Marvel Family (Team) (DC Comics)


The Marvel Family is a group of fictional characters, a team of superheroes in the Fawcett Comics and DC Comics universes. Created in 1942 by writers Otto Binder and Ed Herron, and Fawcett artists C. C. Beck, Mac Raboy, and Marc Swayze, the team is an extension of Fawcett's Captain Marvel franchise, and includes Marvel's sister Mary Marvel, their friend Captain Marvel Jr., and, at various times, a number of other characters as well.
Because Marvel Comics trademarked their own Captain Marvel comic book during the interim between the demise of the Fawcett Comics Captain Marvel comics in 1953 and DC's revival in 1972, DC Comics is today unable to promote and market their Captain Marvel/Marvel Family properties under those names. Since 1972, DC has instead used the trademark Shazam! for their comic book titles with the Marvel Family characters, and the name under which they market and promote the characters. When referring to the Marvel Family on comic book covers or various merchandise, they are by this legal necessity called the "Shazam Family".

Publication information

Publisher: 
Fawcett Comics (1942-1953)
DC Comics (1972-present)

First appearance: Whiz Comics #2 (February, 1940) 
Created by: Otto Binder, Ed Herron, C. C. Beck, Bill Parker, Mac Raboy, Marc Swayze 

In-story information

Official Name: Marvel Family
Phonetic: márvəl fǽməli
Translation:
Team Aliases: 
Status: Active
Identity: Public
Alignment: Good
Universe: Earth-S, New Earth
Base of Operations:
 Fawcett City & Rock of Eternity

Affiliations

Members

Team Leader(s): 
  • (Earth-S) Shazam
  • (New Earth) Shazam

Current Marvel Family Members

  • (Earth-S) Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel, Jr., Lieutenant Marvels (Fat Marvel, Hill Marvel, Tall Marvel), Uncle Marvel, Freckles Marvel (honorary member), Captain Marvel Bunny (honorary member from Earth-C-Plus)
  • (New Earth) Captain Marvel, Shazam II, Mary Marvel, Tawky Tawny, Uncle Marvel
  • (Potential Futures) Thunder, Tanist
  • (Justice League: Generation Lost) Sahar Shazeen

Former Members

  • (Earth-S) Freckles Marvel

Founding Members

Allies

Spy Smasher; Bulletgirl; Bulletman; Ibis the Invincible; JSA; Young Justice, Green Lantern Corps, Justice League of America, Teen Titans, The Titans, Achilles Immortal Soldier, Apollo, Atlas Titans of Myth, Golden Arrow (Earth-S), Hercules, Hercules (Earth-S), Kid Eternity, Kid Eternity (Earth-S), Mercury (Roman God), Mercury (Earth-S), Mister Scarlet, Mister Scarlet (Earth-S), Shlomo, Zeus (Earth-S), Zeus

Enemies

Sivana Family; Captain Nazi; Ibac; Mister Atom; Mister Mind; King Kull; Monster Society of Evil; Seven Deadly Enemies of Man, Black Marvel Family, Ebenezer Batson, Ebenezer Batson (Earth-S), Sinclair Batson

Origin

Origin:
 
Founder: 
Place of Formation: Rock of Eternity

History

Origin

The Marvel Family consisted of six individuals who had been granted special powers by the ancient wizard Shazam, and one fake. Shazam wielded his powers for 3000 years, before the rise of historic civilisations. Later, in Egypt he tried to give the powers to Teth Adam, Known now as Black Adam, but this hero turned villain. Shazam decided to wait a while and, when his own death was imminent, to pass his powers on to children who were pure in heart.
So, when his time came, Shazam had a mysterious figure bring newsboy Billy Batson to him, and gave the lad mystic powers, which Billy gained by saying the wizard's name and changing to Captain Marvel, the world's mightiest mortal.

The next additions to the Marvel Family came when Billy, who was now working as a newscaster at station WHIZ, met 3 boys who shared his name; tall Billy Batson from Texas, Fat Billy Batson from Brooklyn and Hill Billy Batson from Nashville. These nicknames were chosen to differentiate them from the famous Billy.

Billy shared with the other boys his secret - that he was Captain Marvel. Even so, they were reluctant to speak the magic word, "Shazam."

The Villians

Then Sivana entered the picture, with 3 evil associates; bandit "Biggy" Brix, Nazi agent Herr-Geyer, and the strange Captain Death. Each of these was sent by Sivana to capture Billy Batson - but they each captured one of his namesake's. The evil scientist sent a message to Billy to come in that identity or his friends would die.
Billy knew he was walking into a trap, but he took the chance - and the four boys ended up tied to a log in a sawmill, bound and gagged. Billy managed to get his gag off by holding his head just close enough to the saw. But the machinery was so loud, it drowned out his shouts. The other 3 Billies added their voices and the word was audible. All 4 became "Captain Marvels." But the others agreed there was only one Captain Marvel, so they became his 2nd Leuitenants - the Three Lieutenant Marvels.

After defeating the villains, the 3 other Billies agreed to speak the magic word only in concert with the first Billy. They first broke this agreement when Billy was framed for treason and they went to his assistance as the Lieutenant Marvels.

Other Members

The next members of the family were Captain Marvel junior, Mary Marvel and Uncle Marvel. Mary Batson kept a diary of her work as Mary Marvel - her Good Deed ledger, as she called it. One day she lost it and it was found by a man named Dudley, who read it and thus learned the secrets of Mary, Billy and the rest of the Marvel Family. He then introduced himself to Mary as her long-lost Uncle Dudley from California. ("Everyone has an unknown uncle from California" he said). Moreover, when they both said, "Shazam" Dudley also changed - to uncle Marvel. (Although he simply shed his outer clothes to reveal a prepared costume beneath).
Dudley then set up a business, Shazam incorporated, with himself as president, explaining he would donate all proceeds of the Marvels' good work to needy causes and would make his enterprise a non-profit organisation. Mary soon realised that he was a fraud when he said, "Shazam!" without changing. But, being a good hearted soul, she let him continue with his pretence and the other Marvel Family members did the same.

Uncle Marvel often cried off when he was supposed to fly by claiming he had "Shazam-bago." Once he used an invention of his - a collapsable rocket motor - to fly, but it didn't work properly and it was soon abandoned. It seems Dudley is his last name, as he has a real niece named Mary Dudley (called Freckles). Although she sometimes wore a Mary Marvel costume and called herself Freckles Marvel, she never pretended to have Shazam powers an dis not regarded as a true member of the Marvel Family.

Another who has the Shazam powers is Hoppy the Marvel Bunny or Captain Marvel Bunny. He lives ina world of furry animals and is consequently not really part of the Marvel family. Though Kid Eternity is Captain Marvel Junior's brother, he is a member of his natural family and not in the sense of a super-power sharing Family.

At one time, the Marvel Family had a show on WHIZ-TV, and for several years they continued to fight all sorts of evil, until one day Sivana and his family struck at a ceremony honouring the Marvels. The heroes and their friends wound up in a globe of Suspendium for decades - an act which backfired on the Sivana's, for they too were trapped. Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel (and presumably everyone else) were freed by the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths. All 3 continue to play major roles in the DCU - especially in the various crises that particular Universe / Multiverse is now facing.

Paraphernalia

Equipment: 
Transportation: 
Weapons: 
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