Captain Marvel was created by C. C. Beck and Bill Parker, making his first appearance in Whiz Comics Issue #2, published by Fawcett Comics, in February 1940.
Captain Marvel's real name is Billy Batson, a young radio news reporter. Billy was chosen to be a superhero by a wizard called Shazam. When Billy calls the wizard's name, he is hit by a magic bolt of lightning that changes him into the adult Captain Marvel, complete with superhuman powers. Other family and friends can share this power and become Marvels themselves.
During his heyday in the 1940's Captain Marvel was the most popular superhero ranking above even such greats as Superman. He also has the distinction of being the first Superhero to hit the big screen, appearing in the Republic Pictures serial, Adventures of Captain Marvel.
In 1953 Fawcett Comics ended publishing Captain Marvel, this was mainly due to a law suit from DC Comics that claimed Captain Marvel was an infringement of their copyright on Superman. In 1972, DC Comics starting publishing the Marvel Family again after a licensing deal and in 1991 they acquired full rights to the characters. However, Captain Marvel has not managed to regain his former popularity.
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