Sunday, June 7, 2020

Kenner Super Powers Shazam


Chosen for being pure of heart by the powerful wizard Shazam, young Billy Batson gains incredible powers whenever he speaks the wizard's name. Billy works as an idealistic news reporter for WHIZ radio, but whenever he speaks the name "SHAZAM" magical lighting transforms him into an adult champion for good, Captain Marvel. The powers he has been granted include 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, and M for the speed of Mercury.

OK, lets get one thing straight right off the bat here, Shazam is the Wizard's name and the magic word used to call the mystical transformative lightning; Captain Marvel is the super hero's name! Captain Marvel, due to a legal restriction, cannot be referred to by name in the title's or covers of comics and other merchandise and so the name Shazam has forever been linked to him. But his name is actually Captain Marvel!

Squeeze Captain Marvel's legs together to activate his "Power Action Thunder Punch"!

One of the highlights of Kenner's third wave of the Super Powers collection was the inclusion of a Captain Marvel figure! The figure is one of the most comics accurate of all the Captain Marvel figures, sculpted to look just like he was originally drawn in his comic series. Captain Marvel comes with his capelet, which can be slung over his shoulder; he wears a red union suit with the iconic lightning bolt emblazoned on his chest along with a golden sash around his waist; and golden cuffed boots on his feet.

A super Hero of the Golden Age of comics, Captain Marvel first appeared in Whiz Comics #2, cover dated February 1940 but actually published in late 1939. Captain Marvel was created by Bill Parker and C.C Beck of Fawcett Publications. And during that time, sales indicate that he was more popular than even Superman!

DC Comics later sued Fawcett Comics in 1941, alleging that Captain Marvel infringed on their copyright for the character Superman. After years of litigation and due to declining sales, Fawcett Comics finally settled the case out of court, agreeing on August 14, 1953 to permanently cease publication of comics with the Captain Marvel-related characters and to pay DC $400,000 in damages.

However with the revival of the popularity of super heroes ushered in by the Silver Age, DC licensed Captain Marvel from Fawcett on June 16, 1972. Because Marvel Comics had by this time established Captain Marvel as a comic book trademark for their own character, created and first published in 1967, DC published their book under the name Shazam! and attempted to give the Shazam! book the subtitle The Original Captain Marvel, but a cease and desist letter from Marvel Comics forced them to change the subtitle to The World's Mightiest Mortal. All subsequent toys and other merchandise featuring the character were forced to use the "Shazam!" label with little to no mention of the name "Captain Marvel", as a result many have taken to identifying the character as "Shazam" instead of "Captain Marvel".

Now, lets take a closer look at the figure:

The Packaging:
Card Front Card Back

Here are two printable bio-card replacements! One featuring the name Shazam! as orginally printed and another for Captain Marvel! Just print these images out on card stock and cut them out and glue them together to make your own bio-card replacements for Shazam! and Captain Marvel.

Super Powers figures of the first two waves included a free mini-comic illustrating a short adventure with the character, but due to cost cutting measures, the third wave of figures had no comics. Interestingly, the Brazilian company Estrela did release a mini-comic with their release of the Shazam! figure!

Speculation suggests that Kenner originally intended for the third wave of figures to include the mini-comics and that this is but one example of the comics that were actually completed before the idea was abandoned. Perhaps somehow Estrela was able to get these few completed third wave mini-comics when the license was acquired from Kenner. The comic, however, is in Portuguese not English, but is entertaining none-the-less.

Anyway, here is the entire mini-comic for you to download and read as a CBR file, just follow the link to the left.

CBR files hold comic book pages as images in a compressed archive format enabling them to be viewed, sequentially, from within a comic book reader program or app such as CDisplayEx.

You might have noticed that Rock of Eternity backdrop on my Ultarama Display System in the photos above... Here it is for you to download just print each image out as an 8x10 on card stock.

How about today's adventure with Captain Marvel? Are you a fan of the character? Did you ever think his name was Shazam? Give us the low-down in the comments section below!


  1. I wish I would have gotten into DC more as a kid.They have some really cool looking characters.I was just so hooked on Marvel.One day I'll have to play catch up and read a bunch of DC tpbs.


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