See How Villains Kept Trying to Keep Billy Batson From Saying 'Shazam!"

In Drawing Crazy Patterns, I spotlight at least five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Note that these lists are inherently not exhaustive. They are a list of five examples (occasionally I'll be nice and toss in a sixth). So no instance is "missing" if it is not listed. It's just one of the five examples that I chose.

Reader Andy N. asked me to spotlight times that Billy Batson was bound and gagged so that he could not shout "Shazam!" and transform into Earth's Mightiest Mortal, Captain Marvel!

Here is the really weird thing. Billy Batson being the alter ego of Captain Marvel isn't even common knowledge in the comics, so the fact that they all think to gag Billy is pretty hilarious.


Perhaps the first time that this particular plot point was used was in Whiz Comics #9 (by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck), where Billy is investigating a string of mysterious jewel heists. He discovers the shocking truth! A scientist is shrinking people down to small size and then forcing them to steal for him while he flies them around in model planes. That is so crazy that it is brilliant.

When Doctor Durgan discovers that Billy is looking into him, he binds and gags him and prepares to shrink Billy, as well...

Luckily for Billy, one of the other shrunken men decides to help him escape his grim fate...


Four issues later (in another Parker/Beck story), we get another bizarre plotline, where Captain Marvel's arch-nemesis, Doctor Sivana, bound and gagged Billy and subjected him to a de-aging serum...

Luckily, Billy is still a smart kid despite his youthful exterior (by the way, is that seriously the requirement? If Billy had a lisp, he wouldn't be allowed to become Captain Marvel?) and he manages to re-age himself and escape...

Sivana is at it again in Captain Marvel Adventures #1 (by Manly Wade Wellman, Jack Kirby and Dick Briefer), where Sivana and his villainous robot, Z, capture Billy and bind and gag him...


I'm really not sure how good of an idea it was for Billy to try to burn his mask off, but hey, it worked, so I guess I should just shut up and let Billy do what he wants!

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