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Topic: Shazam - Spoilers begin pg. 8 Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Marc M. Woolman
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Posted: 27 July 2018 at 3:05am | IP Logged | 1 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 | 2 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 | 3 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 | 4 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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Bill Collins
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Posted: 27 July 2018 at 10:54am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

DC really don`t know how to get the balance between dark
and light right do they?
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Ray Brady
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Posted: 28 July 2018 at 1:03pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I'm not up on what's become of the character in the last decade. Is he officially no longer referred to as Captain Marvel? If so, what do other characters actually call him? Do they call him Shazam? If so, how do they know to do that? Surely, he can't tell anyone, "Hi, I'm Shazam."
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 28 July 2018 at 2:02pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

As of right now, since the New 52 reboot, he's "Shazam." I think he has to SHOUT "Shazam!" in order to become super or not-super. I don't remember. His whole new origin/personality read like Geoff Johns was writing it at gunpoint, so to speak. "Try really hard to make this character popular and cool or else!"

(It's publicly known that Johns was against the idea of yet another DC reboot.) 
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 28 July 2018 at 7:43pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Yes, based on the Nu52 comic, and presumably also in the film, the wizard is named Shazam, and when Billy says the word "shazam", he turns into a superhero, whom is also called Shazam. 

They get around the problem of how he can refer to himself, by saying that now it's not just saying the word that causes the transformation, it's also based upon his intent when he says the word. So if wants to transform into Shazam when he says the word Shazam, he will. And then if he wants to change back into Billy when says the word Shazam, he will. If he doesn't want to change in either form, he can say Shazam and nothing happens.


Yeah, it's lame, which is why I've said that although I understand DC's reasoning behind using the name (my 49 year old brother, who also loved the trailer and wants to see the film, said he used to think the character was called Shazam too), I'd rather they'd just come up with some new superhero name for him ("Captain Thunder?"), and kept "Shazam" as just the magic word. 


He also has other powers he can trigger by saying Shazam, if he wants to. Like when in the Nu52 comic, he temporarily gives Freddy, Mary, and their other foster siblings, superpowers like his, by saying Shazam. Although none of them are referred to by a superhero name during that time. Which does raise the question of how future films or comics will handle bringing in other "Marvel Family" members should they chose to? Does Freddy become Shazam Junior, and Mary become Mary Shazam? 



Edited by Jabari Lamar on 28 July 2018 at 7:46pm
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 28 July 2018 at 8:30pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The Figures Inc. Mego-style action figures do call Freddy "Shazam Jr." on the packaging while "Mary Marvel" somehow retained her own name. Other figures out there call Freddy "Captain Jr." and Mary either simply "Mary" or "Mary Batson."

Edited by Brian Hague on 28 July 2018 at 8:38pm
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Marc M. Woolman
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Posted: 28 July 2018 at 10:09pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I remember seeing a Saturday morning
cartoon where Cap has to trick Black
Adam into saying "Shazam" in order to
stop him. Upon saying the word Balck
Adam turns to dust as his mortal self
is 1000's of years old.
(Think I read a few old issues that
did that too) guess that type of story
is impossible now.
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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 29 July 2018 at 2:50pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

That's pretty much what happened in Black Adam's only Golden Age appearance.
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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 29 July 2018 at 3:01pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Jabari Lamar said: Yeah, it's lame, which is why I've said that although I understand DC's reasoning behind using the name (my 49 year old brother, who also loved the trailer and wants to see the film, said he used to think the character was called Shazam too), I'd rather they'd just come up with some new superhero name for him ("Captain Thunder?"), and kept "Shazam" as just the magic word. 

*****************
The name "Captain Thunder" is also trademarked.

I understand that people may think the hero was called Shazam if they've seen only the 7-11 glasses or some such, but he was called Captain Marvel in the TV show everyone says they remember.

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