Well, sure, I’ve been to Hollywood.

§ March 1st, 2019 § Filed under big red cheese § 17 Comments

So in response to my dipping into the “I hate that they just call him ‘Shazam'” well yet again, a lot of you suggested DC instead revive the old “Captain Thunder” moniker they used for the ersatz Cap in Superman #276 from 1974. There were somewhat convoluted reasons for DC using that version of Captain Marvel, and that name in in particular, in their regular DC Universe Superman book (which I’ll let Brian of 12 Years Ago tell you about), but while I do appreciate that name’s history and deep cut-edness, I’m not a particular fan of that option.

I’m sorry, pals, I don’t mean to risk alienating you by being contrary to the will of the people, as I almost never am, but at this late date, I feel like adding “Thunder” into the nomenclature mix is just compounding the problem. My personal preference of simply adding “Captain” in front of the current “Shazam” name would be the simpler solution, not to mention saving us the trouble of having to explain “no no, his name’s really Captain Thunder, ‘Shazam!’ is his magic word.” So you know, at least when people called him “Shazam,” they’d be half-right.

But ultimately, I suppose it doesn’t really matter what the second half of his name is (I mean, so long as it isn’t, like, “Disney” or something), but I feel really strongly about having “Captain” in there. I just can’t picture him not being called “Cap.” Pretty sure at no point did anyone call him “Marv.” Would they call him “Thund?” I pray God he’s never referred to as “The Shaz” in any medium.

As commenter Turan notes with this bucket of cold water, ain’t nobody gonna change no names what with a multi-million dollar movie about to come out with that one specific name as its title. Unless, as he says, it’s a big ol’ stinky flop, in which case they could change his name to “Captain Howard the Duck” for all anyone would care.

But I bet they could get away with “Captain Shazam,” movie or no movie. That’s close enough to not make Warner Brothers executives twitchy, isn’t it? …I have no idea, I’m not a Hollywood guy, but I feel like that’s the place DC may eventually land with the character. Yeah, they’ll probably note make a big push while he’s a current movie star, but sooner or later someone’s gonna bite the bullet and finally get that “Captain” rank in there somewhere. SO PREDICTS MIKE.

Thus endeth my, what, sixth blog post proselytizing for “Captain Shazam?” Collect ’em all, kids.

17 Responses to “Well, sure, I’ve been to Hollywood.”

  • DavidG says:

    I hate to be a pedant, but if he was called Captain Shazam he’d never be able to introduce himself to someone, because he’d turn back into Billy Batson every time. Which would mess with the mystique.

    Of course, this is true if he’s just called Shazam I guess. Maybe we just have to wait for the inevitable sale of DC to Disney, and then the two Captain Marvels can get married and have marvel babies.

  • Bill D. says:

    Well, Thunder Comics tried to put out a book called Captain Shazam back in the 60s and they went out of business before it even came out!

    I mean, their other two books were Fatman the Human Flying Saucer and Tod Holton, Super Green Beret, so that was almost certainly inevitable, but still!

  • RDaggle says:

    “I pray God he’s never referred to as “The Shaz” in any medium”

    Really? I kind of like that. Or even these:

    Shazmeister, Mr. Shaz, Shaz du jour, Zammy, Shazzola,

    Ultimate Shaz, or Shaz-Bop.

    Works for me…

  • Mikester says:

    Bill D. – I am the proud owner of a full run (all three issues) of Fatman The Human Flying Saucer! It’s…well, it’s, um…definitely a comic book!

  • David Thiel says:

    Thirty-three years after Crisis on Infinite Earths, I think I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that my beloved Captain Marvel is never coming back. The upcoming movie will, I think, ensure that the current iteration of Shazam! will be the default going forward.

    It still pisses me off that after all these years, we’re getting a big-screen Captain Marvel movie, but it’s going to be upstaged by that *other* Captain Marvel, who isn’t even the Captain Marvel that usurped the Big Red Cheese’s name. (To be clear, my annoyance is merely over the name thing; I plan to see both films!)

    I’m reading the new Shazam! series, and think it’s pretty good so far. I skipped the Justice League back-up feature once I found out Billy Batson was being portrayed as a jerk, but he appears to be over that now. Not entirely on board with Magic Eye Sivana or a Mr. Mind that’s no longer from Venus, but that’s stuff I can probably get over.

    The central issue that I have with the new book is not just that he’s not called Captain Marvel, it’s that both he and his extended family of Shazams don’t have names at all. (Unless I’m supposed to think of them as Mary Shazam, Pedro Shazam, etc.)

  • Turan, Emissary of the Fly World says:

    I am opposed to having “Captain” added to his name until we are told in which branch of the military he served, and are given proof that he actually reached that rank.

    I have often wondered why “captain” caught on as a superhero name. I suppose there can never be a definitive answer to this–after all, this was the result not of a directive from Comic Book Control, but of a series of decisions by an assortment of people. My best guess is that the various writers and editors were influenced by the radio series “Captain Midnight,” which was popular with kids (the primary audience for comics) and which began in 1938 (just as the superhero comic came along). A possibly relevant fact is that Fawcett, the original publishers of Captain Marvel, also published a Captain Midnight comic. Mind you, Captain Midnight earned his name; he was an ex-army officer.

  • Turan, Emissary of the Fly World says:

    For that matter, how can Captain America justify calling himself that, when his actual rank was private? (This is an aspect in which the movies have been a definite improvement.)

  • Andrew-TLA says:

    For the record, I’m well aware that Captain Thunder will never be a permanent thing over at DC. If there had ever been any intention of doing so, it would have been done in 1994 by Jerry Ordway.

    I’d be perfectly fine with Captain Shazam. If nothing else, it gives a template for naming Mary and Freddy’s alter egos.

    Except, I haven’t been following New-52 or Rebirth versions of Shazam. Have they decided that anyone with the wizard’s powers is called Shazam, like how everyone with an Oan ring is Green Lantern?

  • Andrew Davison says:

    Since zas is an allowed Scrabble word meaning “many pizzas”, then he could call himself “Captain Ham Zas”, which would be both unique and avoid the problem with saying “Shazam”.

    In addition, other memebers of the family could use pizza name variations, such as “Cheese Zas”, “Pepperoni Zas”.

  • Turan, Emissary of the Fly World says:

    It occurs to me that Captain Marvel, Jr. could have avoided that problem of being unable to say his name aloud simply by calling himself “Lieutenant Marvel” or “Ensign Marvel” or “Lance Corporal Marvel.”

    In other words, the fault is ALL his, because he insisted on claiming a rank to which he was not entitled.

  • Rob says:

    Fo’ shazzle

  • King of the Moon says:

    Captain Marvel Jr could have avoided the whole issue by just never changing back.

    “I’m done superheroing for the day, I’ll just change into regular clothes and go about my business “

  • Mikester says:

    King of the Moon – But that’s how we get Evil Kid Marvelman!

  • ArghSims says:

    As he becomes more and more like Silver Age Superman, maybe he can create Superman robot stand-ins, and call the Shazbots

  • Bill D. says:

    Hey, I’m also the proud(?) owner of a complete run of Fatman the Human Flying Saucer, no judgment here!

    I’m also exactly halfway to having the full run of Tod Holton, Super Green Beret (I have #1).

  • @misterjayem says:

    “Thus endeth my, what, sixth blog post proselytizing for “Captain Shazam?” Collect ’em all, kids.”

    Consider me converted.

    — MrJM

  • @misterjayem says:

    With regard to the shade cast over the Big Red Cheese’s rank, as a former member of the Army’s officer corps, I can assure you that the military isn’t the only place where one can legitimately become a captain.

    I would be shocked if Billy Batson’s alter-ego isn’t at least an honorary captain of Fawcett City’s fire & police departments and one or more of the area’s sports teams.

    In any event, I’m certain that someone with Shaz-bo’s upright moral character would never be guilty of Stolen Valor.

    — MrJM