Shazam is almost here, giving the DC character his long-awaited big screen debut. The film has already been praised in early reviews as a light-hearted adventure. Despite the character not being a household name like some of his colleagues, this looks to be another win for the DCEU.
Shazam's origin is a unique one that most average movie-goers probably aren't familiar with. Young orphan Billy Batson is chosen by a wizard to be given the powers of ancient gods Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury, which he can gain by speaking the magic word "Shazam". Aside from the usual super-strength and super-speed, Shazam has some very unique abilities we'll hopefully see in the upcoming film. Here are some of Shazam's powers you might not know.
10 Power Over Lightning
When Billy Batson speaks the magic word "Shazam" he is struck by a bolt of lightning, turning him into the titular superhero. Lightning has always been a big part of the character and that seems to maintained in the film. However, lighting does not only give him his powers -- it actually is one of his powers.
Shazam has the unlimited power of lightning, able to summon lightning bolts by will. Although this is a key ability for the character, it could be downplayed in the film. It would be hard to depict powers like this without seeming like a Thor rip-off.
9 Enhanced Intellect
One very unique things about Shazam as a hero is that his powers are not just focused on physical strength. Along with being able to throw a solid punch, Shazam is also imbued with superhuman intellect. The wisdom of Solomon makes him one of the smartest heroes around.
The exact nature of the intellect can vary quite a bit. This could make for a very interesting power to feature in the film as young Billy Batson would suddenly be given all of this worldly knowledge. However, the movie does seem to be focusing on the "naive hero" angle so this ability might be overlooked.
8 Speak Any Language
Relating to his enhanced intelligence, Shazam is given access to all sorts of useful knowledge he didn't have before. One of the coolest abilities is being able to understand and speak any human language on Earth. Again, this isn't the typical superhero power but it is one of those awesome abilities we all wish we had.
It's easy to imagine the fun the movie could have with this ability, seeing Billy's shock at suddenly being fluent in Mandarin. But the power could also be used as a tool to connect with different people around the world. It will be interesting to see how they choose to put it to use.
7 Enhanced Stamina
Enhanced stamina is a pretty typical power for a hero like Shazam. This gives him the ability to fight and run longer during those grueling battles to save the day. However, what's interesting about Shazam's enhanced stamina is how to affords him certain unexpected benefits.
When in Shazam form, he never has to eat, drink or sleep. His body is running at its peak condition without any added help. We have seen in the trailers that he likes to indulge in some junk food, but that seems to be more the teenage mind than an actual necessity.
The film seems to be taking a wise approach to the character by really giving him that adolescent persona. Without some of those more grounded attributes, Shazam really runs the risk of being another over-powered superhero. A perfect example of this is his power of clairvoyance.
It seems enough that this hero is super strong and super smart, but he can also see into the future? That might be a step too far. Hopefully, the movie avoids this ability or uses it very minimally. It takes some of the fun out of it if the hero can do literally anything.
It's fair to say that Shazam is basically a god. He literally has the powers of the gods and, as it turns out, is ageless like a god. We've seen this before with superheroes like Thor and the other Asgardians who age incredibly slow compared to humans.
What's interesting about the ageless nature of Shazam is that his superhero persona is actually older than Billy Batson's true self. The young boy changes into an adult hero when he says the magic word. So theoretically, when Billy is an old man, he could change into a younger man. That might be an interesting place to take the character in the sequels.
4 Electricity Manipulation
Along with power over lightning, Shazam's powers have a strong connection with electricity. One such ability is manipulation of electricity, which can take all kinds of forms. He could do anything from create a city-wide blackout, to actually restore electricity once it's gone out.
Another handy ability is his electricity absorption. Relating to his Zeus-like powers, Shazam can take on intense amount of electricity without it doing him any harm. However, in some cases in the comics, enough of an electric shock can actually revert him back to his human body.
3 Force Fields
It really does feel like when they were giving Shazam his powers, they just decided to throw in everything they could possibly think of. He is a super strong muscle man who is virtually indestructible and yet for some reason he still needs the ability to generate force fields.
To be fair, the force fields could more often be used to protect innocent bystanders rather than protect himself. And while Shazam can stand toe-to-toe with Superman in a fight, he has come across villains who can give him a good beating. Hopefully the film will deliver a threat big enough for him to need the force fields.
The trailers for the film give an indication of some of the powers Shazam possesses. Interestingly, it seems to show him having some trouble with the flight aspect of his abilities. Shazam has always been able to fly as high and as fast as Superman. It remains to be seen if they are doing away with this power for the film or if he develops it over the course of the film.
Even if he doesn't have the power of flight, Shazam won't have much troble getting about. He is able to teleport thanks to the Rock of Eternity, allowing him to easily travel anywhere in the blink of an eye.
Given how immensely powerful Shazam is, it's a wonder Billy doesn't just live in that persona all the time. There is a unique relationship between Shazam and Billy Batson that is rarely seen with the hero and alter-ego dynamic. For as powerful as the hero is, his true identity is his main weakness.
In Shazam form, he is actually immortal. As mentioned above, he cannot age, he can be hurt but has the power of regeneration and is immune to just about anything that could kill a human. He is only vulnerable when he is Billy Batson. It will be fun to see how to movie handles that dynamic.