it off without the addition of styrofoam.

2.) The total absence of any Solomonic wisdom, the overall lack of maturity, and the bumbling tests to access his powers were miles distant from the Captain Marvel that I know from the 70s/80s. The Big Red Cheese from my youth was accomplished at using his powers as soon as the lightning bolt hit. The testing scenes are obviously inserted for humorous purposes to appeal to the kids in the audience. But the character has been around for as long as Superman and ignores the fact that the older audience members would look at those scenes as being out of place, even if it is only in a trailer.

3.) The Superhero-As-Battery-Charger scene... If this is the way the character is now being portrayed in DC Comics then I am glad I gave up collecting them over five years ago. A truly stupid sight gag that compounds the maturity problem I mentioned above.

4.) The way Billy Batson is portrayed as a juvenile delinquent. That may be the way the current version is being marketed but the Billy I first met on the page 30+ years ago had a good head on his shoulders and was a solid guy of good character. That is one of the reasons that Shazam decided to grant him the powers of the immortals in the first place. He wasn't trying to reform Billy by giving him superpowers, he was ensuring that the power was given to someone who was essentially "good" and would always try to act that way. The Billy Batson shown in the trailer wouldn't have merited a second glance from the old wizard.

I can only hope the next trailer (and the months remaining before the release date) manages to put the character back on azimuth. Otherwise this movie is going to end up being a discount rental option for me instead of a must-see on the silver screen.


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Andy Mokler
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Posted: 27 July 2018 at 2:41am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

The wizard Shazam has (only)been race-swapped.  A step forward considering what happened to the Ancient One?
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Marc M. Woolman
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Posted: 27 July 2018 at 3:05am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I prefer the Billy and Captain Marvel
are different approach, I detest the
"there is no Captain Marvel, only
Billy Batson in a grown-up body"
approach, but....
didn't the original comics play it
both ways? Not so much young Billy in
Cap's body, but more of a "maybe
they're different people/maybe they're
not" approach?

I seem to remember an issue where
Billy wants to date a grown up woman
so he changes to Captain Marvel in
order to do so.
I think the perfect stories would
tease both possibilities and never
really answer it.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 27 July 2018 at 4:54am | IP Logged | 23 post reply


 QUOTE:
Not so much young Billy in Cap's body, but more of a "maybe 
they're different people/maybe they're not" approach?

I think my 13-year-old self and my 29-year-old self would perceive each other as different people, so I could see going with that angle.

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 27 July 2018 at 7:14am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Michael,  your comment reminded me of THIS VIDEO on YouTube. In that respect,  I'd have to agree with you. 
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 27 July 2018 at 8:53am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

There are examples of Billy perceiving Cap as himself from the Golden Age. There were hundreds of stories featuring the character, done by different writers.

What remained consistent, however, were the speech patterns of the Marvels in reference to Billy, Freddy, and Mary. Had the writers of that time intended for there to be no ambiguity (ha! amBIGuity...!) as to the magical nature of the Marvels, Billy turning into Cap would say, "Wow! I'm Captain Marvel now! Better take care of this emergency before I'm due back in the studio!" the way he has been since Thomas turned him into a 12-year old man-doofus back in the 80's. 

Instead, Cap would say, "Good thing Billy called on me! Best take care of this quickly! Billy needs to be on the air in a few minutes!"

Even with this, I'm certain those of a mind to do so can find examples where this isn't true and Cap thinks of himself as Billy or vice versa, but the overwhelming majority of stories feature a conscious separation between the identities, beyond Spidey's melodramatic need to refer to himself in the third person. 

The situation is closer to that of the Hulk, wherein the newly created character sees himself as different than the person from whom he originated. In the case of Cap, it's more pronounced and actualized because he is a magical champion built from the template of Billy and six legendary or mythical figures. You wouldn't send a young boy out into battle as anything but cannon fodder even if he did possess the wisdom of Solomon. You would use his innocence and perception of right and wrong, as well as his physical reality on this plane, in this case, to inform and create the basis of your magical champion, but that champion wouldn't just be a jumped-up version of Billy. 

And even if you somehow feel that the Wizard would do just that and that Cap is just Billy writ large (appearances of an adult Billy and a teenage Cap in stories argue differently, but whatever), the speech patterns referring to the two as different individuals are still there, and in no way resemble the way the character is written today, as a kid in a man's body, putting one over on the dumb adults around him; a kid sidekick walking around in a grown-up ventriloquist dummy disguise. 

It hardly matters anymore. This film will codify and cement into place every simplistic, fanboy notion about the character that has come into being in the past 30 years. The character has been done wrong now for longer than he was done right. 

What saddens me is that the more complex version, the better version, wherein Cap was a sort of secret companion to our boy hero, a magical helper who exemplified the possibilities and potential we all feel we have as children, has been written out. Cast aside. Eliminated. The appearance of Cap now belongs to either an infantile dope or, more recently, and the version this film seems to be going with, a smartass punk with the world's best fake I.D. who's gotten a five-to-seven year head start on all the bad-ass stuff he was going to get to do once he exited puberty. Oh, and hey, super-powers, too! So watch out, world! Yeah, you'd better run! You better!

Whatever... (shakes head.) It isn't just the disrespect for the property or nostalgia that makes me wish for the original version, the one that Filmation, Jackson Bostwick, and Michael Gray understood. This new approach is lame. 

So is the premise of Spy Kids, for that matter*. But hey, no one cares if what they watch is lame anymore. Bring on Spy Kid 2018, the Kid in the Grown-Up Suit. Even if its good (and what are the odds of that, really?) it's not going to be what it could have been.

* Spy Kids features Carla Gugino, and I still have no plans to see it. Carla Gugino, people. You can't put a more powerful inducement for my viewing dollar into your film.


Edited by Brian Hague on 27 July 2018 at 9:04am
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