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"You know, it's true what they say about little boys... born with no natural inclination to share."

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For other uses, see Shazam (disambiguation)
"If a hero can't save his family, he's not much of a hero."
―Billy Batson to Freddy Freeman[src]

William "Billy" Batson, known as Shazam, is an orphan chosen by the wizard Shazam to be his champion, granting him immense power to defend the innocent from evil.


Early Life

Billy is the son of C.C. and Marilyn Batson. He was born when his mother was seventeen and married the child's father soon after. It was a rocky and brief marriage, C.C. ended up in jail and Marilyn was cut off by her family. She struggled to raise Billy as a single mother in Philadelphia, though she tried to give him all she could.[2]

Searching for His Mother

Becoming an Orphan

Billy was separated from his mother at the Christmas Village. Billy was found by the police and Marilyn decided the foster system could take better care of him than she ever could. She started using her maiden name again and started a new life, never mentioning she had a son.

Billy was raised by the foster systems in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and quickly gained a reputation as a problem child. He ran away, always searching for his real family, and never emotionally attached to any family. His search brought him in problems with the police. He kept searching, looking up all women named Batson in the right age range. It never occurred to him that no one ever came looking for him.

Several years later in 2019, Billy set up a break-in at a pawn shop in order to get the police to arrive. After acting innocent and telling the police, the perpetrators went through the back of the building. The police search the premises and came to find that there was no one there. Once inside, Billy quickly dropped the act and revealed that he set up the whole situation, and then closed the gate to the door, locking the police in.

He then quickly acted innocent again to get into the police car and gain access to the police's computer system. In Billy's notebook, it is shown he's been looking up several different women with the last name "Batson", in hopes of finding his mother. After finding the address to a Batson, he quickly jots down her address and steals the police officer's lunch, after the police begged him not to take it away. Billy made his way to the woman's house, but to his disappointment, he found she is not his mother and is then caught by the same police officer that he fooled earlier.[2]

Meeting the Vasquez Family

Billy speaks to E.B

Billy speaks to E. B. Glover

After being taken to the foster system again, E. B. Glover informs Billy that his latest foster family doesn't want him back after he disappeared two weeks ago, prior to his incident with the police. Billy states that he has run away from every home within six counties and that he knows his biological mother is out there, and that he has to do all he has to do to find her. E.B. tells him that he shouldn't try to find someone who doesn't want to find him. She informs him of a couple outside that is eager to take him in, but Billy quickly rejects them, stating he can take care of himself. E.B. reminds him he has to wait till he's 18 to legally be able to live on his own. She encourages him to give them a chance cause they are giving him one, having no other choice, Billy accepts and is taken in by the Vasquezs, who seem like a loving couple to him. He meets Victor and Rosa Vasquez, who reveal they were foster kids themselves and were stubborn like him. On the way to the Vasquez house, they tell him about how the other foster kids they have taken in are expecting him, and are excited to meet him.[2]

Being Chosen

"Say my name so my powers may flow through you."
"But, I don't know your name, sir."
Shazam and Billy Batson[src]

Arriving at his new home the Vasquezs introduce Billy to his new siblings: the young bit kind and accepting Darla, the eldest Mary, the mostly silent Pedro, the intelligent young Eugene, and finally Freddy Freeman, a fan of the Justice League in particular Superman and superheroes in general. On the first day of school, Freddie is attacked and bullied by the Breyer siblings, Brett and Burke, until Billy comes to his foster brother's defense when one of them insults Freddie for not having a mother. Briefly getting the upper hand on them Billy then flees thanks to a distraction from Eugene and makes it to safety onto a subway. However, while on the subway, Billy is transported to a mysterious cave and is confronted by the Wizard known as Shazam. The Wizard informs Billy that he is his last and only chance to find someone noble and good enough to replace him as champion. Billy is reluctant at first but eventually is convinced by the Wizard to accept his offer. Saying the Wizard's name, Billy is transformed into an adult and receives Shazam’s powers. After the Wizard gave him his powers, he disintegrated in front of him. He was then transported back to where he was.

Meeting Thaddeus Sivana

"You're like a bad guy, right?"
―Shazam to Thaddeus Sivana[src]

To be added

Finding his Mother

To be added

Becoming a Hero

To be added

Fighting with his Family

To be added

Living with the Vasquezs

To be added


Initially, Billy seems to be a cynical trouble maker boy who doesn't respect authorities and prefers to be on his own, it is soon shown however that Billy's behavior is the result of him being separated from his mother at a very young age and he's spent years trying to reunite with her. Having grown as an orphan, Billy is dismissive of the idea of families, as he ran from multiple foster homes before and when he was adopted by the Vasquezes he had no interest in socializing with any of his foster siblings and didn't consider himself to be part of the family, as he'd rather go back to his real mother. Billy has a rather low opinion of himself, as when the Wizard Shazam chose him as his successor and described him as a "pure soul", Billy disagreed and stated that he was not a good person. Despite his flaws, Billy is an inherently good person, as he was willing to step up for his foster brother, Freddy when the latter was being picked on by bullies, an act that convinced the Wizard that he was the right person to inherit his powers.

Upon obtaining the powers of Shazam, Billy was initially overwhelmed but promptly went to Freddy for advice. Freddy and Billy quickly became best friends over Billy's newfound powers as the two used Shazam for their own entertainment. In his Shazam form, Billy is more optimistic and willing to have fun. Initially, Billy was rather irresponsible with his powers, using them for his own amusement not paying any attention to the consequences of his reckless behavior and not considering Freddy's own opinion of Shazam. It isn't until Thaddeus Sivana attempted to kill Shazam and steal his power that Billy understood that superpowers aren't simple power fantasies and can be dangerous for himself and the others around himself, after which he starts being more responsible with his Shazam powers.

Billy sees some of his own flaws reflected in Thaddeus Sivana, mainly in that both of them were disillusioned by the idea of families and spent their lives obsessively trying to find something believing that it'd fix their all their problems. Billy somewhat empathized with Sivana over their similarities and chose not to let the doctor die and instead depower him.

When Billy is finally reunited with his mother but learned that she had willingly abandoned him due to him being a teenage pregnancy child, he realized that his obsession to find his mother had made him selfish and that he was hurting those around him by neglecting them. When Sivana held his foster sibling's hostage, who had figured out he was "Captain Sparklefingers" Billy was willing to give up his Shazam powers to protect them. Billy apologized to Freddy over his previous bad behavior and grew to appreciate the rest of Vasquez family, so much that he gave all of them Shazam powers so they could help him defeat Sivana and the deadly sins.

Following Sivana's defeat, Billy and his foster siblings resolved to continue being active superheroes and protectors of the Rock of Eternity. As Shazam, he later publicly admitted that he never could have become the superhero that he is without Freddy's mentoring. Billy also went out of his way to get Superman to visit his school in order to fix Freddy's reputation.

Powers and Abilities


Shazam- Billy transforms - lightning

Billy Batson becoming the champion Shazam

―Billy Batson[src]

Divine Empowerment: After being chosen by the Wizard Shazam as his champion, Billy Batson was granted the ability to transform into the avatar of the wizard by calling out the wizard's name, which summoned a bolt of lightning from the sky and imbued him with the Wisdom of Solomon, the Strength of Hercules, the Stamina of Atlas, the Power of Zeus, the Courage of Achilles, and the Speed of Mercury. As Shazam, Billy has many powers and abilities, which surpass the capabilities of humans, and most other metahumans.

"Super strength."
Freddy Freeman[src]
Shazam's Strength

Shazam breaking through concrete

  • Superhuman Strength: With the Strength of Hercules, Shazam has incredible superhuman strength, able to easily lift people single-handedly and send them flying, and punch through concrete pillars. He is also able to lift vehicles off the ground, such as a pickup truck and even a bus, and push a heavy barrel away with a flick of his finger. When discovering what powers he had, Billy was able to jump into the air in an attempt to fly, launching himself ten feet over a skateboard halfpipe ramp. However, he can jump even higher, noted by Freddy Freeman to be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound (much like Superman). Indeed, Shazam's strength is such, that the only times he is ever seen straining are when he battles equally strong opponents (like the empowered Sivana), or when he slowly pulls a magical sphere containing the Seven Sins from Sivana's eye. His strength was further exhibited when he distributed it among his foster family, with Freddy being able to carry two people at once and Pedro Peña being able to support the weight of a Ferris wheel.
"You have bullet immunity!"
"I'm bulletproof!
Freddy Freeman and Shazam[src]
  • Superhuman Durability: Shazam's body is virtually invulnerable to most forms of harm, even warning Doctor Sivana that he is "basically invincible." Freddy Freeman broke a wooden baseball bat over him, he emerged unscathed from a wooden box that Freddy had doused in gasoline and ignited, repeated crashes into cars left him unscathed, and bullets bounced off of Shazam on impact, even his face (only slightly "tickling" him). However, Doctor Sivana (when empowered by the Seven Sins to the point that his strength was on par with Shazam's) was able to hit and choke Shazam hard enough to hurt the latter, and gave Shazam a nosebleed with a punch. However, Shazam ultimately survived repeated beatings from Sivana and the Seven Sins with minimal injuries.
Freddy Freeman[src]
  • Superhuman Speed: With the speed of Mercury, Shazam can move at speeds only perceptible to humans as yellow streaks of light, thus being able to knock a criminal down before the latter even knew what happened, to save Mary Bromfield from being run over, and to quickly disarm a robber. Nonetheless, Shazam initially had trouble keeping up with equally fast opponents, like the empowered Sivana, but he adjusted fairly quickly, rivaling the speed of Sivana's attacks in their subsequent fights, and ultimately outpacing some of the Seven Sins.
  • Superhuman Agility: Due to his super speed, Shazam is able to dodge attacks and move around different objects with ease.
  • Superhuman Stamina: With the stamina of Atlas, Shazam is capable of not growing tired despite running incredibly fast and flying through the air. He is also able to take multiple hits from Sivana and continue fighting without needing a break.
  • Flight: Shazam is able to manipulate his own gravitational field to levitate or fly. He can fly at great speeds and be able to keep pace with Sivana and the Seven Deadly Sins.
  • Teleportation: As the Champion of the Wizard Shazam, Shazam can exit the Rock of Eternity by mentally concentrating on another location of his choice. This way, Shazam was able to teleport himself and his foster siblings from the Rock into a Philadelphia strip club.
"Electricity manipulation."
Freddy Freeman[src]
  • Electricity Manipulation: With the power of Zeus, Shazam can generate and project electricity. When first discovering his powers as Shazam, Billy was able to instantly charge people's cellphones with single respective bolts of energy. At full power, Shazam's lightning rivaled that of empowered Sivana. In addition to being extremely powerful, this ability was also extremely precise, with Shazam even able to shoot up consecutive lightning bolts, while generating specific sound waves (which he formed into the music from the "Eye of the Tiger"


  • Genius-level Intellect: While Shazam is initially inexperienced in using this ability, he began to tap into it during his final battle with Sivana and the Seven Sins - the Wisdom of Solomon allowed Shazam to simultaneously come up with a way to permanently keep his power from Thaddeus Sivana, and even the battlefield against the Sins, using the Wizard's staff to transform his foster siblings into the Shazam Family, after which he broke the staff, while also allowing Shazam to see how Sivana was being exploited by the Seven Sins, and to trick Envy into exiting Sivana's body to attack Shazam directly, thus stripping Sivana of the latter's powers.
  • Expert Thief: Billy Batson, after living on his own for most of his life, has become an immensely skilled thief, able to break into cars without triggering alarms.
  • Expert Combatant: Billy Batson is a fairly capable combatant, able to take down two bullies harassing Freddy Freeman in moments using Freeman's crutch. In his Shazam form, Billy uses his powers to swiftly overpower opponents, though his combat skills were noticeably inferior to those of Doctor Sivana, who (while empowered by the Seven Sins) rather quickly overpowered Shazam in their first battle. Nonetheless, Shazam managed to adjust and battled more evenly against the empowered Sivana in their subsequent fights, and personally defeated several of the Seven Sins.



  • Batarang: Billy used a replica Batarang to attack and briefly stun Thaddeus Sivana during a fight to protect his foster siblings.
  • Magic Staff: Originally belonging to Shazam the Wizard, Billy took the staff from Thaddeus Sivana and used it to empower his foster siblings with the power of the gods to help him fight Sivana and the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man. Billy then broke the staff to prevent it from being used in the wrong hands.

Other Equipment

  • Shazam's Suit: When empowered as Shazam, Billy wears red bodysuit with a lightning bolt emblazoned on his chest just like the Wizard had, and a hooded white cape with gold trims.







Behind the scenes

Promotional images

Behind the scenes

  • Shazam's original name was "Captain Marvel", but it was later changed to "Shazam" due to trademark disputes with Marvel Comics' characters of the same name.
    • Due to this change, the superhero team known collectively as the Marvel Family was renamed the Shazam Family.
  • Shazam, or Billy Batson, marks the ongoing trope of orphaned superheroes in DC's long lineup.
  • In the comics, Shazam is the name of the wizard who gave Billy his powers.
  • The name 'Shazam' is an acronym of the ancient gods and historical figures who Billy Batson derives his heroic attributes from when in his adult form:
  • Dwayne Johnson wanted Armie Hammer to play Shazam.[3]
  • Jake McDorman, Parker Young, Joshua Sasse, Derek Theler, and John Cena were the front runners for Shazam before the part went to Zachary Levi.[4]


  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Shazam!
  3. "Dwayne Johnson Wants Armie Hammer to Play Shazam in the DCEU" - Collider
  4. "DC's 'Shazam!' to Star Zachary Levi (Exclusive)" - The Hollywood Reporter

External links