Shazam!: The New Beginning

1987 comic book

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Shazam!: The New Beginning
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
FormatLimited series
Publication dateApril – July 1987
No. of issues4
Main character(s)Captain Marvel
Doctor Sivana
Black Adam
Creative team
Written byDann Thomas
Roy Thomas
Artist(s)Tom Mandrake
Penciller(s)Tom Mandrake
Rick Stasi
Inker(s)Tom Mandrake
Jan Duursema
Rick Magyar
Letterer(s)Augustin Mas
Jean Simek
Colorist(s)Carl Gafford
Joe Orlando
Nansi Hoolahan
Tom Ziuko
Editor(s)Mike Gold

Shazam!: The New Beginning is a comic book four-issue limited series published from April to July 1987.[1][2] This title is a spin-off from the DC comic title Legends.[3]

It introduced Captain Marvel in a post-Crisis on Infinite Earths world. This version was the first version of Captain Marvel to have Billy Batson retain his child like personality whilst in his Captain Marvel form.[4] The book sold quite well but never developed into a full series. Another series would not be developed and another attempt would not be made again until 1994 with The Power of Shazam!, which revised Shazam's origin again.[4][5]


After Billy Batson's parents die in a car crash, he is adopted by his step uncle Doctor Sivana.[3] Sivana's children persuade Billy he would be better off living with them rather than his Uncle Dudley, as Dudley's only income is semi-employment as a stage magician with Hoppy, his rabbit. After being adopted, Billy discovers that Sivana caused his parents' death to gain their life insurance money to fund his experiments. Billy runs away to a magic subway where he meets an elderly man who reveals himself to be a wizard named Shazam. Shazam informs Billy he has been given magic powers to fight Black Adam and other forces of evil.

Billy decides to use his powers to leave San Francisco where he lives to find his Uncle Dudley who now lives in Alberta, Canada.

Meanwhile, Sivana has used his machine to unleash Black Adam. They join forces to take over the world. Black Adam's first deed is to kidnap an airplane full of passengers. Captain Marvel fights him, leading Black Adam to bury the plane into the sea.

Captain Marvel ultimately tricks Black Adam into activating Dr. Sivana's machine to send him back to the Netherrealm and rescues the hostages.

Dr. Sivana's evil schemes are revealed and he becomes a fugitive from the FBI, fleeing to Mexico. As he drinks in a bar and muses about how he needs a better partner, we see a close-up of the worm at the bottom of Sivana's tequila bottle. (This sets up Mr. Mind for the sequel series, which did not happen.)

Billy is then raised by his Uncle Dudley and gets a job working in radio as a news reporter.


Newsarama considered Shazam!: The New Beginning as one of the best Captain Marvel stories ever written.[6] Syfy recommended the book as must read,[7] while Screenrant wasn't as complimentary to the book.[8]


  1. ^ Amash, Jim (25 March 2019). Alter Ego: Centennial. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 43. ISBN 9781605490311 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Thomas, Roy (13 June 2018). "Alter Ego #153". TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 91 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b "Shazam: The (Many) Origins of DC's Mightiest Mortal". 31 March 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b "An Oral History of DC's CAPTAIN MARVEL/SHAZAM: The New Beginning Years".
  5. ^ Nolen-Weathington, Eric (25 March 2019). Modern Masters Volume 13: Jerry Ordway. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 66. ISBN 9781893905795. Retrieved 25 March 2019 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "The Top 10 SHAZAM Stories You Should Read". Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  7. ^ Forsythe, Dana (2 April 2019). "6 Shazam! comic books you should read ahead of the movie". Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Shazam's Darkest Story Ruined Everything Great About The Character?". ScreenRant. November 20, 2020.


  • Misiroglu, Gina (2006). Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood. City: Visible Ink Press. ISBN 1578591783.
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