Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Captain Marvel's Magic

While I knew the wizard Shazam gave Captain Marvel his powers, I didn't know that Shazam also taught Cap how to use magic!  No, not the 'let me pull a rabbit out of the hat' type of magic, but powerful magic for good (think of Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, or the wizard Shazam!).  I found this out in Captain Marvel Adventures #12 in the story "Captain Marvel and the Slap-Happy Magician."

I won't give a narrative of the story, but at the end of the adventure, Captain Marvel must use magic to save the day from an amateur magician.  Captain Marvel then warns the magician that it would be best to "leave magic to those who understand it!"  Then, at the end of the adventure, Billy fills us in that Captain Marvel learned magic from Shazam!

It was exciting to learn this fact about Cap!  It also tells us that there are other arts Cap learned from Shazam that we don't know about.  Off the top of my head I can't recall any story I've read where Cap has used magic, but now I'm on the look out for one - or more!  When I find them, I'll be sure to let you know.

(Note:  According to Captain Marvel Adventures #18 in the story, "Captain Marvel and the 3 Wishes of Tim Tucker" we learn "There is no magic greater than that of all-powerful Shazam..." - that tells us how powerful Shazam's magic is!)


  1. Do you think spell casting should be a part of his power set? But have that magic be something he uses in absolute emergencies, because his lack of full mastery. I know Shazam said he used the same powers that captain marvel has to fight evil, maybe that's where he gets his nigh-all powerful magic from. It would be interesting if over time Marvel would become more like the Wizard in terms of power. We did see Marvel use hypnosis, maybe that's an example of his magical powers. I know the nu52 added spell casting to his abilities. That would be a great way to permanently distinguish him from Superman.

    1. From what I've read so far in the golden-age comics, he was just learning magic from Shazam, although I haven't yet found an example, I'm sure he mastered it! I Cap even grew in his ability to harness and use his other powers - for example, he doesn't seem to fly until several issues into Whiz comics. I've not read too much of the N52 version, but you do bring up some great points!

    2. In the years before the New 52, old Shazam died and Captain MArvel had to take his place at the Rock of Eternity. It turns ou that his kjob there is to control and enforce the laws of magic. In other words, he's the top cop of magic in this realm and yes, he uses magic.

      He also has a white uniform, long straight white hair, a hood on his cape, and is called "Lord Marvel." I don;t know a lot of people who liked it.