Back in October, when it was announced that there would be 10-page back-ups in Justice League titled Curse of Shazam starting in March, everyone just assumed it was because DC can’t use Captain Marvel’s name on covers or anything like that. As it turns out, we were only partly right. The title seems to be a bit of a play on words, as the company’s tired of not being able to call Captain Marvel “Captain Marvel”, and everyone just thinking his name is “Shazam”. So DC did the only logical thing a legally hamstrung company could do – they’re changing his name to Shazam.
In an interview with Newsarama, Geoff Johns explains,
Well, there are a lot of reasons for the change. One is that everybody thinks he’s called Shazam already, outside of comics. It’s also, for all sorts of reasons, calling him Shazam just made sense for us. And, you know, every comic book he’s in right now has Shazam on the cover. So I think just by embracing that and calling him Shazam.
And you’ll see it actually make sense in story, why he’s called Shazam rather than Captain Marvel. That’s just what he’s going to be called for us from now on.
I’m curious as to whether Johns gives Billy a new magic word or if he’ll now have the same can’t-say-his-own-super-hero-name weakness as Freddie. Speaking of, he did go on to say that there aren’t any plans to jettison Freddie and the rest of the former-Cap’s supporting cast even as he expands it:
You can’t do Shazam without Billy and Mary and Freddie! You’ve got to have those guys. Billy, Mary, Freddie, Sirvana [sic], the Wizard, Black Adam. You’ll see some other familiar faces. You’ll see a lot of new faces too â€” new concepts, new characters.
And those new concepts? Looks like you’ll see some of them right away.
In the very first two pages, there’s a completely different take on the mythology that’s the bedrock of Shazam, as far as the wizard and the Rock of Eternity and all of that goes.
So within two pages, you’ll see how much we’re trying to expand it and deepen it and make it a lot grander and a lot bigger than it previously was.
There’s one change, I think, that will excite fans that know the character, and one that will give them pause.
So, what do you think of the idea of rebooted Captain Marvel Shazam? One who’ll have a new look, and will (despite rumors) definitely be part of the main DCnU world? Do you think Geoff “Red Lanterns” Johns can pull it off? I’m honestly not sure, but I really want someone to get the character right.
For the rest of the article, including Johns talking about how the movie is still just stalled, head over to Newsarama.