Of all the tweaks Shazam has had, the addition of his siblings might have been the best thing for Billy Batson and his heroic alter ego.
The family of the DCEU’s lighthearted Shazam gave a serious improvement to the magical hero. During the debut of the hero forms of Billy Batson’s siblings, a tweak was made that gave the Wizard’s Champion a powerful and thematic shift.
Shazam is a character that’s had more than a few changes in his career. Once he was the hero known as Captain Marvel, the sole Champion of the wizard Shazam. But after a complicated legal history, Billy took on the name Shazam for himself. He’s also grown in terms of his allies as Billy has shared the power of Shazam with his family such as his sister and uncle. But as of the reinvented origin of Shazam, the story that was also the basis for the Shazam! movie, Billy now shares his powers with his foster siblings. Like Billy, one cry of the magic word helps each young hero reach their greatest potential.
But sharing his powers with his numerous siblings wasn’t the only adjustment to the Shazam mythos that occurred in the New 52. In Justice League #21 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, Black Adam has his enemy right where he wants him and is threatening the Shazam Family unless Billy passes his powers along to Adam. Billy concedes and agrees to give Black Adam his powers, but after being reminded of the power of family, Billy instead endows his powers to his brothers and sisters. The team all joins Billy in attacking Black Adam and quickly realize they each have one unique trait compared to the others. Pedro discovers that he is now the strongest, while Eugene finds he has the ability to communicate with technology. And the excitable Darla fittingly realizes that she has become the fastest of the six.
How Shazam’s Tweaks Made The Team Even Better
Anyone who knows anything about the power of Shazam knows that the magic word gets its name from the abilities of six different mythological figures. The wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, and the like all make up Shazam’s unique power set. But with six kids sharing the Wizard’s magic, each one specializes in a different aspect of their overall power. Granted, they all have similar abilities to one another, but now each family member represents a different god in the Shazam lore.
This is quite a change for the hero, but one that really improves him and his team. By making Billy and his siblings represent the different gods of Shazam, it gives the family some needed variety in their team and helps them each stand out a little better. It also illustrates what sets Shazam a part from other heroes. Not only does it show his strength come from the powers of six deities working in unison, it demonstrates that being Shazam is truly a family affair. Sure, with this sort of change, it implies that Billy isn’t any more of a Champion than his siblings. But it does show that members the Shazam Family all have something special to their name.