On November 17th, 2015, /u/agnosgnosia – and, actually, a bunch of other people – asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

Who are the new gods that give his powers?

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So, for those who may not know, during the current Darkseid War sự kiện – which, funnily enough, hasn’t had really that much Darkseid or even that much of a war – a bunch of the Justice League got new powers. Flash merged with the black Racer, Batman is having a nice sit on Metron’s chair and, most importantly, Shazam – yes, the guy who used to lớn be called Captain Marvel – got a whole new pantheon of Gods and a new title: the God of Gods!

I’ve covered Captain Marvel/Shazam before on this blog, in a post on the differences between Superman và Captain Marvel, but in this post I’ll be focusing purely on where his powers come from so that you can better understand what’s changed since Darkseid War!

And to vì chưng that, we have to go back in time lớn 1940! Well, kinda.

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The Old Pantheon

So, when Captain Marvel (as the character was then known) first appeared he wasn’t actually part of DC but at a rival company called Fawcett Comics. Long story short, DC sued them because he was too much lượt thích Superman, won & Fawcett had lớn shut down, và to rub salt into the wound, DC then bought the character and eventually started publishing him themselves. Anyway, DC first reintroduced Captain Marvel và his family as part of an alternative earth called Earth S up until 1985 when Crisis on Infinite Earths destroyed the Multiverse and saw them all join the main DC Earth.


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The Original Pantheon from the Shazam! TV series


If you want lớn know more about all this, go read my earlier post. ;)

Anyway, what does this mean? Well, throughout all this time the origin of Captain Marvel’s powers remained pretty consistent: a wizard called Shazam choses a boy, Billy Batson, khổng lồ be his champion and that meant being imbued with the powers of the Gods!

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See, when Billy says the magic word “Shazam!” he’s not just calling out khổng lồ the Wizard, each of the letters stands for one of the Gods that give him his powers. The line up since the Fawcett days was as follows:

S – SolomonH – HerculesA – AtlasZ – ZeusA – AchillesM – Mercury

Now, you may be noticing they’re not actually all Gods, but I’ll get lớn that in a second, along with the help of the Shazam wiki article which does a great job at tying each of the various skills và powers he can use thanks khổng lồ this pantheon. Basically, they’re all the DC versions of their real world myths:

Solomon – Wisdom

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Solomon wasn’t a god but a king from the Bible, so it’s kind of weird that he’s on the list, right? Anyway, he’s especially known for being a pretty wise dude – as his lengthy Wikipedia article attests:

Solomon is the Biblical king most famous for his wisdom. In 1 Kings he sacrifices lớn God & prays for wisdom. God personally answers his prayer, promising him great wisdom because he did not ask for self serving rewards lượt thích long life or the death of his enemies.

Perhaps the best known story of his wisdom is the Judgment of Solomon; two women each lay claim lớn being the mother of the same child. Solomon easily cuts through the dispute by commanding the child to lớn be cut in half và shared between the two. One woman promptly renounces her claim, proving that she would rather give up the child than see it killed. Solomon declares the woman who showed compassion khổng lồ be the true mother, entitled to the whole child.

So yeah, if you’ve ever wondered which DC hero is the best khổng lồ go khổng lồ about chopping babies in half, Shazam has your back. Anyway, Solomon’s wisdom isn’t just about the character being able lớn make good calls, it has direct powers and skills associated with it:

Superhuman Knowledge: Captain Marvel has exceptional photographic recall and mental acuity allowing him to read and decipher hieroglyphics, recall everything he has ever learned và solve long mathematical equations. Instantaneously he can make intuitive guesses based on limited data; khổng lồ the point his guesses are almost always correct; also he has a great understanding of divine phenomenon in the mortal world.Clairvoyance: Captain Marvel possesses an uncanny awareness of his circumstances that allows him khổng lồ turn disadvantages into advantages.Hypnosis: Through sheer power và magic he can hypnotize people for length of time (undetermined). Only those of great willpower can overcome this ability.Omni-lingual: He can speak every language known to lớn humans as well as ancient or dead languages và is able to lớn understand aliens.Hercules – Strength

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Everyone should know Hercules – & not just because of the awesome Kevin Sorbo TV show – but because he’s certainly one of the most well known figures from mythology. From Wikipedia:

Hercules is the Roman name for the Greek divine nhân vật Heracles, who was the son of Zeus (Roman equivalent Jupiter) & the mortal Alcmene. In classical mythology, Hercules is famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures.

Yeah, it’s kind of weird in the DC universe to have the Roman gods when we also have the Greek ones play a prominent role, especially in Wonder Woman stories, but in the past DC have explained that they were actually basically the same entities:

The Roman gods were avatars of the Gods of Olympus, created lớn further their influence in Latium. Hercules was an avatar of Herakles.

Latium is Italy, by the way.

Regardless, Hercules’ strength is the most literal reason as to why Captain Marvel/Shazam is known as Earth’s Mightiest Mortal, và he’s been shown to lớn hold his own against Superman, Wonder Woman và others over the years so he’s certainly tough. Sadly strength doesn’t have a lot of varied applications, he’s just strong. Really strong.

Atlas – Stamina

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You’ve also probably heard of him. He’s the Titan – basically the generation of Gods that came after the primordial deities & before the Olympian deities, lượt thích Zeus – who is most famously depicted lugging a globe around on his shoulders:

In Greek mythology, Atlas … & his brother Menoetius sided with the Titans in their war against the Olympians, the Titanomachy. When the Titans were defeated, many of them (including Menoetius) were confined to Tartarus, but Zeus condemned Atlas to lớn stand at the western edge of Gaia (the Earth) and hold up The Heavens on his shoulders, to lớn prevent the two from resuming their primordial embrace.

So yeah, I guess the guy who holds up the whole world isn’t as a good a source of strength as Hercules, but whatever. Anyway, stamina is useful too:

Self-Sustenance: He does not need khổng lồ eat, sleep, or breathe as Shazam.Superhuman Stamina: His incredible metabolism endows him with practically infinite endurance and inexhaustible stamina.Zeus – Power

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Finally, a real god who’s not a Titan, demigod or even just not a God at all! Most people are well aware of Zeus, from this propensity for throwing lightning around lớn the fact he’s a philanderer who humped his way back and forth Greek mythology:

Zeus … was the sky & thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who ruled as king of the gods of Mount Olympus.

In most traditions, he is married to lớn Hera, by whom he is usually said lớn have fathered Ares, Hebe, và Hephaestus. At the oracle of Dodona, his consort was said to lớn be Dione, by whom the Iliad states that he fathered Aphrodite. Zeus was also infamous for his erotic escapades. These resulted in many godly and heroic offspring, including Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Persephone, Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen of Troy, Minos, và the Muses…

…and I guess, in her post-Flashpoint origin, Wonder Woman!

While Zeus’ nguồn does allow him lớn throw magical lightning around, and fuels the lightning that strikes the hero when he transforms, it has a number of other applications:

Magical Resistance: This boosts his Invulnerability và Endurance powers to god-like levels. Making him only affected by the most potent of spells và abilities.Physical Enhancement: His muscles, height increase, weight, mass và all physical properties that differ from Billy Batson’s are a magical enhancement.Inter-dimensional Travel: This can only be used to lớn travel to the Rock of Eternity.Spell Source: He is the focal point và immediate source of Mary Marvel và Freddy Freeman’s powers. Just as Shazam is the source of Billy Batson’s powers.Sorcery: Captain Marvel is a creature of pure và ancient magic. This allows for his ability khổng lồ resist và cast magic spells, Zeus’s Lightning being the most notable.

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Advanced Healing: If he is injured in battle he may call on the magical lightning lớn heal himself and mend wounds. If wounded, his divine & supernatural energies enable him to recover at other worldly speed.Achilles – Courage

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Oh come on, we were doing so well with Zeus! Now we’re back to lớn using Greek heroes, although one that supposedly had magical parentage:

In Greek mythology, Achilles … was a Greek anh hùng of the Trojan War và the central character and greatest warrior of Homer’s Iliad. His mother was the nymph Thetis, and his father, Peleus, was the king of the Myrmidons.

Achilles’ most notable feat during the Trojan War was the slaying of the Trojan hero Hector outside the gates of Troy. Although the death of Achilles is not presented in the Iliad, other sources concur that he was killed near the end of the Trojan War by Paris, who shot him in the heel with an arrow. Later legends (beginning with a poem by Statius in the 1st century AD) state that Achilles was invulnerable in all of his body toàn thân except for his heel. Because of his death from a small wound in the heel, the term Achilles’ heel has come khổng lồ mean a person’s point of weakness.

And that’s why the tendon in our foot is called that too! Supposedly is mother Thetis – Nereids are basically sea nymphs, not even real gods – held him by his heels when she dipped him in the River Styx to lớn make him immortal, hence why that’s the only part that was vulnerable. Anyway, helpfully he shares this invulnerability with our hero:

Invulnerability: Captain Marvel is virtually invulnerable, and resistant to all types of physical injuries. His resilience lớn damage is on par with beings such as Superman, but without the weaknesses.Optimism: With the Courage of Achilles combined with the Wisdom of Solomon và the boyish personality of Billy Batson this creates a certain kind of optimism of which Captain Marvel is supremely known for. Able to lớn smile down most opponents và using his powers in special ways other than fighting, Captain Marvel will forever remain the staple “boy scout”.Mercury – Speed

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Damnit! I mean, sure, Mercury is at least an actual God – but now it’s the Roman aspect instead of the Greek? I guess so that his name isn’t Shazah? Anyway, as with the whole Hercules/Herakles thing, Mercury is meant to lớn just be an aspect of the Greek God, Hermes. He’s the son of Zeus, so at least it’s a kinda nice father/son thing?

Mercury … is a major Roman god, being one of the Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the patron god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence (and thus poetry), messages/communication (including divination), travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves; he is also the guide of souls khổng lồ the underworld. He was considered the son of Maia and đời xe yamaha jupiter in Roman mythology.

In the Captain Marvel/Shazam mythology, Mercury is responsible for the fact he’s fast but also, apparently, why he can fly:

Superhuman Speed: He can move at incredible speeds making him at least fast enough lớn race the Flash on foot. Captain Marvel can move fast enough to lớn render himself invisible và seemingly vanish & disappear at will. Even hero himself (who is one of the fastest beings on Earth) admitted Captain Marvel as faster than him, & even considered him fast enough to lớn catch an unstoppable Flash.Flight: Captain Marvel can also mystically fly through the atmosphere. This enables him lớn soar effortlessly sub-orbital levels and travel across the planet in blinding speed. He can travel through space, but has sometimes uses devices to ease communication during interstellar travel.

The New 52 – a correction!

So, did you read my last post? At the end I mention that things may have been a bit different since Flashpoint regarding the source of his powers:

In this incarnation of Shazam/Captain Marvel, Billy is not given the typical powers as he is normally given. His powers vị not come from multiple gods but rather all from Shazam himself. One of the missing powers is the Wisdom of Solomon.

In my defence, both the wiki writers & I had interpreted the first Shazam story since the reboot as implying this. However, as you’ll soon see, it seems that isn’t the case & that the source of his powers was, until Darkseid War, the same pantheon it had always been.

post-Darkseid War Pantheon

So, in Darkseid War, something happens: Darkseid dies, killed by the Anti-Monitor. I mean, that’s kind of interesting – & could totally be the inspiration for a future post – but for this post the important thing is that the death of Darkseid is so huge it, somehow, disrupts Billy’s connection lớn his pantheon. The one-shot Justice League: Darkseid War – Shazam deals with this with the Wizard – who was meant khổng lồ have died, but is apparently back – putting together a new team whose initials, yes, once again spell Shazam.

S – S’ivaaH – H’ronmeerA – AnapelZ – ZonuzA – AteM – Mamaragan

I mean, it’s kind of ridiculous. Did he reject all the other Gods that he could have picked simply because they didn’t have the right name? Regardless, it’s an interesting idea.

As before there are six gods but now half are original DC characters and the other half are from actual, real world mythology, as opposed lớn the old danh mục which were all DC versions of real world gods. Also, the new ones are way more obscure than the original lineup. Anyway, below I’ll chú ý whether they’re real world gods or DC characters.

Also, if the one-shot is any indication, the new Gods will talk to Billy a lot more as voices in his head unlike the old ones who were for the most part just invoked by name. Anyway, without further ado, lets meet the new team!

S’ivaa – Strength

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S’ivaa is n ‘Old God’ in every sense of the word as he was one of the group, called the Old Gods, who proceeded the New Gods lượt thích Darkseid, Orion, Highfather and the rest. Certainly he was, well is, a powerful figure và “as a shadow elemental, he was immune khổng lồ the powers of Gods, lượt thích Omega Effect và Astro-Force.”

From the DC Wiki:

After the death of the Old Gods & before the rise of the new, there was a time when monstrous shadow elementals walked he cosmos. The last of them remaining is S’ivaa, the Dancer of destruction, a powerful trùm cuối whose dance could destroy the universe. When the New Gods came to power, S’ivaa fell asleep under the eternal sea on New Genesis, there sleeping undisturbed for eons.

When Darkseid corrupted the Source S’ivaa awoke, & immediately proceeded to lớn carry out his purpose. With all the Gods either powerless or uncaring due khổng lồ the madness in the Source, S’ivaa made way lớn the middle point between Apokolips và New Genesis. There, he began his dance of destruction, which, when completed, would tear apart the fabric of space và time. To battle him, Highfather called upon Superman và Orion lớn stall S’ivaa, while himself và Darkseid sought to lớn breach the Source và undo the damage Darkseid has done.

Eventually, S’ivaa was defeated when Superman và Orion tossed him through a hole in space he himself created, hurling him to the rupture in the Source Wall created by Highfather & Darkseid. S’ivaa was pulled into the Source Wall, becoming a part of it forever.

Now, that sounds lượt thích a bit of a problem but as the Wizard later explains, Gods don’t die by return lớn the Source which seems lớn be where S’ivaa still is when he is roped into powering Shazam. You can see his first meeting with Billy here:

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H’ronmeer – Fire

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A Martian God of fire – you’ll probably have heard Martian Manhunter mention him – and the source of Shazam’s new fire powers which will be very interesting to lớn see how they’re integrated into his style.

H’ronmeer is recognized as one of the more powerful and active Gods within the Martian pantheon.

The Green Martians are not always in agreement concerning H’ronmeer’s true motives và function. Some factions consider him the God of Death and Fire, while others consider him the God of Light and Life.

As H’ronmeer is a God of Death, he may function as an analog, or even an aspect of The Endless entity known as Death. Many members of the Endless are recognized by different names in different alien cultures. Death’s little brother, Dream, for example is known as the Martian God of dreams, L’zoril. It stands to lớn reason then, that H’ronmeer actually is Death, albeit in a different form.

I really lượt thích that we’ve got a God who’s not from Earth, or one of Kirby’s Old/New Gods. For now, other than being able lớn summon fire, it’s unclear exactly what H’ronmeer will be contributing though as his power nguồn set is kind of… vague:

The full range of H’ronmeer’s abilities are unknown. It is known that he can communicate with the deceased & usher souls into the afterlife. He can communicate with other individuals either by vocalization or telepathy. He can alter his kích cỡ and shape lớn a limitless degree, & he can traverse time và space without the aid of external resources.