Jebediah of Canaan (Shazam)

shazamfilmFor the next character in casualgamer‘s list we have to travel back quite a while, as his first and last (for now) live action appearance dates back to 1941: let’s meet Shazam, the wizard who gives Captain Marvel his powers. In the serial Adventures of Captain Marvel, Shazam is portrayed by Nigel De Brulier: he is an ancient wizard residing inside a mystic artifact, the Golden Scorpion, hidden within the ruins of the Valley of the Tombs in the lost Scorpion Kingdom. He summons the young radio broadcaster Billy Batson and grants him the powers of Captain Marvel, so that he can protect those who are targeted by the curse of the Golden Scorpion. In the comics, he has nothing to do with a Scorpion Kingdom or with scorpions in general, albeit his role in creating Captain Marvel is pretty much the same. Let’s see together who this powerful wizard is in the comics.

In his first incarnation, Shazam was a mysterious sorcerer, a magician able to summon the powers of Solomon, HerculesAchillesZeusAtlas and Mercury and to use them to defend the world from any kind of threat. In the 1940s, now three thousands years old, he decided to give up to his role of protector and to chose a successor, before the ancient prophecy of his death could fulfill: he found a noble soul in a ten years old boy, Billy Batson, whom he gave his powers to; by pronouncing the wizard name “Shazam!”, the boy was able to transform into the mighty Captain Marvel, a champion of justice. Immediately after creating the new superhero, the wizard faced death as it was prophesized, as he was crushed by a giant rock that detached from the top of the mountain he lived in and killed him. His spirit, however, kept guiding Billy, who could summon his ghost for guidance any time he was in need. When reality changed, even Shazam’s back story was modified, and it became much more complex: he was once a boy named Jebediah, born in Canaan 9000 years ago. When he was about ten years old, his purity and his shazamcomics1courage made him be chosen by six forgotten gods, who elected him as their champion: each one of the gods made a gift to him, so that Jebediah could summon the strength of Voldar, the wisdom and knowledge of Lumian, the speed of Arel, the magic power of Ribalvei, the courage of Elbiam and the stamina and endurance of Marzosh. Any time Jebediah shouted the magic word composed of the gods’ names’ first letters, “Vlarem!”, he became their champion, a warrior of untold power who battled injustice wherever it rose. The champion was a sworn enemy of all evil, so many demons attempted to kill him, but he defeated them all…until one of them decided to try another tactic, and disguised as a beautiful girl, she seduced him. From the relationship between them, two half-human half-demon children were born, Blaze and Satanus, powerful beings that became champions for evil. The gods were unhappy for their champion’s fall, but Jebediah decided to redeem himself by becoming the greatest demon hunter in history.

First, he battled one of the most powerful demons from Hell, the Three Faces of Evil, and trapped him in a mountain he himself composed with a massive rock from Hell and another one from Heaven; he transformed the mountain in his stronghold, the Rock of Eternity, and trapped there also other demons, such of the Seven Deadly Sins, he had turned to statues. Known as Shazam, he battled evil heroically for 3000 years, until he grew tired, and searched for a successor. He believed he found him in Egypt, where he chose Teth-Adam, the son of the pharaoh. Adam agreed to be the champion of the Egyptian gods, and he was granted the powers of ShuHeruAmonZehutiAton and Mehen, becoming a powerful hero…until Blaze intervened, seducing him like her mother had done with Shazam, and corrupting him to use his powers for evil. Disappointed in his student, and forced to stop him, Shazam battled the one who was now Black Adam, and eventually defeated him, banishing him out of our reality. From that moment, he decided he would have chosen his successor more wisely, waiting other millennia if he had to…and so he did, actually. Fighting evil and observing humanity for another 3000 years, Shazam eventually understood the reasons that had led the ancient gods to chose a child as a champion, and he decided to do the same, trusting the innocence and the instinctive good heart of youth. He eventually chose Billy Batson, an shazamcomics2American ten-years old boy, son of C.C. Batson, a man who had helped Shazam in Egypt years before, in the events that had brought to the resurrection of Ibis the Invincible. For empowering Billy, Shazam requested the help of other six gods and demigods: Solomon, Hercules, Achilles, Zeus, Atlas and Mercury, who agreed to lend their powers to young Billy and to transform him into the world’s mightiest mortal, Captain Marvel. Batson proved to be the perfect choice, and after appointing him as the new champion, Shazam retired on the Rock of Eternity, monitoring the progresses of Captain Marvel and his allies (the Marvel Family), and providing them with guidance and help anytime it was needed.

Jebediah of Canaan is a wise and cautious man, a hero who’s spent more than one life in protecting the innocents and in fighting evil. His great experience makes him an unlimited source of advice for the younger heroes,as well as a unique connection between mortals and gods. As Shazam, he’s one of the most powerful beings on the planet: channelling the powers of ancient and current gods, he’s immortal, omniscient and omnipresent; he can teleport, fly and forsee the future; he can understand and speak any language, he can heal himself and others, and still possesses superhuman strength, durability, reflexes, stamina and senses; his vast magic powers allow him to bestow the power of the six to others, as well as performing other incredible deeds. With the power of gods in his hands, and the heart of a mortal, Shazam is one of the greatest protector Earth has ever known, or ever will.

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4 Comments

  1. […] Jebediah of Canaan (Shazam) […]

  2. […] Jebediah of Canaan (Shazam) […]

  3. […] when the Rock was destroyed in a battle of epic proportions between its guardian, the wizard Shazam, and the entity known as Spectre, the scarab had been blasted in the atmosphere, and it landed […]

  4. […] tomb, he brought it back to Kord, who entrusted it to Captain Marvel, who in turn gave it to Shazam to be held in the Rock of Eternity. While he was sleeping in the Rock, Ted Kord got killed […]


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