14 April 2006

Pajama Party - Modern Marvel

It was announced this week that Peter Segal is going to direct a new Shazam! film. Now, this sounds like Shaq "Under Siege" in a sure fire bomb, but this is Peter not Steven, and Shazam!, not Kazaam. Not that this will be any better... We will just have to wait and see. Peter has directed comedies in the past including The Longest Yard and 50 First Dates, so it looks as if this one will go the "funny" route. I pray they don't go ultra campy. Funny superheroes haven't worked very well for a loooong time.

So who is Shazam! you ask? Actually, "Shazam!" is the word that Billy Batson says when he wants to transform from a 14 year old kid to a adult superhero in a red shirt adorned with a lightning bolt earning him the nickname "The Big Red Cheese." The real name of this grown-up chap is Captain Marvel. This guy is such a goodie-2-shoes, he makes Superman look like an anarchist. So, the funny thing is that Captain Marvel was created in 1939, shortly after Superman. Since then, DC Comics, owner of Superman, has also acquired the rights to Captain Marvel; however, in the meantime, Marvel Comics trademarked the name Captain Marvel so that DC comics cannot use the name for their own comic book. Hence, they settle for Shazam! To be fair, Shazam is the name of the wizard that originally bestowed powers upon Billy. So Shazam is a person, just not who most people probably think he is.

Captain Marvel has a whole supporting cast including Uncle Marvel and Hoppy the Marvel Bunny, but most notable are Mary Marvel (Billy's twin sister) and Captain Marvel Jr. Whether or not they will make it into the film remains to be seen. In fact not much else is known about this film just yet. But on a closing note, SHAZAM is also an acronym for the powers Captain Marvel obtains, and it is broken down as follows:

S for the wisdom of Solomon
H for the strength of Hercules
A for the stamina of Atlas
Z for the power of Zeus
A for the courage of Achilles
M for the speed of Mercury


j said...

Awesome! I stil remember Shazam from cartoons growing up. Was he part of the Superfriends show?

I'll be honest, I'm fairly certain that I once owned and wore regularly a pair of Shazam Underoos. So he's always had a special place in my heart. Although I never knew his real name was Captain Marvel.

Chip Chief said...

Captain Marvel actually had his own cartoon in 1981: The Kid Superpower Hour With Shazam!

j said...

Was it just that one year? 1981 actually seems about right for when I had the 'Roos.

Chip Chief said...

i guess the show could have been on longer than that, but they only made 12 Shazam episodes for the "hour" they made a lot more of some show called hero high.

i was more partial to my green latern roos.