Alex Ross has released another exclusive work of art, and this time he pays homage to the history of Captain Marvel and Shazam!. This comes just as both the Marvel version and the classic DC/Fawcett version of the characters hit theaters within a month of each other.
The art is an exclusive piece from Nerdist titled, Shazam! Power and Hope, and shows every iteration from both publisher's versions of Captain Marvel. Up front and center are key characters Billy Batson, Carol Danvers, Mar-Vell and Monica Lambeau. In the background is everyone else who has taken up the moniker of Captain Marvel.
As the art shows, this isn't just comic books either. The character from the classic '70s live-action Saturday morning kids show is here, as is the version from the upcoming Shazam! movie. There are over 100 characters included in this montage, from comic books, television and movies.
"In some ways, when you see superheroes brought to life, adapted through actors and costumes, you need to embrace a certain amount of fantasy — escaping the boundaries of our reality," Alex Ross said in a statement. "You need some bright colors, you need some flight of fancy. So it's always a tough challenge to try to interpret a character in a way that makes everyone happy."
The Billy Batson version of Captain Marvel debuted in 1939 from Fawcett Comics. It was a huge success and actually outsold Superman comics at the time. DC Comics threatened a lawsuit and eventually Fawcett stopped publication. Marvel Comics created its own Captain Marvel after that with the Kree warrior Mar-Vell. When DC Comics acquired the rights to Fawcett's Captain Marvel, both companies had a character using the same name.
Through the years, DC has mostly kept Billy Batson's version, although they have since rebranded him as Shazam! Marvel has had a number of reinventions of the character, from Mar-Vell to Monica Rambeau to the current Carol Danvers version. Now, in 2019, Billy Batson and Carol Danvers each get their own movies and the legacy of the character lives on.
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck from a script they wrote with Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch, Meg LeFauve, Nicole Perlman and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers and is in theaters now.
Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! stars Asher Angel as Billy Batson and Zachary Levi as Shazam and hits theaters on April 5.