Mary Marvel / Lady Shazam
Mary Marvel as depicted in The New Champion of Shazam! #3 (January 2023). Art by Jen Bartel.
Publication information
PublisherFawcett Comics (1942–1953)
DC Comics (1972–present)
First appearanceCaptain Marvel Adventures #18 (Dec. 1942)
Created byOtto Binder
Marc Swayze
In-story information
Alter egoMary Bromfield (current)
Mary Willow Batson (previous)
SpeciesHuman
Team affiliationsJustice League
Marvel / Shazam Family
Black Marvel Family
Super Buddies
PartnershipsCaptain Marvel / Shazam
Captain Marvel Jr. / Shazam Jr.
Notable aliasesCaptain Marvel
Lady Shazam[1]
Black Mary
Shazam
Abilities
  • Divine empowerment
    • Superhuman physical attibutes: strength, speed, durablity, etc.
    • Enhanced intelligence and knowledge
    • Limited physical and magical invulnerability
    • Divine-derived willpower
    • Control over lightning and magic
Altered in-story information for adaptations to other media
Team affiliationsSentinels of Magic
Notable aliasesSergeant Marvel
Mary Marvel
Publication information
PublisherFawcett Comics
ScheduleMonthly
FormatOngoing series
GenreSuperhero
Publication dateDecember 1945 – September 1948
No. of issues28
Main character(s)Mary Marvel
Creative team
Written byOtto Binder
Artist(s)Jack Binder
Editor(s)Mercedes Shull, Ralph Daigh

Mary Marvel (also known as Lady Shazam and Mary Shazam) is a fictional character and superheroine originally published by Fawcett Comics and now owned by DC Comics. Created by Otto Binder and Marc Swayze, she first appeared in Captain Marvel Adventures #18 (cover-dated Dec. 1942).[2] The character is a member of the Marvel / Shazam Family of heroes associated with the superhero Shazam / Captain Marvel and is one of the first female spin-offs of a major male superhero, and predates the introduction of Supergirl (also created by Otto Binder) by more than a decade.

In Shazam! and related titles, Mary Marvel is the alter-ego of teenager Mary Batson (adopted name Mary Bromfield) who was granted the powers of the Wizard Shazam alongside her brother, Billy. After DC acquired the rights to Fawcett Comics' characters in 1972, Mary Marvel began appearing in DC Comics, co-starring in DC series such as Shazam! (1973–1978) and The Power of Shazam! (1995–1999). For a time, two limited series from 2007 to 2009, Countdown and Final Crisis, depict an evil version of Mary Marvel (calling herself Black Mary) having acquired powers from Black Adam and Apokoliptian supervillain DeSaad. Following the 2011 New 52 reboot, the character is instead changed to being the eldest of Billy Batson's foster siblings under named "Mary Bromfield" whose powers were shared by Billy. Following the Lazarus Planet event, the character's powers are instead derived from divine female benefactors led by the newly ascended Hippolyta, removing her connection to the Wizard.

Mary Bromfield and her superhero alter-ego both made their cinematic debut in the DC Extended Universe 2019 film Shazam!, played by Grace Fulton and Michelle Borth, respectively. Fulton returned in the sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, playing both parts.[3]

Publication history

Fawcett Comics

The first appearance of Mary Marvel, from Captain Marvel Adventures #18 (1942). Art by C. C. Beck.

Mary Marvel was introduced into Fawcett Comics' Marvel Family franchise a year after a young male counterpart, Captain Marvel Jr., made his debut. Artist Marc Swayze based Mary Marvel's design and personality upon American actress Judy Garland.[4] Mary was introduced in Captain Marvel Adventures #18 as Mary Bromfield, a girl who discovers she is the long lost sister of Captain Marvel's alter ego Billy Batson.[5]

In Superhero Comics of the Golden Age, Mike Benton writes:

Rod Reed, the executive editor of Fawcett comics at the time that Mary Marvel was created, recalled that, originally, the letter "S" in Shazam was to have stood for Sappho. Rather than give his young heroine the questionable powers of a Greek poet from the isle of Lesbos, Reed suggested that Selene, goddess of the moon, might be a more wholesome choice.[6]

Soon after her introduction, Mary Marvel headlined Wow Comics, and by 1945 had her own Mary Marvel book. She also appeared in The Marvel Family book with Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. In her solo adventures, Mary soon gained sidekicks in her kindly Uncle Marvel, who was not actually her uncle nor a Marvel, and his similarly nonpowered niece, Freckles Marvel. Uncle Marvel was eventually made the Marvel Family's manager, and also served as Mary's guardian.

Mary Marvel in Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds #1 (August 1956)

Just before the Marvel Family's adventures ceased publication in 1953, Mary Marvel's costume and appearance were altered: the neckline of her blouse was lowered slightly, her hair was shortened, and she now wore yellow slippers instead of the customary Marvel Family yellow boots. After Fawcett canceled their superhero comics line because of a copyright infringement lawsuit with National Comics (later DC Comics), Mary Marvel hosted a puzzle page drawn by C. C. Beck on page 33 of Mysteries of Unexplored World issue 1 (Charlton Comics August 1956). After that, Mary and her teammates went unseen for years.

DC Comics

1973–1985

In 1972, DC Comics licensed the rights to the Marvels, and revived them in a new comic series called Shazam!. Mary, Cap, and Junior appeared in both new stories and reprints of their classic stories. According to Shazam #1 the Sivanas had put the Marvel family into suspended animation for 20 years, along with themselves (by mistake) and much of the supporting cast. The comic book was canceled by 1978, and the Shazam! stories were relegated to the back pages of World's Finest Comics (from 1979 to 1982) and Adventure Comics (from 1982 to 1983). After the 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths miniseries, Captain Marvel's origin was rebooted in the Shazam: The New Beginning miniseries in 1987. The Marvel Family was written out of the Shazam! mythos, and neither Mary Batson nor Mary Marvel appeared in DC Comics for several years.

1994–1999

Mary Batson was reintroduced in The Power of Shazam! graphic novel by Jerry Ordway in 1994. An ongoing series followed in the next year, and Mary Marvel was introduced into the modern DC Universe with a new origin story in Power of Shazam! #4.

When calling upon her powers, Mary is transformed into an adult resembling her late mother (in the same way that Billy resembles his father when in Marvel form). Mary shares the title of Captain Marvel with her brother. Various characters in the series distinguish the two by gender when addressing them, addressing Mary as "the lady Captain Marvel".

At first, Mary's costume was the same as her original one. However, beginning with Power of Shazam! #28, Mary donned a white costume to distinguish herself from her brother. The color change was retained for most future uses of the character during the next decade.

2000s

After the Power of Shazam! series ended in 1999, Mary's superpowered alter ego was officially rechristened "Mary Marvel." In 2002 she had lunch with Supergirl in "The Clubhouse of Solitude", in the spoof graphic anthology "Bizarro Comics". Since then, she has guest-starred in both Superman and Supergirl comics. In 2003, Mary became a member of an offshoot of the Justice League known as the Super Buddies in the Formerly Known as the Justice League miniseries, which juxtaposed her Golden Age-era personality with the modern-day world for comic effect.

Mary Marvel appears briefly in several stories relating to DC's 2005–2006 Infinite Crisis crossover. Mary also appeared in DC's weekly limited series 52, with her most substantial appearance being in 52 #16 as the maid of honor at the wedding of Black Adam and Isis, two Shazam!-related characters. She was defeated by Black Adam during World War III (DC Comics) along with the other Marvels.

In 2006, DC began a revamp of the Shazam! mythos with Judd Winick and Howard Porter's Trials of Shazam! limited series. The series began with a preview within the pages of Brave New World #1 in June 2006, in which Mary Batson loses her powers, suffers a three-mile fall, and falls into a coma. This set up Mary's appearances as a main character in Countdown, a weekly DC series which served as the successor to 52. During the course of the series, head writer Paul Dini and his collaborators had Mary acquire the powers of Black Adam, which give her a new look including a form-fitting long-sleeved black uniform and skirt with black lace-up boots. While the series tracked the character's struggle between good and evil, due to manipulation by supervillainesses Eclipso and Granny Goodness (promotional material for the series used the catchphrase "Seduction of the Innocent," a reference to Fredric Wertham's book of the same title),[citation needed] Mary emerged from the series under the influence of Superman villain Darkseid.

This darker Mary Marvel appears in DC's 2008 crossover series Final Crisis, written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by J. G. Jones, as a Female Fury, with another design change (to match the styles of the other Furies) and a fully evil personality due to possession by the New God Desaad.[7] Though defeated by Freddy Freeman/Shazam before the end of the Final Crisis miniseries, the evil Mary appeared again in the "Black Adam and Isis" arc featured in Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #23–25, by the end of which she has lost her powers and returned to being a normal teenage girl.

2010s

In 2011, following its Flashpoint company-wide event, DC made sweeping continuity changes to some comic book series and minor ones to others, as part of its relaunch event "The New 52". Captain Marvel, now known as Shazam, received a new origin story as part of a Shazam! backup feature by writer Geoff Johns and penciler Gary Frank, published between 2012 and 2013 in the relaunched Justice League comic series.[8] Mary does not feature in the new continuity until Justice League #8 (2012), and is not transformed into a superhero for the first time until Justice League #21 (2013), when Billy directs his powers into her, Freddy, and their foster siblings Darla, Pedro, and Eugene during a fray with Black Adam.[8]

Mary was largely absent from the main DC Universe for several years after Justice League #22 in 2013. Versions of Mary Marvel from alternate earths in the DC Multiverse appeared in events such as The Multiversity in 2014 and Convergence in 2015.[9] In December 2018, Geoff John and artist Dale Eaglesham launched a new Shazam! ongoing comic series, featuring Mary alongside Billy Batson and the rest of the Shazam Family. The first issue of the new volume of Shazam! also featured a manga backup focused on Mary by Geoff Johns and Mayo "SEN" Naito.[10]

Fictional character biography

The Marvel Family #78 (1952), featuring Mary Marvel's then-new look. Art by Kurt Schaffenberger.

Original Fawcett origin

Mary Marvel's first appearance in Captain Marvel Adventures #18 also relayed her origin story.

As infants, twins Billy and Mary Batson were nursed by a woman named Sarah Primm. When the Batsons' parents die in a car accident, Primm was required to send both children to an orphanage. However, Primm is determined to at least give one of the children a home, and arranges for Mary to secretly take the place of another baby girl who had suddenly died while under Primm's care. As a result, Billy is sent to an orphanage while his sister is raised by the wealthy Mrs. Bromfield.

Several years later, Billy Batson becomes a teenage radio announcer. While hosting an on-air quizbowl, he receives an urgent letter from Sarah Primm, now on her death bed, requesting his presence. Billy goes to see her during a break, and Primm tells him the secret of his long-lost sister. To help him find Mary, Primm gives Billy a locket broken in half and tells the boy with her last breaths that Mary wears the other half.

After the quizbowl broadcast is over, Billy tells his best friend Freddy Freeman about his sister and the locket. Billy then recalls that one of the quizbowl contestants, a rich girl named Mary Bromfield, wore a broken locket. He and Freddy trail Mary's limousine in their superpowered forms of Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. and find themselves called into service to save Mary from a gang of kidnappers.

Captain Marvel then learns that Mary's locket matches his own, and that she is indeed Billy's sister. The Marvels reveal their secret identities to Mary, who wonders if, since she is Billy's twin, she could become a Marvel by saying the magic word "Shazam". Billy, however, is assured that "Old Shaz—er—you know who—wouldn’t give his powers to a girl!"

Just then, the kidnappers awaken then bind and gag Billy and Freddy, preventing them from saying their magic words. Mary exclaims that Billy cannot say "Shazam", inadvertently saying the word herself. She is then struck by a magic lightning bolt and transformed into a super-powered version of herself, later christened "Mary Marvel" by her brother. She defeats the thugs by herself, discovering that she is bulletproof and has super strength, and frees Billy and Freddy. Shazam later reveals the goddesses Mary derives her powers from.

Modified DC origin

Mary Marvel in her white uniform in Formerly Known as the Justice League #1 (2003). Art by Kevin Maguire and Josef Rubinstein.

Mary Marvel's updated DC origin was presented in the Power of Shazam! graphic novel and ongoing series, written by Jerry Ordway.

Prominent archaeologists C.C. and Marilyn Batson are assigned by the Sivana expedition on an excursion to Egypt. They take along their young daughter Mary, but are forced to leave their son Billy in America with C.C.'s half-brother. The elder Batsons are killed by their associate Theo Adam, who then kidnaps Mary. Upon Theo Adam's return to the United States, Adam's sister, a maid named Sarah Primm, takes Mary into her care. Primm arranges for her childless employers, Nick and Nora Bromfield, to illegally adopt Mary. As Mary Bromfield, the young girl grows up living an idyllic life in a wealthy family, but continuously has dreams of another family with a brother she has never seen.

Meanwhile, Billy eventually finding himself on the streets, and is given the power to become Captain Marvel. He learns that Mary is still alive, but after four years of searching, neither he nor his benefactor, the wizard Shazam, can find the girl. The only thing Billy has to remember Mary by is her favorite toy, a "Tawky Tawny" doll, which was shipped to America with the Batsons’ possessions after their murders.

As a young teenager, Mary enters a regional spelling bee held in Fawcett City and emceed by Billy, who works as an on-air reporter for WHIZ radio. After saving Mary from kidnappers twice as Captain Marvel, Billy notices how much Mary Bromfield reminds him of Mary Batson and has an undercover cop named "Muscles" McGinnis retrieve the girl's forged adoption record. Learning that Mary is indeed his sister, Billy tries to figure out a way to let Mary know he is her brother. The old "Tawky Tawny" doll suddenly transforms into a full-sized humanoid tiger and comes to life, instructing Billy to take it to Mary. As Captain Marvel, Billy flies out to the Bromfields’ hometown of Fairfield to deliver the doll and the adoption papers to Mary.

Captain Marvel arrives at the Bromfield estate and changes back to Billy Batson to deliver the package, but is immediately kidnapped by the thugs who helped Primm forge Mary's adoption records. Mary, not having seen Billy, takes the package and opens it, discovering the adoption records and the Tawky Tawny doll. Once again, the doll comes to life and instructs the bewildered girl to say the magic word "Shazam" and save her brother. Mary complies and is transformed by a bolt of magic lightning into a superpowered doppelganger of her deceased mother. She saves Billy, who transforms into Captain Marvel to help Mary defeat the thugs, but the two Marvels cannot save Sarah Primm, who is murdered by one of the thugs.

The Trials of Shazam! and Countdown

Mary Marvel acquires Black Adam's powers in Countdown #47 (June 6, 2007).

Main article: Countdown to Final Crisis

In the eleven page preview to Judd Winick and Howard Porter's Trials of Shazam limited series appearing in DC's Brave New World one-shot comic (June 2006), Mary Marvel loses her powers in mid-flight as an after-effect of the death of the wizard Shazam by the Spectre in Day of Vengeance #6, and falls from a height of three miles. Mary survives the fall but goes into a coma, and Freddy Freeman, who lost the power to become Captain Marvel Jr. in the same way, has her transported to a hospital in New York City where he can keep watch over her. He spends all his money to help her.

In Countdown #51, Mary is released from the hospital. She finds that she is still powerless and a note left by Freddy Freeman with a nurse asks her not to look for him as he is trying to get the powers of Shazam back, per the orders of Marvel. Making her way to Gotham City (despite being warned by Madame Xanadu to avoid the place in Countdown #50),[11] Mary stumbles upon the former Kahndaqi embassy while being chased by violent criminals from the subway, who are killed by Black Adam. Black Adam angrily threatens her. Mary tells Adam how much she valued her powers and how she desires to regain them. Adam, bitter over the loss of his wife Isis and brother-in-law Osiris during the events of 52 as well as his failure to resurrect the former, gives Mary his powers instead of killing her. He is transformed into the mortal Teth-Adam, whom Mary rescues from a wall toppling on him. Mary wears a black form-fitting costume and wields Adam's powers as a darker, angrier character.[12] While searching for a tutor to help her harness her power at the reformed Riddler's advice, she encounters Klarion the Witch boy in a market for dark magic, who tries to take her power, then Zatanna, who banishes her from her home after a fight, and then Eclipso, who only fuels her wild abandon. She uses a rougher justice, such as turning soldiers to stone and shrinking poachers so their quarries chase them.

Their alliance, however, seems to break down when Eclipso, hoping to please her master Darkseid, offers Mary as his new concubine, reasoning that the two women could always leech Darkseid's arcane knowledge, slay him, and take his place. Mary refuses to sell herself for more power, beats Eclipso with her own crystal, and flees, enraged. Eclipso catches up to her and regains the diamond. Eclipso then departs, leaving Mary alone again. Some time later, Eclipso returns hoping to finish her off, but Mary is too strong for her.

Mary experiences a change of mind, and upon realizing that Black Adam's powers are as responsible for her corruption as Eclipso, divests herself of them by feeding the lightning bolt into Eclipso, who tries to kill her and take her power. Both women lose their powers and fall into the ocean. However, an unpowered Mary lands on Themysciran soil, where Queen Hippolyta drafts her in the rebellion against Granny Goodness, who is posing as the goddess Athena.

Mary, Holly Robinson, and Harleen Quinzel manage to reveal Goodness' deception, and the trio follow her to Apokolips. After escaping the Female Furies, Mary starts to hear the voices of the gods. The group manages to free the Olympian gods from an Apokoliptan chamber, and Mary Marvel's powers are restored along with her white costume, which now has a gray lightning bolt and long sleeves.

After journeying with the Challengers to Earth-51 and witnessing the Great Disaster occurring there, Mary finally returns home to find Darkseid waiting for her. Reminding her of how strong she felt using Black Adam's powers, and claiming the gods do not trust her as much now, he returns them to her, restoring her black costume. She then confronts Donna Troy, Kyle Rayner, Forager, and Jimmy Olsen, seizing Jimmy to take him back to Darkseid. When Donna questions Mary's use of the powers, Mary insists that she is not evil, merely "driven".[13] After Darkseid's defeat, Mary returns to Black Adam, asking to be a part of a new Black Marvel Family. Adam refuses her and, after a big tantrum, she decides to become a solo superheroine.

Final Crisis

An evil Mary Marvel, possessed by the New God DeSaad, battles Wonder Woman in interior art detail from Final Crisis #3 (of 7), September 2008. Art by J. G. Jones.

Main article: Final Crisis

Mary returns in Final Crisis, still apparently in Darkseid's thrall, wearing a new black costume with more of a punk look. She attacks Wonder Woman, scratching the Amazon's upper arm and infecting her with an unknown virus delivered from a broken glass vial bearing a gold Omega symbol. Later, when the heroes of Earth attack Blüdhaven, Black Adam notes that she's been possessed by one of the New Gods, a "leering old man". The possessed Mary claims to have a new dirty magic word, a blasphemous name of power, and to have new gods. During a heated battle with Supergirl, Black Adam learns that the evil god DeSaad was the one who possessed Mary. Black Adam tries to kill her but is stopped by Freddy. Later, distracted by hordes of Anti-Life followers about to attack, Freddy Freeman, the new Captain Marvel, grabs Mary and uses the last of his magic to transform them back to normal. Though horrified by her actions while possessed by Desaad, and saying, while crying, that she never meant for this to happen, she is seen standing with Freddy with clubs in their hands, awaiting the end of the world.

Justice Society of America

After the end of the Crisis, Mary is recruited by Black Adam and Isis, who have taken over the Rock of Eternity from its former caretaker the wizard Shazam by defeating Captain Marvel and stealing his powers, using the magic scarab Shazam used to take Black Adam's powers. During a battle between Black Adam, Isis, and the Justice Society, who had been summoned by Billy, the evil Mary Marvel abducts a powerless Billy Batson and forces him to become a teenage Black Marvel by sharing her powers and forcing him to say "Mary Marvel".[14]

The two now evil Black Marvels join Adam and Isis, who are intent on using the power of Shazam to destroy the modern world, in fighting the Justice Society. When Isis begins attacking the citizens of Adam's native Khandaq and Adam's friend Atom Smasher, he switches loyalties and joins the Justice Society's Flash and the spirit of Mary and Billy's father in helping resurrect the wizard Shazam from the Rock of Finality, where he has been sealed in stone. Black Adam gives up his powers to restore the wizard to life. Shazam promptly and angrily takes his powers back from Mary, Billy, and Isis, turns Teth Adam and Isis to stone, and closes off all contact to the Rock of Eternity to the Batson kids upon stating that Billy and Mary failed him. He also threatens to go after Freddy for stealing his name. The two Batsons are later seen wandering the streets of Fawcett City, homeless, and wondering what happened to their father's spirit.[15]

Mary and Billy are briefly seen during the events of Blackest Night, now living in an apartment in Fawcett City. While watching news reports of the various heroes and villains being reanimated as Black Lanterns on their laptop, Mary remarks how scary it is to not have her powers anymore.[16]

Mary is approached by Blaze, who offers to restore her and Billy's powers in exchange for her killing Freddy. Mary seems to go along with the deal, appearing to poison Freddy. However, when Blaze arrives to claim Freddy's powers, he gets up and attacks her. With a little help from Mary and Billy, Freddy defeats Blaze and sends her back to hell, later promising them that he will find a way to restore their lost powers.[17]

The New 52/DC Rebirth

Black Adam confronts the newly created Shazam Family, including Mary Bromfield (second from right), as seen in Justice League (vol. 2) #21 (August 2013). Art by Gary Frank.

The DC Universe was rebooted in 2011 with the New 52 line of comics. In the current continuity, Mary appears as Mary Bromfield, making her debut in Justice League (vol. 2) #8 in 2012. She is the oldest kid living in the Vázquezes' foster home, along with Billy Batson, Freddy Freeman, Eugene Choi, Darla Dudley, and Pedro Peña.[18] Whether or not this Mary is still Billy's long-lost sister is not yet known.

Mary was the second child placed with the Vázquezes, having run away from an abusive home at a young age.[19] Polite and well-mannered, Mary functions as the unofficial "den mother", looking after her foster siblings.[19] When Billy arrives at the Vázquez home and gains the power to become Shazam, he shares his powers with his foster siblings.[20] By saying the magic word "Shazam!" Mary can become an adult superhero with a red uniform similar to that of the traditional Mary Marvel.[19]

Powers and abilities

Powers of Shazam

Similar to the Captain Marvel/Shazam, Mary the ability to undergo a transformation by uttering the word "SHAZAM." Through this transformation, she gains powers derived from six divine entities, be it through direct empowerment or through the likes of Captain Marvel/Shazam, whom is the chosen champion. Over time, the character evolves and is elevated to the same status, granting her empowerment and the ability to potentially share them with others.[21]

Mary Marvel, like Black Adam, is widely recognized as a formidable presence on Earth. In the context of power classification, she is regarded as having "Alpha" level powers, surpassing her peers such as Fire, Booster Gold, and Metamorpho. Notably, she is rated at a comparable threat level to Guy Gardner, Superman, and Wonder Woman.[22]

Fawcett/Pre-1985 combination

The Fawcett and pre-1985 version of Mary Marvel did not derive her "Shazam" powers from the male mythological figures who empower Billy, but from a set of female benefactors: Selene for grace, Hippolyta* for strength, Ariadne (later changed to Artemis, Greek goddess of the hunt) for skill, Zephyrus for fleetness (and flight), Aurora (later changed to Greek goddess Aphrodite) for beauty and Minerva for wisdom. Although these deities were originally described and depicted as goddesses, Zephyrus is actually a male god. In addition, the list does not account for all of the superhuman traits shared by Billy and Mary, specifically Captain Marvel's powers of invulnerability, stamina, and courage. The original Mary Marvel remained a teenager when she transformed rather than becoming a mature adult like Billy.

Post-Flashpoint / Original New 52 combination

S Wisdom of Solomon The Wisdom of Solomon grants the individual with several abilities, including perfect memory, strategic combat skills, exceptional mathematical aptitude, charisma in interpersonal interactions, limited clairvoyance for acquiring arcane knowledge and intuitive insights, as well as a natural fluency in all languages. Unlike some other powers, this is considered an active one a champion must channel to activate.[23]
H Strength of Hercules This bestows Mary an exceptional level of superhuman strength. she gains the ability to exert immense physical power, surpassing the capabilities of ordinary individuals. With this heightened strength, they can effortlessly lift and manipulate objects of tremendous weight, overpower adversaries with ease, and deliver devastating blows in combat.[24] Mary Marvel's level of strength is on par with formidable characters such as Supergirl and Captain Atom. In a notable instance, she emerged victorious in a battle against the latter.[25]
A Stamina of Atlas The stamina attribute from Atlas enables Mary to maintain his empowered state for an extended period without any time limitations. Additionally, the empowerment provides Mary with substance, eliminating the need for eating, sleeping, and even breathing. As a result, Mary can operate at peak efficiency, unaffected by the physiological requirements that typically apply to ordinary individuals. This extraordinary stamina allows him to fully focus on his heroic duties without the distractions or limitations associated with physical sustenance.[24]
Z Power of Zeus Zeus's "power" attribute fasciliates the transformation that grants Mary access to the full range of his powers, including the ability to shoot bursts of electricity and lightning. She also possesses a limited gift of teleportation, allowing him to effortlessly travel to and from the Rock of Eternity with a single thought. Notably, the Power of Zeus empowers him with the potential to use magic and cast spells. This power is considered the most difficult, requiring the most study, focus and displine.[26]
A Courage of Achilles The Courage of Achilles grants Mary peak physical defenses, rendering her nearly invulnerable. This heightened level of invulnerability provides significant protection against physical harm. Additionally, the empowerment grants Mary resistance to various elements, including heat, force, disease, and the effects of aging. This attribute allow Mary to withstand extreme conditions and maintain her health and vitality against formidable challenges.[27]
M Speed of Mercury The Speed of Mercury grants the Mary super speed, enhanced reflexes, motor skills, and flight, enabling them to move at incredible speeds, react swiftly, perform precise maneuvers, and soar through the air.[28]
Living Lightning In the New 52 onward, the character possess a portion of the Living Lightning derived from her empowerment by Shazam (and later acting as the main Champion), which also fasciliates her powers. Thus, she retains additional magical abilities including lightning control, amplification of spells, further enhancement of strength, and enhances healing capabilities, among others.[29][30] Mary can also potentially cast spells derived from the Wizard and previous members of the Council of Eternity, which are documented in the Book of Champions.[31]

Black Mary's combination

During the character's incarnation as "Black Mary", she would exhibit powers derived from Black Adam's Egyptian pantheon of gods, granting her his abilities alongside the added power bestowed upon him from Isis. During this incarnation, the character expressed that she felt more powerful than she had with just the powers derived from Captain Marvel/Shazam.[32] In the later Final Crisis miniseries (2008–2009), Mary's body was further enhanced with genetic technology stolen by the Atomic Knights. In addition to her impressive magical powers, her empowered form is now "aged" from late adolescence to adulthood, with clawed hands able to slice through metal. Later, after Black Adam restores her powers from the Egyptian gods, she is able to bestow part of it upon Billy, making him Black Billy.

S Stamina of Shu Grants powers equivalent to the Stamina of Atlas.[33]
H Swiftness of Heru Grants powers equivalent to the Speed of Mercury.[33]
A Strength of Amon Grants powers equivalent to the Strength of Hercules.[33]
Z Wisdom of Zeuheti Grants powers equivalent to the Wisdom of Solomon.[33]
A Power of Aten Grants powers equivalent to the Power of Zeus.[33] While under this power, however, the character's magical abilities and affinity were greaterand she manipulate a variant of magic known as the "Living Magic". Mary possesses such a mastery of this power that she is acknowledged as a "sorceress" by Darkseid. Her command over the arcane arts encompasses a wide range of abilities, including transmutation, manipulation of time, heightened mystic senses, and the conjuring of lightning. Through her proficiency in the Power of Aten, Mary has successfully engaged formidable opponents such as Zatanna and Enchantress, emerging victorious against the latter.[34]
M Courage of Mehen Grants power equivalent to the Courage of Achilles.[33]

Post-Lazarus Planet Goddesses combination

During the "Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods" story arc, Mary loses her original Shazam powers, but is bestowed a new set of powers originating from goddesses by Hippolyta rather than by the Wizard.[35]

S Agility of Selene Specific powers granted under this attribute are currently unknown.
H Strength of Hippolyta Grants powers equivalent to the Strength of Hecules.[33]
A Stamina of Artemis Grants power equivalent to the Stamina of Atlas.[33]
Z Flight of Zephyrus Specific powers granted under this attribute are currently unknown.
A Invulnerability of Aurora Specific powers granted under this attribute are currently unknown.
M Wisdom of Minerva Grants powers eqivalent to the Wisdom of Solmon.[33]

Reception

Mary Marvel has been analyzed as a portrayal of women in American comics, specifically how her physique and costumes serve as examples of masculinity vs. femininity and the objectification of women in comics.[36]

Other versions

52

In the final issue of 52, a new Multiverse is revealed consisting of 52 identical realities. Earth-5 is depicted as home to the Marvel Family characters. As a result of Mister Mind "eating" aspects of this universe, it takes on aspects similar to the pre-Crisis Earth-S. Although the characters are not named in the panel in which they appear, a character looking like Mary Marvel is shown.[37] 52 co-author Grant Morrison has made clear that this alternate universe is not the pre-Crisis Earth-S.[38]

An evil version of Mary Marvel exists in an alternate universe as a member of the "Power Posse" (evil analogues of the Super Buddies). Mistress Mary, as she is called, wears a black variant of Mary's traditional outfit, almost identical to her costume during the 2007/2008 Countdown series.[39]

Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil

In the 2007 limited series Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil, written and illustrated by Jeff Smith, Mary Batson is depicted as a prepubescent child who does not age when she transforms into Mary Marvel.

Mary meets her lost brother in the circus that is attacked by Alligator Men and is rescued by Captain Marvel. With the help of Tawky Tawny, a trickster spirit who changes into various forms but prefers being a tiger when convenient, the siblings learn they are related. When Billy transforms into Captain Marvel, Mary stands too close to her brother and is struck by the fringe of the magic lightning; as a result, Mary gains her Marvel form (which is still at her actual age) that is apparently based on the aspects of various goddesses, including flying speed superior to her brother's, and powers stemming from a set of female benefactors. For example, Athena's wisdom is different from Solomon's, allowing Mary to perceive "life vibrations" and distinguish between living and non-living beings.

Although she and Billy are kidnapped in their regular form by Doctor Sivana and Mr. Mind and gagged, Billy escapes and later rescues her as Captain Marvel when she is thrown from the top of a robot by Doctor Sivana. She, in turn, rescues him from Sivana after he accidentally loses his powers while defeating Mr. Mind. Mary subsequently manages to restore his abilities.

Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam!

Mary appears as a main character in this follow-up series. As in Monster Society of Evil, Mary has only a fraction of her brother's powers and remains a child in super form. Although faster, she is far less strong. As Mary is hyperactive and reckless, Billy is protective of her, although often annoyed by her antics and snarkiness. During the final battle against Black Adam, she briefly gains an adult form, only to lose it shortly after and revert to a child.

Justice League Beyond

In the digital Justice League Beyond comics taking place in the DC Animated Universe's future (based on the Batman Beyond TV series), Mary Marvel, Billy Batson, the wizard Shazam, and Black Adam are somehow sharing the same body. Only one of them can exist in the real world at a time, but can switch places with each other. She appears to be attracted to the Green Lantern of that time period. It is unknown how this occurred.

Tangent Comics

In the alternate world of the Tangent Comics imprint, a character named Mary Marvel, a student, is one of three heroines (the others being alternate versions of Madame Xanadu and Lori Lemaris) who masquerade as an anarchic but heroic prankster named The Joker.

Bombshells

In the alternate universe of DC Comics Bombshells, a young Jewish woman named Miriam Bätzel relates traditional Jewish folklore to children hiding from the Nazis to keep their spirits up. Under the stress of their imminent deaths, she starts reciting the names of Jewish heroines: Shiphrah, Huldah, Abigail, Zipporah, Asenath, and Miriam. This enables her to tap into mystical energy and become Shazam, who the children nickname "Miri Marvel." Rather than engage in destructive super-battles, she uses her power to protect and aid the escape of a large group of refugees. Aiding refugees in escaping the war becomes her primary mission in the series.

In other media

Television

Film

Animated

Live action

Web series

Video games

Miscellaneous

References

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