YMMV / Shazam

  • Broken Base: Some fans have taken to the New 52 rename to "Shazam" easier than others, while some vehemently cling to the identity of "Captain Marvel."
  • Complete Monster: Most of the series's villains are difficult to take seriously. That can't be said of Mister Mind, a two-inch long parasitic worm from Venus. As his people's advance scout on Earth, Mister Mind took control of Captain Marvel's cousin, Sinclair Batson, mutating him into a monster. When Captain Marvel and Mary Marvel foiled Mind's plans, the worm vowed revenge, and bodyjacking Sarge Steel of the Department of Metahuman Affairs, set in motion a plan for a nuclear holocaust. Incubating his larvae in sores within Sinclair's body, Mind took mental control of his offspring after they were born and had them in turn infest nuclear technicians, army officers, and politicians, while he himself used Sarge Steel's authority to obliterate Fairfield, Captain Marvel and Mary Marvel's hometown. Defeated before he could end the human race, Mind broke out again during the events of 52, and after mutating into his adult form of The Hyperfly, tried to devour the totality of space/time, plotting to end the multiverse. Motivated by nothing more than anger at Captain Marvel for embarrassing him, Mind is as bad as The Big Red Cheese's Rogues Gallery can get.
  • Creepy Awesome: Mister Mind, Depending On The Writer And Artist.
  • Dork Age: Black Mary, both the character and her involvement in Countdown to Final Crisis.
    • Many fans consider the new "Shazam" to be this as well. Stripped of his previous idealism, sincerity, good humor and optimism, Billy comes off to many as a rude bundle of angst. Images like this didn't help matters, as he appears like something right out of 90's image.
    • Of course others argue that the character has been in Dork Age ever since Fawcett lost its case, folded, and the character went to DC. Thanks to DC not properly integrating him into the verse, hijacking his concepts for Superman, and worst of all, failing to properly handle the trademark, allowing Timely Comics to not only rebrand themselves as Marvel but letting them usurp the title of Captain Marvel for an entirely unrelated concept whose cumulative iterations and Legacy Character can't match to Billy Batson's popularity at his height. The original stories by C. C. Beck and Otto Binder is still considered the Glory Days for the entire run but since that verson of the character doesn't even have his name anymore, there's very little chance for him to be revived again in any meaningful form in the future.
    • AND... there are some (including Mark Waid) who love the 70s/80s DC stories but feel that Captain Marvel went into a Dork Age in the 90s or late 80s since he didn't fit very well into the Post-Crisis DC Universe. The only thing all camps can agree on is that DC has made very little use of Billy in the 21st Century.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Black Adam, who has easily eclipsed the Big Red Cheese in popularity thanks to Geoff Johns's use of him in JSA and his later appearances in 52. Credit for this should also go to Jerry Ordway, who revamped Adam from a fairly generic evil twin type villain into an a-list threat and a terrific evil counterpoint to Captain Marvel's wholesomeness.
    • Cap Junior was this back in the Golden Age.
    • Billy's foster sister Darla in the New 52 stories was quite popular over on Scans Daily, whose readers hoped that she would be given Shazam's powers as well. At the end, it was shown that Billy could share his Marvel powers with all of those he considered his family, but could only share it with so many before the magic fizzles out and they return to normal.
    • Despite many fans complaints about the treatment of Billy and Freddy in the Nu-52, the new take on Mary has been considered to be very refreshing, allowing her to keep much of her old 'nice girl' personality while also giving her a lot more backbone than other books did.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: The early character of Steamboat, a bungling, subservient black "pickaninny"-type character with enormous red lips and a stereotypical pidgin dialect, was so offensive, even by the standards of the 1940's, that he was quickly dropped and never spoken of again after the Youth Builders, a multi-racial student organization based in New York and Philadelphia, began a letter-writing campaign to Fawcett. C.C. Beck later tried (very unconvincingly) to defend the notion behind his conception - namely, that it was a misunderstood attempt to reach out to a black audience - but even publisher Will Lieberson mentioned afterward that he didn't like Steamboat in the first place.
  • Fandom Rivalry: The friendliness between Billy Batson and Superman's fans is very much a recent thing. At one point the rivalry between the two was pretty intense. So intense that DC sued Fawcett not merely because they saw Captain Marvel as a copy but because Billy Batson was more popular and better selling than Superman. Harvey Kurtzman's MAD, parodied it in the famous superhero spoof (considered the greatest comic ever by Alan Moore) — Superduperman where the title Captain Ersatz battles out Captain Marbles (which is technically the first fight between the two), and its often common for a Let's You and Him Fight between Superman and Captain Marvel/Shazam in many iterations, most notably Justice League.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Superman, which is to be expected, given how the two series have such similar philosophies and styles. Billy often idolizing the Man of Steel and intentionally following his example helps.
  • Love to Hate: Dr. Sivana and Mister Mind. Sivana for being a likable Affably Evil mad scientist while still being a threat, Mind for being the Marvel Family's most ruthless and terrifying villain.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Mister Mind. Remember that this adorable little worm has successfully nuked a city through manipulation.
  • Memetic Badass: Captain Marvel/Shazam himself, largely for being one of the few superheroes capable of legitimately going toe-to-toe with Superman by himself.
  • Memetic Mutation: Sivana's possibly the Most Triumphant Example of a Mad Scientist, though few specifically remember him now as a major part of the trope's genesis in modern pop culture (see "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny). Even his catchphrase qualifies — "Curses, foiled again!"
  • Moral Event Horizon: Mister Mind famously crossed it in "Power Of Shazam" when he blew up Fairfield.
  • Narm Charm: Fueled by this. If you think a man shouting "SHAZAM" at the top of his lungs fighting a talking, two-foot caterpillar with mind powers can't be awesome, you're wrong.
  • Older Than They Think: A lot of elements that many people associate with Superman were done by Captain Marvel first, including a Distaff Counterpart, a Mad Scientist villain, an Evil Counterpart with the same powers, and a Muggle Best Friend wearing a bowtie and green jacket. Quite a few of these came from Otto Binder, who wrote both characters. Captain Marvel was also the first superhero to be adapted for film, in a popular serial and more important it was Billy Batson who first had the power of flight, while Superman was still stuck leaping tall buildings in a single bound. Captain Marvel sold more and was more popular than Superman during the war, which is almost inconceivable when one considers how he became totally forgotten since then.
  • The Scrappy: Osiris was deliberately built up as this in 52 to build up to an Alas, Poor Scrappy moment. Fans were still annoyed when the series' Blackest Night tie-in, which was billed as being about Billy and Mary having to fend off a zombified Osiris without their powers, wound up being about Osiris bumbling around confused. Things were not eased when Osiris was used in Eric Wallace's run on Titans, where he basically devolved into the Marvel Family's version of Superboy-Prime.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Many trends that are commonplace in comics today, like a female counterpart and continuity between issues (including continuous stories) were popularized by Captain Marvel way back when.
    • Captain Marvel was the first comic to feature the hero's villains teaming up to fight him.
  • Shipping: Many fans want to see Billy hook back up with Stargirl, even badgering the new writers of the book about it. It ain't happening, since they're now handled by two different editorial teams.
  • Tearjerker: The story (Superman/Shazam: First Thunder by Judd Winick) where Billy's best friend is killed taking a bullet meant for him. At first Captain Marvel goes into Tranquil Fury while interrogating the killers and tracking down who hired them. When he's done he just sits down and cries his eyes out, very much like a ten-year-old boy who just lost his best friend...
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The New 52 version of the Marvel family is nothing but this trope. Whether it's Captain Marvel's name being changed permanently to kill I Am Not Shazam for good, or Billy Batson's personality being changed to an edgy emo kid, almost every new development causes fans to hate it even more.
  • Ugly Cute: The version of Mister Mind that appeared in The Black Ring: he looks like he escaped from an anime. Or a stuffed animal collection.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/SHAZAM