[Discussion] Do you prefer a Shazam/Captain Marvel who gains an adult persona and the Wisdom of Solomon when he transforms, or an immature kid stumbling around like Tom Hanks in Big?

[Discussion] Do you prefer a Shazam/Captain Marvel who gains an adult persona and the Wisdom of Solomon when he transforms, or an immature kid stumbling around like Tom Hanks in Big?

[Discussion] Do you prefer a Shazam/Captain Marvel who gains an adult persona and the Wisdom of Solomon when he transforms, or an immature kid stumbling around like Tom Hanks in Big?

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  1. I don’t think he should be *as* childish as the DCEU version, but I do think it works when Shazam has a touch of childlike lovability/innocence to him, while still obtaining Solomon’s wisdom.

    Basically, if Superman is like this fatherly figure, Shazam can be more like a lovable big brother figure, someone really approachable.

  2. So my answer is a little bit of both.

    In that “Shazam” acts like an adult when he’s transformed, especially around other heroes who don’t know his secret (yet), but it’s just that: an act. The wisdom of Solomon essentially tells him “this is how to convincingly act like a 30 year old man” and Billy is smart enough to follow the script. But sometimes the drops the act when he’s under extreme duress or danger since at that moment Billy is too busy panicking to remember to stick to the script.

    The best example of this is in the “Superman/Shazam: First Thunder” mini series where Superman and Shazam meet for the first time, and up until the last comic Shazam pools the wool over Superman and makes him think he’s just another adult Superhero. It’s not until Billy’s best friend dies that Billy goes “off script” so to say, attacking the man responsible in a blind rage and almost killing him and then crying and letting it slip to Supes that the 10 year old boy in question was his best friend.

  3. I really like your question. Never thought about it like that before. I like him retaining his boyish personality after transforming. Maybe he could activate the wisdom if and when he needed it. Same way he uses his speed, strength, etc. That way you could preserve the humor and levity while exploring one of his powers that doesn’t get as much attention in the modern era.

  4. Do you prefer a Shazam/Captain Marvel who gains an adult persona and the Wisdom of Solomon when he transforms, or an immature kid stumbling around like Tom Hanks in Big?

    No wrong answers.

    Post-Crisis, it was established that the personality of young Billy Batson is retained when he transforms into the Captain.

    Collaborative writers on Wikipedia describe the Wisdom of Solomon as follows: “Billy has instant access to a vast amount of scholarly knowledge. He possesses excellent mental acuity and nearly infallible wisdom, including an innate understanding of virtually all known languages and sciences, and has a photographic memory and perfect recall, being able to retain full knowledge of all he experiences with perfect clarity. From this, he can read and decipher any coding, solve long mathematical equations instantaneously, and make intuitive guesses based on limited data, which are almost always correct. He also has a great understanding of divine phenomena in the mortal world, an uncanny awareness of his circumstances akin to clairvoyance that lets him turn disadvantages into advantages, and can provide counselling and advice in times of need. In some stories, this power also gives him the ability to hypnotize people.”

    Does Billy still exhibit the Wisdom of Solomon when he transforms into Cap/Shazam in modern comics and other media? He loses his Strength of Hercules (et cetera) when he’s in his Billy form, so does he get dumber when he reverts, too?

  5. I don’t really like the whole adult persona thing, I think it should just be Billy but with more courage and wisdom. I like the idea of a good person given the power to do what’s right, and that’s the kind of fantasy he plays into.

    I just don’t see the point of making them two separate people anyways.

  6. They could find a happy medium!

    What annoyed me about Shazam was the younger actor played Billy like a late-teens but then Zachary Levy acted like an obnoxious middle schooler. They could have done a better job getting their characters in sync.

  7. Captain Marvel is one of my favorite characters, and the appeal for me was always imagining what it would be like for a 4th grader (or however old Billy is portrayed at the time) to suddenly have the power of Superman. I think he ideally should have access to the wisdom of Solomon, but he’s still a kid in an adult’s (absurdly powerful and superhuman) body.

  8. I think he should definitely keep a lot of his childish personality, otherwise it kinda takes away the fun of the concept. It’s a kid turning into a fully grow superhero, if he just acts like any other adult hero if makes it less interesting.

  9. While writers don’t need to make him act as childishly as they do sometimes, I dislike when the wisdom of Solomon changes Billy’s personality too much because that feels like it kind of defeats the entire point of Captain Marvel/Shazam. He’s supposed to be a kid who transforms into an adult superhero, not just Superman but sometimes he’s also a kid. If Shazam feels like a completely different person than Billy, then he might as well not even have that aspect to his concept.

  10. I like when he becomes an adult. Hated the Shazam movies. Even kids start to get smarter in adult situations.

  11. First one. I didn’t like Levy ‘s take in the character. Actually, in the movies billy is more mature than Shazam (former captain marvel, best name IMHO)

  12. To quote Aquaman in Young Justice, “Wisdom does not equal maturity.” Wisdom of Solomon shouldn’t give him some serious, Batman-like personality or make him all knowing. Billy would still be himself, just more aware of his lack of experience & knowledge. The wisdom could be like the Injustice comics, where he uses his Shazam powers ponder what he should do after Superman takes over. Then (albeit at the cost of his life) Billy questions Superman when he goes too far.

  13. There are 2 answers to this question, actually. I would prefer a more serious character. However, in a shared universe with Superman, it doesn’t make sense to have CM be that much like Superman. They have to differentiate the characters, or CM is just a 2nd rate Supes.

  14. Honestly I really enjoyed the first Shazam movie. Not only was it a nice departure from the “grim dark” DCEU but also had a nice side story about family and caring for each other. As an adopted kid who then adopted his own kids, i really felt the family part on a different level than most. But I do usually prefer the “wiser” Shazam in the comics. So I’m 50/50. It was a big chance, but the acting was good and the story was alright. At the end of the day, I was really happy with the changes they made.

  15. I find the entire concept of Shazam problematic, especially when writers forget that Billy Batson is a kid and they write grown ass women making passes at the character.

  16. Billy Should be an adult now. They need to put the Marvels back on their own planet to logically keep them so young. They are pretty much the only child characters who can never grow up.

    John Kent is older than Billy now.

    I’ve always liked the child to adult switch, it plays into a child’s fanatsy of growing up and no one can tell them what to do.