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With Shazam!, DC seeks to continue reinforcing its cinematic universe after the recent success of Aquaman, which has returned them to the competition
April has arrived and with it the expected premiere of Shazam!, one of the most important superheroes in DC that, due to the hazards of fate, underwent changes of name and even of a company. At his best, he managed to be more popular than Superman himself, during a time when they did not live in the same comic publishing house. The film reaches the halls of the whole world with the goal of giving tranquility to the company after the great failure that meant Justice League. For many, he is still considered the authentic Captain Marvel, although that has remained in the past, because now the superhero seeks to renew itself by taking a new leap to the screen to the cry of Shazam!.
Leer en español: Shazam!: el 'verdadero' Capitán Marvel que busca superar a Aquaman
The young Billy Batson is played by Asher Angel and his transformation into a superhero is played by Zachary Levi. Both are responsible for giving life to Shazam!, directed by David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation), who in his meteoric career has received positive reviews about the new DC movie. According to the Spanish magazine Vandal, the director quoted a tweet in which they commented that Shazam! is like a mix of Harry Potter, The Goonies and Superman of 1978, which Sandberg found amusing. This points out that the film develops within that comic and relaxed character.
The 'real' Captain Marvel
The same year two characters with a very particular relationship, Captain Marvel and Shazam, arrived at Marvel and DC cinematic universe respectively, who hold or held the title of Captain Marvel. It seems a real puzzle that a character that belongs to DC will be named after its biggest competitor.
The website Smash, specialized in comics, explains the curious relationship. The original Captain Marvel was created by a powerful creative house, Fawcett Comics, to compete against Superman of National Publications. The success of Captain Marvel (or 'maravilla' as it was also known in Latin America) worried National Publications, which considered that this character was a copy of Superman.
After a legal process, Fawcett Comics had to resign to continue publishing Captain Marvel. Then, to their misfortune, the company fell into decline until almost disappearing, so their titles, including the captain, went to other companies.
In 1972, the old National Publications, now called DC, acquired much of the titles of its old competitor, among which was Captain Marvel. The problem was that in 1968, when the rights for the name of the superhero overcame, they were acquired by their current competitor. So, DC had the character, but the name no longer belonged to them, therefore Carol Danvers is the one who currently answers to Captain Marvel.
After another legal process, now between Marvel and DC, the first managed to stay definitively with the name. DC's options were to disappear the character or change its name. Finally, they opted for the second, so they used the word with which the character transforms: Shazam!
In the footsteps of Aquaman
As for the criticism, Shazam! already leads the front on any other film of the DC universe. The website Vix highlights that Rotten Tomatoes has given it a crushing 97% in its first projections, which exceeds 93% of Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins) and 63% of Aquaman (James Wan). Both films proved to be a blockbuster, especially that of James Wan who, according to Box Office Mojo, raised $1,146 million dollars, twice the profits of the failed Justice League (Zach Snyder) and exceeding Wonder Woman by more than $ 400 million dollars.
Now DC focuses its hopes on these three characters and on Superman, who has also had good solo numbers. Shazam! could give them the necessary tranquility to make their decayed universe work again. DC's bet for 2019 is on Shazam! and Wonder Woman: 1984, if they still want to recover some ground.
LatinAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernandez
Translated from "Shazam! el verdadero Capitán Marvel que busca superar a Aquaman"