Shazam! Mattel’s subscription service Matty Collector has revealed among its exclusives for San Diego Comic-Con an exclusive action figure based on the original Captain Marvel…uh, we mean “Shazam.” Sorry, Billy Batson is not included.
Based on the version of the character that’s appeared as a back-up feature in Justice League by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, the figure’s part of Mattel’s “Club Infinite Earths” series and can stand alongside DC Universe Classics or the DC Signature Collection figures to battle evil!
Here’s some of the pics from Matty Collector’s website:
If you’re not crazy about the hoodie (there appears to be a bit of extra head room up there), don’t worry — it’s removable.
For those unfamiliar with the character’s history, he’s young orphan Billy Batson, given the ability to call on the powers of ancient heroes, whose names conveniently form the acronym “Shazam,” which also conveniently is the name of the wizard who gave him these powers.
The character was known for decades as “Captain Marvel,” but the short version is that DC Comics didn’t like how publisher Fawcett Comics had aped their Superman formula, sued the character out of existence, and then bought the rights to him decades later…by which time Marvel Comics had become popular and trademarked the title “Captain Marvel” for their books. Oops.
Hence, the character’s only been able to appear in books with “Shazam!” as the title, a phrase later co-opted by Gomer Pyle, and more disturbingly, Peter Griffin during intimate moments. This was also the title of a highly-successful Saturday morning live-action series in the 1970s, which was just recently released on DVD via Warner Archive with Alex Ross cover art. There’s a much, much more extensive history of all this you can read elsewhere, and just recently a review of an unmade Shazam screenplay by The Princess Bride author William Goldman.
Currently, the character is now calling himself “Shazam,” and apparently also has a hoodie. We’re just hoping that whatever changes he undergoes, he still battles Mr. Mind, the World’s Wickedest Worm, and hangs out with Mr. Tawky Tawny, the Talking Tiger.
Say what you will about comic books of the 1940s, but they went there.
The figure is available for pre-order on MattyCollector.com, and can be picked up at San Diego Comic-Con. It’ll also be on sale at the show, with remaindered figures available through Matty Collector on August 5.
There’s plenty of other cool exclusives available at the show, and we’ll be sure to let you know about them! Planning to get this figure?