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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 09 August 2018 at 4:06pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I liked the two as separate entities. It's yet another thing that
differentiates him from Superman.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 5:47am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

The idea that Billy somehow materializes in some other dimension that Captain Marvel is pulled out of when the transformation occurs is another fan-based mis-reading that goes back years and years, to when Roy Thomas paralleled the Billy/Cap relationship with Rick Jones and Mar-Vell in the Negative Zone.

Where does Billy go when Captain Marvel appears? He's right there. He has changed into this magical champion constructed by Shazam from the raw materials of Billy, the Gods (or Elders), and his own magic. That entity is a separate being from Billy, but Billy is definitely there in the mix, informing the new being with his basic humanity, bravery, and decency. 

Captain Marvel is a fantastic concoction, a fully-grown adult champion of right, imbued with the powers of the Gods*, to fight against those who would destroy what is good. He is not Billy in a grown-up suit. He is not who Billy will become when he grows up. He does not look like Billy will one day, nor does a kid-sized version of Cap look like Billy. 

He is an idealized, perfected champion of Good constructed in large part from the idealism and naivete of a fundamentally decent young boy. His mind and identity are his own, yet he shares them on some level with Billy.

Billy and the others did not suffer amnesia whenever they changed into the Marvels. They were there, having changed into these new champions and riding along in a sense, sharing their adventures. They are not in limbo. They have transformed. When they change back, they acknowledge that it is the Marvels who won the day, but they remember the adventure as well. They do not engage in vanity, falsely seeing themselves as the authors of the victory. They recognize that the Marvels are independent intellects and independent beings. Nonetheless, they played a role as well. 

If you killed a Marvel, their other self would die as well, because they are not hanging about in "Q-Space" or Limbo awaiting a signal to return to reality. They turned into the Marvel.

Nailing all of this down into the insufferably simplistic "Billy in a grown-up suit" is part and parcel of comic fans-turned-pro's ongoing need to fix everything, explain everything, and tear away any sense of mystery connected with the characters. What is Billy's exact relationship with Cap? It's a mystery, and should be allowed to remain one.

But we know that it was not simply Billy himself running around with big muscles pretending to be an adult.

Writing Cap himself out of the mix and replacing him with Billy simply gives us a naif with more power than he reasonably knows what to do with. That can be an interesting character. It hasn't been so far, but it could be. But it is not Captain Marvel. 

Captain Marvel himself has been removed from the concept and replaced with this deceptive child laughing up his sleeve at everyone who can't see past his disguise. Oh, yeah, and he gets to hurt people! Cool, right? 

No. Not even remotely.

Wallace, it's unfortunate that much of this Billy-worship (and hey, I like Billy as much as the next comics reader, but c'mon...) came from the attempt to differentiate Cap and Superman, something that shouldn't have ever been "necessary," given that the two existed in completely different contexts, even through the Seventies. It's only when you strip the characters of their individual imaginative worlds and hammer all the square pegs into Continuity's round-hole-conformity that you need to justify why two such similar heroes exist side-by-side.

Back when they were created, they didn't, and so there was never any need to make one this and the other one that. Their differing premises and approaches more than satisfied any possibility of confusion between them.** There was no need to infantilize the Shazam concept and strip the character of his intelligence and dignity.

Truth be told, even putting the two on the same team, as DC seems pathologically incapable of avoiding, doesn't necessitate this insulting strip-mining of the character. Superboy and Mon-El were perfectly capable of working together in the Legion without fans falling apart over their similarities between them.*** Superman and Cap could have done the same, but there was so, so very much Roy needed to de-mystify and explain to us about Cap and Billy; fan theories he'd treasured for years and now had the ability to bring about for real.

* Solomon was a Biblical figure. Hercules a demi-god. Achilles was a legendary military leader, and Atlas was a Titan. Technically, only two of Captain Marvel's patrons, Zeus and Mercury, are Gods. 

** Or it should have. Initially, there was some reason for concern. Once Cap found his footing, however, in his more light-hearted, talking-tiger world, readers were not confused as which book they had picked up.

*** Being fans of course, many did, but the book did not bow to them... until Crisis when fannish, slavish bootlicking to the concept of Continuity demanded, De-Manded!! DEMANDED!!! they be reconciled into separate timelines. Absolutely pathetic.

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Ed Love
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 7:58am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The Billy-Captain Marvel relationship problem dates back to the original stories where the comics played it both ways. As noted, the charm of the stories is that it is the kid becoming an adult. Notice, only Billy becomes an adult, all the other Marvels become super-powered, maybe more idealized versions of themselves, and their personalities and thought processes are clearly those of the original persons. However, there are the different stories where Billy definitely does treat Captain Marvel as a separate person apart from referring to him the 3rd person such as when Billy decides to buy him a Christmas present which makes no sense because in EVERY story Captain Marvel and Billy Batson clearly know everything that the other self experiences. There's no confusion of Billy transforming into Captain Marvel and he is clueless about what is going on or vice versa. But, those stories are out there and trotted out to prove that Billy and Captain Marvel are clearly separate people, despite those being the minority of the stories.
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 9:20am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Yeah, I don't recall Mary or Freddy (or Black Adam...or the various Lieutenant Marvels) ever referring to their alter-egos in the 3rd person. It only occasionally seems to happen with Billy/Cap. Of course, as noted, Billy was also the only one who changed appearance, with the others simply gaining powers but remaining the same physically (I personally am happy with Jerry Ordway's portrayal that Mary also becomes an adult). 

Anyway, I knew from this thread and previous threads about the character here, that I am in the minority on this forum on this particular issue and that's fine. I'm not going to argue about it. Just stating why I'm (mostly) excited for this movie, as this is the version I prefer (minus the name). 

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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 2:59pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I was once (or twice) asked how I could enjoy Jerry Ordway's
POWER OF SHAZAM since in it Billy's personality remains after his
transformation into Captain Marvel. When Ordway was writing
and drawing the book, it was a treat for the eyes, and other
than JB's portrayal of Cap in LEGENDS, he had not been treated
well since his WITH ONE MAGIC WORD... days.
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 4:13pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

It’s been inconsistent, but I think there have been many good comic portrayals of The Marvel Family post-Crises. Ordway’s Powers of Shazam graphic novel and ongoing series, The Judd Winnick Superman/Shazam: First Thunder miniseries (I also like the way Winnick used Sivana and Captain Marvel Jr. for an arc in The Outsiders), The Paul Dini/Alex Ross Power of Hope tabloid, and Mike Kunkel’s Billy Batson and The Magic of Shazam series, are all favorites of mine. I also loved the Thunderworld issue of Multiversity by Grant Morrison, and Jeff Parker’s 2-part Convergence tie-in. There were also some good stories when Captain Marvel was a regular member of the Justice Society, written by Geoff Johns.

Side-Note: I didn’t like when Black Adam took his place. That’s another change that I never liked, making Black Adam into more of an “anti-hero” or a villain with noble intentions. He should just be evil, period. While I think The Rock is a good choice to play him live-action, he should be doing so as the bad guy in Shazam 2, not in his own film.

I even mostly liked Cap in the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League, although they did sometimes go a little too far with their naïve “golly gee” portrayal of him. I think they did a better job writing Mary in the later miniseries’ that they did.

I skipped all the “Trials of Shazam” stories. Sounded awful.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 11 August 2018 at 1:01pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Re: the Rock as Black Adam...

I have no confidence in WB to do this well, but I think the idea of introducing certain villains in their own movies and then throwing them in with the hero has merit.  Like a lot of people, I'm tired of having to rehash the hero's origin over and over again on film.  And when you finally get past that in a sequel, there tends to be a huge amount of screen time devoted to the origin of the villain.  And some villain's origins are good stories in their own right.  For a film, if you're trying to do worthwhile things with your heroic character and their supporting cast, and do justice to the villain's origin, and have a meaningful interaction and conflict between hero and villain...its difficult to balance.  So if they give us Billy's origin in Shazam, Black Adam's origin in his own movie, and then devoted a third movie to the two of them bashing against each other, it could work really well.

I hope when Marvel reboots it, they do something like this with Fantastic Four.  Introduce the team in their own movie.  Do a Doom movie with Doom's full origin story.  Then do a movie where they collide.
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Paul Kimball
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Posted: 11 August 2018 at 5:27pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Glad to hear someone else enjoyed First Thunder by Judd Winnick, I re-read it
a few times. Thought it captured Captain Marvel and Superman quite well and
highlighted the differences at the same time.
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 17 August 2018 at 12:56pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Actor Zachary Levi, star of the upcoming DC Film Shazam!, shows off his superhero physique while working out in a new video. Levi revealed back in March he went from 200 to 224 pounds during the bulking phase. When the actor started cutting, he went down to 212 pounds. Levi only had sixty days to get in shape for the role.


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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 17 August 2018 at 12:57pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

That trailer was amazing but honestly, it was one of those trailers where I can tell you right now, that wasn’t the best stuff! It shows just how good the movie is and I really think every scene was great and I think they can make a thousand trailers and I’d be happy to see them repeat the same scenes but this is going to be a lot of fun. It’s a family movie and it’s going to be really good.

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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 17 August 2018 at 7:11pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

BRIAN: Technically, only two of Captain Marvel's patrons, Zeus and Mercury, are Gods.

***

Hey, that's one more than you need!

Great points on the virtues of the original conception of the great Captain Marvel.

I do not acknowledge this movie as more than a faint shadow of a bad copy of a distant relation to the original Captain Thunder.
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 17 August 2018 at 7:16pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

That costume is ass.
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 08 September 2018 at 4:25pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Shazam Director Reveals Talks The Tricky Nature of Costume Design
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 15 September 2018 at 5:44pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I just can't get past them calling Captain Marvel Shazam. Shazam is the magic word and the old wizard. What was so confusing about that? It's weird that there's a Shazam and a Captain Marvel movie coming out and neither is about the characters I knew as Captain Marvel growing up, though I guess Captain Marvel does have Mar-vell in it at least.

Edited by Shane Matlock on 15 September 2018 at 5:46pm
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 17 September 2018 at 2:25pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

It was never confusing to me either. But I can understand the desire to want to call him something other than Captain Marvel at a time when their competition is highly promoting a character with that same name both in comics and in a movie that comes out a month before theirs. So, better to change it to something that they can widely us in merchandising, etc.

Even if Marvel wasn’t making its own Captain Marvel movie at the moment, I could understand the desire to change the name, as I do think many “civilians” would automatically assume that “Captain Marvel” is a “Marvel movie.” The very name gives inadvertent publicity to their biggest rival. I just wish that they came up with a better alternative than simply calling him “Shazam” too.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 17 September 2018 at 5:47pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Well, "Captain Thunder" was just used prior to this latest reboot and does have historical ties to the character. It doesn't lean into the sense to re-appropriation some fans feel at getting something wrong and then forcing everyone to accept it. "Shazam!" has been the wrong name for the character since the 70's, and fans have been getting it wrong for decades. Now, they're right, and everyone else is wrong. Blehh! (sticks out tongue) Take that, ya buncha slimy know-it-alls! 

I could definitely have lived comfortably with "Captain Thunder." "Shazam...?" Not so much so. Which might be the point. 

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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 17 September 2018 at 6:25pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Captain Thunder was one of my first thoughts as well, DC has even used that name with a Captain Marvel knock off in the past. But someone else said that's taken now, likely by Roy Thomas' creator-owned character.

Still, I can't help but think they could have bought the rights from him, so they could use the name. Or at least tried. Although, according to the recent hardcover release of his Shazam: A New Beginning miniseries, Thomas was screwed out of a contractually-promised ongoing series after that, so who knows if he'd be willing to give anything to DC now?

But there are plenty of other possible names. Preferably something with an M. Captain Majestic? Miraculous? Magnificent? I'm sure they could have found something that they could use as a proper superhero name, rather than just going with "Shazam."

Edited by Jabari Lamar on 17 September 2018 at 6:26pm
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 17 September 2018 at 9:19pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Captain Thunder was the name Captain Marvel was originally going to be submitted for copyright under, but Golden Age characters came out prior to that with "Thunder" in their name, including a jungle based adventurer called Captain Terry Thunder. While it's true that Roy Thomas has an independent Captain Thunder character out there, that did not stop DC from calling the Flashpoint version of Captain Marvel by that name. Why they couldn't continue to use the name, I don't know. 

I'm guessing that with the "Shazam" name confusion already out there, it probably just struck DC as the path of least resistance, and for those with a taste for such things, it's a nice upraised middle finger to old guard fans.

That Superman #276 is one of my favorite comics, actually. A nice compromise between having Superman meet Cap and avoiding the cartoon nature of Cap's surroundings bleeding over into Superman. There is a later issue in which Luthor shows up on Earth-S and believes he's going mad what with all the talking worms and tigers and what not. That story was not nearly as successful since it drove straight down the middle of the problem, blowing its horn, and calling attention to it all the way. Cap's world and Superman's should not be the same one. Insisting that Cap's square peg be pounded into the round holes of a "seamless" DC continuity was disastrous for the character and will continue to remain so. 

Mad Magazine did a brilliant comic strip crossover drawn by Wally Wood and written by Frank Jacobs in which Dagwood is gunned down by crossfire between Dick Tracy and Rex Morgan, M.D. who has gone mad and is kidnapping the very buxom, no longer Little Orphan Annie. In bringing Cap, Plastic Man, and others into the cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all world of the Killing Joke and Chemo annihilating Bludhaven, DC has effectively gunned down everything that made their worlds unique and interesting. Now we just have poorly imagined simulations of the originals badly going through the motions of conforming to a kill-happy, Desaad-possessing-Mary-Marvel reality. 

Yay.


Edited by Brian Hague on 17 September 2018 at 9:22pm
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 17 September 2018 at 11:17pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

 Brian Hague wrote:
 While it's true that Roy Thomas has an independent Captain Thunder character out there, that did not stop DC from calling the Flashpoint version of Captain Marvel by that name. Why they couldn't continue to use the name, I don't know.

Problem a similar situation to why they can call him Captain Marvel in the comics and other media but just can't advertise him under that name. So no point in changing his name to something that they still couldn't use as a title or on merchandise.

 Brian Hague wrote:
I'm guessing that with the "Shazam" name confusion already out there, it probably just struck DC as the path of least resistance,

Yes, that seems most likely. And, although I personally never had that confusion, I do know it exists, like it or not, and therefor I can see the logic in them making that choice. 


 Brian Hague wrote:
 and for those with a taste for such things, it's a nice upraised middle finger to old guard fans.

I highly doubt that that was even remotely part of the motivation for anyone involved in making this decision. 

I also disagree that Captain Marvel doesn't work, or is somehow lesser, when placed in the same shared DC universe as Superman and the others, as I've already given examples that, to me, show otherwise. 







Edited by Jabari Lamar on 17 September 2018 at 11:22pm
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 7:38am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Brian H. - You may also have read Superduperman by Mad Magazine, drawn by Wally Wood IIRC, where Superduperman encounters Captain Marbles after Cap turns villain and decides it's easier to just get money than fight evil.

"SHAZOOM!"
"'Shazoom'? Vast ist das 'Shazoom'?"
Strength
Health
Aptuitude
Zeal
Ox, power of
Ox, power of another
Money

Those old Mad magazine parodies were truly classics. 
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David Miller
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 7:51am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

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