Saturday, October 14, 2017

If Captain Marvel Met the New 52 Billy Batson

What would happen if the golden age Captain Marvel met the Billy Batson and Captain Marvel (aka 'Shazam') of the New 52 (N52)?  That's something I've been thinking about and thought I'd write what I think would happen from that encounter!  (Let me make a disclaimer here!  While I'm not a big fan of N52 'Shazam' and Billy Batson, I know there are a lot of comic fans that like him.  This article has no intention of bashing any fan, whether it's fans of classic Cap or fans of the N52 version.)

New 52 Shazam trade paperback


The Billy Batson and Shazam/Captain Marvel of the New 52 as I encounter them in the pages of the Shazam trade paperback are quite different from their golden age counterparts.  N52 Billy is a brat.  He's rude and has an attitude!  The N52 Cap capitalizes on his heroics for cash.  Here are a few examples.






However, I must say that N52 Billy isn't all bad - he does stand up against bullies and N52 Cap is truly heroic at times.  But by the end of the story and from the few things I've seen of them in other comics, they are still a far cry from classic Captain Marvel and Billy Batson.

So now let's look at the answer to my question  -  how would golden age Captain Marvel handle N52 Billy Batson and Shazam?  I base my answer on how golden age Cap handled a similar character by the name of Roughneck Ryan in Captain Marvel Adventures #29.  

Roughneck Ryan has some similar traits as N52 Billy Batson and Shazam.  He's rude, has an attitude, and seems to have no endearing personality traits whatsoever.  He does all he can to disrupt the meetings of the Captain Marvel club, calling club members 'sissies', and he even seriously injures a club member by knocking down the club house.  Captain Marvel tells the club members to keep an eye out for Roughneck, but not for vengeance!  Cap believes that Roughneck can be made into a productive citizen.  Cap even tells the club members, "That's the Captain Marvel spirit!  Give a fellow a chance to do right!"  By the end of this story we find Captain Marvel doing all he can to give Roughneck Ryan a chance to do right and make things right with those he's wronged.







Cap's statement that the Captain Marvel spirit is to "give a fellow a second chance to do right" is exactly how I thing golden age Captain Marvel would handle an encounter with N52 Billy and Shazam.  He wouldn't punch them out of publication or harangue them with a moral diatribe.  He would make them own up to their wrongs and give them a chance to do right!  He would be in their corner to encourage them to be a better version of themselves.  Yes, golden age Captain Marvel would be the best friend and influence N52 Billy Batson and Shazam could ever hope to have! 

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