Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Source of Black Adam's Powers

Black Adam makes his return in Shazam! #28.  Within these pages we learn that while Shazam gave Black Adam his powers, they came from different sources than Captain Marvel's!

The wizard Shazam reveals that Black Adam received his powers from Egyptian gods.  Here are the gods and what powers they gave to Black Adam:

  • Shu (god of air and supporter of sky) - Stamina
  • Hershef (the Egyptian Hercules) - Strength
  • Amon (king of the gods) - Power
  • Zehuti (god of wisdom) - Wisdom
  • Anpu (conductor of the dead) - Speed
  • Menthu (god of war) - Courage
Notice they still spell out Shazam and they are the same powers (stamina, strength, power, wisdom, speed, courage) given to Captain Marvel.

Black Adam was given the same powers as Captain Marvel, but from different sources.  And, as we learned in Marvel Family #1, he let these powers corrupt him and that ultimately led to his banishment by Shazam.  (You can read about it here!)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Billy Batson's Birthday

On my other Captain Marvel blog I wrote an article on February 29th being the date Captain Marvel chose as his birthday.  (You can read that article here!)  However, the date of Billy Batson's birthday has been shrouded in myster.  Going back to Captain Marvel's golden age, from the pages of Whiz comics #47, we see that Billy couldn't find when he was born.  We know from Whiz #52 that Captain Marvel selected February 29th as his birthday after his fans wrote tons of letters offering to let Cap use their birthday.  But that still didn't solve the mystery of Billy Batson's birthday.

Well, on the pages of Shazam! #4, the mystery is solved.  In the story, "The Mirrors That Predicted The Future" we learn from the wizard Shazam that Billy's birthday is April 1st - no, I'm not fooling!  The story begins by telling us, "It is Billy Batson's birthday, but as he walks down the street on what should be the happiest day of the year..." and we see Billy thinking to himself, "For twenty years time stood still for me...and I didn't celebrate any birthdays!  Now, nobody even remembers what day this is!"   

As the story continues we soon come to Shazam who is writing the following, "If the boy Billy Batson, who was born today, remains pure of day I will have him take over my life's mission...fighting evil in the world!"  A look at the calendar on the wall indicates the date is April 1st.

While this story does give us Billy's birthdate, it doesn't exactly fill in all the missing pieces from Whiz #47 and #52.  And, to Billy's surprise, his friends did indeed remember his birthday and gave him a surprise party!