No longer going by his nearly 75 years old moniker of Captain Marvel, CC Beck’s most famous creation New 52 debut occurs in this month’s “Justice League” #7 as the classic hero receives a full makeover courtesy of DC’s CCO Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank. According to the Post, in addition to the name change, the hero’s costume has been updated, the Shazam transformation now causes nearby electrical devices to explode and Billy has been aged into a teenager.
On DC’s official blog, The Source, editor Brian Cunningham gave some more details about the character’s new look — and powers. “His powers come from a different place, and we wanted to see that reflected in the design. We’ve removed the “circus strongman” elements from his costume. Rather than a traditional cape, he wears a cloak with a hood; there’s more of a mystical, magical, fantasy feel to that.”
Johns also spoke with the Source, explaining “Gary and I will be focusing on the magic hero instead of the super hero…We’re telling the story of the hero’s young alter ego, Billy Batson, a foster kid at a crossroads in his life. The question is, how does the emotional journey of this troubled teenager collide with the fate of the world? The Rock of Eternity and the legacy of SHAZAM! will be explored in a different way as the extent of Billy’s connection to the magic world around him is greater than ever before. The story will have a profound impact on Justice League later in the year and you’ll see new characters, locations and creatures along with the classics from the SHAZAM! universe. Billy’s friends and enemies will be along for the ride.”
As for the controversial decision to change the character’s name, Johns explained it to the Post, stating, “We changed his name [to Shazam] for a lot of reasons. One of them is that Shazam is the word most associated with the character, so we just felt it made sense — a lot of people already thought that was his name, anyway.”