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Shazam is the 9,000 year old wizard who gives young Billy Batson the power to transform into Captain Marvel. By shouting the name of the wizard Shazam, Billy calls on the heroes and gods of various mythologies to grant him 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. The first letters of the names of the characters spell out the word "Shazam." When Batson shouts the word "Shazam!" he is instantly transformed into Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel is often mistakenly referred to by his mentor, the wizard Shazam's, name.
The confusion comes from legal issues surrounding Captain Marvel's publication/trademark history. Captain Marvel was created in 1940, and appeared in Fawcett Comics publications for thirteen years. During much of this time, Fawcett was involved in a long court battle with DC Comics, owners of Superman, who felt Captain Marvel was an illegal infringement of their character. In 1953, after twelve years of litigation, Fawcett reached a settlement with DC, and agreed to retire the Captain Marvel property. In 1967 Marvel Comics created their own "Captain Marvel" character and trademarked the name.
In 1972, the publisher of DC Comics decided he wanted to acquire the rights to the original Captain Marvel, and Fawcett agreed to lease it to them (DC would purchase all rights to Captain Marvel by 1991). The trademark and title "Captain Marvel", however, was now owned by Marvel Comics. To avoid legal issues with Marvel, DC chose to publish Captain Marvel stories in a comic book titled "Shazam!" (after the Captain's magic word and the name of the wizard who grants him his powers).
The "Shazam!" (with the exclamation point) title has been used since then for most properties relating to the Captain Marvel characters: the titles of comic books (e.g. "Shazam! The New Beginning", "The Power of Shazam!", "The Trials of Shazam!"), toy boxes, the titles of movie and TV shows, etc). It is permissible for DC to use the name "Captain Marvel" within the context of comic book stories and films/TV shows. Since you would have to look inside the book or watch the TV show to find out that the character's name was Captain Marvel, most people who have not read the comics or watched the TV show make the mistake of calling the character Shazam.
However when DC Comics officially rebooted the franchise in 2011 with the New 52, the Captain Marvel name was dropped completely, and Shazam officially became the character's name instead. Edit (Coming Soon)
No. It is not. Not at all.
"Kazaam" (1996) was an original children's comedy about a genie, produced by Disney/Touchstone Pictures and starring Shaquille O'Neal.
This film, "Shazam!", will be an adaptation of a sixty-eight year-old comic-book character, a boy named Billy Batson who shouts the magic word "Shazam!" in order to transform into the Superhero Captain Marvel (see above). It is being produced by Warner Bros. - the parent company, Time Warner, owns the rights to the character through DC Comics.
Before the "Kazaam" film ever existed, Captain Marvel and the other "Marvel Family" characters had already appeared in hundreds of comic books, a 1941 film serial, a 1974-77 live-action Saturday morning series, and a 1981 Saturday morning cartoon.
Again, "Shazam!" is not related - in any way - to "Kazaam".
No more of these questions on the board please. Thank You Edit (Coming Soon)
Black Adam was the chosen champion of the wizard SHAZAM in the time of the Egyptian pharohs. He was given the responsibility of protecting the people and did so for many years. Over time, his methods became too heavy handed and his temper led him to acts of villainy rather than heroism. As punishment for his actions, the wizard SHAZAM banished Black Adam to an eternity of solitude on an uninhabited world.
5000 years later, Black Adam found his way back to Earth and immediately wanted to enforce his rule over all the nations "for their own good". He was opposed by SHAZAM's new champion, Captain Marvel as well as the "Marvel Family" (Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr.). Over time, Black Adam relaxed his position somewhat and actually joined the Justice Society as a hero. Eventually, he became ruler of the fictitious middle-eastern country of Kandaq, which led to other issues between him and the other superheroes in the DC universe. After the murder of his wife and brother-in-law, Black Adam went completely mad with grief and unleashed his rage on the people of the neighboring country of Bialya, where the assassins were believed to have come from. When he was done, he had killed every man, woman and child in Bialya. In order to defeat him, every single superhero on Earth had to combine forces to take him down. Try to picture an enemy with all the power of Superman and none of his weaknesses. Add to that an unquenchable rage and you have the most fearsome enemy anyone could ever imagine.
It will be interesting to see how Black Adam is portrayed in this upcoming movie. Back in 2007, rumor circulated that Dwayne Johnson was to play Captain Marvel. Many fans said he would be better as Black Adam. MTV held a poll, and the overwhelming response was that he play Black Adam.
Of note is that some recent appearances of Black Adam depict him as visually similar to Dwayne Johnson. In the comic book mini-series "Black Adam: The Dark Age" when Adam uses his power for the first time, he appears to look very similar to the actor. Edit (Coming Soon)
When the project was first mentioned, the film was referred to as Shazam. The reasoning behind the original naming wasnt made clear by Callahan Filmworks, but its a fairly good assumption that they called it Shazam due to the modern comics being called Shazam (Shazam being the wizard NOT the hero in the movie). This lead to confusion from some (who are not followers of Captain Marvel), who didnt know who or what Shazam was, even mistaking it as a sequel to kazaam. Peter Segal took on the project and decided to change the films name to Billy Batson and the Legend of Shazam. Edit (Coming Soon)
If they could, I'm sure they would. It's a long story about when Fawcett (Captain Marvels original publishers) got sued by DC (who claimed that Captain marvel was too much like superman), and settled by agreeing to stop printing Captain Marvel comics. 20 years later DC acquired the rights to the character Captain Marvel, but couldn"t use the name Captain Marvel on the comics, because Marvel Comics started printing their own comic with the title Captain Marvel and trademarked the name. Due to this trademark, DC is not allowed to produce a film under the name Captain Marvel. Edit (Coming Soon)
Well, DC comics thought the exact same thing and sued Fawcett Comics. Besides the super strength and some similar abilities, Captain Marvel is actually very different to Superman. He has a different personality, different storyline, different strengths, different weaknesses, different uniform, and so on.
So why did, and how did DC comics sue Fewcett? Well the matter of fact was, Captain Marvel was BY FAR the most popular superhero in the 1950s. DC saw this as a threat and took Fawcett to court, for infringement to copyright, claiming that Captain marvel was a mirror image of Superman. Fawcett countered that 1) there were significant differences and 2) that when certain newspaper strips had been printed without proper copyright, the copyright had been abandoned. The case dragged on. In the end it came down to DC and Fawcett having to find specific instances of copying of pictures and stories to determine damages. By this time the defense was costing a lot of money and comic sales were in decline, so Fawcett settled and agreed to stop publishing Captain Marvel.
If DC never took Fawcett to court, it would be very possible that Captain Marvel would be a major superhero, up there with the likes of Batman, Superman etc.
Its worth noting, that you can argue that superman copied captain marvel during its years in competition. While its lawsuit against Fawcett was still pending, a few of the elements unique to the Captain Marvel strip found their way into Superman comics, including making Superman fly, Superman's arch-villain Lex Luthor a bald "mad scientist" like Captain Marvel's Dr. Sivana, and introducing Superboy, after Captain Marvel's teenaged sidekick Captain Marvel, Jr, and Supergirl, after Captain Marvel's teenaged sister, Mary Marvel, proved to be popular. Edit (Coming Soon)